3 social media changes businesses need to make in 2016
Special to the Sun
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Social media has become an inseparable part of life for around 2 billion people. Eighty percent of smartphone users check their phones in the first 15 minutes after they wake up, and what is it that most of them do? They check their social media accounts.
You are probably not surprised by this, since you are most likely among those people, and even if you aren’t, there is no denying social media is essential for your business. It has become a normal thing, a part of our everyday life, like brushing teeth or taking a shower.
2015 was an exciting year for social media with the emergence of live streams, Facebook surpassing the 1 billion users mark in a single day, Google tweaking its algorithm to highlight the importance of social media profiles and posts, and much more.
2016 promises to be no less intriguing, and companies need to keep up with the new trends to survive and keep growing. Here are the three most important tactics that you should implement in your social media strategy this year:
1. Social Advocacy
Companies spend countless dollars and hours to find people who love the brand and engage with on social media liking, re-tweeting and sharing content in their networks. You know who else loves your company? Your own employees.
According to a research, your average employee has 10 times more followers and 8 times more engagement than your company page. Another interesting fact to consider is that influencing has become one of the best tactics on social. More and more people report that they are willing to buy a product/service referred to them by a friend whom they trust.
It doesn’t take a genius to put 2 and 2 together. Your employees can and should help grow your company not only during working hours, but also on social media. They all have friends who trust them, people who listen to them and need an advice. This is a great opportunity to utilize in the upcoming year.
2. Create even more video content
You could say that 2015 was a “video content explosion” year, and in that case, 2016 will be the “video content dominance” year. With almost every social media platform introducing its own video publishing tool, it has become a must to include as much video content as you can if you want to step up your engagement rates.
Statistics only strengthen this statement. People watch an average of 5.5 hours of video content each day. In 2011, this number was somewhere around 20 minutes/day. That’s almost a 400 percent consistent increase in video consumption in 4 years. No matter whether it’s live stream, casual YouTube videos or user-uploaded stuff, everybody is taking their video obsession to a whole new level.
By November 2015, Facebook doubled its average daily video content consumption from 4 billion to 8 billion. Just imagine that number – 8 billion videos watched each day. This is so big that it can surpass global TV consumption by the end of this year.
Not only that, but Facebook has made it clear that its algorithm prioritizes videos over all other content (both visual and written). In other words, if you are hoping to pull off any kind of social media campaigns this year or increase your fan base, consider investing into video cameras.
Video can also be used for repurposing your older content. For example, you can take an old (but super relevant), dull and boring blog post that you have written years ago and transform it into an entertaining, informational and fun video.
3. Make use of social media ads
Social media advertising has been constantly adapting to the changes in consumer behavior and preferences during the last years. In general, online ads have been losing their value during the past years, mainly due to the rise of influencing marketing and native advertising, but that’s not the case with social ads.
In fact, social ads have become so sophisticated and offer such precision in terms of targeting, that they don’t feel out of place for users. Thanks to the in-depth targeting options, people don’t mind seeing those ads show up on their news feeds because they all offer something that is interesting to them, just like a friend’s post or a tweet from a brand that they follow.
Making smart use of social ads can lead to considerable results, and the best part is, it won’t disrupt your audience’s social experience or take too long to actually see them. You can even monitor the results of the ads along with the other important metrics. Sounds like hitting two targets with one arrow? Sign me up.
There are more opportunities that social media brings to the table for businesses; it just takes a bit more effort and time to figure out how to make use of them. Regardless of how much attention you paid to social media until now, it’s never too late to step it up.
These three tactics are a great starting point to fuel up your social media strategy in 2016 and take it from there.
This column was provided by Incline Village-based Out&About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. Charles Dearing is a writer and blogger with deep knowledge and experience in online marketing. Charles writes for PatientSites, and you can find his articles on various business and marketing blogs, such as Out&About Marketing.