Experts predict that social media will have over 2.95 billion users by 2020. With such a high number of users over the globe, social media channels have to consistently think of novel ways to engage them. Even enterprises have to generate new ways to gain a leadership position in social media charts.
We all have got so accustomed to social media that even a day without it seems impossible. Businesses think alike. But I wonder if social media, which is not at a peak of usage, will experience a trough in the near future. It just might, unless we are prepared for the next level. Big brands are already leveraging features like live video, engaging influencers, and personalized updates.
There are a few other things that are unlikely to change – content. You have to be attentive to how your customers perceive your brand on social channels, engage with your followers and provide valuable content that is curated for them. There is a lot of effort that goes in gaining an insight from social conversations, posts, compliments and complaints. There is a growing trend wherein the inspirational content is likely to go viral rather than posts seeking a reaction. Emotionally charged messages, artistic imagery, and imaginative content is preferred rather than the salesy kind of posts.
There are quite a few brands that have started to think beyond Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They need to focus on Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat too.
So, what’s next?
We are not saying that social media will only be governed with the trends listed below. There are a number of trends doing the round but we think the following ones will definitely be dominant.
‘Buy’’ ‘buy’, it’s everywhere
The buy button came into being to monetize social media. It’s time for the next level.
Buying will start to happen over the social media channel itself. There will be no need to visit the website. Consumers just have to hit a button on Pinterest or Facebook Ad to complete a purchase. Consumers will be able to check the best deals and get familiar with the product/ service over the social media channel. Even if social media is not one of the most effective selling channels, it is definitely a critical influence for your consumers.
Connect at work (with social media)
Organizations have long curbed their workforce from using social media at work. Then came smartphones and they no longer could be stopped. With the growing importance of connectedness, collaboration and to have a productive workplace, organizations will allow social media access at work. There are tools, like Slack, which allows collaboration and sharing of information (which includes images, documents, etc.) and makes it faster than internal emails. Given the growing need, even Facebook for Works will aim to provide a platform for business professionals to give them an opportunity to collaborate and share information.
Social Chat Bots
How can social media be unaffected with Artificial Intelligence in the future? Chatbots, which will become popular in case of social media channels, use Artificial Intelligence to imitate a conversation that a human can have. As chatbots are evolving and becoming more intelligent, they can interpret what a user is saying, and can send pictures and videos instead of just text.
Facebook Messenger is already using 30,000 chatbots and it is already becoming a preferred option to interact with many of their consumers. Directly sending a message to your potential buyer and having a more intimate interaction enhances the likelihood of pushing them to make a buy.
Think mobile first
There are two major benefits if you have a mobile-friendly website – firstly you will have increased visitors as most as mobile traffic is overtaking desktop traffic. It will also impact the popularity of your social media channels. With Google’s mobile-first web indexing, it will be all the more important to have an astounding mobile experience for your website.
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website yet, pull up your socks.
There are new and emerging social media platforms every now and then. Businesses can’t jump on all of them and start promoting their business. There has to be an understanding of the business, the best-suited platform as per the nature of the business and planned promotion using the platform.
Get social media ready with our experts who can drive your business ahead. Speak to us today.