The social media world continues to move at lightning speed, which means businesses must stay on top of those trends in order to stay current and continue to electrify followers and users (see what we did there?). Engaging and retaining customers will forever be a marketing challenge, but with some of the new formats and fun add-ons to existing social media platforms, keeping your customers (and potential customers) interested is an achievable goal. Though much has changed in the digital landscape over the last few weeks, here’s a look at three new initiatives from top social media platforms that are already changing how we prompt businesses heading into 2018.
Snapchat – advertising in a snap
Just like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Snapchat has jumped onto the advertising train. However, with the introduction of new advertising formats, they are now leading their competitors with their innovations. Snapchat is a haven for any business targeting millennials, and it has strong capabilities to grow an audience with several ad formats to choose from. Snapchat ads increase “storytelling” intrigue by making ads more engaging and memorable – which is every advertiser’s dream!
Some of the ad choices include creating a Snap Ad, which is a 10-second, full screen video ad that appears between stories. You can also build a fun “Sponsored Geo-filter”, or give users (i.e. potential customers) an opportunity to interact with a Sponsored Lens (you know those things that change how your face looks in a selfie like the dog ears you see everywhere). This is your opportunity to let your brand be part of a fun and unique brand experience – they are adding their face to your brand, product, mascot, logo or other notable aspect of your business. After they’ve finished playing around, they can easily send the new Snap to friends or post to a story. Another format is “Promoted Stories” which allows you to compile three to 10 photos and videos into a longer ad on your Stories page. Finally, for the bigger ad budget, you can try “Augmented Reality” ads, where users interact with a virtual product, scene, image, etc., which is overlapped on whatever is on their smartphone. The ad possibilities keep growing with Snapchat and their users are eating it up.
Twitter’s gone to 280 characters…now what?
There was a lot of hype leading up to Twitter’s 280 character allowance, but now that it’s here, the jury is still out on what, if anything, has been impacted. Most people agree that it's easier to scroll through 140-character tweets, and also that the challenge of condensing comments and ideas into only 140 characters was almost enjoyable. The fear now is, that with double the amount of space, people will just be more long-winded and use up more of the reader’s valuable time with something they could have said with fewer words. However, time saved on editing tweets may cause people to post more often, without the worry of going over the word count.
From the initial trials this fall, Twitter claimed that users who used the higher character limit received more likes, retweets, and mentions, and even more compelling is that people were spending more time on Twitter in general. From an advertising perspective, that is definitely good news.
Polling (not trolling) on Instagram
As Instagram’s popularity continues to rise, another new feature has advertisers buzzing. Again, it’s all about boosting engagement, and what better way than with a quick poll? Find out what your potential customers like or want by simply asking – no focus group needed! It’s a quick and effective way to ask about a product you offer (or may discontinue – gasp!). Perhaps you want to ask about the preferred communication method for your customers, or if you should get a real or artificial holiday tree in your office/store this year. By posing OCCASIONAL (we can’t stress this enough – don’t go nuts with a poll every hour) questions, you show that you actually care about your followers and their opinions and that you are savvy enough to be using Instagram in the first place.
When you publish your poll, everyone who sees your story can vote and see real-time results. You will be able to see names or tag names of those who take part in your poll, although others cannot. Just don’t forget that it all disappears in 24 hours from posting, so it’s important to monitor your poll regularly and review the analytics when it’s done. This is especially important if it’s tied to a contest in any way so that you’re not violating any contest rules or regulations/mandates. Another great feature of shorts polls is that they are often viewed as a nice distraction from scrolling, particularly if they’ve received a pop-up notification of the poll; even if they don’t know much about your business, they do like participating and having a voice.
Keeping on top of trends
As your marketing and advertising experts, it’s our job to stay current and continually be plugged in to new advertising developments. This way, we have a stronger arsenal to offer clients when developing their custom advertising packages. Sure, some of the new social media trends may not be suited to every business, but learning about their impact is critical so that our clients can be best informed and better compete in this ever-changing digital world. If you have any questions about creating or expanding your social media marketing plan, feel free to give us a call 705-252-4180. Our experienced team at 3SIXTY Marketing Solutions is always happy to help you create a solid strategy that works best for you - and your customers while driving your bottom line!