Social Media Trends: What they mean for your brand
Earlier this year, Facebook and Instagram announced a major algorithm change that changed the way a viewer sees his or her newsfeed. In an attempt to encourage meaningful interactions through content, the algorithm downplays posts by publishers (goodbye Buzzfeed) and emphasizes more on content by Friends and Family.
This may sound like bad news for your brand, but in the long term, these changes are quite beneficial. There is only so much customer attention available and brands who produce higher quality, conversation-starting content will rise to the top.
It’s more important than ever to double down on high-quality content that will have readers/viewers looking for your brands, specifically in search. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Use Influencer Marketing
This algorithm update lends more value to Influencer Marketing efforts. While this recent algorithm change diminishes the ability for brands to organically interact with those who follow their pages, it doesn’t negatively affect the interaction between content creators with large audiences and their followers. A good influencer is successful at creating dialogue between themselves and their audience and that’s what will propel a brand to the top.
2. Encourage Customers to Follow
This change to Facebook and Instagram doesn’t just influence how consumers see their feed, but what they see also. A brand that continues to ask their audience to comment their favorite movie or ice cream will also be demoted down the News Feed. As previously mentioned, this change is to encourage meaningful engagement, not just higher quantities of it. Instead of asking for a comment, don’t be shy to ask your audience to follow your brand’s page.
You can also remind your loyal followers that Facebook has a feature that allows them to choose “See First.”
3. Still Pay-to-Play
Brands should expect and accept less engagement overall. Even with the shift in the new Facebook algorithm and decline in engagement (the #1 indicator of ROI and brand awareness), 67% of businesses say they will increase their advertising budgets.
Everyone advertising on social media is experiencing a decline in results and a spike in costs, which means your brand should too. Consider being more aggressive with advertisement budgets but reserve funds for other avenues of online marketing.
4. Focus on SEO
Referral traffic from Facebook to brand websites, as well as social sharing, has been decreasing long before the most recent algorithm changes. In contrast, referral traffic from Google searches is increasing.
That means it’s a perfect time to utilize SEO that will improve the searchability of your brands’ original content. Adding more money to your Google Adwords account will help ensure your customers are finding exactly what they are searching for.
5. Use Video
Video still remains king and Facebook continues to favor content with video. Instagram Stories, another form of social media video marketing, has increased its business use by 58%.
YouTube ads are becoming more affordable and more effective than Facebook Ads, which should be taken into consideration when your brand is producing video.
Though the popularity of Live Video is dying, carefully thought-out, highly-produced videos are watched and shared more. There is also a rise in Instagram Story, which should stay on your brand’s radar.
6. Utilize Messaging
Messaging platforms have more users on them regularly than the top 4 social media platforms. Facebook Messenger is an untapped marketing platform with only 20% of businesses running ads on it. This is a wonderful opportunity for your brand to connect directly with fans, share news and coupons (if applicable). This ad platform is somewhat new, but most marketers are taking the time to learn as much they can about messenger advertising. Messaging allows you to directly interact with a customer that can drive business outcomes.
Social media and its algorithms are constantly changing and adapting to consumers’ behaviors. Hopefully the steps mentioned above help your brand excel to the top of anyone’s News Feed.