Studies show that 57% of Canadians engage on social media. In fact, social media is quickly becoming a central component of personal and professional lives. For this reason, it is an essential channel for engaging with consumers.
Nonetheless, many business owners speculate about the future of social media marketing.
As consumers’ preferences shift and new platforms appear, social media’s role in business advertising is likely to continue to fluctuate.
In this post, we look closely at social media marketing’s future, analyzing the key trends that give a sense of what to expect.
Read on for insight!
1. In-App Messaging Marketing is On the Rise
Most social media platforms enable in-application messaging, including Instagram. In-app messaging gives business owners an effective means of engaging with current and prospective customers in real time.
Marketers can now also purchase digital ads that appear in users’ message inboxes.
In the past, messaging feeds were restricted to private social conversations. Now businesses can become a part of those conversations.
Given the fact that consumers continually place a premium on authentic engagement with the brands they love, in-app messaging marketing is on the rise.
If businesses are keen to engage with customers on their terms, they will enable users to reach out to them via social media messaging systems.
2. Social Media is Becoming More Mobile
Studies show that 94% of Facebook users access the platform via mobile devices. Instagram itself is mobile-centric given the nature of the content it produces.
Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn also have highly mobile audiences. As such, social media itself is becoming more mobile-focused.
When it comes to the future of social media marketing, the coming years will continue to emphasize mobile users. It will make the most of in-app messaging ads.
It will also emphasize mobile-friendly content, and sizing images and videos with mobile screens in mind is key.
3. Chatbots Are Key
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral and exciting part of websites and other marketing channels. But, it is also emerging as an influencer of social media, largely in the form of chatbot technology.
Social media enables most business account owners to incorporate and customize their own chatbots and automated messages.
Chatbots take in-app messaging a step further by giving social media users and followers a chance to learn more about a business or address customer service issues.
Many marketers will make use of in-app messaging and customized chatbots to address customer concerns and provide immediate answers — when a client or business budget allows, of course!
4. Social Media Leverages SEO
Social media platforms go hand-in-hand with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns. The future of social media marketing will place even greater emphasis on this close-knit relationship.
Google has yet to formally declare that it considers social signals in its ranking decisions. However, given the role social media plays in the commercial realm, it very well may do so in the future.
Businesses with robust social media profiles can optimize content they share and post thinking of specific keywords. Consumers can also use social media platforms to find products and services based on those keywords.
Social media will also continue to cultivate brand awareness. Users familiar with a company’s social media activity will be more likely to click on that company’s page in Google search results.
5. Social Media Is a Window to Your Customers
Social networks are more than marketing channels. They also provide businesses with insight into their customers’ minds.
This has always been the case. But the future of social media marketing lies in a business’s ability to use these platforms to gather customer feedback and data.
Many consumers, for example, leave reviews for businesses on Facebook. Others may reference a business, product or service in their statuses.
Successful social media marketers are the ones who can perform rich analysis of this feedback to better inform future advertising efforts.
6. Facebook Leads the Pack
Facebook is still primary amongst the social media giants, although it is losing ground to Instagram with every passing year… but really, it’s OK because Facebook owns Instagram.
The future of social media marketing lies in marketers’ abilities to stay with this social media leader and meet users’ increasing demands for engagement and rich content.
Facebook is also the only social media platform that (so far) enables business reviews. This is essential for businesses looking for easy means of bolstering their online reputations.
7. Video Content is Key
We have already mentioned social media users’ interest in engaging, relevant content. At the top of this list is video content.
Video content is always intriguing, and it will continue to be marketers’ most powerful means of engaging with users on social media. The good news is that social media platforms make it easy to upload and generate video content.
In fact, Facebook Live is taking the video world by storm, enabling business owners to engage with users in real time. Not to mention, Instagram stories are also popular.
The future of social media marketing lies in the powerful and strategic use of video content across platforms.
Wrapping Up the Future of Social Media Marketing
So what is the future of social media marketing? Given the trends that we have discussed in this post, we can confidently state that social media is not going to leave the marketing stage any time soon.
While social media platforms themselves are shifting in popularity, social media still plays a significant role in consumer lives, both personal and professional.
If business owners are seeking to capitalize on global (or local) social media use, they will have to step up their content game. Social media users now place a premium on video content and material that is user-driven. Social media is also becoming a valuable source of consumer data, giving businesses a chance to hear customer feedback about products and services.
A viable social media marketing campaign for 2018 will include high-value content designed to give organizations the data they need to keep evolving in the right direction. It will also emphasize mobile-friendly content, video content, and chatbots.
At Octopus Creative, Inc., we believe in the future of social media marketing, and what it can do for you. Start a conversation today to learn more about what we can do to transform your digital marketing game!