This is a guest post provided by Caitlin Morton.
Social media marketing trends are constantly changing and reshaping the decisions and strategies we use as digital marketing professionals, as well as our business decisions.
Today, we're going to dig into all the wonderful, creative and (let's be honest, kind of intimidating) ways that current social media marketing trends have on business decisions.
Ready to get started? Let's dig in.
The Impact of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is the practice of finding influencers on social media to promote your brand or product.
Admiration: Most followers of prominent social media figures respect and admire them. This admiration can be partially transferred to the product the influencer is promoting and the brand associated with that product.
Credibility: At the same time, influencers can increase the credibility of the brand. If the influencer has a good reputation, this good reputation can be transferred to the brand. Both the admiration and credibility elements often influence the purchase decisions of many potential customers.
Brand Awareness: If the company gets several influencers to promote the brand and its products, it will probably increase brand awareness to some extent. And better brand awareness can help brands reach more customers and increase their sales.
The Impact of Social Proof
Social proof: This what we call the practice of customers sharing reviews, testimonials, and all kinds of feedback other potential customers see on social media. This becomes a bonus if friends and family are following those leaving reviews and see them, and this is because reviews from strangers won't hold the same sort of impact that a trusted friend or relative does. This is why many brands try to do something new with social proof. Here’s how it impacts purchase decisions:
Reputation: For potential customers, the positive and negative feedback of their friends and family is worth more than the feedback of any stranger. They know that their friends and family are the people that can be trusted, so of course, they will most probably perceive the opinions of their relatives as facts about the products.
Trust: Like with reputation, trust is an essential aspect of social proof posted by the friends and family of potential customers. It’s really amazing how much people will trust the opinions of those they know in real life. In fact, peers are known to influence each other’s opinions (for example, a teenager can start smoking and drinking because their friends smoke and drink, too).
Credibility: For most people, their friends and family have more credibility than random strangers. Though many potential customers will listen to industry experts (e.g. beauty gurus promoting some kind of makeup), because in some cases their family and friends might just not know enough about the subject.
What do we suggest? Encourage both!!
Impact of International Audience Targeting
One of the reasons why social media is so great for marketing is that it lets both big and small businesses reach international audiences by translating their content with the help of online translation. Here’s how targeting international audiences impacts customer behavior:
Exposure: Targeting international audiences through social media instead of simply focusing on locals can give brands an upper hand and provide them with more a larger audience and better brand recognition. That's right! More exposure leads to increased brand awareness, which can also positively influence the reputation of the brand in the eyes of social media users.
Opportunities: Trying to reach foreign audiences also means that the brand will get more opportunities in so many ways. For example, the company can partner with other brands from different countries and reach potential customers from those regional markets. Such collaborations are much different than what businesses would do on their own, so they can ultimately have a greater impact.
Expansion: Reaching customers in different regions will help companies grow and expand their business which is a “natural” development in having a business. The business can’t just stay in one place – it needs to evolve. This is why social media marketing is so crucial for the effective progression in the business’s “life” and growth. So what're you waiting for??
Impact of Social Media Platform Algorithms
Instagram is notorious for updating its algorithm and causing universal "panic" among all kinds of users on the platform, (although, hey, we're all for the no likes=more creativity options) but Instagram is not the only platform that does this. Here’s how the constant changes in the social media platform algorithms influence customer decisions:
Changes Mean More Learning: Social media algorithm changes confuse not only the businesses that have to adapt to these new “rules” but also the users that follow these businesses on these platforms. While it can be complicated though, change can have many incredible benefits.
Experimentation: The confusion that changes create among individuals and brands usually leads to experimentation which can be a positive thing no matter the results. Brands can discover many new ways of making social media marketing more effective, as well as what "not" to do to help users. And hey, we're here for it.
Annoyance: The algorithm changes and the experimentation may lead to annoyance and frustration in the brand’s audience, so you have to watch out for this sort of thing. (Hint, hint: Instagram taking away the order of things and brands everywhere bugging their audience about turning on notifications....)
The Impact of Giveaways and Contests
Last but not least, most businesses on social media have hosted at least one giveaway or contest. And why not, right? Not only is it a popular practice, it can also have VAST benefits for your business including an uptick in sales, clicks and impressions. Here’s how hosting giveaways and contests can impact customer purchases:
Exposure: Giveaways and contests like other activities mentioned earlier in this article can help the brand get more exposure. It’s true that giving something away for free (or almost for free) will definitely attract a lot of attention and can help entrepreneurs kick start their business.
Diversity: With so much attention, all kinds of people will be attracted to the brand, even those who aren’t a part of your current target audience. This means that there will be more diversity and you can analyze the data to find out who is really most attracted to your brand and how you can better reach them.
Partnerships: Lastly, hosting giveaways and contests usually means that businesses need to collaborate with other brands like them. Such partnerships give business owners valuable connections for the future.
All in all, social media marketing is not something to ignore or discard as non-existent because it is very much present in our daily lives which means that most social media users will probably be influenced by it one way or another.
Whether you're following every trend or just along for the ride, you may be surprised how much it really impacts even the most insignificant parts of your daily life.
Are you ready to give your brand the kick start it needs to be truly successful in a landscape that is always changing? Are you prepared to take the leap and allow our creative geniuses a chance to transform your brand for the future of digital marketing? What are you waiting for?? Let's get in touch and get social!