Changing Trends in Social Media Can Influence Your Business Model (part I)

Changing Trends in Social Media Can Influence Your Business ModelWritten by Nabanita Roy, who is a web enthusiast and blogger currently working as a Community Development Executive at forums.com. She is trying to help people connect – and you can connect with her on Twitter @nabanita_roy.


The sole aim of business today is not just making money, counting profits and waiting for your customers to knock at your door. No, not anymore. With the emergence of web, more specifically Web 2.0, where being connected is a big deal,  business models change every single day.

Business today is much more a transparent identity where every new challenge paves way for a new opportunity. Being creative is not just a need but a must!

Old is gold! Does not work with social media:

So what do we mean when we talk about business style?

Take a quick look at the promotional elements that you used previously:

 

– Press Release
– Advertisement in paper
– Banners
– Flashy ad campaigns
– Free gifts & discounts offer

All of these could have been major promotional factors for your business earlier. But today these are not enough to convince your customers that you are the best!

Social media today is the platform which companies are open to for spreading a word about their organization or promoting their business. The simple process that is followed is connect-share-engage! You need to be transparent and engaged with your customers for increasing your business.  Your customers will knock at your door only when you have a door that’s distinctly ‘visible’  in the web. Its your web presence and your direct relationship with your customers that can actually gear up your business.

What’s the trend?

Well, trends in web change as frequently as the trend setters. However the fun lies in trying to keep track of the changes. If you have a particular business model there are two clear choices for you:

1. Keep your existing models intact and follow the same promotional strategies that I have mentioned earlier.

2. Reveal your identity, increase your connections, engage in conversation, build your relationship with your customer. The time of mysteries are over. Now you got to show your human side along with being a brand or you are certain to be pushed to the back seat.

If you are in the flow of accepting changes and setting trends there are some recent shifts you should keep track off. It will help you to spread a word about your business and make your web presence stronger.

To check out the process of trends in the social media arena keep at look out for my next post!

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!