We entered year 2013 without any apocalypses that changed the course. The increase of people accessing social media has steady ascended. As it always have. People are using social media during a longer time and on a wider range of devises. Which leave 2013 to be the year where News Feeds are more cluttered with noise than ever before.
Edelman Digital has pointed out 10 social media trends for this year. 10 trends that your brand should adapt in order to reach as many people as possible, when they are most interested, to spark conversations, and to deepen customer relationships.
1. Mobile first
The mobile usage is growing every day and it’s essential to optimize the content you share with your target audience. 90 percent of social media users use multiple screens sequentially, meaning that your content not only should be adapted to smart phones and computer screens, but also tablets and TV.
2. Converged media
The merging of paid, owned, and earned media provides the opportunity to grow earned media organically. It’s the combined impressions that will create your strength. All content you share are your advertising – and it doesn’t have to look like editorial content to be advertising. Promote high performing content, that’s relevant and in the right context, with paid media such as Sponsored Page Stories, to reach as many people as possible.
3. Amplifying sourced content
Social networks are designed to encourage user to share images, text, and videos, which has result in a web full of content connected to your brand. Source content from fans, blogs, and creative channels. Using fan generated content work as peer-to-peer recommendations, which probably are the strongest source for marketing you’ll ever get. User generated content brings transparency to the brand and shows consumer appreciation.
4. Visual storytelling comes into focus
Visual stimuli have a strong effect on humans, also compared to other kinds of stimuli such as reading or listening. Visual content get 5 times higher engagement on Facebook and technology has made it easier to take part in visual storytelling with online communities. As I posted about in beginning of last year, 2012 was the year when visual content came to be king: we saw a drastic rise of visual social networks, such as Pinterest and social networks optimizing for visuals, such as the Facebook Timeline. This year, we’ll see an increase in video sharing and social networks such as Vine fueling the trend.
5. Creative newsroom
Since September 2012, the average reach of brand content in users News Feed is 8 %. It has put more pressure on brands to create breaktrough content that bring value for both users and the brand. By implementing a creative newsroom, a.k.a. social newsroom, you can make sure to optimize content according to trends and real time happenings. This will further create an always-on strategy – placing your brand in the right context, at the right time. Prepare your brand for the new changes of the Facebook News Feed, where it’s now even more essential to work more effective with visuals.
6. Many lightweight interactions over time
As the engagement of your community increases you will gain deeper emotional bonds. It takes time to grow a community, but as bigger it gets, the more likely you are to create advocacy.
7. Social events drive engagement
Breaking through the noise in peoples News Feed demands more than updates that states “Like this if you…”. The combination of breaking news, exclusive access, and competition have proved, not least from Redbull’s Space Jump, to be a winning formula to create attention and conversation. To strengthen your messages, make sure to sync social events in real life with your social channels, such as broadcasting live on TV, or providing real time content.
8. One-to-one social engagement
Let’s not be stuck in old patterns by trying to communicate with a big mass of people all at once. People expect customized content, and you have the possibilities to target and segment your content based on interest, geographics, demographics, and activity. Use that possibility.
9. The search game just changed – again
The more engagement you can create around your content, the greater is the possibility for people to crave for deeper knowledge and understanding of your content. This craving further leads to people doing more researching. Ensure that you have a presence on various social platforms and can provide content that support their searching. Develop a spectrum of content throughout social channels where users search for content, such as Tumblr and Pinterest.
We can’t mention it too many times – the value of using the right brand tone of voice. To be recognized amongst all other noise, let the brand personality shine through all content and communication. Make room to utilize the possibilities that lies within using a significant tone of voice. Play and be creative with you’re brand’s communication to grab attention.