- By Nick Frost
From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, we take a look at the latest trends in social. If you’re in marketing, drop this knowledge when speaking to your boss and pitching the next “big idea.”
Whether or not you’re the social guru at your company, you’re always looking for new and brilliant ways to push your social media presence into another stratosphere.
Having to explain them to your superiors? Whole other story.
It’s easy to take for granted that your boss will necessarily know — or have the time to find out — anything about what you’re pitching. You need to go in equipped with numbers and solutions that will turn her or his office into a Maxell commercial.
Here are four tips you can share with your boss next time you’re asked how you can take the company’s social media presence above and beyond.
Tip #1: The path to consumers’ hearts (and attention spans) is through video.
Social media users have been progressively turning away from written content in recent years, instead focusing more of their collective attention squarely on videos. The scribe is dead, long live the scribe!
While those who write fight for the power of the written word, the numbers speak for themselves:
- Customers would rather watch videos about your products than read about them. Four times as many, to be precise.
- From the same study, one in four consumers also lose interest in a company that doesn’t provide video content on their social channels.
- As much as 76.5% of small business owners have seen a direct impact from producing video.
- On Facebook, videos generate more user engagement (+16%) and reach (12.17% of the total audience) than other media.
- According to Cisco, videos are projected to comprise 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.
Tip #2: It’s not just traditional videos, either — live videos and 360º videos are on the rise.
Many brands are also adding live streaming and even 360º capabilities to their arsenals.
Sure, traditional videos will continue to be highly engaging, as well as easiest to produce and have creative control over, but the latter two could prove to keep your brand ahead of the curve.
In 2016, just 14% of marketers took live video for a spin, but that number is quickly gaining steam, set to take a massive bump to 43% once 2017 is in the books. Catching people in the moment is highly important, especially for local businesses, so having that real-time feed with people active on social media could help you reach them in the way traditional video might not.
It’s been similarly shown that average views on a 360º video can be as high as 29% higher than traditional, with almost twice as many people watching the former in its in entirety. Plus, it’s still new enough among brands that the “cool factor” still remains — just imagine the look on your boss’ face when you them: “we should be doing 360º videos!”
Seriously, go do it and come back. We’ll wait.
Tip #3: The “best times” to post content on each of your social media channels.
Timing is everything on social media.
Researchers have determined that there are best times of day and best days of the week in which to post on social?
According to the combined studies, the results between platforms are quite different. Facebook users, for example, have better odds of upping their engagement rate from Thursday–Sunday at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in whichever time zone they reside. Twitter users get the best results on Wednesday afternoons, while Instagrammers pull the late shift on Mondays and Thursdays.
It’s very useful information to have, particularly if you run a calendar of social content and pre-schedule each post, but also if you’re operating on-the-go and are looking for the best opportunities to strike. Unless a post is absolutely urgent, you might be willing delay it by a few minutes or a few hours to get the most eyeballs on it possible.
Tip #4: Hashtags don’t always equal engagement.
We all know someone who abuses hashtags.
That person who puts every hashtag ever conceived at the end of a caption. #ThePersonWhoTurnsEntireSentencesIntoHashtagsOnlyTheyWillEverUse. The one who tacks on a hashtag to a lacklustre post thinking that will make up the difference between going gangbusters and still being lacklustre.
Sadly, some brands do it. As it turns out, hashtags probably aren’t adding any extra engagement potential to their posts.
A three-month study of over 600,000 Twitter posts and 135,000 Instagram posts from late 2015 showed that little no effect on whether or not people engaged. On Instagram, the difference between those who didn’t use hashtags and those using the most-optimal three hashtag combo was exactly 0.01%, while Twitter simply had “no difference” listed.
If your bosses, then, ever tell you to throw hashtags on something for sake of it, drop that little tidbit and tell them they better give you a good reason why.
Ready to impress?
While it’s always great to impress your boss — the way consumers respond is how you’ll really be able to prove your success. So always stay up-to-date on new trends on each platform, and know your demographics inside and out.