You’ve only got to take a nap and something has changed on social media - a new feature, a different algorithm or new metrics. And it can be hard to keep up! But these are four key trends that I think have had a really positive impact for many businesses.
Instagram ‘Stories’ take over!
2017 was a big year for Instagram Stories and brought us the Stories Highlights feature - allowing us to save our Stories content. Good for all marketers out there who couldn’t quite get to grips with ephemeral content only lasting for 24 hours! ‘Stories Highlights’ allows you to create saved packages of your Stories and make them available online for all eternity (or until you decide to delete them). And because highlights are saved on our profiles, stories can receive many more views if they are saved. You can also see all your old stories in Instagrams ‘Archive’ - I loved it when this feature appeared! - where you can go back to your old Stories (well, ‘old’ as in more than 24 hours old!) and add them to Highlights if you wish.
Facebook Advertising Gets More Sophisticated
You may have noticed at the start of 2018 that the reach of your organic Facebook posts took a dive. (Again!) So whilst this was good for us in the sense that we now see more content from friends and family, we’re not seeing brand content. Hence the need for an advertising budget. This year has seen brands investing more in ads outside of the typical ‘single image traffic ad’ - including Instagram Story video ads, Store visits ads and FB messenger ads. We’ve worked with a few businesses recently who have seen great results with Messenger ads as it gives them an opportunity to build a rapport with potential clients without taking them away from Facebook. It’s really worth spending time looking at the different campaign types on offer from Facebook and thinking how this could help your business. It’s still such a cost effective platform compared to all other networks.
LinkedIn video grows
In 2017 LinkedIn rolled out native video and many businesses have seen a big increase in reach and engagement with their connections. Even though they were the last to the party with video, LinkedIn does offer a unique platform for B2B marketing. Video regularly out-performs static content and the reasons are simple - the movement of visual content catches our attention and keeps us engaged. It takes less effort to consume video content than written content and, in the world of B2B sales and marketing, building trust is key and video does that. Over the next couple of years, we’ll be seeing more and more video on all networks and I’d definitely recommend getting involved.
Last, but by no means least, Instagram finally rolled out shoppable posts to the UK meaning that any ecommerce site could tag products in Instagram posts, giving the shopper a more seamless shopping experience. You need to sync a Facebook catalogue with your Facebook shop so Instagram can link products directly to your website. Not always as simple as it sounds though - trust me, I’ve heard many people banging their heads on their desks trying to get this working. Once set up, it is a really valuable feature that makes it a much smoother consumer journey, especially because Instagram still doesn’t let us hyperlink to URLs in captions! One thing at a time though I guess.