Social Media Trends in 2018

Social media has become a necessary element in the way businesses communicate with their customers. Social media offers a wealth of possibilities, from reaching your target audience to building a following around your brand. Brands are trying so many ways to connect with their audiences across various social media platforms, whether it be engaging with new customers or maintaining relationships with existing ones. As competition increases, it is becoming more difficult for brands to grab our attention.

It is important to be aware of the latest social media trends as you begin to plan to strengthen your social media marketing strategy for next year. Here are the top five social media trends we believe that will drive social media in 2018:

 

1- Ephemeral Content

Ephemeral content is any material that is not permanent. Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram stories have induced the popularity of ephemeral content. Ephemeral content allows you to put up real-time content, and be more authentic. This sort of content forces engagement among your followers to take action quickly as they usually last up to 24 hours, which is a very short time.

To gain from this strategy, you must have a high quality social media content strategy. Also, to have your stories appearing at the top of your followers’ feeds helps to keep your brand at the top of their minds.

 

2- Augmented Reality (AR)

Social media trends are often dictated by the developments in their supporting technology. It is safe to say that augmented reality is here to stay. The use of augmented reality on mobile devices allows brands to reach their target audience in a niche and engaging way.

An example of the use of augmented reality is Snapchat’s feature that allows users to create their Bitmoji and project themselves into the real world through the app’s camera. In addition, IKEA also created an AR app that allows users to preview the furniture in their homes before making a purchase. This is a great way to increase conversions. It is very likely that in 2018, social media will help AR to go mainstream.

 

3- Video

This year we have seen a significant growth in the popularity of online video content. 90% of the content shared by users on social media is video. Video is undoubtedly the world’s fastest growing ad format. Companies that have not yet incorporated video as part of their social media strategy need to start ASAP. Video is incredibly beneficial to your business as it captures attention, generates engagement, and build followers.

 

4- Influencer Marketing

Surely, we are all familiar with influencer marketing. This form of marketing has proven to be a great success. Companies like North Face and Rolex use social media influencer marketing strategies to interact with new audiences and improve engagement with existing viewers.

Due to the popularity of influencer marketing, marketers struggle to identify the right influencers for their brands; it has become difficult to know who to trust. Consumers want transparency and authenticity from influencers. Hence, brands seeking to work with real influencers or industry experts will acquire a higher engagement rate.

Building relationships with influencers and industry experts should be marketers’ focus in 2018. This is because marketers will become more mindful and thoughtful on who they want to work and be associated with. In the future of influencer marketing, we will be seeing brands turning to real industry experts. The reason behind this is that too many brands want to collaborate with social media influencers but their opinions are no longer being trusted.

 

5- Chatbots

Many prefer social media as a medium of customer service, as opposed to email and phone calls, because you get real-time answers and updates. However, big organisations tend to receive huge volumes of inquiries that human agents can barely handle. Instead of (or in addition to) creating a FAQ page, businesses are building chatbots to assist customers.

A chatbot is a software application built to stimulate human conversation. Chatbots help brands to interact with their audience almost instantly, and are able to solve customer issues. With the help of chatbots, you can customise your brand voice and send personalised messages directly to users.

In conclusion, it is very likely that video and augmented reality will become mainstream in 2018. Whether you plan on introducing video into your business strategy or want to start using chatbots, ensure you have a solid plan to implement these tactics.

Top 7 Social Media Tools Your Business Needs Right Now

In today’s business world, having a good social media presence is not just an option, it’s a necessity — it’s one of the surest ways to reach out to a wider audience and stand out as an authority. Regardless of whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, being on social media is a big step towards engaging both potential and existing customers in ways you never thought possible.

It’s however important to note that social media can turn out to be a major challenge if you lack proper knowledge or tools. For the most part, your business needs to have the right social media tools especially if you’re looking to be successful in your endeavors — who wouldn’t want to?

So what’s the point?

You need to get a better idea of several different social media agency management tools that are available at your disposal and also learn how they can help you maximize your social media presence.

Here are 8 of the best social media tools available right now.

  1. HubSpot

Today there are quite a number of tools that give you the chance to monitor and publish to social accounts. However, you would want stick to the best for excellent results. HubSpot is an excellent platform that allows you monitor, publish and receive closed-loop reporting data. In essence, you’ll not only get to see what channels drive higher engagement, but also get the chance to learn more about the posts and channels that bring the most leads and sales.

  1. HootSuite

Looking for an easy way to handle multiple accounts? Go for HootSuite! With this tool, you can easily add accounts, schedule posts and add account managers — what could be better?

Moreover, HootSuite boasts an excellent training platform that teaches you just about everything you need to know about social media marketing as well as how to make the most of the tools. It’s s must-have for your business if you’re serious about social media.

  1. TweetDeck

TweetDeck is one super handy tool that has been around for a pretty long time now, and the good thing is, it has been doing a great job! It’s actually one of the best ways to keep up with Twitter — it makes it exceptionally easy to follow multiple conversations at a time and that’s huge. Also, TwitterDeck makes scheduling content a walk in the park! What more could you ask for?

  1. MeetEdgar

There’s no doubt that you’ve come across countless tools that helps you post and schedule posts — this is great. But how about kicking it up a notch with a system that shares evergreen posts? We’re pretty sure you’ll want that! MeetEdgar is sure to be your best bet thanks to its ability to automatically reshare your evergreen content — its effect has a huge impact on traffic.

  1. Buffer

Buffer is yet another tool that allows you manage social media posts across several different channels. It’s also good to point out that Buffer lets you customize each post for the individual platforms it gets posted to. That’s not all — this tool also shares your content at the best possible times and still goes ahead to track links so you can get a better idea of the content that gets the most traction.

  1. Google Analytics

Relevant data is critical to the success of your social media marketing, and there’s no better tool that gives you more the answers you need and more like Google Analytics. For the most part, Google Analytics manages your business social media. The data you gather from this priceless tool helps you focus your efforts on platforms that are actually driving traffic and conversions.

  1. Sprout Social

Essentially, Sprout Social is an amazing tool which you can use to streamline real-time communication. Your company’s digital team can use the tool to keep an eye on clients’ social media mentions, schedule content ahead of time and utilize reporting tools to plan future strategies. It’s sure to make your social media marketing efforts as smooth and easy as can be.

These are some of the best social media tools your business needs right now — each of them have a way of making things a whole lot easier for you, and that’s what matters.

So which is your best tool on the list? Have you ever tried any of them? We’ll be thrilled to know your thoughts in the comments!

Social Media Marketing For Businesses — Tips to Make Your Campaign a Success

Does your business have a social media presence? If yes, do you think you’re ticking all the right boxes for your campaign? Whichever the case may be, this post will provide you with everything you need to run incredible social media campaigns.

Today, it’s pretty obvious that social media is one of the best ways to market your brand and drive user engagement — it’s sure to deliver exceptional results as long as you use it the right way. So, regardless of whether your social media campaign is meant to build a huge online community or launch a new product, you would want to take your time to do it right.

Look:

If your ultimate goal is to build brand awareness and boost customer engagement, then we suggest you take a look at these tips and of course, work with them.

You could even engage the services of a reliable social media marketing agency to help kick your efforts up a notch.

Let’s get started!

  1. Spell Out Your Campaign Goals

What are you looking to achieve with this campaign? Do you want to boost brand awareness? Or are you looking to increase social media followers? Whichever the case may be, it’s in your best interest set your goals first before anything else. The bottom line? Be sure to do your homework and figure out how your efforts will drive excellent results.

  1. Pick Your Social Networks

Now that you’ve set your goals, it’s time to choose the right marketing channels to collect customers details on. It’s critical to pick social networks that resonate with your target audience.

  1. Engage with Your Audience

Trying to figure out how to improve your campaign’s social ROI? It’s pretty simple — engage with its participants! The moment customers begin to post content with your hashtag, be sure to ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on all positive feedbacks. Doing this will humanize your brand, and that’s huge.

  1. Put the Pool of Content to Good Use

At this point, you’ve probably collected a good chunk of content that you’ll want to display on your marketing channels. It’s sure to be an excellent idea to do this both online and offline — just be sure to stick with the highest quality and most on brand content. The good news? Celebrating your customers on your brand’s media is one of the surest ways to boost customer loyalty — what more could you ask for?

  1. Measure and Analyze Your Results

Now that your social media marketing campaign is coming to an end, you’ll want to see how much progress was made on your initial goals. For the most part, you should be looking forward to measuring both quantitative and qualitative results. The good thing is, you’re likely to discover new information as you analyze your campaign’s submission and that’s great for your business.

Conclusion

And that’s it! These are five tips that are sure to take your social media marketing efforts to the next level. Just be sure to follow these steps and always remember to keep your audience and their needs at the center — you’re sure to see great results. Good luck!

Benefits of Promoting Your Business Using Video

 At Social Connection, we provide promotional video services to help your brand to get noticed and thus increase conversion rates.

You know your brand best. You may already know the exact type of video you want, or perhaps not. Don’t fret! This is why we are here to help and guide you. Firstly, we plan strategically. It is important to take into account how you want your brand to be perceived by your target audience. It is also crucial to identify the purpose and goals of the promotional video. This comes in handy when drafting out the video content plan in the video strategy process. In this process, the message and tone are decided based on customers’ perception of the brand. Here at Social Connection, we help by coming up with a creative brief and storyboard.

Prior to the production of the promotional video, we plan the technical aspects of producing and filming the video. At this stage, we develop a concrete plan from a technical standpoint. This is done to guide us during production so that your goals will be achieved. It is important that the video content is of good quality so that it can capture and hold the attention of the audience. A promotional video is more than just an extended sales pitch. A quality promo video is able to arouse your audience’s curiosity, and add value.

Video creates advantages that you won’t find in other form of content marketing. It helps make a memorable impression and connection with your viewers. Your brand can make use of video to relate to the viewers on an emotional level. Here are 6 important reasons why you should use video to promote your business:

  1. An Extensive Reach

One of the main benefits of using video is the expanded reach. Video marketing gives you access to free, enormous traffic sources. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to get the word out about your business.

  1. Bring Testimonials to Life

To strengthen your credibility and increase conversion rate, you can utilize video to display customer testimonials. Smart, strategic testimonials persuade visitors to do business with you better than you ever could on your own. Video testimonials certainly blow written testimonials out of the water.

  1. Inject Personality into Your Messages

Video is one of the best ways to inject your personality into your marketing messages, build trust, and connect with your audience on an emotional level. A lot of written copy comes off as boring and sterile. Customers want to do business with someone they know, like, and trust.

  1. An SEO Boost

Research shows that video appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings, and web content that contains videos attracts 3 times as many inbound links than plain text posts. Using video marketing to promote your business creates huge SEO benefits. In return, your website will be rewarded with free traffic, visitors that can turn into customers, and higher search engine rankings.

  1. Increased Customer Satisfaction

By using video to showcase how your product or service works, viewers don’t have to waste their time deciphering written content thus saving them a lot of time. This can also help set accurate customer expectations. Customers get a better idea of what they’re getting before making a purchase, which can increase satisfaction and reduce return rates.

  1. Appeal to Lazy People

Reading written copy takes effort, it can be a burden sometimes. Video has the capacity to engage with the laziest users among us, and compels them to take action. The ability to rouse the most disengaged users is one of the most powerful attributes of promotional videos.

What are you waiting for? Get a free consultation for your video project today!

Should You Hire a Video Production Company?

Statistics show that people watch more than one billion hours of videos on YouTube each day, and 4 times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. This indicates a huge advertising opportunity for businesses.

At this day and age, videos are no longer optional! Not having a video strategy in 2017 is equivalent to not having a digital strategy in 2000. Videos are the perfect way to showcase your brand to your customers as they establish emotional engagement with your target audience. Why not hire a video production company today? It can save you a lot of time and effort.

In order to succeed, the team at Social Connection begins by developing a strong video strategy for your brand. We will work closely with your brand to identify and target the right audience, and determine the suitable editing style and message to achieve your company’s desired outcome. A research will be conducted to identify the target audience, as well as your competition. In addition, your video needs to capture your audience’s attention quickly, hence it is crucial to develop a content plan. To do this, we utilise storyboards to brainstorm and merge ideas to work towards your vision and goals for the video. When planning video content, we take into consideration the feel, tone and details of your brand. A video distribution plan is also developed so as to prepare how the video content will be used, shared and made known to the relevant audience.

Here at Social Connection, we believe in ‘quality over quantity’ for videos. The video production process at Social Connection involves coming up with creative approaches to turn customer insights into artistic expression. By combining the best videography equipment and professional editing, we create a tailor-made masterpiece for your brand.

Below are some video recommendations for achieving certain goals:

  •      Increase engagement: About Us/ Introduction Videos
  •      Drive Traffic: Event Promos/ Recaps
  •      Converting Leads: Video Ads, Educational Videos
  •      Closing Sales: Testimonials & Case Studies, Product Videos

Video is one of the most versatile digital marketing tools out there. Hiring a video production company would definitely ease the process of integrating video marketing into your business! Here are 5 reasons why your company should integrate video marketing right now:

  1. Video Generates Sales and Boosts Conversions

Video can lead directly to sales. Research shows that 74% of users who watched a product-explainer video subsequently purchased the product. Adding a product video to your landing page can essentially improve conversion rate by 80%.

  1. Video Builds Engagement

Video content has strong engagement in comparison to other content formats. Study shows that audiences are 10 times more likely to engage with and share a video than any other content types. Video content is likely to ignite emotions and foster trust.

  1. Video Promotes Brand

By conveying the right message in your video, it can help promote your brand and make you increasingly popular. Video marketing is also the ideal tool to strengthen your brand identity and improve brand recall by incorporating various elements to make the video memorable.

  1. Google Loves Videos

Video lets visitors to spend a longer time on your brand’s website. This exposure builds trusts and signals search engines that your site has good content. As a result, your website is 53 times more likely to show up first on Google if a video is embedded on your website! Optimising your videos on YouTube for SEO is crucial.

  1. Video and Social Media

Regardless of your industry or your brand’s target audience, a large portion of your potential buyers are on social media. Well-planned videos allow your brand to connect with the audience time and time again to drive awareness and engagement effectively.

Why Your Business Should Focus on Video Marketing

The trend of integrating video content marketing has increased rapidly and significantly. This is simply due to the change in media consumption habits. Research has shown that video is estimated to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019. Video marketing is undoubtedly one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand forms of the marketing right now. It should be the newest addition to your brand’s promotion toolbox.

Video content marketing is defined as a strategic marketing approach that is based on creating and distributing valuable video content to the target audience. Effective video marketing focuses on creating video content that is useful, entertaining and encourages customer engagement. By using video marketing, your company can attract, engage and convert leads.

The marketing funnel acts as a guide when planning video content. Video content can be used to generate awareness, educate and/or help your potential customers make purchase decisions. By keeping buyers’ needs and wants in mind, we can drive profitable customer action to your website by creating high quality video content. Video marketing is highly beneficial to your company as it can be used to strengthen SEO for your business. Consistent content quality is also necessary for Google rankings. In addition, integrating video content helps build relevance and authority over time. Studies have shown that by adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.

We live in a world where almost everyone owns a smartphone. People enjoy watching videos on the go. Video marketing certainly captures a wide audience. The higher the number of smartphone users, the bigger the video audience. It is true that video is super easy to consume. Research has shown that 98% of users watched an explainer video to learn about a product or service. People nowadays are too busy to have time to read long product descriptions or dig deep into services. Customers want to see the products in action. Hence, having a video for your brand, product or service is crucial at this day and age.

People are constantly loaded with information they cannot process. Videos are certainly easier on the eyes and brain. You can create an impact by sending a message across to your target audience through video marketing. Additionally, it is also important to produce high quality videos. No one wants to watch low-quality videos. Higher quality videos will see higher engagement and drive better results to your brand.

Video has 4 powers: Attention, Emotion, Perceived Value, and Clarity.

  1. Attention

Getting your audience’s attention may be difficult especially when the information delivered is in the form of writing. It is not the same case for video, as good video content captures and captivates the customers’ attention.

  1. Emotion

The combination of visuals and sound evoke emotions much more effectively. Video is the perfect tool to connect with your audience and to get them to take action.

  1. Perceived Value

There is no doubt that video is more difficult to produce. Therefore, your audience will notice when your company decides to share a video. They will give you more time, contact information, and even pay more when videos are used. The perceived value of video can also give a major growth in organic website traffic.

  1. Clarity

Video is a great tool to help your audience to understand your message, or to break down a complicated product or service. People learn at a faster pace when information is delivered verbally and visually.

To ensure that video will generate great benefits to your company, we must always start by implementing an effective video strategy. Get in touch with us today to get started!

Social Media Marketing For the Travel Industry

People make decisions on tourism and travel based on the information available to them. Social media has transformed the way people communicate with specific attention to their access to information and sharing it among their associates. Elements like commenting, liking, sharing, reacting, double-tapping, etc are now the metric used to measure the amount of fun people are having with tourism attractions.

The ‘real time’ element of social media also allows friends to follow your travel and vacation and judge the kind of experience you are having. If this is the case, how can hotels and attractions harness the power of social media to their advantage?

 

  • Show The Experience

People today are more interested in the experience as opposed to material goods. Social media has a way of hyping the experience. The best experience will attract the highest level of engagement. People will like, share, retweet, comment, react, double-tap, etc on the post of a person who seems to have the best experience.

It is upon the attractions and travel companies to emphasis on the kind of experience people are having on their platforms. People engage about the experience which attracts more people to your location.

 

  • Influencers

Social media today is about the person with the highest number of followers, most comments, most likes, etc. It is also about the person whose post can go viral. This is where you take advantage of popular social media users to promote your brand. Influencers enable you to tap into their networks and improve your visibility.

They also endorse your product and create a buzz around it. This will result in increased sales and brand recognition.

 

  • Tap Into The Social Ecosystem

Social media has been proven to influence the decisions people make about buying. This is supported by the understanding that social media is an ecosystem. It is a place where people and decisions are influenced by what others are doing or saying. If a friend has a nice shoe that you love, you will inquire about the brand, where it was bought, the price, etc with the aim of purchasing a similar one.

Tour and travel companies need to tap into this ecosystem. Some of the social media elements you can use include location, images, ‘live’, videos, etc. The fact that hundreds of millions access social media on daily basis and are logged in at all times increases the chances of visibility.

 

  • Point Of Contact

When people see the experience other people are having on social media, they want to get more details. This is your opportunity to covert by being available on social media. Have an account where people can turn to whenever they need information about your tour company or a destination.

Be ready to answer through inbox, comments, chats, etc. They should not struggle going to your website and having to call. If you are available at their finger tips, you will get that business.

Social media has a ‘real time’ element that will transform fortunes for your attraction or travel company. Take advantage of the features provided to increase visibility and improve contact with potential clients. Use a reliable social media agency in Melbourne as a source of information and be ready to convert inquiries into business.

Social Media For The Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is about the experience you give your customers. Coincidentally, social media gives the customer an opportunity to assess that experience and share it with friends. Social media today is more about liking or disliking something. What is good is made viral while the bad ignored. How can social media be a tool for the hospitality industry to boost its business?

 

  • Customer Review

Social media allows people to share images, videos and even feelings on a particular location. This is a marketing tool for any hospitality industry brand. Giving your customers a chance to review and make public their feeling will transform the perception of patrons and win more business.

The social media ecosystem is heavily reliant on influence. People are making decisions based on what their friends think or have done. By offering excellent services to a few customers, they will broadcast their experience and in the process attract more patrons.

 

  • Engaging

Social media gives the hospitality industry a chance to engage its patrons and potential customers. Engagements are through regular updates, comments, likes, sharing, etc. You may also engage customers in a survey to determine the kind of experience they want or they have gotten from your joint.

The sensitivity of the hospitality industry means that a positive vibe will attract more people. The fact that you are engaging means that you are ready to meet the customer halfway. This is the kind of treatment many of these customers are looking for.

 

  • Inquiries

Customers have questions that they would like answered in real time. For instance, a customer traveling will turn to social media to locate an accommodation provider. He will settle for this provider only if he is ready to answer questions instantly, for instance in the inbox.

The instant or real time nature of social media helps brands to address the concerns of customers and potential clients within the shortest time. This will build confidence in your hospitality brand and thus make you more attractive.

 

  • Trending

Do you want to notify the world about your new brand? Get it on social media. Create an impressive image or video and be ready to see it go viral. Images and videos that trend increase the popularity of a place. For a post, image or video to trend, it must not be deliberate.

At time, you will just be surprised by the reception what you thought was an ordinary post or comment receives. You may also turn to memes and animations that will pass your message. The hospitality industry will benefit immensely from being the talk of ‘social media town’.

 

It is impossible for the hospitality industry to ignore the power of social media marketing in building its brand. You need expert assistance to maximize on the potential of social media. This is minimalist investment that produces huge returns. As people look for the best experience in the hospitality industry, social media is positioned to provide real time and instant answers at a fraction of the conventional cost.

Is Your Ideal Customer On Instagram?

Brands are advised to move with the trend. One of the marketing channels that are making fortunes for brands is social media. Even with the demand to be trendy in your marketing, it is not an invitation to join every band wagon. You should only do so after establishing that the platform will give you excellent value for money. Your ideal customer might not even be on social media. How can you establish whether your customer is on Instagram and how much to invest on the platform? Here are excellent tips to consider.

 

  • Age

The age of your clientele determines communication trends and social media interactions. Instagram is more about photos and videos with filters that are an attraction to the younger generation.

If your products target seniors or an older generation, investing in Instagram marketing is not the best option. Instagram marketing would be idea for the younger generation that tech savvy and looking for trendy ways to communicate.

 

  • Communication Mannerism

How do clients engage with your brand in communication? This is important in determining the platforms where you invest and how much you get as return on investment. Clients who prefer images would be pleased to engage on Instagram. However, if their preference is detailed text, it will be a challenge to accommodate them on Instagram.

Further, there are features like links that are discouraged on Instagram. Is you intend to send them to your home page, this is not the best social media option to consider. Only choose Instagram if you think that it is your most preferred mode of communicating with your clients.

 

  • Nature Of Your Product

How do you market your product? Is it enough to show a video or image to attract or serve your customers? Goods are perfect when sold on Instagram since you can upload their images. It will be difficult to sell services on such a social media platform. A product for seniors will also not fit on Instagram because potential clients will not access it.

Service providers who need to explain their products to customers will find Instagram challenging to use. A tour company or an attraction site will, however, find Instagram to be the best social media marketing platform. A professional social media marketing company will direct you on the choices to make in marketing in order to obtain value for money.

 

  • Type Of Customer

Customers come in diverse variety. Some are individuals while others are corporate organizations or businesses. This determines whether social media marketing, and especially Instagram, is your best bet. Corporate organizations rarely search on social media for clients or service providers.

It would also be easier and cost effective to approach these corporate organizations directly other than using social media. Social media best fits clients who need direct engagement and can make a decision instantaneous.

There are ways to determine whether your clients are using Instagram marketing agency services and other social media platforms. Conduct a survey on the most effective communication strategy. Be conscious of their communication trends and understand your product well.