What can this past 2016 year teach us about social media for your business? Check out these tips you can use in the New Year!
Tip 1. People LOVE Video on Social Media
Move over, YouTube. Facebook and Instagram are rapidly becoming the go-to’s for relevant, exciting online videos. If you’re active on Facebook, for example, you may have noticed more and more people have been adding at least one video to photo sets. Even as I write this post, I’m seeing numerous videos from New Year’s fireworks countdowns posted on Facebook from around the world!
According to Facebook, the number of videos posted per user had already increased by 75% in 2015, so this tip makes sense. In 2017 you will most likely see this trend skyrocket upward even more!
More than watching recorded videos, people have been trying and watching live streaming video features from Facebook and Instagram. This year, Facebook Live and Instagram Live were both widely released to users and met with quite the reception. Did you know, for example, that people on Facebook now spend 3 times as long watching live video than recorded video? I can’t wait to see how Instagram Live fares as it continues to roll out at the time of this writing!
Tip 2. ‘Attention Competition’ is Real
Doesn’t there seem to no end to what you might see pop up in social media nowadays? From relevant stories from family and friends to trending news stories to bizarre click-baitey material, pointless surveys and “if you really care about me, you’ll copy and paste this post (not click share)”, there’s just TOO MUCH to read. Then add all the marketers, too!
With shorter attention spans and an ostensible, hidden need for sensationalism, posts seem to only get traction (engagement) when either accompanied by media such as photos or videos or some earth-shattering headline that makes people stop as if the War of the Worlds was happening all over again.
Pro Takeaway Tip: If you want your post to be seen, always publish a post with a photo or a video. This will greatly increase your chances of visibility and engagement. And a snazzy, non-click-baitey headline or two doesn’t hurt. Also, stop listening to “expert marketers” saying you must post between 9a to 5pm when everyone is online (and attention competition is also at its highest). Try thinking off the clock and go for times such as late evening or early mornings, when although you may have a lower overall number of viewers your posts will have more opportunities for engagement from readers.
Tip 3. People Want Realness
Just look at all the fake news passed around during the election. Or arcane Facebook rumors that still fly. People will relate and connect to what connects with them. As an example, Facebook keeps refining its algorithm so that people see what is most important to them (supposedly). Simply put, people want to read stuff that relates to their lives.
Pro Takeaway Tip: Focus on content…really. Stop settling for mediocre photos or lackluster posts that give you a simple, flash-in-the-pan like or heart on your post without further action.
Tip 4. People Want ‘Virtual’ Realness
People are slowly but surely jumping onto the 360-degree, virtual reality (VR) wagon. Think of it as 3D for your own computers, tablets or phones. You may have seen a smattering of 360 photos in your Facebook feed, for example. And VR is fast becoming the talk of the town.
As an example, here is a 360-degree holiday photo I took of Santana Row, San Jose, CA, and a 360 degree video I recently did at a pet cafe in Taipei, Taiwan:
Pro Takeaway Tip: Start exploring at least 360-degree photography or video taking. Don’t have a fancy expensive camera for your business? I do offer 360-degree video and photo services to help, simply contact me!
Tip 5. People Want to Really Connect, Share and Help
Then again, we didn’t need 2016 to tell us that. Neighborhood watch and suicide help, people going through tough medical situations with family and needing support and prayers, and commiseration over the loss of community and celebrities to name a few. And you may have noticed the whole “open book” concept really hit a climactic nerve with the Nov. 8 U.S. election.
Pro Takeaway Tip: Got a problem you can’t solve on your own? As they do in “Who Wants to Be a Milioinare” — ask the audience! People genuinely interested in your brand want to let you know how to improve it because their connection to or use of your product or service impacts their lives in some fashion.
Some of the above we probably already learned in 2015. What would you add about social media that was new or discovered in 2016? What trends would you predict for 2017?