Let’s face it — having a good social media presence isn’t an option nowadays. With over 3.028 billion active users, social media has become an integral part of brands’ ability to increase awareness, distribute interactive content, generate leads, and boost customer conversion rates.

New features like Snapchat’s ephemeral content and Facebook’s live video streaming are helping brands to connect with their target audience more effectively than ever. And while it’s true that social media advertising budgets have doubled over the past few years — going from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016 — you can still craft a successful social media strategy and get excellent results on a shoestring budget.

Here, we’re discussing the course of action you should follow in order to implement a scalable social media strategy with a limited budget, plus a list of must-have tools to streamline every step of the process.

Step 1: Set Realistic Social Media Goals That Align with Your Company Goals

A 2015 study found that 88% of B2B marketers engage in some form of content marketing, with 36% of them reporting unsatisfactory results. Why? Not surprisingly, 70% of them either have no planned goals or undocumented ones.

If you want your social media marketing efforts to have maximum impact, it’s super important to set realistic goals that align with your company goals. Start by outlining the specific outcomes you’re hoping to achieve. It’s best to set both high-level and detailed objectives so you can efficiently keep track of your overall performance at all times.

The Framework: High-Level Objectives

High-level goals don’t need to be extremely precise — they merely provide the framework for your social media strategy. Think of them as a form of documentation that guides your social media efforts, or the “bigger picture”. Remember that social media activity isn’t all about sales sales sales – to engage audiences you have to offer content that is useful to them, not shoving them down your sales funnel from the outset. Think of each step along the path that your customers make to a sale – from the need to the solution – and set objectives right along that path.

The Details: Specific Objectives

Once you’ve set high-level objectives, it’s time to move on to the more specific ones. Would you like to increase your close rate — and if so, by what percentage? Are you thinking of building productive relationships with micro-influencers to amplify your brand message within your target market — and if so, how are you going to measure it?

Setting specific goals will help add more structure to your strategy. And once you know exactly what you want to achieve, you can identify the best course of action to actually achieve it.

Pro tool: Wunderlist is a great online tool that lets you create to-do lists. Use it to set high-level goals, split into several “steps” — detailed objectives — so it’s easy to keep tabs on your social media marketing.

Step 2: Identify and Understand Your Target Audience

One of the challenges with social media marketing is determining your target audience — or, in a nutshell, those users who are most likely to be interested in your brand and product offering.

Spend some time researching your target audience and assessing their background info. Is your product or service specifically for women or men, and what is their typical age? Are they married, or do they have children? Do they need to fall into a certain income class to afford your product? Are they local to you or do you deliver globally?

Once you’ve nailed down the basic information about your target audience personas, you need to start thinking about who they are as people. This is fundamental to crafting appropriate content that engages and resonates with your customers. What are their likes and dislikes? What are their values? What kind of lifestyle do they lead, and how does your product fit into it? What social media platform are they predominantly using?

Pro tool: BuzzSumo lets you identify the most shared content for any search term or topic so that it’s easier to psychographically pinpoint who your target customer is.

Step 3: Establish Your Content Strategy

One of the key components of a successful social media marketing strategy is carefully considered, well-crafted content that is engaging and shareable. Fortunately, creating valuable social media posts doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Establish your brand voice — and make sure to stick to it. Remember that your chosen tone of voice is unique to your brand so it’s critical to maintain it consistently. You might want to consider putting together a style guide to better define your brand voice and ensure your content aligns with it at all times.
  • Enhance your posts with appealing imagery. In fact, tweets with images receive 18% more clicksthan tweets without images, while 98% of LinkedIn posts with images have a 200% higher engagement rate. Death to the Stock Photo provides image packs that are absolutely great at helping enrich the visual impact of your posts without paying lots of money.
  • Create a content calendar to maximize your social media efforts. Planning and scheduling posts in advance will not only save you time, but also ensure you post consistently and at the best times of the day for your chosen social media platform(s). Social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite are extremely valuable when it comes to scheduling. They have very affordable pricing plans with great features that you can take advantage of.

Take a Social Media Course

In today’s ever-changing, hyperconnected world, social media is evolving alarmingly fast — which is why getting strong foundational knowledge will help you stay on top of the trends. Consider taking a social media course so you can gain a better understanding of how social media networks work, as well as how you can leverage each platform’s unique characteristics to boost brand awareness and generate more sales.


Emma Knightly is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Digital Marketing Institute. The DMI offers marketing education and certification to over 20,000 marketing professionals and students worldwide. Enrolling now – sign up and change your career for the better!


Everyone is an expert in something, or so we are taught.

Honestly, the amount of advising today about influencing, thought leadership and expertise is staggering. We are told that in order to succeed in business, make tons of money, take dream vacations several times a year, and live the luxury life of which you’ve always dreamed, you must be an expert in something. Within recent years it has been touted that if you are not an expert at anything you will never be successful.

Sadly, this has resulted in a herd mentality, a stampede. A mad rush to the finish where people trip over themselves and peck at each other for market share, all the while duplicating each other- buying into the ‘follow me’ lie. As people claw each other online to establish their expertise, many persons can find themselves lost, confused, empty, and dejected because they do not quite fit the mould their favourite coach may have set for them. Others struggle to gain success in the way they see others have succeeded, mistakenly thinking that this is the way they too must go. Many others waste time, money, and energy simply pursuing the wrong path because it is the most popular one.

This leads to burnout, bankruptcy, depression, and a general sense of meaninglessness which we are prone to overlook and dismiss as laziness or lack of effort. But this is a common human response, and if we are not careful we will doubt the reality that the situation has not worked out and push ourselves to work even harder. Especially when we believe that there is merely one path to success, the one that most online influencers rave about, and expect that we should have succeeded following it.

If you wrestle with the fact that the way of the beaten path just hasn’t worked for you and wonder if this might be the only way; if you have found that you didn’t receive the guaranteed success that was sold to you despite working twice as hard as your coach and following instructions to the letter; if you don’t enjoy the journey nearly as much as he or she does… then it’s time to quit the ‘follow me’ lie.

The truth is that everything is not for everyone, and certainly not for you. All paths were not created equal. It is time we acknowledge the toll this sort of societal pressure takes on us and employ a sensible approach to solving it. There are different paths to success. I’ve discovered that there are 3 major types of influencers. You may be surprised to learn that all of them are equally as successful. As we go through them, try to determine which you fit into.

The Entrepreneur

These people show up as coaches and consultants online. They influence by teaching others how to achieve their goals in business, life, or a specific area, and earn their income from individual and group coaching programmes, of which they are constantly creating newer ones. They are gifted at connecting to the soul of the pain people feel, motivating them to achieve their goals, and effortlessly building community or tribe. They believe and live “the hustle” and indeed they enjoy it and naturally have tons of energy for it.

They represent the largest group of thought leaders in the market place; and because of the evangelistic charm of the entrepreneur type, many persons are influenced to believe they too must be entrepreneurs when they are not. While you may do some of the things the entrepreneur does, it doesn’t mean you are of the entrepreneur group. Not everyone has the energy to do what the entrepreneurs do. If you’ve hired an online business coach recently, it’s highly likely this person was of the entrepreneur group.

Famous Entrepreneur types include: Lisa Sasevich, Selena Soo, Denise Duffield Thomas, Melissa Hughes, Brendon Burchard, Jen Scalia

The Social Influencer

These are your social-solution driven, highly tech savvy, influencers. They essentially create, design, and innovate systems for greater efficiency. These would have come to fame by creating apps, inventing products, or innovating social systems to solve a human social problems. They earn their income from their inventive genius and their public visibility and leadership. They are gifted at leadership, advocacy, identifying a cause, and springing into action to solve it.

This type is fairly well represented in the population and is a growing class because civil leadership and social entrepreneurship is fostered and rewarded by governments and other major global entities like the United Nations, via numerous initiatives which provide scholarships and funding for young solutions driven influencers and tech start-ups. Social influencers live for “the challenge”. They chase causes and live for the adventure and intellectual challenge of creating solutions.

You know you are a social influencer if you dream of saving the world, have been praised or rewarded for your academic brilliance, are touched with compassion for a particular social issue, and have the capacity to create a solution for it. Social influencers are not keen on creating community around what they do, however, they can be seen heard their voices and speaking up about trending social and political issues.

Famous Social Influencer types include: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, Leila Janah

The Expert

These individuals rise to influence because they bring specific subject matter expertise. They are usually highly qualified specialists who bring new knowledge to the fore and shape modern dialogue on human existence. They earn their income from private practice, consulting, research, writing books, and lecturing. They are gifted at understanding, exploring, and explaining human phenomena.

Thought leaders in the truest sense, they believe in and live for “the truth” and are motivated to research and get to the bottom of things and will spend the rest of their time teaching and sharing what they’ve discovered. They are not motivated to create community or pursue a specific social cause and may find these draining as theirs is a more theoretical and incisive approach to the human experience.

You know you are of this group if you are fascinated with people, love to delve into how and why things work, have been complimented or rewarded for your insight or your writing, and would prefer not to be on social media except for the fact that it provides a way to share your knowledge – and those who may benefit are present there.

Famous Expert types include: Brene Brown, Dario Nardi, Esther Perel, Nadine Burke-Harris, Gary Chapman, Christiane Northrup

Now what

Now that you have identified the type that best fits you, and the unique value from which that type’s influence is derived, then you may want to be intentional about owning your unique influence online. Here are some things you can put into practice now!

  1. Connect with one of the important influencers in your category for mentorship. If you do not readily see any, purposely search for a few and begin following them on social media.
  2. Emulate the steps key players in your group are taking so that you show up like them in your own right. This is an efficient way to achieve your path.
  3. Hire someone from the Entrepreneur group to provide accountability for you now that you have a frame of reference for yourself.
  4. Put most of your energy into ONLY those events and activities that are consistent with where members of your group put their energy. For example, Entrepreneurs put energy toward building an online tribe (you may want to start a Facebook group around a problem you can help people with and begin supporting them). Social Influencers put energy toward advocacy (you may want to identify a worthy cause and lend your voice, volunteer, or begin building an app to solve it).  Experts put their energy toward sharing their knowledge (you may want to start a blog, write for publications, start a YouTube channel teaching on topics or begin publishing your knowledge in a self-help ‘how-to’ book).

Lleuella Morris teaches people how to think about things. She explores existential phenomena and brings new perspective on pesky, ‘thorn-in- the-flesh’ life issues. She creates tools, techniques, systems and frameworks to build people’s capacity and teach them how to think about things sensibly and in a way that promotes mental and emotional health and well-being. She blogs over at https://theartofgrowthandofeverything.wordpress.com/


With many social media platforms available to businesses at the moment, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth focusing on.

By identifying which platforms will generate the most engagement and conversions, you’ll be able to save huge amounts of time and resources. Rather than trying to maintain a consistent presence on every single platform out there, why not focus your time and energy on curating content and imagery for the ones that will serve your business best.

Here’s a breakdown of the top social platforms on the scene to help you figure out which social media platforms will boost your business.

Facebook

Description/How to use: Create a business page and regularly post images, videos & links that appeal to your target audience. Your Facebook business page is also an extension of your website, where you can share basic information such as address, contact number and telephone number.

Main audience: With over 1.44 billion active users across a wide demographic aged between 18 and 65+, Facebook is the market leader for social networking websites. Your business should undoubtedly have a presence on this platform.

Pros:

  • Good engagement – You and your users are able to ‘like’, post, comment and share posts as often as you want
  • Easy to share new products and services as well as provide basic information (such as contact number, address and opening hours)
  • Easy to post a wide range of content
  • Use of hashtags make it easy to spread your company message to an audience searching within Facebook

Cons:

  • Negative feedback on your business page is highly visible to other users
  • If your followers ‘like’ a large number of pages, your posts may get lost in the mix
  • Investing in paid advertising has become the most optimal way to gain exposure on Facebook. In other words, organic content is no longer cutting it – you need to have a paid advertising campaign to see results.

Summary: Facebook is a highly-effective platform to connect with your target audience and share products, services and other relevant pieces of content that will promote your brand and encourage loyalty from your customers. It also provides a useful platform to gain feedback from your customer base, whether they post on your wall or send you a private message.

Star Players: Skincare company Burt’s Bees Facebook page has an impressive 2.7 million fans and features, polls for market research, discount coupons, rich visual imagery and allows customers to purchase product directly from Facebook.

Twitter

Description/How to use: Create a Twitter handle and start tweeting to get involved in discussions that are relevant to your business and target audience. To encourage engagement, ‘reply to’, ‘favourite’, ‘retweet’ other users that are participating in the same discussions. Users are also able to post photos, graphics and video, however due to the 140 character limit, Twitter remains a text-focused social media platform.

Main Audience: The majority of Twitter users are aged between 18 and 29, making the platform suitable for companies skewered towards a younger crowd. Initially Twitter was utilised by a male-dominant user base, but in recent years there has been a sharp increase in female users.

Pros:

  • Great way to increase engagement as long as you tap into the right discussions that attract your target audience so that you can gradually build up a following
  • Your followers can easily ‘favourite’ and ‘retweet’ your posts, which will be visible to all of their followers and lead to high levels of engagement
  • Effective platform for companies with the time and resources to get their branding and messaging out there
  • A valuable customer service or tech support outlet allowing customer queries to be answered quickly

Cons:

  • For business’ with limited resources, constant Twitter activity may be difficult to achieve
  • While you can post pictures and videos, this will take up some of the 140 character limit, making it hard to fit in both media and text into one post
  • Think before you tweet! Negative tweets can spread very quickly and have unrepairable effects to your business

Summary: If you and your brand have a lot to say then Twitter is the perfect platform for you. Make sure you decide on your Twitter personality and develop a content calendar to ensure consistency.

Do you want to be funny? Informative? Controversial? The possibilities are endless, but at the end of the day your posts should fall in line with your company’s key messaging. You have the potential to gain a huge amount of followers (and customers) so make sure you come up with a rock-solid strategy before you start tweeting to your heart’s content.

Star Player: Etsy’s Twitter presence is a perfect example of how quality content keeps people coming back for more. The peer-to-peer e-commerce site specialising in handmade and vintage items does a great job of mixing up products they tweet about – not just targeted towards women. They also have a great sense of humour and often retweet followers when they’re mentioned.

Instagram

Description/How to use: Create an account and start posting images or videos that showcase your brand’s products and/or services. You can choose from a series of filters to enhance your images as well as use hashtags so that your content is easily searchable within Instagram. Instagram only allows users to post using mobile devices as it’s a social media platform that’s geared towards people on the go.

Main Audience: Instagram has a community of more than 300 million users and 60 million photos daily. More than half of Instagram users are aged between 18 and 29 years old, with the dominant gender being female (although not by much).

Pros:

  • A great platform to encourage followers to post their own images or videos of your products, which can then be re-purposed to use across other platforms (user-generated content)
  • The use of hashtags makes it easy to spread messaging to an audience searching within Instagram
  • Great for companies whose products are highly visual in nature, such as fitness, beauty and lifestyle brands
  • Brands can get creative with photos, videos, captions and hashtags to appeal to their target audience

Cons:

  • Not able to post links in individual posts (only in bio on the users main page)
  • Isn’t as effective for service-based businesses, although this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a presence on the platform.
  • Posts can only be made through a mobile service, not on a laptop or desktop, which may prove to be inconvenient for some

Summary: Instagram is the perfect platform for brands to communicate visually with their followers, which will in turn increase engagement, build loyalty and increase website traffic. Think of Instagram as a form of free advertising for your business, which can gain huge amounts of exposure if your strategy is done correctly.

Star Player: Fashion label Topshop’s Instagram account features a variety of different visual content that appeals directly to their target audience, such as products in diverse settings, behind the scenes imagery from fashion shoots and photos of customers and models wearing Topshop pieces.

LinkedIn

Description/How to use: Create a LinkedIn business page start building your profile. Make sure to include background information about the company (specialties, website, industry, company size etc). Start connecting with other businesses and individuals in your industry and post regular updates and pieces of content that will help distinguish yourself as an expert in your field. You and your employees should all have professional and up-to-date profiles as this has a direct effect on how the company is perceived.

Main Audience: Unlike most social media platforms, LinkedIn users are an older demographic, with the majority of users falling within the 30-49 age group. They are usually business professionals who are interested in growing and maintaining their network as well as accessing useful information and advice from key influencers in their industry.

Pros:

  • Once you publish a post, the content is available site wide, not only to your followers but to potential new customers or connections that could be of benefit
  • LinkedIn is segmented by industry, so you’ll naturally fall into your niche with like-minded peers that will appreciate your original/unique content.
  • A convenient place to share latest company news and updates as well as basic information, such as website url, contact number and address.

Cons:

  • LinkedIn’s audience is mainly skewed towards business professionals, making the platform unsuitable for companies targeting demographics such as stay-at-home mums and teenage boys.
  • Because of its discerning audience, it may take a bit longer than other platforms to establish yourself and your business as an influencer in your industry.

Summary: LinkedIn is the largest social media platform for business and your page serves as your company’s online calling card. It’s the perfect place to research company and people for employment recruiting, lead generation and job searches.

Star Player: Mashable has tons of content to share, which makes LinkedIn the perfect platform for the online media company. Although they publish a wide range of subjects on their website, the Mashable team sticks to more business-oriented topics to appeal to the professional demographic on LinkedIn. They regularly well-written, relevant content that generates high levels of engagement, such as ‘If ‘House of Cards’ characters used LinkedIn’.

Pinterest

Description/How to use: Sign up for an account and create different boards that are reflective of your business. For instance, a bridal company would create boards that focus on wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, venue inspiration, wedding favours etc. Now for the fun part! Start pinning items of interests from your own product line and other products that inspire. Don’t forget to repin posts from within Pinterest as well. The goal is to create a carefully-curated scrapbook for your brand.

Main Audience: Pinterest attracts a predominantly female-based audience who are interested in aesthetics, DIY, fashion, fitness, lifestyle and food.

Pros:

  • Each pin links back to the website it was ‘pinned’ from, which will increase referral traffic back to your website if you regularly pin your own products.
  • Pinning to specific boards will help you easily save and keep track of your content
  • When a user repins one of your posts, it is automatically shared to their followers

Cons:

  • Doesn’t lend itself well to service-based companies due to its visual nature
  • Targets a very specific audience – Pinterest users are made up of 85% females, of which 70% are under the age of 45.

Summary: If your social media strategy falls within the niche target audience that Pinterest appeals to, then it’s worth the time and effort to ‘pin’, ‘repin’ and ‘heart’ on a daily basis. However, if your main audience isn’t spending time on this platform, then it might be worth using your precious resources elsewhere.

Star Player: Pinterest ticks all the right boxes for Sephora as a social media platform: plenty of visual content to share, female target demographic and the perfect way to link back to their website product pages. Sephora’s Nailspotting board takes it a step further by encouraging Sephora community members to share nail designs, hence connecting to their customers and creating pins to their products at the same time.

Snapchat

Description/How to use: Once you sign up for a Snapchat account, you have the ability to post photos and videos (up to 10 seconds long) that will stay on a recipient’s device for 24 hours before it disappears.

Main Audience: Snapchat has increased dramatically in popular amongst the 13 and 34 year old demographic and is a great opportunity for businesses to create clever campaigns to reach their target audience.

Pros:

  • Snapchat generates 7+ billion video views daily, making it an ideal platform to increase brand exposure
  • Gives customers a ‘behind the scenes’, personal view of your business
  • Easy to include Snapchat scannable code on other marketing materials and social media platforms to allow users to add your business.

Cons:

  • If your target audience falls outside of the millennial demographic (13-34 year age group) it may not be worth the time to dedicate resources to regularly post video and imagery.
  • As more and more businesses get on board with Snapchat marketing, the potential for ‘spammy’ posts to increase will eliminate the personal and fun aspect of the platform.

Summary: If you’re looking for a fun and creative way to connect with your customer base then Snapchat may be perfect for your business – just make sure your target audience is frequenting this platform. Visual communication is becoming the driving force of engagement across all social media platform, so Snapchat is an obvious platform to get on board with.

Star Player: McDonald’s is well known for their high-profile ad campaigns, and the fast food giant uses Snapchat to give their followers a sneak peek into what goes on behind the scenes with their favourite celebrities and athletes, such as LeBron James. Connecting with their audience on a more personal level gives McDonald’s the opportunity to break away from the corporate angle they’re usually associated with.

 

kristine-bioKristine Stone is a copywriter at Sydney-based design agency Orion Creative. She’s obsessed with social media, blogging and keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends. A self-confessed word nerd, Kristine has experience writing about women’s lifestyle, bridal, technology, interior design and a wide range of other industries.


You’re probably already aware that maintaining a social media presence is absolutely essential for any type of business to gain brand exposure and engaging with your consumer audience. But have you been keeping up to date with the social media trends that are set to dominate in 2016?

This year is all about fresh and up-to-the minute content through visual forms of communication, such as video and emojis. Users are also getting more social media-savvy and expect to be able to do everything they need in one app. “Tell me more!” you exclaim excitedly. Here are 5 social media trends that can’t be ignored when considering your social media strategy for 2016.

1. Real-time engagement rules

Towards the end of 2015 it became very clear that users are hungry for real-time video content. Live streaming app Periscope’s rapid rise in popularity since its official launch in March 2015 is a perfect example of the demand for live content. Once logged in, users are able to post live, unedited video segments that are viewed and commented on by their followers. In a similar fashion, Snapchat and Twitter Moments allows users to post live updates to their followers at the tap of their fingertips.

Give your audience a deeper look into your brand

Businesses who are taking advantage of these social platforms are quickly seeing results. By posting live video streams, a company is showing a more authentic side to its consumers, which in return builds trust and loyalty. People love the idea of getting live, behind-the-scenes peeks at what goes on with a company. For instance, retail chain Target used Periscope to provide a behind-the-scenes peek into their new Lilly Pulitzer line which resulted in such huge demand that 90% of the collection sold out within days. Behind the scenes, interviews and product announcements are just a few ways that Periscope and other live streaming apps can benefit a business.

2. Data-driven marketing will increase its dominance

It’s no secret social media helps you figure out who your audience is and how you can tailor your content to promote engagement and encourage conversions. Marketers haven’t previously had access to so much information about consumer preferences before and are quickly trying to cash in on this benefit.

Benefits of breaking down your data

Social media analytics can be used to determine when consumers are going through significant lifestyle changes, such as getting married, having a baby or buying a house, businesses. This is a time when consumers are more willing to change their spending habits and a sweet spot for gaining their loyalty. Plus, these consumers are also more likely to be advocates for your brand.

Coca Cola used Twitter’s Tailored Audience function to create personalised tweets that used consumers’ first names for their Share-a-Coke campaign in 2015, and increased sales by 7% in Australia and 3% in the US. These results strongly suggest that when marketing platforms are micro-targeted by audience segments, there is a noticeable increase in brand exposure and engagement.

3. Major leaps and bounds with in-app functionality

Long gone are the days when a user has to jump from one app to another to achieve what they need to do. Social media platforms and messaging apps are providing everything you need within one app for a seamless and time-saving experience. A perfect example of this is the messaging app WeChat, which currently has 549 million active users worldwide and contributes $1.76bn in lifestyle spending in China. Aside from allowing users to send messages to their contact list, WeChat gives users the ability to:

  • Express emotion with emojis and stickers
  • Send money and pay bills
  • Purchase products
  • Get one-on-one customer help
  • Make a call
  • Send voice messages
  • Host Group Chats
  • Post images, videos and status updates

Other messaging apps, like Whatsapp and Viber have developed similar functions although they’re not yet quite as developed as WeChat.

Jumping on the bandwagon

Due to its huge popularity, particularly in China, businesses worldwide are quickly realising the need to corner this lucrative market by setting up their brand on WeChat. By setting up a WeChat platform, companies can give users a range of functionalities, such as purchase products, access customer service and view regular updates and announcements.

Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo increased sales by 30% in China and doubled their WeChat followers from 400,000 to 1 million in just six months with the launch of their Style Your Life campaign in 2015. Consumers were able to try on outfits and use their mobile phones or in-store monitors to take photos and load them onto WeChat to superimpose them against different backgrounds (snow, tropical island, etc).

4. Gifs, videos and emojis.. oh my! 

Visual communication has become driving forces of engagement, with micro-videos, gifs and emojis becoming a common form of expression, especially amongst young consumers. Facebook, Twitter and Google are all vying for more video and integrated gif content to deliver the demand and retain users.

Press record to encourage engagement

Facebook is set to dominate the video scene with the introduction of 360 video, a camera system that simultaneously records 360 degrees of a scene, allowing viewers to pan and rotate to watch the video from different angles. For instance, ABC NEWS used 360 on Facebook to allow their viewers to take a look into Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Utilising new video apps to gain brand exposure and increase engagement will show that your business is focused on creating buzz and staying

Making sense of emojis

Emojis are another trend that marketers are using to their advantage. Think what you want about Kim Kardashian, but her release of the Kimoji app generated 9000 downloads per second which generated $1 million revenue per minute! The app was so in demand the servers crashed due to its inability to keep up with demand.

At first glance, they might just seem like a fun way to express yourself but if you take a closer look you can gather important information about your consumer base. “But how?” you ask (insert frustrated emoji here), “they’re just cute little images people use when messaging their friends.” Consider the following questions:

  • Do you know what emojis are associated with your business and what they mean?
  • Do you know the context of such conversations?
  • Can you convert that information into actionable insight?

By analysing the actual meaning and logic behind the use of emoji characters, you should be able to discover valuable information about your target audience.

5. Buy buttons will become the norm

The ability to purchase products in social media apps has already been introduced by Facebook and Pinterest, who’ve introduced ‘buy’ buttons for advertisers and users. Facebook are currently testing their ‘call-to-action’ button across small and medium-sized business in the US with the hopes of rolling it out worldwide this year. Pinterest ‘buy’ buttons are displayed on pins, which allows the user to click and purchase without having to leave the app.

A new way to reach your target audience

By the end of 2016 most major social media brand will feature a ‘buy’ button in some kind of capacity as an element of their advertising campaign. This will allow businesses access to a whole new realm of advertising, giving them the ability to push specific products targeted towards segmented audiences. For example, a baby products company is able to target women who are due to have a baby or recently given birth, to advertise newborn products such as clothing, nappies and nursery accessories which can be purchased at a click of a button.

So there you have it… another exciting year in the always-changing world of social media. Are there any other social media trends that you think are set to take over in 2016? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Kristine Stone is a copywriter at Sydney-based design agency Orion Creative. She’s obsessed with social media, blogging and keeping up with the latest digital marketing trends. A self-confessed word nerd, Kristine has experience writing about women’s lifestyle, bridal, technology, interior design and a wide range of other industries.