With the holiday season among us and 2017 not too far away, it only seems fit to talk about some of the significant trends and changes in the online marketing and social media world this past year. Not only can this help you plan for the year to come, but it can also help you make the best of your online activity during the holiday season.
Takeaway 1: Social apps and networks can change, but your community is constant.
As many of you know this past year, we saw social networks like Meerkat and Blab disappear into the night. I’m not sure if any of you expected this, but now that it’s happened you can assume it may happen again.
As a digital marketer or business owner managing your online activity, you want to ensure what you do across social media is focused on your community and not the platform per se.
Yes, when building your social media strategy or your yearly content marketing calendar you want to research and establish the best apps and networks to use; but what you want to do is keep an eye out for where your target audience is, and be prepared to (possibly) shift your activity elsewhere.
Obviously, if you are using more than one social media network (which I assume is the case) all the better because that means that even if one of the “hottest” social networks shuts down, you won’t have to start from scratch or risk downtime from online activity.
The more important hidden lesson from all of this is the fact that marketers and business owners need to be on social media for their community, not for the latest best thing to do. If your heart is in your business, meaning your goal is to serve and help your customers, the same should go for how you are establishing your social media marketing activity.
Takeaway 2: Keep an eye out for what seems like a trend, but is instead an actual change in online behavior and preference.
In less than a couple of months, everyone was talking about Snapchat, which then transitioned into conversations about video and live streaming. A little time later, Facebook added live streaming to its platform, indicating even further what some were already saying: a change in behavior and preference by online users on how they consume content was apparent.
It’s not only because of the millennial mindset that live streaming and video have grown in importance, it is also a transition that was bound to happen as the world became (and continues to grow) more digital. For as much as text and recorded videos are great, the amount of information online users can get on the internet has reached such an extent that many find themselves in a state of information overload.
Video and live streaming not only make it easier for online users to absorb content in less time or in a way that allows them to keep doing other things, but it also makes the experience a lot more personal. Your community gets to see who the person behind the words of advice or the guides they’re reading is and they get to feel like they know you, maybe they can even get to interact with you thanks to “live.”
This experience is immeasurable if you’re a marketer or business owner who’s trying to build long-lasting relationships, but what you also want to keep in mind is this dynamic of change. Today it’s live video, but tomorrow it could be a personalized messaging app. The digital/tech world is moving fast, which means online users’ habits will change again too.
Stay attentive to how your community wants to get their information, purchases, and so on online. If you are not sure what to look out for, even sending a regular month to month email or calling them to ask what they’d like to see more of can help guide you.
At the end of the day, it’s always about them, your community. If you’re a marketer servicing businesses with online and social media marketing, you want to make sure this is clear to them so that you can do the best job with their social accounts. If you’re a business owner, just remember why you’re in business, it’s not for yourself, is it?
From these two takeaways what you can do to make the best of your social media for the holiday season is give your community something special. Maybe you could have a giveaway contest or how about a coupon along with that survey you want to send them to find out what you can do to make their experience better. The idea is for you to do something nice for them, to thank them for being loyal customers and fans of your brand.
Now it’s your turn, what were some of your online marketing and social media takeaways this past year?