In our latest social trends blog, we explored emerging platforms, advanced customer care, and new technology. Now, let’s dive into the next set of trends, which involve the more connected experiences social media provides for people, brands, and both together.
7. Trending up: Smaller circles and community building
As we all know, social platforms have dramatically reduced organic social reach for brands in search of ad revenue.
The good news? There is a way to adapt. Guarantee that your most loyal followers stay in touch by building smaller communities of highly engaged customers.
Encourage customers to post questions and feedback. Challenge them to submit their own content—called user-generated content (UGC). Communicate with them about exclusive events or promotions. Build your brand without fearing whether or not the algorithm will show your content to the right person.
Examples of ways in which brands are taking advantage of this opportunity on different platforms include private Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups for customer service, Instagram direct message groups, and Telegram communities.
If you decided that a smaller community is a good fit for your brand, it’s important to have a unique content strategy and approach for your private groups. Equally important is alerting your customer base to what the group does and the value it will provide to those who join it.
8. Trending up: Social experiences
Social media has the rare power to connect people in real life, whether through an influencer meet up, AR experience, or a gathering for a good cause.
We predict that the pendulum between social media-only and social media-inspired experiences is swinging back heavily to favor IRL (in real life) moments.
Marketers: Take notice. Bring customers in for the real thing. A Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Source: Walker Info
9. Trending up: Rise of cause marketing
According to a Deloitte consumer poll, “Many consumers today make decisions based on how brands treat their people, how they treat the environment and how they support the communities in which they operate. When companies align their purpose with doing good, they can build deeper connections with their stakeholders and, in turn, amplify the company’s relevance in their stakeholders’ lives.”
Social media is a prime vehicle to communicate brand principles and cause initiatives. Plus, your audience may even uncover new causes to consider. Involving your brand in charitable endeavors can lead to higher engagement and relevance.
Relevancy and transparency are key, however. It’s one thing for REI to #OptOutside. REI has a clear connection to protecting the environment due to the nature of its business and employees. This wouldn’t be as believable if say, a plastic straw manufacturer tried the same campaign.
Choosing the right cause for your brand
Instead of hopping on a bandwagon, it’s important to pair your brand with the right cause that fits your company’s beliefs and practices. Take some time to research a cause before pairing your brand with it. If you don’t and the cause or partnering organization takes a turn that your customers don’t approve of, it could affect your business. Finding the right organization is another key aspect to this process and may take a few face-to-face meetings between leaders to ensure it’s the right fit.
Download the full report
These top trends are just a glimpse of what we’re predicting will be hot or not in 2020. Check out our full trends report by downloading a free copy today and get started on your next quarter’s social strategy.