8 Social Media Trends to look out for in 2017!

Social Media Trends

1. Live Video takes a front seat:

It was a trend that took off in 2016 and will continue to rise. Social media users are becoming fascinated with live, authentic and unpolished content. More are more businesses have started using the live video feature to raise awareness and engage the community. They also use live video service for customer service by hosting Q&A sessions and product demo. Facebook Live and Periscope are among the most popular platform, however Instagram live video will also rise without a doubt.360 degree video is another format to look out for in 2017. Business will also greatly benefit from this technology.

2. Fake news on the Rise:

2016 saw the rise of “Fake news” on social media. Platforms such as Facebook will come up with tighter rules to curve fake news. The news outlets that publish fake news will no longer be allowed to advertise on Facebook and their reach will go down organically as well.

3. Chatbots and Social Messaging:

It’s still early to say how Chatboats will fully automate the way brands interact with customers. The primary objective of Chatboats is to efficiently assist customers with shopping, booking and completing a transaction and not replacing the human interaction entirely. As consumers become more used to chatting with bots, the use of artificial intelligence will increase, allowing brands to enhance their customer service experience. Facebook had integrated them within Facebook Messenger, and some of the brands are using them to communicate with customers. Social Messaging on the other hand will also rise at the same time. Brands will take users directly to a chat window through ads.

4. Social Commerce:

With the increasing popularity of mobile browsing, platforms are offering ways for users to purchase products from directly within the apps. This trend will continue to rise and brands will invest more on social commerce to sell products and services. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest already offering ecommerce features and Snapchat has also joined them in the race.

5. Disappearing content and facial lenses:

Disappearing or a short-lived content is a great way to showcase the other side of the brand. Snapchat has introduced this feature and made it huge in 2016. Now Instagram has recently introduced the same feature with the ability to share live ephemeral video, too.

It goes without saying that Facebook copied all the popular features from Snapchat. The competition for artificial intelligence lenses could heat up between Facebook and Snapchat in 2017.  Let’s wait and see who beats whom in the race.

6. Mobile advertising will continue to grow and become more competitive:

Last year, Facebook generated more than 7 billion USD from social ads and 80% of them came from mobile ads. Twitter mobile ad revenue increased in 2016 and it’s likely to grow more in 2017. Snapchat introduced a new advertising API that makes it easier to buy ad space. Shoppable Instagram lets users buy products directly by clicking on a CTA the app.

7. Virtual Reality and social media will merge:

Brands will offer immersive experiences through virtual reality integration at the platform level and at the campaign level. With Facebook acquiring Oculus, it will be interesting to see how they will adopt VR in its platform. Apple is rumored to be announcing a new virtual reality platform in 2017.

8. Organic Facebook content will have less reach:

Unless users click on “see first” on your page, they won’t automatically see your post on their news feed. The new algorithm will prioritize posts from family and friends over other sources. So it will be a good idea to communicate while running a fan acquisition campaign, to change the setting from “default” to “see first” when a user clicks “Like” on your business Facebook page. It has become more of a paid marketing tool this year.

Social Media TrendsPlease do share your thoughts. I’m more than happy to connect!

Social Media listening and beyond!

You did social media listening for your brand, now what?

Photo by Allie Wojtaszek (Flickr)
Photo by Allie Wojtaszek (Flickr)

Yes we all know that listening is an important aspect of ORM (Online reputation management). It gives you an idea on how your brand is perceived by the public. Any good social listening tools should give you at least the following report:
Share of voice
Volume of mentions
Frequent words
Topics/post types
Influence of people talking about you
Competitor comparison

You have got the above report. You have also organized your data in a fashion that makes both consumption and navigation easy. Now from the report you know the following insights…
1. Where your users are present – go and create your profile on those new platforms. Look beyond Facebook. There are various forums, review sites, etc where your customer queries are left without response. Please do respond to them first.
2. Competitors status- Learn from your competitors. If your competitors have good ratings or higher recommendations than your brand on review sites, find out what they are doing different. You might be responding to your customer’s feedback but do you really mean it what you say and willing to work on it. If not it’s about time you did it.
3. Influencers – you know who are they and how often they talk about you. Give them recognition, awards, information etc based on the influencer category and connect with them often. Consider them as an extended team of marketing department.
4. Topics – you know the most commons topics now. Produce interesting and shareable content around those topics. Create your thought leadership position.
5. Post types – you know the post types. You know what is bad, what is good and what is neutral. Create a response mechanism for each category depending on the conversation. If it’s a problem – solve it both online and offline, Enquiry – answer it, suggestion – appreciate. Check this video by McDonalds on how they respond to a customer query by going an extra mile.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSd0keSj2W8&w=560&h=315]

Facebook Graph Search

What is Graph Search?
Facebook’s technology for finding people and things that are socially connected
What is Graph Search For?
“Find people who share your interests”
“Explore your world through photos”
“Discover restaurants, music and more”
How Does Graph Search Work?
The Facebook search bar will suggest top search terms as you type. Search terms include all social objects : people, pages, places, apps, and groups to help users discover things that are most relevant to them.

The results page returns unique results tailored to the user who is using Graph Search. This provides incredibly relevant results to the searcher. Results that are socially applicable to the searcher will be displayed higher in the rankings. Also, brands that have been engaged with (checked-in, reviewed, liked, etc.) by the searcher’s friends will be more prominent in the results.

Fun fact : When social results are minimal, Bing search results are displayed to supplement the search.

Can You Advertise With Graph Search?

Currently, the only option to advertise on Graph Search is through Sponsored Results. You can learn more about Sponsored Results from Facebook Help. Sponsored Results currently only display within the search bar auto-complete dropdown, but we believe these will eventually be displayed among the actual results.

We expect that brands will be able to use search data for Retargeted Ads in the future. We also anticipate relevant ads similar to Google Search Results.

Optimize Your Brand for Graph Search
1 : Add Open Graph Meta Data To Your Website
Open Graph Meta Data is essentially more tags in the of your website. These tags are specific to sharing information on Facebook. Brands are able to tell Facebook how they want their content represented when shared. Control things like your Page Title, Description, and Images that are displayed.

Here’s a sample of Open Graph Meta Data code :

Learn how to setup Open Graph Meta Data here

2 : Complete Your Facebook Page 100%
Any fields that are left open, should be filled in. This includes fields such as address, hours, and anything else that may be missing. Facebook will be using this information to index your Page. Without all possible input signals, Facebook might not serve up your Page in the results.

3 : Continue To Build a Fan Base
Many of the search results are ranked by total social connections. It’s simple—the more fans, the more likely the brand will appear in the results. Warning : Don’t resort to “buying fans” or using cheap tricks to attain fans. The quality of fan base is still important, especially when attempting to reach this audience organically. In the future, Facebook may examine engagement of particular posts to determine search results.

4 : Develop Engaging Content
Creating social connections between users is the key to receiving search results exposure. In the near future, we fully anticipate Facebook to incorporate Page’s posts and fan’s Comments. We also anticipate Facebook leveraging URLs that have been Liked in relation to the brand. This creates an incredible opportunity to drive people to your content, which can ultimately lead to more engagement.

Original version of the article appeared here http://whatisgraphsearch.com/

Blackberry Messenger Table Service

About the Campaign: Blackberry Table service offers users with a one of a kind digital experience every Thursday night from March 29th to March 19th 2012. The service allows BBM users to order food via the Blackberry messenger service at “NO Black Tie”. Users need to add the bartender’s Pin and scan the QR code to activate the service. Upon confirmation users can place drink orders or even call a waiter using the device. Users need to provide the table number while sending the message. Participants receive a free beer, wine or soft drink. The campaign is extended on Blackberry Malaysia Facebook Page, announcing winners for free passes to BBM Table service at the Club.

Key Takeaways:
Integrate digital experience with the offline service
Promote online and allow freebies to increase participation

Leveraging Social Media to grow a business

I’m sure many of you must have heard of social marketing. Well to plan a successful social media campaign and to reach the end goal, it’s extremely important to get the deeper knowledge of it. A lot of people don’t know what twitter is, or facebook is or linked in. Research says that twitter is growing by more than 300 percent per year but people are still really trying to figure out how to use it. The biggest part of social media is listening, and this is when you have the opportunity to hear what people are passionate about you and ultimately that gets back to the question about how you make yourself stand out. You need to find out what the target audience is interested in, what matters to them and how you can deliver that to them to be able to effectively capture them as your client. People use social media for branding, information sharing, public relation and understanding the customer. Ultimately it’s going to move on to lead generation. It’s inexpensive and you can compete with the big boys out there. It takes 3 to 6 months to get results from Search Engine Marketing. Many people do not have time or patience to wait for 6 months. Here social media marketing comes into the picture. The point of marketing is to be able to communicate with your target audience, answer the question that they have and to hear what’s relevant to them, ultimately answer their needs. One important thing is when you get the target audience you have to have relevant, authentic information that people want to hear about so that you are constantly communicating with them, letting them contact you back. Lead generation is the big trend in social media as it is time intensive but cost effective. It actually makes us easier to find the target audience. At a low cost it gives you the niches, if people have graduated, done their 4 years of college etc. You can get down to the nitty gritty with who you want to have your ads popping up in front of and whether it’s relevant or not.

Some of the ways that small businesses are using social media for marketing are by sponsoring interactive content, researching new product ideas, using them for online focus groups, overall interaction, promoting themselves organically through messaging, monitoring trends, etc. These are all perfect for aligning you a glimpse in first hand to what makes the customers click. Planning is equally important as any other activities in social media marketing campaign. What money you are willing to invest, what time equals for your money, how much time you are willing to invest every day, every week and every month, who is your target audience, what channels you gonna use, what you gonna say that is relevant and when you gonna say it, and what is your end goal. These are some of the things which you need to keep in mind while planning a social media campaign. Your product/service may be something that people need now or may be someday and you want to make sure that you are at their finger tips when they are ready to use. Create top of mind awareness. Facebook, twitter, linked in, youtube, forums, photo sharing, Q&A etc are some of the channels for social media marketing. The channel you choose depends on the product or service you have. Choosing the right channel can save you time and also help you to reach the target audience. For instance, lets take wine, obviously when you market this product you not gonna go into a gadget forum or a student forum. Once you decide the right channel and get the target groups, don’t just jump into it with sales and advertising. Become part of the community, get to know what people are talking, take part, and add value to the site by posting relevant and authentic information. Once you sound like a marketer people will start regulating you and closely monitor your post. These are some of the few things which I keep in mind while working on a social media marketing campaign.

Social Media for Public Relations

Social Media is changing the face of public relations. More and more clients want to incorporate social media with the traditional PR. Print media is not just enough these days for a company to reach out to their target audience. Digital media will play a bigger role in PR industry eventually. Social media in Public relations is slightly different from online Marketing. Social media in online marketing is about clicks, unique visitors, impressions, traffic to the website, leads and more. In digital PR clients do not look for clicks or traffic to their website, but more interested in interactions, member base and creating word of mouth through social media. Website or traffic is not important to such clients. The success metrics is measured on the basis of interactions through social networks and number of followers of their groups/pages. There are many people who do not post updates, tweet or comment, but they visit and read posts. Digital PR should start measuring visits, impressions and clicks. These metrics are as important as someone liking the post or comment. Social media makes public relations complete. Offline PR activity can be replayed online in social media and vice versa. Support traditional PR with aggressive social media to achieve a good ROI.