Over the last year, the social media landscape has changed drastically. In 2019 there was a whole host of changes, scandals and discussions – it was certainly an eventful 12 months. Cambridge Analytica, the ‘Fake News’ Facebook debate… the list goes on.
Aside from the obvious talking points, social media technology and its usage evolved quite substantially.
When you’re dealing with such changeable platforms, platforms that are constantly being analysed, reworked and adjusted – it’s difficult to keep up! With that in mind, we thought we’d look at some of the latest changes and trends and what we can do to try and adapt.
So, what are the most notable changes?
1. Facebook algorithm has shifted to reduce the reach of brands and businesses, favouring content from individuals – friends and family etc.
Last year we wrote about the changes to Facebook’s algorithm and why your business page will have started to see a steep decline in reach and engagement. Their prioritising of peer-to-peer interactions meant that they now show less of the content created by business pages and more of that shared by individual users. Pretty much how Facebook used to be when it was first conceived!
What should I do?
First of all, read this blog on ways to create Facebook engagement. Focus on posting quality and not quantity and put yourself in the audience’s shoes. What would you want to see? What would make you comment, share or ‘like’ a post? Make a conscious effort to stop selling and start sharing.
Once you have started to create more engaging and shareable content, look at investing in paid activity. However, rather than adverts, use your new fantastic content and sponsor it to make sure it is seen by more of the people who you think, would like to see it. Simple!
2. There has been a mass exodus of younger social media users (Generation Z and ‘millennials’) on Facebook in favour of Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Over the last year or so, ‘young millennials’ have parted ways with Facebook and in simple terms, it’s largely because it’s just not ‘cool’ anymore. Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles all have Facebook and so their feeds are now saturated with stuff they just don’t engage with anymore.
What should I do?
Firstly, you need to decide who your audience is. Does this affect your activity? If so then you need to revaluate your strategy and activity plan to reflect the changes. Create profiles on the platforms your audience frequent and make sure you research best practise for businesses using the aforementioned platforms if you weren’t doing so already.
Your key messages should remain the same, the reasons people buy from you too, the only thing that changes is how you deliver it!
3. There’s a clear fall in brand trust and social media.
The rise in ‘fake news’ and click-bait articles over the past year or so has left many people disillusioned with brands’ presence on social media. Not to mention a lack of trust in the platforms themselves!
What should I do?
With this growing distrust, it’s important for brands to regain the human element of their communications – it’s something that people relate to more than any advertising or marketing efforts. Simple, honest, good customer service.
4. More competition in social advertising.
With more and more advertisers flocking to social media channels to spend their ever-growing PPC budget, platforms are becoming increasingly saturated and as a result more competitive than ever.
This means it is more difficult to reach the people you want to without paying through the nose for the privilege. With more businesses advertising on social media, it also means that users are savvier when it comes to brand activity and their advertising efforts.
What can I do?
Sponsoring the content you’re already creating for your website and social profiles (blogs, case studies, videos, guides) is a good way of getting it seen by the right people. It’s a lot less intrusive and in-your-face, meaning users are a lot more receptive to this kind of advertising.
Spending a bit more time on your targeting when creating audiences for your campaigns helps to group users based on a number of criteria. This allows you to pick and choose who sees your content and when, meaning they won’t feel bombarded by advertising – but will see useful, relevant content delivered to them when they are most receptive.
5. Messaging and a better, more personal customer experience
Customers expect quicker replies and better levels of customer service on social media than anywhere else. Why? Because it’s in the public domain. It’s visible – and there’s nowhere to hide!
It’s no longer good enough to have a cookie-cutter response to everyone who tweets you with their issues. You need to appear caring, personable and empathetic. And it needs to be genuine because people just won’t buy it otherwise.
What can I do?
A lot of this is common sense and simple courtesy. Respond to people as soon as you possibly can, use Facebook messenger to talk to customers live, use your first name when dealing with a complaint. Never copy and paste a response!
This means have a person, or persons, dedicated to your online reputation and customer service management. It might involve some investment – but can you afford not to?
If you’d like to learn more about social media, how these changes could affect your business or simply want to talk to us about your online presence – get in touch with us on 0113 394 4559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.