Ever since SixDegrees.com was launched in 1997, social media has taken the internet, and the marketing world, by storm. However, SixDegrees is no longer active and was overshadowed by outlets like Facebook, MySpace and even Friendster. These sites are all outlets companies have found useful in promoting their brands without you even noticing. As social media usage began to grow at an alarming rate, companies quickly found ways to increase brand awareness through digital marketing.

Millions of people including myself use multiple social media outlets on a daily, even hourly, basis. Before looking at the marketing strategies that companies use, I think it is important to understand just how many people are on social media sites. Here’s a chart that breaks down the number of potential impressions that brands should be taking advantage of daily.

Piktochart

After looking at these numbers, it’s easy to see why brands are hopping on the social media phenomenon.

Take a look at the 6 social media marketing strategies that companies are using to increase brand awareness and user engagement:

  1. Real-Time Engagement: Social media users want to feel connected with the brands they love. It is vital that companies engage with their followers on all active platforms, whether a user is reaching out with a positive or negative remark. Social media thrives on real-time engagement. According to brandwatch.com, 91 percent of retail brands use two or more social media channels. People between the ages of 55 and 64 are more than twice as likely to engage with branded content than those 28 or younger. On Twitter alone, 78 percent of people who complain to a brand expect a response within the hour and 77 percent of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet receives a reply. Needless to say, users want to be a part of a two-way conversation, which generates loyal customers.
  1. The Domination of Video: Facebook sees eight billion average daily video views from 500 million users. Adults spend an average of one hour and 16 minutes every day watching videos on digital devices. That’s a lot of video content. YouTube has more than 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. Recently, a new kind of video has taken the internet by storm. Live stream videos are a huge hit, featuring real-time content from both celebrities and companies. These type of videos allow audiences to be “in the know” on what’s happening at that exact moment with the brands they love. It has been proven that posts with videos have higher engagement rates compared to posts that only contain text. Consumers want videos, and they want them now.
  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Content is king. Social media content has huge influence on a brand’s follower. In this case, quality is better than quantity. SEO allows companies to see who is searching for their brand, how they found a particular link, video, etc., and it allows companies to track user engagement. It is important to know who is talking about your brand, what they are saying and where they are saying it. Optimizing searches helps a company understand strategies that are successful and ones where there’s room for improvement. Because social media user engagement numbers are increasing, having tools to help track user engagement is very beneficial.
  1. Mobile-First Marketing: In case you didn’t know, people use their mobile devices more than tablets or desktops. Because of that, content has to be altered to display properly on a device that most consumers are using. What does this mean? Creating an app for your company might be a good investment. Smartphone users want content displayed in a quick, easy manner. Apps make it easy for users to search for products or virtually anything they are looking for. It’s a “one-stop shop” for all users. According to smartinsights.com, 52 percent of time spent online was on mobile apps. It is also a good idea to make sure that your website is mobile friendly, making it easy for users to navigate through your site to find what they want.
  1. Social Shopping: Websites like Facebook and Pinterest make it easy to view and purchase products without ever leaving the app. On Pinterest, users can click the image they see and be taken directly to a website where they can purchase the product. Billions of dollars in sales have been linked to social media. Pinterest now has Buyable Pins, and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are able to push advertisements onto your browser. Social media outlets have also linked up with brands for advertising, bringing social networks more than $8.3 billion from advertising in 2015.
  1. Social Media Analytics: Social media analytics show what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. By using analytics, you are able to see what areas need improvement, what audiences are engaging with your content and how effective your advertising budget is at attracting users. Having this data will improve your social media presence or help you increase brand awareness and user engagement.

As platforms continue to change and social media becomes more popular, it is likely we will see new marketing trends in the future.

Make sure to look out for new marketing trends so your company can be one step ahead of the game!

Sources:

http://www.digitaltrends.com/features/the-history-of-social-networking/*

https://www.brandwatch.com/2016/03/96-amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts-for-2016/*

http://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-strategy/15-social-media-search-engine-marketing-trends-2016/*

Cara Kelley
Cara is outgoing, adventurous, and always up for a new challenge. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spends her free time pinning boards on Pinterest.