Marketers need to pay attention to the digital trends shaping and reshaping the marketplace. We shared with you our 5 biggest social media trend predictions for 2016, and highlighted the need to increase engaging content through the use of customer-generated videos.
We reinforced the need to channel the message, and mentioned the importance of allowing employees to use their social media platforms at work. We brought up the increase in influencer marketing, and how crucial this social media marketing trend is now and will continue to be in the future. We featured the introduction of the social “Buy Button” and the expected impact.
Of these predictions, three social media marketing trends have steamrolled through with proven staying power that can massively impact e-commerce and retail organizations of all shapes and sizes. These are the 3 biggest social media marketing trends that will forever change your business.
1. Employee Advocacy via Social
An organization’s biggest influence group is sitting right underneath their noses. Or rather, right under their roof. An organization’s employees are living, breathing ambassadors for the brands they represent. Marketers love and appreciate employees for everything they bring to the business, and should let employees return the love by providing them with the means to be strong advocates!
According to a study performed by Cisco, employees cumulatively have more than 10 times the number of followers that a brand has across all social media channels. Additionally, their posts produce over 8 times more engagement than a business’ posts. Seems like a no-brainer to have employees share marketing messages on social media, right? But here’s the catch with this social media marketing trend; only truly authentic content in the employee’s genuine voice will create real engagement. Allowing employees to be advocates with their own flair humanizes a brand, and strengthens the relationship with consumers.
2. Influencer Marketing
Gone are the days where influencer marketing simply referred to a celebrity endorsement. Influencer marketing is the hot new term for word-of-mouth, and it is more powerful and critical than ever.
According to Nielsen, over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family, even when it flies in the face of the advertising they see. In this communication, e-commerce and retail brands have no control over the dialogue. What they do have control over is ensuring that their customers truly love them by giving them something to talk about! Instead of allocating time and effort into controlling the messages being shared about a brand, marketers should invest time into teaching and preaching exceptional customer service practices.
This interaction between Samsung and a loyal customer is a spectacular example of a positive customer service experience spiraling into a viral advertising opportunity that impacted the brand. In short, a loyal customer messaged Samsung via Facebook asking for their newest, yet-to-be released phone and included a picture of a fire breathing dragon to sweeten up his request. Samsung politely declined by responding with their own drawing of a kangaroo riding a unicycle.
The customer shared the exchange on reddit, where it went viral. In response, Samsung thanked their him for the positive media attention he had helped them attain by sending him the free phone he requested, personalized with the very fire-breathing dragon drawing he sent in the initial exchange. In this instance, Samsung created an influencer through a very thoughtful and positive customer service experience. Take example from Samsung!
3. “Buy Buttons”
B2C e-commerce marketers are saying, “about time!”. Social media has long been a leader in driving traffic and awareness to B2C brands and e-commerce sites. Now, finally, social media channels can directly drive sales as well. Facebook has been testing their “Buy Now” feature for a little over a year. Users on Facebook can now make a one-click purchase from a sponsored ad without ever leaving their newsfeed.
Furthermore, the new social media feed algorithms are rocket-propelling the social media marketing trend into a leading channel. These algorithms take into account users’ browsing patterns, and adjust what appears on their feeds accordingly. These tailored feeds even include ads, which incorporate the critical use of the “Buy Now” button.
This massive step has the potential to revolutionize the entire space. Consumers are banner and pop-up blind, so accustomed are they to being accosted with marketing and advertising messages that this move into native advertising, within their own personal social media feeds, softens the ask. The “Buy Now” button has not yet been widely adopted by e-commerce retailers, so marketers can hop on the early-adopter train and reap the benefits!
These three social media marketing trends have the potential to forever change a business, and are shaping up to change the e-commerce retail space as a whole. Marketers should empower employees to be advocates for their business, enhance social customer service to create influencers for their brand, and invest big in the “Buy Now” button trend to catapult their brand into being a leader in social media marketing.
Interested in reading more about marketing predictions? Download our whitepaper to learn about five upcoming trends that will impact marketers.