2019 was a year of constant change across all social media platforms. Big picture changes included Instagram experimenting with the removal of like counts, the steady decline of organic reach, the ever-growing appetite for ephemeral content (eg. stories & live video) and the continued growth of all things video, but what does all this mean going forward for those looking to advertise their brand across social platforms?
Looking at current trends and what is expected for 2020 this article will outline 4 Social Media tips for small/medium businesses in the new year.
1. Stories, stories and more stories
Short, snappy and gone in 24 hours.
The number of daily stories on Instagram has increased 500% over the last three years, with no signs of slowing down.
More and more time is being spent watching stories and due to their visual nature, they are perfect for showing products, brand elements and the more human sides of brands due to their in the moment style of posting.
As a result, by this stage, all small/business should have integrated stories into their posting schedules in order to leverage the amount of exposure and engagement that can be achieved through stories.
2. Video will continue to dominate, so be sure to use it
Video continues to be the best performing type of digital content across all major social platforms. It is expected by 2021, approximately 80% of all internet traffic will be video.
However, it is important that video is done right. For example, Facebook reported that 85% of its videos are viewed without sound. Therefore, the importance of keeping video content visually focused and including subtitles where appropriate is crucial for ensuring video content performs well.
Additionally, just like all social content, it needs to capture attention quickly. The first three seconds of any piece of video need to stand out. Quick cuts, clever use of sound/music and aesthetic visuals are all ways which can help keep viewers engaged and interested in your message.
3. Focus on Authenticity
With social platforms being full of paid sponsoring, brand-created and sponsored content, celebrity endorsements and paid influencers, the sense authenticity can sometimes be lost. As a result, especially for small/medium businesses, authenticity should be a focus.
35% of consumers report that they unfollow brands for posting too many promotional posts. (Sprout Social Index, 2019)
Whether it through organic content, ad posts or influencer promotions, small/medium businesses should ensure the messaging is genuine rather than being salesy in nature.
One great way is to get more of the staff behind a brand involved in the social content, people trust people much quicker than a brand without a face (the predominant reason influencer promotions have proved to be so effective). This can be done a number of ways including posting authentic photography rather than stock, frequent stories of the behind-the-scenes or perhaps a video post of business owner about the story of their business to date. However, by its nature, achieving authenticity will be unique for each brand and there is no one size fits all to achieve this.
4. Use all of the tools at your disposal
Stories, videos, polls, live-video, articles, tagging, hashtags, stickers, gifs, product tagging, written articles, slideshows, blog posts – the list goes on!
The point is, to use as many of the tools at your disposal. While the inner working algorithms of social platforms will always remain a mystery and be subject to change, one thing is clear, capturing people’s attention and getting them to engage is always going to favour brands organic reach. Use of many features, rather than focusing on one or two, has been linked with more favourable ranking within social algorithms.
This also means keeping an eye on the new features and platforms. Tik-Tok, for example, has proved over 2019 with its explosive growth amongst younger generations (41% of them aged between 16 and 24) While the thought of using a new platform may be daunting for some, Tik-Tok certainly could be worthwhile experimentation with for brands trying to reach younger consumers in 2020.
There you have it, 4 Social Media tips for small/medium businesses in 2020. While this article is by no means the be-all and end-all when it comes to social media strategy, it should help guide those who are looking to bring their social media performance up a gear in the new year!
Looking to bring your brand to life on social media in 2020?
Cisco Visual Networking Index Predicts Global Annual IP Traffic to Exceed Three Zettabytes by 2021
digiday, 2016. 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. https://digiday.com/media/silent-world-facebook-video/
Oberlo, 2019. 10 TikTok Statistics That You Need to Know in 2019 [Infographic]
Sprout Social, 2019. Sprout Social Index, s.l.: Sprout.
Statista, 2019. Number of daily active Instagram Stories users from October 2016 to January 2019 https://www.statista.com/statistics/730315/instagram-stories-dau/