LOOK AT ME! The rise of social media

2.43 billion people swiped at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, during the last year, so you won’t be shocked to learn that social media has now become an irreplaceable feature of human life. In 2017, 71 percent of internet users were social network users, and these figures are expected to grow. This has resulted in a rise in the number of social media marketers plying their trade. Sure, we all know that ‘expert’ who can help us get us around Facebook or Instagram, but being truly effective across social media channels is a craft.

More complex social media platforms

With so many different social media platforms to choose from coupled with the rate at which we are all bombarded with information, marketers continue to face a struggle when delivering clear and poignant messages to the target audience. The digital landscape is now so complex with ephemeral content (that’s disappearing content that has a restricted lifetime) becoming more mainstream in 2018. This type of limited social media content is another channel technique to add distinction over other channels and tempt a user to engage. Video continues to grow in popularity, as is augmented reality (AR), another technique whereby digital content is overlaid into real world imagery. You can probably recall the Pokemon Go game released in 2016 which gained 28.5 million users at it’s peak, but that figure dwindled to a meagre 5 million in 2017. The company behind the app, Niantic, have recently upgraded their AR package to allow even closer, more detailed engagement with the real world. This technology will undoubtedly filter through onto social media platforms in force over the coming months and years.

How do brands stand out on social media?

The issue faced by businesses looking to make their mark on social media is determining which channels they should utilise and how best to publish content across them to attract the right audience. This is where a social media, or digital, strategy can come into great effect. Regardless of whether you intend to use ephemeral content, video or AR, or whether your operating on a global, national or local stage, understanding your audience - aka the consumer - is central to delivery of high quality messaging that hits the target. Gone are the days of broad brush tactics where the same message is released to the same users across a range of digital channels. Segmentation of your digital consumer market with character profiling will result in a far more defined understanding of the audience trends, making content curation and publication across your designated social media channels more effective. Creating a social media strategy, with a defined activity calendar and success measured by metrics can greatly add to your digital marketing practice.

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