There’s no denying there is power in social media – 70% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and the number of worldwide users is expected to grow from 2.1 billion last year to 2.5 billion by 2018. But as a business, weeding through the new apps, channels and seemingly endless changes to our favorite existing networks can be exhausting. As social media is an increasingly integral part of PR strategy, our clients look to us to help guide them through these changes. Here are four moves of note that we’ve already seen in 2016.
Content is king. Social platforms are making changes that allow marketers to act more like publishers. LinkedIn has fine-tuned their publishing option, now allowing users to publish long form content. Although this feature is not yet available for corporate pages, users are able to use this feature to share employer-related content and become thought leaders in their respective industries. Additionally, Facebook has announced that starting in April it will be opening up Instant Articles to publishers of any size. This is a new way of posting that will allow publishers to create and share fast, interactive and widely accessible articles to with Facebook users.
Video killed the radio star in the 80’s and he’s back at it again. Live streaming video has seen a major popularity boost with 70% of companies now saying that video is the most effective tool in their “online marketing belts.” The trend offers an opportunity to provide real time engagements, especially during special events and occasions. Periscope, a live video-streaming app designed for iOS and Android, has been a pioneer in the streaming space and was acquired by Twitter last year. Several HIMSS16 Social Media Ambassadors adopted Periscope as a means of engagement for this year’s exhibition.
Express yourself. That’s what Facebook was encouraging when they introduced ‘Reactions,’ the new and improved Like button that allows users to react to posts with seven new emotions: love, haha, wow, sad, angry, confused and yay. While at surface level these additions may seem to increase engagement, some experts actually predict a reduction in comments due to the variety of new automated responses.
Location, location, location. While many businesses are still trying to figure out whether or not to invest advertising dollars with Snapchat, the company is making it easier for small to medium sized businesses to join the fun with the introduction of on-demand geofilters. For as little as $5, anyone can design and have Snapchat distribute a geofilter. These geofilters cover an area as small as an office building or as large as 5,000,000 sq. ft. Since these geofilters communicate the where and when of a snap, it could be a great way for brands to create shared experiences with their target audience.