In a recent Hootsuite webinar, we received insights from digital marketing experts on trends shaping the use of social media in the coming year. There is no debating that the use of such platforms in higher education does differ from their use in a commercial context. However, we strongly believe in the importance to keep these trends on your radar as they are bound to shape your audience’s expectations as well as the general way they use social media.
#1 Social Media usage is only accelerating, especially as a way to discover, search and shop
2016 saw the rise of the “Shop Now” widget, appearing first on Pinterest and then Instagram. We can therefore expect a strong use of the mentioned button during the coming year. Other platforms like Snapchat and Facebook have become a place of pilgrimage for digital window-shoppers that wish to discover new products and stay up to date with what their favorite brands’ activities and promotions.
#2 Social Media Commerce is nothing new but the tools that have been developed to drive more revenue from it are
As mentioned in the previous point, brands are becoming savvier in the use of social media platforms as a commercial touch point. At the same time, these platforms are progressively becoming more and more e-commerce friendly, providing endless solutions for brands to creatively tap into.
#3 Dark social was perceived as an annoyance for years. Thankfully, we are slowly learning how to fight it.
Word of mouth marketing remains the most powerful tool out there, unfortunately the hardest one to measure too. Dark social represents the portion of traffic caused by direct messaging apps and encrypted messages. Although still untraceable, we are finding ways to reduce that type of traffic like the addition of a share widget on branded websites, and means to identify actual traffic emanating from dark social.
#4 Video content on social media stole the show last year; it is now becoming a key strategic focus for everyone.
Throughout 2016, the effectiveness of video and highly visual content has only been reinforced. 2017 will mark a stepping-stone for video content as more time, effort and resources will have to be used in order to create content that will ensure brands stay ahead of the curve. More viewers will be expecting frequent video curation, be sure to plan ahead and become familiar with the available platforms out there.
#5 Digital Marketing strategies were catered to each department. Today, leaders are looking to connect their workforce through social media.
An Aon Hewitt report stated that a 5% increase in employee engagement could lead to a 3% increase in revenue and the best way to generate engagement is by encouraging the sharing of business updates. Influencer marketing is at the center of the spotlight and undoubtedly provides results every time it is used. It does, however, require resources, time and effort. Many have failed to see that there was a cheaper and more effective solution right under their eyes. Be sure not to miss the mark and make full use of your teams’ unfading belief in your organization!