How Social Media Marketing Is Changing and What You Need to Know
One of the most interesting things about social media marketing is the speed at which it changes.
Social media is in constant flux, after all, what with people’s tastes, interests, society itself always changing.
This means that anyone seeking to do social media marketing needs a fair bit of adaptability.
Today, we’ll take a look at where social media seems to be headed next, breaking down its direction into several easy-to-grasp points for beginning marketers and business owners.
Targeting your audience is more important than ever.
With 84.4% of Singapore’s population being social media users, it’s clear that any marketer not using these platforms is missing out on a big potential audience.
But here’s the catch - not all of those users belong to your target audience
It’s not advised to just cast out nets randomly on social media. That’s a good way to waste time and effort in digital marketing.
Besides, if you don’t actively target someone in digital marketing now, it’s pretty much the same as ignoring them.
You see, there’s so much content online that audiences themselves barely have time to consume most of what they see beyond a glance.
That’s why most of them now use various filtering strategies to try and locate content they may actually be interested in.
That’s where audience targeting comes in.
If you recall our series on The Marketing Flow, this crucial step lets you define, understand, and figure out ways to reach your audience more easily.
Without it, you’ll end up shooting arrows blindly into the wind, so to speak.
Content differentiation across platforms is a must.
One of the things that makes audience identification and targeting so important is that each social media channel can promote different demographics as well as different content from another.
You don’t expect to get a lot of traction using text-heavy posts on Instagram, for instance. That’s a visuals-first platform.
In the same vein, you don’t go heavy on the memes or pop-culture references when you’re marketing on LinkedIn.
It’s a site for professionals and the people on it tend to appreciate more reasoning- and business-forward content.
This just means being more sensitive now to which type of content sells best on each platform.
Usually, you can tweak the same content or present it in a new way to account for the variations across platforms.
E-commerce is becoming increasingly integrated with social media.
This is particularly good news for small and medium enterprises.
From Facebook Marketplace to Instagram Shop, there are now more ways than ever before for a small business to set up shop online.
This can tie together so many aspects of a business’s strategy, from its marketing to its advertising and eventually, the actual conversion.
It does mean that marketers need to add resources like these to their funnels, though: social media posts, ads, and even direct-to-shop functions like those we mentioned for Facebook and Instagram.
It’s also worth noting that more and more consumers include social media among their resources when seeking info on a service or product.
On Instagram alone, 81% of the platform’s users use it to research products.
It’s not uncommon to see people asking others for reviews of products or companies on social media too.
A smart marketer can make that trend work for him, whether by posting answers to FAQs on products or promoting user-generated reviews, then linking to his digital shopfront.
Influencer marketing needs to be more authentic to be effective.
This is actually tied to the pandemic. If you check out influencer content before COVID-19 hit, you’ll notice a lot of highly edited, polished stuff.
Look at the content now, though, and you’ll see that it’s a bit more raw.
The pandemic ushered in the trend of authentic content for several reasons.
First, people wanted something that would resonate with their own quarantine or lockdown troubles.
They wanted to see influencers in sweatpants, not putting on make-up or going through old routines turned defunct by the new normal.
Second, brands also realised the importance of the adage “quality over quantity” in their marketing efforts, which meant more of them began pursuing smaller influencers (the micro and nano influencers) for their partnerships.
As these smaller influencers tended to have smaller production budgets, they supplied less edited (and thus, more seemingly authentic) content.
Then there’s the rise of platforms like TikTok, which usually feature less-scripted, short-format content.
All of these things have come together to promote a new taste in influencer content, one that you need to note if you plan on using influencers for your brand.
The regulatory framework for commercial use of social media is changing.
This is hardly surprising given many recent events worldwide, the most notable probably being former US President Trump’s controversial use of social media towards the end of his term.
People have also started asking more questions about digital privacy. As such, we fully expect the trend for further regulation to continue here.
We’ve actually talked about some of this before. iOS 14’s updates, the curtailment of third-party app data tracking… it may seem at first as though targeting is doomed.
But honestly, there are still a lot of targeting methods and metrics available - we talked about them in a previous post.
For marketers, it just means continuing to do your work organically, build brand value, and so on.
Need help facing the changes to social media?
The changes we discussed may seem overwhelming if you’ve just started social media marketing or were thinking about trying it.
Fortunately for you, we can help you weather the shifts in this marketing landscape.
Get in touch with us and we can talk about your options for marketing your brand or organisation using social media today. We can even come up with a custom strategy for your business in that area.
So don’t hesitate if you think you need a little expert help here! We’ve helped more than a few Singaporean companies with their social media strategies - we’ll be happy to help you as well!