Growing up in the 90’s meant that, although I could not have anticipated the enormity of social media, I was there to witness the beginning of the “digital revolution”, where Yellow Pages became LinkedIn/Google and international calling cards became WhatsApp. If that wasn’t overwhelming enough, social media apps tend to roll out updates by the time it takes your tea to turn lukewarm. The constant updates and evolution of apps is exciting but also makes keeping up with trends a harder area to tackle.
Blink, and you may miss it.
If you aren’t practicing these trends, you may be missing a trick. Mastering a media trend enables you to find out what works for your business/brand, and what doesn’t. It also gives you the capability to understand how to manage an account and what it takes for your brand to be successful. Although keeping up with bug fixes, app updates and font changes may be tedious to comprehend (let alone adhere to), knowing what the current trends are can completely transform the way in which you use social media.
Here are my thoughts on the top 4 trends you should be following…
One of the most overlooked tools in the industry is the power of video. In a culture where we look to our mobiles first in most circumstances, you need to include video as part of your social media or brand strategy, if you haven’t already done so. Video, used in the right way, can tell a powerful story about your brand evoking the right emotions and more flexible to produce. Whether you want to use video for internal or external communications it is a great way to portray yourself or your brand.
I’ve often heard from start-ups and small businesses that they are doing extremely exciting things. Meetings in Venice, events in Vegas and networking sessions in Valencia. However, when I go onto their social media pages or brand pages, I don’t see any of this. Now, I don’t think they’re telling porkies but I do believe that sharing your journey through social media platforms is key to gaining trust and building credibility. Instagram debuted their “Instagram Stories” feature (where Snapchat lovers were most certainly outraged) in November 2016 and it has worked wonderfully for brands and personal pages to showcase their exciting news. Facebook and Snapchat also have live features whereby you can track people’s events, workshops, news etc. in real time. I, personally, like to use Instagram stories at events and tagging the location to ensure the post reaches a wider demographic. If you haven’t already, why not follow @drpteam on Instagram to find out how it’s done?!
- Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality – otherwise known as AR – has well and truly taken over every aspect of social and digital. It is a great way to gain interaction and offer a one-of-a-kind experience when done the right way. You can use AR in various ways including at industry or business events where the current trend is to have an area or unique experience for individuals to be introduced to a whole new world. Major brands across the globe have utilised and implemented AR in some way, shape or form. Some big brands such as Apple, IKEA, and Disney x Tesco. Although VR has been around a lot longer than AR, it proved difficult to advance in the necessary areas to really get the ground running. Bring on Pokemon Go where AR took off and enabled users to have a fully immersive experience unlike anything else on the market. Video gamers were going crazy for an idea that has been around for a while but only now developed enough to be accessible.
- Influencer Marketing
We’ve all heard of them and most of us don’t quite know what “influencers” do. But, they are taking over the traditional marketing methods. Influencers usually have an extremely large following and, you guessed it, a certain amount of “influence” over their followers. Where they eat, what they do, what they wear, who they associate themselves with etc. all plays a part in increasing a brand’s exposure and connecting with the right audience. Influencer collaboration is currently at its peak with most major brands jumping on the bandwagon of using their relationships with influencers to sell products or increase exposure within commercial markets. Social media influencers aren’t necessarily your average beauty vloggers, make up advocated, retail brand ambassadors or fashionistas who simply charge you on Instagram posts – they’re also your business owners and thought leaders who have significant amounts of experience in their field, who have advice to give and are willing to share their business networks with others which in turn opens doors for others to trade in a safe environment and begin fruitful business relationships. Have a read of one our previous blogs here to find out more about influencer marketing.
If you are involved in social media or any kind of digital communications, these trends are ones to look out for. If you aren’t using at least one of the trends in your strategy, you are most definitely missing out on exposure and connecting with the right target demographic. Most importantly, being able to adapt and change in the current market is vital to growth and imperative for the success of your brand.
I’m excited to see what the next trend will be and how businesses manage to utilise a trend to work for them. Who knew jobs would be replaced by chatbots?!? But that’s a discussion for another day…
Hannah Dinesh – PR & Social Media Executive at drp