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2017 Social Media Marketing Trends: The Snapchat Takeover

This past year was a very, very good year for the short-attention span social media platform of Snapchat. A fairly new social media app compared to the Facebooks and YouTubes of the world, Snapchat hit the scene with a brand new concept of fleeting picture and video sharing that lessens the pressure of posting quality. Its revolutionary platform idea has proved to be a massive success – and a great place for businesses to get in some one-on-one interaction with prospective consumers.

To prove how good 2016 was to Snapchat, we’re going to breakdown some significant statistics proving that the video-sharing mobile application is the place to be in 2017:

·      Snapchat awareness this year grew from 60% to 71% among Americans 12 years of age and older.

·      Snapchat has more users now than LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.

·      Total percent of Americans using Snapchat grew from 17% to 23% just this year.

·      Snapchat is now the country’s second favorite social media platform.

·      Young Americans (12 to 24 years old) using Snapchat grew to 26% in 2016, outpacing Instagram at 17%.

Those are just some of the impressive Snapchat stats garnered throughout the past year. The company is expected to be valued at $25 billion at its IPO early in 2017, and the platform expects to close out 2016 with a whopping 150 million active daily users.

You as a business owner, individual, or entrepreneur should absolutely take Snapchat seriously as part of your 2017 business plan moving forward. Clearly, the app is not going anywhere any time soon, and the amount of daily users is expected to surpass 200 million this year.

Though Snapchat is a world of its own, centered on quit wit, clever videos, and intriguing content, anyone can learn to conquer its appeal by whipping out their phone and snapping a picture or video of daily business operations.

Consumers are all about direct connection and interaction with you today, and Snapchat is the perfect place to give them it – free of charge to you!

Instagram rolls out “Instagram Live” for Live Video Marketing

Well, we were already calling 2016 the year of Live Video Marketing, and Instagram just solidified it with the official rollout of their Instagram Live feature. Now, business owners, marketers, and branders galore can Live Video their tips, tricks, and surroundings on more than just Facebook. It’s a social media marketing dream come true.

Instagram’s latest Live Video move comes at a time when the app is aggressively trying to associate its platform with more video posting and less picture sharing. Instagram knows the world is heading towards a heavy Live Video Marketing age, and it doesn’t want to be left in the dust as the place for simply pretty and eye-catching pictures.

Now, when users go on Instagram, they can access their Instagram Stories from the top left icon, and swipe right to “Go Live” for all friends to watch. The Instagram Stories feature, a relatively new development as well that enables users to post 24-hour photos and videos (JUST LIKE SNAPCHAT) before they’re taken down, will now play host to going live for any Instagram user. Once the user goes live, Instagram will take it upon themselves to fetch and build an audience, like Facebook, and even message friends directly about the live broadcast.

Is Instagram Live any different from Facebook Live?

Not really, but there are a few subtle differences. Instagram Live will notify users by placing a live icon over the username in any given Instagram feed. Additionally, once the broadcast is complete, Instagram will leave it up for only 24-hours before it is removed. On Facebook, however, Live Videos exist for an infinite amount of time once the video wraps up. Lastly, users will be able to “pin” their favorite comments to the top of the broadcast feed while rolling.

Overall, the two features are incredibly similar, enabling users to disable comments, connect with friends in real-time, and market their hearts out.

So, if you’re a business owner trying to cut through the social media noise, here is yet another way for you to directly, in real-time, connect with your consumer base in a personal, one-on-one kind of way.

After 5 years, Instagram caves and adds photo zoom feature

As of Wednesday, Instagram has finally added a photo zoom feature to their massively popular social media platform. After 5 long years of refusing to incorporate any kind of photo-viewing features, the pic posting giant is now enabling users to zoom in on tiny parts of posted photos.

By using the same standard smartphone zoom maneuver with a pinch of two fingers, you can now immerse yourself in those glutinous food pictures and bikini pics you secretly scroll through every night.

With the arrival of zoom, it’s still unclear why the platform waited 5 whole years to give users this kind of visual insight.

As the company stated today, “Over the past six months, you’ve seen many exciting changes come to Instagram, from a new icon to longer videos and even a new way to share everyday moments with Instagram Stories. And as things change, we’re still focused on improving the core parts of Instagram.”

The zoom feature was made available for iPhone users this week, but Android users will have to wait a few more weeks before they can feast their eyes on discreet picture details.

As for everyone else, take care not to accidentally like your ex’s photo while you zoom in on their latest selfie.

Instagram’s new “Stories” directly copies Snapchat’s MyStory

There has been some blatantly bold copying in the social media marketing world this week. Photo-sharing giant, Instagram, unveiled a Stories feature, enabling users to establish an ephemeral feed of photos and videos with a shelf life of only 24 hours. The posted content, with a maximum timer of 10 seconds, directly copies what Snapchat pioneered with the development of their MyStory feature in 2014.

Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, told TechCrunch this week that Snapchat, “deserves all the credit,” when it comes to the development of their Stories feature. But, “both Instagram and Snapchat operate in a world ruled by innovation,” and Instagram felt it was time they took a genius idea, and make it even better for their photo-sharing mavens.

Why copy Snapchat?

Anyone who has a Snapchat account knows how incredibly addicting and freeing a 24-hour live feed of content can be. It removes all the pressure that comes with permanent social media posting, and enables users to share more of their day-to-day lives.

Instagram, a Facebook-owned entity with more than 300 million active users daily, initially set out to make their platform a casual, laid back arena for users to share an upward of 5 photos per day. What happened, however, was a pretentious transformation over the last few years that has left the app in a tough situation. From 2013 to 2015, almost 100% of users decreased their Instagram posting frequency, for fear of scaring erratic followers away and damaging their “boutique” aesthetic. 

By adding a Stories feature, Instagram is hoping to “fill in the gaps” that are missing between the highly doctored and edited photos posted only once per week by popular accounts.

Should businesses take note?

Though the owners of Snapchat are probably infuriated right now, this development is nothing but good for business owners. Now, when social media managers log into a business Instagram account, they can kill two birds with one stone, and update the company’s Stories as well. The Stories feature follows Instagram’s privacy settings, allowing all businesses to share their Stories with millions of interested viewers. Additionally, it’s just another popular avenue for sharing content with interested consumers, which is after all, the driving factor in purchasing decisions today.

Here at SocialMe Media, we offer full social media management for Instagram, and can effectively set-up and manage an engaging and entertaining Stories feed for interested clients. If any of this seems confusing, allow us to take over and give you a highly active and interesting social media presence, starting with Instagram.

3 Marketing Tips for Attracting Millennial Buyers

Move over Baby Boomers. Millennials are officially the largest living generation in the United States right now. At 75.4 million, they’re a force to be reckoned with, and an even bigger consumer base wreaking havoc on the eCommerce world. Millennials grew up with technology, and now that they’re at the purchasing age, they’re ready to harness their clicking skills for the ultimate online shopping experience.

This group of people is undoubtedly checking a Facebook page, Twitter profile, and Instagram profile before they’re making a purchase from a company. They don’t see the old fashioned dinosaurs who refuse to make a website. To them, they’re simply obsolete, and not worth their time in the digital era.

But, the good news is, even if you are an old school brand, there’s still time to make the digital marketing switch. Creating social media profiles is free, and learning about digital ad buying is even freer.

Here are 3 marketing tips for attracting the tech-savvy generation of millennial buyers.

1. Work with social media influencers

It didn’t take very long for select individuals to discover there’s a lot of money to be made through “influencing” social media. Social media influencers are people who have amassed large, highly interactive followings. Whether it’s through a celebrity platform, like the Kardashians, or through an ingenious idea, like BuzzFeed’s Matt Bellassai’s ”Whine About It” series, social media influencers are popping up left and right – and they can make your business famous.

Social media influencers accept any and all partnerships for giving your brand a little more limelight. Millennials trust social media influencers, according to Kissmetric surveys, as much as they trust their friends and families. Having one of these influencers pose with your brand name in a photo will send a message to millennials that you get the marketing approach today, you’re onboard with it, and you’re willing to do what it takes to get their attention.

2. Authentic advertising

Millennials can smell BS from a mile away. There’s probably nothing they hate more than a traditional, corny, and aggressive paid advertisement shoved down their throats. They grew up with the tail end of 90s commercials trickled in television and radio, and they’re ready for something new. Millennials are looking for an infectious authenticity. They want to be creatively pitched.

Take the time to create genuine Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ads. Millennials know advertising will always be necessary, but they want it to be done in a real, enticing manner that draws their interest in. It may sound selfish, but that’s the way of the millennial world.

3. Offer recommendations and rewards

A continuation from our selfishness point, millennials want to have an incentive to signup for something. They want to get something out of it. Think of Uber, Lyft, or Airbnb. These brands get this, and they offer new members five free rides, a $50 voucher for their next stay, and monthly discounts. Millennials are all about communication, and they are more than willing to post a company advertisement or recommendation to social media if it means some free Lyft rides.

Give them something they want. Offer new members a month of free services, or promise them a free product if they recommend your business to three new friends on Facebook. They'll happily do it. And it’ll get you invaluable exposure.

The future of marketing

Millennial dominance is here and they are the future of commerce. You can either accept it now, or be forced into a crash course of social media in three years. It’s your choice. SocialMe Media will be there to onboard your business into the digital world when you’re ready.

Which social media platforms are best for your business?

Social media is constantly expanding and refining itself into niche markets today. What used to be just Facebook is now dozens of specialized social media platforms catered to specific audiences.

With these new social media platforms come more opportunity to connect with online communities tuned into exactly what your business has to offer. We are constantly researching and mastering these platforms so we know exactly which channels to social media market your business.

We break our management down to the 8 most popular social media platforms today: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

For starters, every single business should be on Facebook. Over 1 billion people are active on Facebook. If anyone is going to be on social media, their first choice is Facebook.

After Facebook, the platforms get sorted into visual versus non-visual platforms. Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube fall into the highly visual platforms. If you’re a business that has a lot of eye candy, you need to be on these platforms. The most used visual platform is Instagram. It is incredibly important if you run a hair salon, tattoo studio, pet store, etc. that you have an Instagram to constantly familiarize your audience with photos of your services. The new generation of buyers, people under 21, have stated their preferred social media platform is Instagram over Facebook, many of them starting to not even make Facebooks.

For non-visual, Linkedin, Twitter, and Google+ are the way to go. Twitter is recommended first as it is a perfect place to showcase your business goals, personality, and wit, all in a concise 140 character Tweet. Businesses are highly active messaging and connecting with one another on Twitter.

If you’re more of a serious, recruitment-style business, Linkedin is the official professional social media platform. The perfect platform for talking with other professionals or scouting talent, Linkedin is an easy way to show others you mean business.

Google+, YouTube, Tumblr, and Pinterest all have their niche markets, too, though they are not as prominent as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. YouTube is perfect for building an online personality through videos; Pinterest is the ultimate eye-candy platform for “pinning” aesthetics that align with your company; Tumblr is a massive blogging-meets-photos platform where the entire world of 14-24 year olds thrive; and Google+ is a less-active Linkedin that links your company to Gmail.

The ultimate goal is to be on all of these platforms eventually to make sure you’re not missing out on any specific markets. But for starters, Facebook is a must, followed by Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin depending the visual nature of your business. SocialMe can help.