With social media, the only thing that is constant is change. Here’s a look at the biggest shifts we’re seeing in the social landscape.
1. Stories > Feeds
With the proliferation of Stories, particularly on Instagram, Facebook is predicting that people will consume more content in Stories than feeds. It’s not hard to see why. New functionalities from interactive polls to shoppable stickers have elevated the experience of creating and consuming Stories. Where feeds are necessary, Stories are self-selected and inspiring. They drive connection, conversation and, for many brands, conversion. We’re convinced that Stories will be a gamechanger for many brands in 2019.
2. Shoppable Everything
Social media is now the No. 1 source of purchase inspiration, and it’s easier than ever to shop directly on social thanks to new capabilities across platforms. Shoppable videos and Instagram Stories give viewers the opportunity to not only see the product, but also shop for it in context. This marketing approach is especially appealing to Gen Z consumers, who are four times more likely to convert on social media than Millennials. Even Snapchat is getting into the social commerce game. Last year, a limited-edition Nike Air Jordan sneaker available exclusively on Snapchat sold out in 23 minutes, leaving us all to wonder: Is there anywhere people can’t shop? On social at least, it seems like the answer is no.
3. Facebook Fundraising
Non-profit pages already have a suite of fundraising tools available to them on Facebook, and similar tools will be available to all brand pages in a matter of time (or that’s what Facebook says, anyway). It’s probably not a coincidence that Facebook is ramping up its fundraising offerings in the midst of the platform’s ongoing PR crisis. But, regardless of its motivation, it has clearly tapped into something big with social fundraising. On Giving Tuesday alone, Facebook users gave more than $125 million to support their favorite causes. Additionally, individual users raised $300 million in the first year of the birthday fundraiser feature, which launched in 2017. So, what does this mean for brands? Now’s the time to be on the lookout for those fundraising features Facebook promised and to be brainstorming about how fundraising could help you connect with your target through the causes they care about.
4. Dark Social and Messaging Convergence
Given the data and privacy concerns plaguing Facebook and other social platforms, dark social has become even more relevant. More sharing is now happening in dark social spaces, like messaging apps, where people feel their information is more secure. Meanwhile, it was recently reported that Facebook has plans to merge three of its messaging properties (its Messenger app, Instagram direct messages and WhatsApp) into a single, integrated messaging service available across all three platforms. This messaging convergence is rightfully raising some questions about security, but it could also be an opportunity for brands from the standpoint of Facebook increasing ad inventory. Facebook has offered ad placements in its Messenger app since 2017, and this move — expected to take effect at the end of this year or early next — could pave the way for brands to shine their light into more dark corners of social.
It goes without saying that while social is ever changing, most target audiences for brands are not. Every tactic and trend needs to be evaluated to ensure it positively impacts your target audience and your bottom line.
Let’s make sure you’re reaching your audience when and where they are. Connect with Ted Jun at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can refine your social strategy to help you get closer to your target and your business objectives.