Social media is an integral part of our society. When market leader Facebook was launched in 2004, no one could suspect that the platform would become the largest in the world. Despite all the recent criticisms of the poor guarantee of privacy at Facebook, it is still by far the largest platform. Yet the shift has already begun. Young people now mainly use Snapchat and Instagram. Twitter remains relevant, not just thanks to Trump. It is for more business contacts, politics, press and discussions. LinkedIn is the platform for the business market. As an entrepreneur you can use all these social media for your marketing. Do it smart so that you can optimally profit. These are the social media trends for 2018.
Keep your visitors fascinated with short-lived content
Your account on Facebook or another social media platform must remain interesting for visitors. So you can't sit back once you've created this and posted a few messages explaining what your company is doing. You must continue to fascinate your visitors. Otherwise, the "I like" that is clicked on does not make much sense. A Facebook page where hardly anything happens disappears into oblivion and you will therefore not benefit.
Tasty content, messages that are only briefly up-to-date, do well with visitors. They like it if you regularly post a message that does contain up-to-date information. A nice offer, a promotion, those are the messages that visitors also respond to, but not too often. Make use of this. If you don't have an account (s) on social media yet, consider creating one. Even if the industry in which you work is not specifically focused on the internet and you also approach your customers in other ways. The butcher, the hairdresser and the baker can also benefit from their presence on social media. It's about entertaining and engaging. So place a photo of freshly grilled sausage (ready in two hours), a daring hairstyle or a customer who is going to celebrate her grandson's birthday with cakes. Storytelling. But everything stands or falls with keeping your messages up to date and therefore posting regularly.
Use video to reach your customers
Make sure that you do not post video content that has nothing to do with your company. This video fits especially well at a pet shop for example.
Right away video message you can make so much more clear than with plain text or even a photo. Putting a video online is now a piece of cake. You can place video directly on social media, which gives you more organic reach with Facebook.
If you regularly post videos, creating your own channel on YouTube is a must, because here visitors to your website or your social media account can quickly and easily find your videos without endless scrolling. If you post a video, make sure it looks a bit professional. You do not immediately have to hire a professional film crew for a few hundred euros per hour, but a film that looks like it was made by your four year old son is the other extreme. Write down three points for improvement with every video you make. For example, pay attention to a shocking camera, too little light, poor sound, a subject that is not in good view and no intro or outro. The most important lesson: provide a short and concise message. If you are too long-winded, visitors drop out or they will scroll in the video clip so that they may miss essential information. A video can only last a few minutes. Nobody spends ten minutes or more watching a commercial video. Of course, think in advance what you want to make clear in your video. Write a script, no matter how exaggerated that may sound.
Stories on Instagram and Snapchat
Instagram and Snapchat offer the possibility to post stories. These are related messages that you as an entrepreneur can use to tell a story that fits your company. A message will disappear after a while, but your visitors will look forward to the sequel if it was fun and interesting. For example, you can use this if you have a construction or renovation company. Show your visitors how to make an extension to a home. First the foundation is laid, then the walls are erected. This is followed by the finishing, carpentry and painting. And finally, of course, a short video of the final layout of the room. By always taking your visitors a step further in the process, you keep your attention. As a restaurant owner, show how your favorite dishes are made by the chef. Such a message naturally ends with 'Tasty food, we look forward to seeing you in our restaurant to try this dish'. This will certainly appeal to visitors and encourage them to reserve a table.
Use a chatbot for good contact with your customers
More and more customers want to contact a company via social media. Calling and being on hold endlessly for customer service is no longer of this time. So if you cannot offer telephone customer service where your customers are really helped quickly, for example because you do not have the capacity, a chatbot is a good solution. A chatbot is a personalized way of automatic answering. A chatbot often has a name, as in the image above. If you send "Guus Geluk" a message you will receive an automatic response from "Guus Geluk". Now we know that this is a cartoon character, but it can also be used for an "Anne" for example. It does not exist, but it does have a face and responds to questions as if it were actually a person of flesh and blood. Such a system generally works well, provided that it is properly set up. If "Anne" responds to "Every question or comment" with "Sorry, but I did not understand this question, do you want to reformulate it?"
Take opportunities with Generation Z
Generation Z means "today's youth". Young people born since the turn of the century. They are now teenagers who are at the start of their social careers in 2018. They come from high school and go to study or in some cases work and learn. This generation is of great importance for you as an entrepreneur. It is a generation that grew up with the internet and their smartphone. They cannot imagine a world in which all this did not yet exist. This results in the following 'special treatment':
- I'd rather be online. They think emailing is a hassle, calling to get information takes way too much time. It must all be quick and hassle-free.
- Fast. If you order something, it must be delivered the next day, if you ask a question you must receive an answer within one hour. And no, that is not always possible, but it is slowly becoming the standard.
- Visual. Young people of today, the Gen Z generation, are focused on image and less on text.
- Snapchat rather than Facebook. They are aware of their environment and prefer to sit on social media platforms where they will not meet their parents and grandparents. Use this knowledge and respond to it.