Successive changes in Facebook and Instagram algorithms have tended to significantly reduce the reach of business posts. So, to optimize your organic communications, build brand awareness, build community loyalty and achieve your goals, being aware of the latest Facebook and Instagram trends is essential.
So what should your brand focus on in the next upcoming months?
1. Facebook Groups to Increase Loyalty and Personalization
Since 2018, Facebook has been launching new group-related functionalities. For example, business pages can now be part of a Facebook group in the same way a personal account can. The creation of the “Super Fan” badge given to fans who engage most with a business page also shows Facebook’s commitment to fostering a privileged relationship between brands and users.
Creating one or more groups to engage with your community has many benefits:
- Communicate directly and easily with page subscribers
- Bypass the Facebook algorithm that affects the reach of organic publications
- Get feedback from your community
- Establish an efficient customer service
Users expect, more than ever, personalized experience from brands they love. Adding your “VIP” customers to an exclusive Facebook group to announce unique promotions, is a great way to do so.
Aaudience segmentation is as important on Instagram now: the “Close friends” feature allows users to only show their stories to a predetermined group of followers. It creates a sense of exclusivity that contributes to an increase in engagement and loyalty. This feature can be used by brands to test a new product or announce a private sale. But, we’ll come back to this later on.
2. The Rise of Instant Messaging
More than 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month worldwide! Instant messaging has become a massive part of users’ lives in the last few years. Mobile messaging even tends to overtake social networks – the number of active users on messaging platforms is growing at a face pace. Instant messaging is extremely useful in a marketing mix, especially when it comes to offering efficient and personalized customer service. Because, when customers are looking for answers, they want them now.
So, brands should have a strong community management strategy in place to respond to messages as quickly as possible. Chatbots are a great way to help brands manage conversions and respond to customers in a timely manner. The chatbot can, for example, allow brands to answer frequently asked questions or give advice to customers.
Chatbots have many benefits, such as:
- Contribute to customer loyalty
- Offer 24/7 support
- Facilitate the buying process
- Improve the traceability of conversations across channels (use tags and UTM)
- Reduce costs
Chatbots aren’t widely used by companies, as of now. Including one in your strategy might set you apart from your competitors. By 2020, chatbots will account for 40% of mobile interactions. Implementing a chatbot right now might give you a head start.
Chatbots facilitate conversations and reduce friction in brand/customer exchanges. That being said, make sure that the flow of questions and answers meet your objectives and the specific needs of your target audience.
If the implementation of a chatbot isn’t in your current roadmap, you might want to change your mind and focus on instant messaging. In 2020, even more so than in 2019, they will become tools for loyalty and conversion. If you would like to start building a content strategy around instant messaging, we can help!
3. Users Expect Authenticity and Transparency
2018 and 2019 were important years for popular social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. As you probably know, Facebook has faced pressing issues related to security and privacy. And, as new rules and regulations emerged, it left companies no choice but to review their practices regarding the protection of their customers’ data.
According to Sprout Social, 55% of users believe that brands are not transparent in their social media communications. Companies must work to regain their users’ trust. This involves creating content that will focus on your company’s values, providing regular updates or giving a behind the scenes look at your brand’s daily activities.
4. Facebook and Instagram Stories Are the Way to Go
Snapchat heavily influenced other major social networks when it comes to Stories. This trend has been increasingly popular in the last year and should take even more space in the digital world in 2020. Facebook and Instagram have developed new features to make stories more interactive and appealing to users. YouTube and Whatsapp are also working on launching new features for stories as well.
The cool thing about stories, especially on Instagram, is that the new algorithm doesn’t limit a brand’s visibility or reach. Which means stories are capturing the attention of a larger audience compared to feed posts.
There is also a new “Chat” sticker that can be added to stories. This sticker creates a discussion group when subscribers opt-in. Again, this new feature is a great way to segment your audiences and offer exclusive promotions or beta-tests to highly-engaged followers.
Also, Instagram is about to launch a new, more user-friendly interface to create stories. We are really excited to see what it looks like!
Whether you want to offer new content to your followers or bring users to your website with the “swipe up” function on Instagram, stories are a great way to achieve your objectives. Note that the “swipe up” feature is only available for accounts with more than 10,000 followers.
5. Your Employees Are Your Best Brand Ambassadors
Influence marketing has become incredibly popular. But, sadly, the explosion of branded content’s popularity among brands also led to an increase in fake influencers. These unreliable accounts tarnish a brand’s reputation and dilute the brand’s advertising budget.
In light of those events, brands have turned to micro-influencers (from 1,000 to 500,000 followers) who have a smaller, but a more engaged and loyal community. In that case, influence marketing can be a winning social media strategy.
Another alternative to micro-influencer campaigns is to turn your employees as brand ambassadors and local influencers. Encourage your employees to share their work experience and create content on social media to increase your brand visibility in a very authentic way. And, above all, your employees’ subscribers are often family members or friends. Users are more likely to trust a product that is recommended by a relative than by the company itself. To encourage this type of communication, give your employees pre-made content that’s easy to share and respect your brand image and values.
The Future of Social Media
For 2020, focus on interacting and engaging with your community. Social media users are, more than ever, looking for transparent and authentic content from brands they love. Posting frequently is a great first step, but implementing a content strategy that will bring added value to your followers is the real goal.
Expect big launches and new updates in 2020. Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are likely to be center stage in the upcoming months. We can’t wait to see how social media platforms will evolve and find new ways to innovate.
Learn more about our community management and content creation services here.
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