Social media and how users interact with it is always in a state of flux. It can be hard for businesses, whether big or small, to keep up with the latest developments and trends in regards to B2C social media.
You want to use social media to reach your customers and consumers in general and get your message out there effectively. And your instinct is not wrong.
In 2015, 46% of web users look towards social media when making a purchase. Also note that 3 in 5 small to medium businesses say they have acquired new customers via social media. Big businesses are also trying to reap the benefits of big business marketing. For example 83.8% of big luxury brands have a presence on Pinterest. Marketers are firm believers in the power of social with 70% of business-to-consumer marketers revealing they have acquired customers through Facebook.
70% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through Facebook.All this points to how social media brings in new customers and sales. Here we go over the major B2C social media trends which have emerged so far in 2015.
Vlogging is the New Blogging
Where consumers used to go to blogs for unbiased reviews and advice on products and services, they are now increasingly turning to vlogs. Vlogs – or video blogs – are an increasingly popular advertising channel for large and small brands.
But note that consumers don’t want slick, polished and jargon heavy advertorials masquerading as vlogs. Instead they want human-centered, unpolished, consumer generated content which in essence tells them the ‘truth’ about a brand and its products or services. So when creating your vlog try having guest consumer testimonials and do not over-produce the content and remember to post content on YouTube regularly to foster engagement.
Even consider approaching popular vloggers with free product/services give-aways in exchange for reviews. For example consider Sandi Bali who is a nail polish/beauty vlogger with 2.1 million subscribers for her YouTube channel or Michele Phan who vlogs about beauty products and received 56 million views for a single video. If you are a cosmetics company then being featured in one of these vloggers’ videos would get great exposure for your product/brand. Most popular vloggers have a personal website through which they can be approached for a review and many are open to doing endorsements.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram target the masses, with everyone being encouraged to join and engage. While these sites are still very popular and a large segment of the consumer population continues – and will continue to – be on them there is a new trend emerging. Newer platforms like Fitocracy and Foodie are rising which cater to interests rather than everyone. Foodie for example is a place for chefs and cooks to share recipes while Fitocracy is for work-out enthusiasts share work out plans and discuss fitness related topics.
These types of platforms will bring together consumers in accordance to their hobbies or interests. For businesses this is important as these types of online communities provide you with you with your target audience in one place. For example if you are a fitness equipment provider see if you can do some guests blog posts on Fitocracy. Find the online communities that speak to your products and services and engage, engage, engage.
Paid Over Organic
In 2015 there will be no shame in paying for social media users to view your content. Facebook for example has started prioritizing their promoted posts feature to help businesses to increase their outreach.
Similarly Twitter provides Twitter cards which businesses use to attract consumers using both visuals and tweet copy. In addition Twitter’s promoted tweets have started attracting more users with each quarter. Brands should approach social media as they would traditional media – with money.
Brands needs to stop seeing social media as a free tool and now approach it as they would advertising on traditional media – with money. It’s important to now think about the relevant audience segments and their needs/wants and then pay to access these audiences with promoted content.
With these B2C social media trends in mind you too can reach the right customers, at the right time with the right content!