Just when you thought you had grasped Facebook, a basic understanding of Twitter and, at last, know how to upload a photo to Instagram, social media changed on you. In 2012, we learned that customers and brands that harness the power of technology will survive and flourish, while those who resist will perish. So, what emerging trends should you take notice of that can put your business ahead of the competition in 2013?
Online advertising works exceptionally well when it’s built on relevant content. Campaigns that focus on creating the most interesting or humorous content are typically more successful than any other type of online advertising. Content generated by a company, as well as customer created, and the tone can be informative or conversational depending on your audience. Providing valuable content keeps people coming back, increases trust in your brand and attracts visitors and links to your website
Let’s get visual
Do not ignore the use of images and visuals in your content creation and design. During the online content planning process, consider incorporating photographs and imagery that is compelling and shareable. In addition to your website, consider uploading on Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, which are all sources that drive sales and traffic online.
X marks the spot
In 2013, who in your target market doesn’t have a mobile phone? Better yet, how many of them own a smartphone? In this day and age, consumers are upgrading in order to take full advantage of the technology available and many are using location-based services to share their whereabouts with friends and locate real-time deals. One way to improve the return on investment on location-based marketing is to connect with service providers like Foursquare or Facebook.
Point and shoot
Creating and uploading video online is not a new phenomenon; nonetheless, what is novel about this medium is that it is almost everywhere you look. From the gas station pumps to elevators, the ability to reach consumers is abounding. If you want to increase your consumer interaction, then your 2013 social media plan must include valuable interactive video. Consumers rely on video to provide information that is not present elsewhere, making it a key component in shaping client perspective about a company.
Knowledge is power
Social media can do lots of things, but it’s not an automatic cash machine. Like any other marketing tool, it requires strategy and work. If your brand is going to invest in launching a social media presence then it is imperative you get educated on the various tools and methods that are available. Research social media training and or coaching services that will ensure you understand the lay of the land, if after taking the courses you decide that this is something better outsourced then find a reputable service provider and not a college kid or family member.
S. Lynn Cooper is a Washington, DC-based digital strategist and communications expert. Cooper is the founder and director of Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency that specializes in the creation of social and digital strategies and campaign management. Follow her on Twitter at @sociallyahead .