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Epicure Spring 2017

Social Media: The Secret To Success

Social media is now added on to the metaphorical to do list or the agenda of many peoples’ day. Swallowing up more than a quarter of time spent online and a third of all internet usage is now happening via mobile, according to Global Web Index’s (GWI) survey. With the average person spending 1 hour and 40 minutes a day browsing around 5 social media accounts belonging to them.

The prominence of social scanning is time-consuming, you can expect your customers to spend a majority of their time seeking beautiful imagery, inspiration and ideas. Capture this audience by creating content that insights interest and reaction gaining a following who must go further and purchase your offering. With social media, people spend less time dedicating specific hours to planning their holidays as they have created a bucket list of inspiring pictures and therefore locations they dream of going to. People are no longer searching for a holiday, they are now searching for inspiration.

With this foundation in mind, for the daring and innovative amongst you, we have drawn together a list of the key social media trends you should consider before finalising your social media strategy for 2017…

Live Video

Instagram have just introduced live video, and Facebook continues to prefer live video in the newsfeed. Organisations should develop live video strategies and consider how it can tie into their existing marketing efforts. What events are happening at your hotel, restaurant or spa this year that could be translated into live video?

Brands can also use live video for customer service by hosting Q&A sessions, producing live tours of a hotel, or demonstrating a new hair style or spa treatment. This feature of your strategy will increase engagement, enabling a try-before-you-buy mentality; ask for comments, questions, and feedback from the audience.

360-Degree Photos & Videos

VR headsets will boom in 2017. The new flagship Google Pixel phone comes with built in VR capabilities and ties in with the completely affordable Daydream headset capabilities. Facebook has also started accepting 360-degree photo uploads. Soon you are going to be seeing brands and people posting tons of 360-degree media. Very affordable 360 degree cameras, £200 to £300, also make this media really possible to do well at low cost.

Data and CRM

I’m always amazed at the data we have at our fingertips when it comes to Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, as well as Twitter analytics. This is set to get more detailed and insightful in 2017. Organisations should really spend time to see how many new likes your pages or profiles get, really analyse what types and topics of posts do best. Dedicate yourself to taking more action based on data, and your social media presence will only continue to grow.

Ephemeral Content

Disappearing content started with ephemeral stories on Snapchat, and its prominence has spread to Instagram with their story function and other platforms. Traditionalist marketeers will be reading this yelling at the screen, thinking why on earth would my brand want to spend time posting comment which disappears seconds later. There is a point though, yes traditional pictures will always have their place, however creating a personality or an alter-ego of a brand creates an authentic picture of your brand. For instance, for many 5 star hotels, the pictures on the website will be their best shots. Using Snapchat and Instagram Stories helps give a well-rounded impression of the brand which will in turn, if the property pictures well without filters bring in a more hesitant audience.

Messaging Apps

For many, the likes of Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and WeChat are simply for engaging and communicating with friends, but this year is set to see a surge in customer services adopting this method to communicate with clients. Instead of being placed on hold, with what is generally terrible, poor quality audio will be a thing of the past.

These apps provide a much more efficient and fast way for customers to get the assistance they need. As well as being more time efficient for the client, its more scalable and cost-effective for businesses. By improving customer services, brands evolve faster and keep a high retention rate of returns to their service.

Social Media E-Commerce

The large social media platforms are now offering ways for clients to buy products directly within their apps. With over 50% of consumers using some form of social media to browse for new products and sales, maximising on sales on all platforms has never been more paramount.

Influencer Marketing

Another way to cut through the noise in social media is to partner with influential users. It’s important to put just as much commitment to time and energy cultivating influencers (movers and shakers) as it is your customer base.

Getting the attention of someone that has never heard of your brand before gets more and more difficult every year. Securing influential advocates to share your service is critical.

The rise of influencer marketing will make this shift even more imperative for brands that want to get on the radar of busy experts. There are a variety of tools that exist today, and many that I’m sure will be developed in the coming years that provide helpful insights into the habits and minds of your social media audience.

Change

One important thing to remember is that the social media world is constantly changing, and the pace seems to be constantly becoming more rapid. It’s important to stay on top of current trends and changes so that you’re not left behind. Companies should adopt more training and development of their teams to ensure you take advantage of the changes quickly.

Spring 2017

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