Though the traffic from the big social media platforms is harder to get without paying for ads – they’re still the reigning supremes of the social world. Facebook gets an estimated 19.2 billion visits a month. Those are some seriously impressive numbers that cannot be ignored.
With that said, it doesn’t mean you should lay all of your eggs in one basket. The newcomers are blazing trails that are catapulting brands and personalities to great heights. The rise of TikTok has shown that there’s a place at the table for newer platforms.
Development is a core component of technology that is always improving. I’ve pulled together 7 huge social media trends that will guide you to the best practices to get the most out of your channels and where you should be focusing your strategy next.
1. Organic Reach is Declining
In order for the big social media companies to make money they have been reducing the organic reach of posts since 2015. The only way to get content seen nowadays is to pay for an ad.
Text updates and static images used to be the main form of communication on Facebook. Now they’re competing with the likes of Netflix and major TV networks, Facebook has shifted its attention to video content. By posting video on the platform they’ll reward you with more visibility. This is the best way to get organic reach right now. Still, to get the best ROI on Facebook video, you’ll still need to pay to be seen.
The use of chatbots on social platforms is seeing a rise in engagement too. Using a service like MobileMonkey to create a free bot that responds to Messenger messages with custom links to your sales sites and frequently asked questions. This is a great way to extract information from your page visitors and convert them to buyers.
So while Facebook and Instagram want more money to show your content, it is still worth using the platforms because of the sheer volume of people visiting them daily. If you’re giving your time to these platforms then it’s best to hit the live button or play around with regular video content.
2. Ads Prices Will Go Up
Supply and demand for advertising space is a very real conundrum. In 2017, Facebook had more advertisers than inventory meaning the demand was higher than the supply which caused the CPC (Cost Per Click) and CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) rates to increase.
With more and more businesses dedicating larger sums of money to digital advertising spend we’re seeing the cost of ads go up. More people are competing for the eyes on the platform.
Without a budget for advertising, musicians will struggle to maximize their presence on Facebook and Instagram. What does that mean? Well, more time needs to be invested where the organic reach is still plentiful and monetization hasn’t overtaken.
3. Niche Platforms
Niche platforms such as Reddit, Twitch, Twitter and Music LinkUp (a sort of LinkedIn for musicians) are very popular but still can be utilised to build large followings without having to max the credit card for visibility.
I recently joined Music LinkUp and the amount of networking and access to key people in the industry was impressive. The activity and growth is very high because there’s much less spammy, unrelated content. Remember, we are moving away from mass marketing and over to tribe based marketing.
Artists like J Cole and Deadmau5 are very active on Reddit because their audience hangs out over there. Digging deep through the endless niche threads, it’s easy to find tribes of users sharing content related to specific areas. It’s also a great place to find content to repurpose on your channels.
If you’re a gamer then Twitch is the platform for you. If you game or produce music you should be investing your time in the platform. Connecting with audiences with a similar interest to you is the ultimate way to bridge fans to your personality.
Investing in the platforms that are more niche means you will receive a better ROI as there is less spam and fewer people hanging out who are not relevant to you and your brand. Investigate different options and see where you match the most and start building a following.
4. Use Stories
The temporary story functionality is popping up EVERYWHERE. Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook; now even Spotify and Youtube are launching their own. This format of communicating has increased by 1400% in just 5 years. All while our attention span is decreasing. Match made in heaven, right?
Use your Story as a place to show your ‘behind the scenes’ content, your creative process, your personal vlog snapshot and whatever interests you on a daily basis. Make your posts interactive with polls or Q&As to encourage engagement. After all, Instagram rewards users that have a lot of engagement on their posts.
Stories can sometimes generate more views than content posted on the feed. And if you have an account with over 10,000 followers, you’re able to add links to your stories and guide visitors out of the platform and on to your sales/streaming sites.
5. Social Commerce
Social ecommerce is when social media platforms are used to make a more personalized and targeted in-app shopping experience for customers. Simply put, it brings ecommerce functionality directly into social media platforms.
Examples of social commerce platforms and social commerce sites include Facebook and Instagram business retail store pages where users can browse and shop without leaving the platform, or buy buttons on Twitter and Pinterest.
Engagement on social media can lead to increased website traffic, a better pool of audiences, better customer retention and high growth capabilities. Social commerce is booming because it’s easy to use and accessible.
6. Exclusive Content
During the pandemic we’ve been allowed unprecedented access to musicians performing online for free. Everybody has been going live and giving away lots of content for free. As the world has turned to live streaming and video conferencing, it’s become the new normal rather than a scary concept for some.
As artists realise that the effects of the coronavirus will likely keep them at home for longer, they’re realising that live streaming is not creating any revenue. Now is the time to start creating products online. Think of the Nipsey Hussle $100 mixtape. Create exclusive content for a limited amount of people. Test out a few different ideas and see what works.
Deadmau5 created an entire platform that was an exclusive members portal where he’d share exclusive content and pulled together everything Deadmau5 in one easy place. You’d still need to continue producing content for your other channels but work out what you can make exclusive. Less is more, sometimes.
7. Video Content Will Dominate
As I’ve already mentioned above, platforms are switching their focus to video content. Audiences prefer to consume video content as it requires less attention from their part and is much easier to watch than reading a blog post.
When your attention is caught by a video, which is a lot more often than a blog post, you’re much more likely to spend extra time on the platform. The more time you spend on a platform, the more chances they have to show you ads. Making money is the aim of the game!
As the competition hots up between traditional TV and online platforms; the digital world is soon to be powered by video. Offering content creators better visibility, increased engagement and preferential treatment for new features; it’s easy to understand why more people are producing video content for their brand.
Just look at TikTok as an example – video production has reached new possibilities thanks to the in app features that makes creating funny, entertaining videos a breeze to make. Social media is turning us all in to pro video creators. Those who learn the tools and find the right formula/format for video will be the future successes. Connecting with your audience has never been easier to share value has never been better.
So, social media is here to stay but in ever-changing versions. The rise of niche platforms is giving musicians easier access to the right kinds of people to build their followings. It’s these niche social medias that aren’t asking for ad spend which makes it a smart choice for low budgets. Funnel some time and money into the future of video and learn how to integrate your products with your channels to be on top of the future digital trends.