I saw this 2016 predictions and 2015 reminisce and I think it’s worth looking at especially for Social Media gurus.
Welcome to 2016! The year is predicted to offer numerous opportunities for the rise of smart and savvy business owners who will focus more on results rather than merely ‘taking their business online’.
If you fall in this category, you would want to know what worked in 2015, how businesses can go further in 2016, the implication for a business owner and how to allocate costs when drawing up a digital strategy budget.
I spoke with two social media experts, Ms. Osakwe and Ms. Njoku, on last year’s wins and losses in social media management of their clients’ accounts. Most interesting in the discussion was the alignment between their comments and predictions for the New Year.
If you are still considering how to approach your 2016 social media strategy, tactics and plan, these comments will be helpful.
Njoku: Facebook kept winning, especially the new video strategy that allows video to play immediately. Before, you would have to click or download videos before they played. But, the new video feed with automatic play makes it better by enabling videos to play on their own once you put your mouse on it.
We also discovered that videos that went viral were mainly videos with humour, especially ‘Nigerian humour’. Companies that collaborated with international digital agencies without local presence lost out. Digital marketing companies outside the country were unable to recreate interesting videos for the Nigerian market because they did not quite understand our type of humour. So, we (Nigerian digital marketing strategists) gained an advantage over them in producing, generating and sharing such content for our clients.
Use of Twitter celebrities also worked for many brands.
Osakwe: Facebook advertising and engagement worked. Instagram celebrity activation –that is, using celebrities to start some kind of competition or trend – also worked tremendously. For example, ‘front-lining’ a celebrity to run a competition for your brand is great.
LinkedIn also worked well for businesses by using content marketing to share useful information.
I would say that of all the social media platforms – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – were the most influential for our political candidates. Twitter was outstanding.
Osakwe: Our biggest loss was not being able to sell on the social media platforms. You have happy fans, who have seen your products on social media and are impressed but they want to buy there and then, which was not possible. The minute you direct them to another website channel to buy, you lose half of them.
My biggest lesson from 2015 was that the combination of offline and online tactics works best. For example, we had been running online campaigns for one of our cosmetic brands. It was going well but not great. The minute we did an exhibition (we did not intend to sell there and then), people started requesting that we sell. We sold successfully. Customers liked and followed our social media platforms immediately. It worked like magic!
As much as people want to see your brand on social media, they also want to access it physically. It works. Our engagement is more practical because we are not just talking to fans but also to customers.
Njoku: Virtual reality is another thing that will grow big in 2016. More videos will be in use to push campaigns. What this means is that businesses should focus more on creating original content.
Osakwe: Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram may want to consider including a business section where people can place an order on their platforms. It is just a thought; but it might happen in the future. You know that customers generally do not like to spend too much time on a single thing. They are flighty and make their decisions in haste.
I also think Instagram is going to get even more important for brands this year. More than ever, professionals will dissect your branding and advertising techniques on LinkedIn; so, we need to get it right. We should also focus on creating more videos that have the potential of going viral.
I think the use of Snapchat is on the rise.
Wikipedia definition – Snapchat is a video messaging application where users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings and send them to a controlled list of recipients. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their snaps after which Snapchat claims they will delete them from its servers.
Snapchat helps users create stories. Businesses can use Snapchat to engage with their audience real-time.
In conclusion, 2016 may just be an interesting year for savvy business owners who can read the handwriting on the wall. Content curation and channel mapping are kings.