LET’S LOOK AT WHAT’S IN AND OUT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS FROM 2016 TO 2017:
As we bid farewell to what is perhaps one of the most conflicting years in modern history, we turn our attention on 2017 – a blank canvas for new designs and history-making moments. We’re also getting ready for 365 days of pure awesomeness – but for our journey, we often prepare and scour the Internet for resources and trends to look out for, in terms of digital marketing.
According to a report from Simply Measured, there are several trends that were hot last year, but not so relevant now. Some have evolved along with consumer behaviour, and, with the way 2017 looks like for social media marketing, we felt that interior design and contemporary art brands should also pay attention.
Social media is constantly changing and evolving, and it often does so at an incredible speed – which is why trends also change in order to keep up. We never thought that was a bad thing, though. It’s good and healthy for any brand to stay on its toes, to keep experimenting, testing and challenging the audience on its journey to attract consumers.
Art and design brands are fickle things, with a particular audience and a certain sensibility that doesn’t always work well with the tech side of things. However, one thing is undeniable: social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools that can unlock a fantastic potential for these brands. The core concepts behind social media work the same way as for other industries – so do yourself a favour and read through the following points in order to get a better grip of what’s coming to social in 2017.
ADVERTISING MONEY IS BEING FUNELLED INTO GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK:
According to a KPCB report released earlier in 2016, 76% of Internet advertising growth in the USA alone belongs to Google and Facebook – and it keeps rising. This growth basically proves that brand awareness truly grows when effort is central to search and social strategies – if it weren’t, brands wouldn’t be investing this much money into Google Search and Facebook advertising.
The same goes for non-paid social as well. The only thing you need is to understand how to leverage your content (i.e. website pages, landing pages, blog etc.) on social media, in order to increase your brand’s search rankings.
Most importantly, focus on identifying which of your content, from both social and web, performs best for your brand as far as business revenue is concerned? What stands out? What gets the higher click-through rate? Put that under the spotlight and don’t be afraid to boost it on social networks like Facebook, it’s an investment worth making.
AD-BLOCKER USAGE IS GROWING:
As social advertising budgets grow, so is the usage of ad-blocker. More and more Internet users are turning to ad-blocking software in order to drown out the noise. Too many salesy posts on social media no longer work. In fact, they do more harm than good.
Focus on digital marketing this year, particularly on social media – this is where you can get creative with your design brand. You can disseminate well-made content. You can jump-start audiences into paying attention. And the best part? You can experiment with different strategies and tools until you find the perfect formula for your brand. So, make your content count, make your voice personal and engaging, and make sure you don’t sound like you’re trying to sell people something over and over again.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW TV FOR DESIGN BRANDS:
We all know it: traditional TV viewership is in freefall, and online streaming services are booming. The growth varies in percentage values from country to country, but the trend is crystal clear nonetheless – TV ratings are down by 40% among teenagers and 20+-year-olds.
YouTube, Twitter’s livestream and Facebook Live have done more for audio-visual communication and information than TV over the past year alone. Right now, there are more Facebook users in the world than TV owners. Social media has now become a true challenger to television to reach and engage audiences – and the major brands are well aware of it.
For 2017, look to social media’s cheaper and democratized disruptive streaming options for advertising – the aforementioned Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube – because they grant design brands better control of their content and better audience experiences. The added features, the studio—quality production value and direct communication with your audience are all part of a fantastic opportunity for marketing growth.
INSTAGRAM STORIES IS HERE TO STAY:
Last year, Instagram included Stories in its Explore feature. According to the social network, “more than 100 million people visit Explore every day to discover photos and videos from people they don’t yet follow”. The Stories feature is also personalised to the user’s interests and it was instantly seen as great competition for the existing Snapchat.
If you’re not using Instagram Stories already, you are missing out on a huge opportunity for brand awareness. You could reach an entirely new targeted audience by regularly releasing content on this free feature. Brand discovery works incredibly well on Stories, with more followers visiting your links – and you can further nurture these into sales, as well.
Instagram and other social networks have this unique and wonderful ability to impact prospects and clients alike in any of the stages of the buyer’s journey – from awareness to adoption and advocacy. Tap into it and unlock its potential – your design brand is highly visual, success is pretty much guaranteed.
FOCUS ON THE WHOLE PICTURE:
If you are measuring your social media marketing efforts’ success purely on engagement or vanity metrics, you’re not just missing out on great opportunities – you’re not doing social right. You need the complete picture in order to make informed decisions on any strategy you work with – you need to see everything, from conversations all the way to conversions.
As an example, a post might drive plenty of engagement (i.e. likes and retweets) but it isn’t generating any sales. Another post might be getting zero likes or comments, but that’s due to the fact that users are immediately inspired to take more meaningful actions – like clicking straight through and visiting your website.
Forget the guessing games and don’t let one positive or negative metric influence any of your decisions straight away – look at the whole picture if you want to harness the best results.
WASTING TIME ON THE WRONG PLATFORMS:
A common social media marketing mistake is spending time and money on the wrong platforms. If you don’t conduct a proper audience research, chances are you don’t really know which social channels work best for finding and engaging your potential clients. And so, you end up wasting both time and money where nobody is really listening to you.
Spreading out your marketing across several (or all!) social media platforms is not just time-consuming and expensive, it’s also inefficient – a good comparison would be the military term of “spray and pray”.
Instead of wearing yourself out and forcing your brand to swim upstream, find out which social networks your target audience prefers, and concentrate your marketing efforts there. Facebook, for example, has 1.71 billion active monthly users and is the largest platform.
If your design brand is mostly business to business, Twitter can be a great ally. Pinterest is where designers go for inspiration, so if your brand designs and manufactures interiors objects, that’s where you want to be. And so on. Just find out exactly who your audience is and where they mostly hang out, and go there.
Coshamie is a London-based boutique digital marketing agency that works exclusively with interior design and contemporary art brands, with a focus on great strategies – individually designed to grow brands and fit budgets. Our #EspressoBlog mirrors our commitment to, knowledge of and passion towards design and art. To find out more, have a look at our services or one of our case studies.