Every month, Social Media Breakfasts (SMB) take place in a setting for like-minded professionals to share and learn about the latest in social media, over lots of bacon. The series returned for the first time in the new year with speaker Arik Hanson of ACH Communications, Inc. His topic centered on Social Media “Trends Du Jour” to watch in 2017, and his more realistic take on them.
Here are some takeaways from the talk:
- Less is the new more. With a large number of paid advertising options at our fingertips, it’s becoming less important for brands to be posting organically on a regular basis. In fact, Hanson pointed out, prominent brands like Oreo, Target, and Sharpie posted as low as 22 times in 2016. So the saying goes, quality is more important than quantity. Don’t post for the sake of posting!
- Don’t be afraid to use long-form content on short-form channels. We often assume that if we write a longer caption on an Instagram post, people will scroll right past it. Hanson combatted this by saying that people actually don’t bristle at reading more in app. Building up long-form content can be effective when done well and when the story is interesting enough. As Hanson said, “not every brand should be using poop emojis.” Tell a story!
- Instead of looking at influencers as a way to simply extend brand reach, engage influencers as freelance creatives to develop breakthrough, interactive content. Hanson brought up a recent Samsung example here, where the brand teamed up with snowboarder Casey Neistat to create a human-carrying drone. This broke through the clutter via an idea that, as Hanson said, Samsung likely wouldn’t have come up with without the help of Neistat.
- Utilize expanding ad options on Pinterest. Hanson described Pinterest as an underrated and underutilized traffic driver for advertisers, when up against the latest and greatest like Snapchat Spectacles. Promoted pins are driving double digit life across the funnel through awareness, traffic, and engagement objectives. Even if you don’t know if it’s right for your brand, still give it a try! You may be surprised with the results.
- Rather than expecting social media consolidation in 2017, it’s more realistic that there will be a slow and painful death of engagement—maybe even an entire social platform—this year. There is an increasing number of brands in the social space who don’t take the time to converse with their audience, and post comments and shares are getting tougher to come by. This is a scary thought, as engagement rate is a primary social media KPI for us here at FRWD. Some companies such as Vice are going as far as ignoring engagement altogether by removing the “comments” section on their website. It’s now more important than ever for us to focus on a brand community and creating quality, shareable content that provides value to the viewer.
- The pendulum will swing back to more authentic content. This may mean more social-ready photos—an approach Starbucks takes with less polished photography on their Instagram. This may also mean that, instead of the ever-hyped-up chatbot, there will be a focus on more personal communication in 2017. People will tire of automation, Hanson predicts.
We’re looking forward to starting off a new year in social media at FRWD with Hanson’s trend considerations in mind. Thank you to SMB MSP for another thought provoking breakfast, and of course, the bacon!