6 Ways to Use Cutting Edge Technology in your Social Media Strategies
By Brian Lim
If you’re looking to reinvigorate your brand in 2018, social media is one of the best places to start. Your social media presence is one of the top ways that you can get the word out about your brand and business. In fact, it’s one of the largest customer-facing pieces of your digital marketing strategy, and it’s important to jump into the New Year with a solid game plan.
The key is to be on the cutting-edge of social media strategy instead of always late to the game. To get there, we recommend implementing these 2018 trends before your competition.
Social Media Chatbots
In 2018, chatbots will become the most common and best form of online communication between your brand and your customer. In fact, Gartner expects chatbots to power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020.
With a chatbot, you can use deep learning to alter how traffic flows to your website. They can communicate and perform basic tasks for you such as streamlining interactions, increasing engagement, facilitating purchases, providing content, and helping you connect with your consumers.
According to SM Marketing Platform, Facebook has reached an incredible 100,000 chatbots, and some brands have been highly successful. For example, Adidas chatbot got 2,000 new signups in just two weeks and Just Eat generated a 266% higher conversion rate thanks to its chatbot.
To get your company started, try one of these five Facebook Messenger bots today.
VR / Augmented Reality
You’ve probably seen VR or augmented reality everywhere recently: at the mall, online, and even on social media. In 2018, VR and AR are going to take over social media marketing. Already, you can see it with 360-degree videos that let users transport themselves into a video — see Pentatonix’s Up on the Housetop video. And that’s just the start.
The best way to use VR is to use it to create a customer experience where shoppers are able to try your product without heading into your store or bringing it home. One example is Estée Lauder’s LipArtist, which is a Facebook Messenger bot and a VR tool all at once. It lets users try on different shades of lipstick wherever they are. And it’s been a quite successful. So far, they’ve reached 1.3 billion daily users.
Engage with Your Community
Finally, you’ll want to use your social media presence to engage with your community. For example, Emazing Lights has a Face Melt Crew who shows up to various events and live posts from location. They share videos, Facebook live stream, and more.
This type of community engagement is vital to show that you care about your customers and that you understand what they want and who they are. To get your business involved, it’s important to attend industry events, host customer parties, and more. Then, share those activities on social.
Instead of using the typical stock photo sites to add images to your social media accounts, try adding a custom graphic instead.
For example, take a look at Califia Farms Instagram account. It’s filled with beautiful, custom images that perfectly represent their brand. These images also get great engagement considering they’re for a milk product and a smaller brand.
While on the other hand, Silk — their competitor — posts images that look a little more like typical stock photos and they receive less engagement even though they are a far bigger brand.
For all of my businesses, we do custom graphics for everything: mailers, website, printed flyers, business cards, etc.
Crowdsourced Video Content / User Generated Content (UGC)
Let’s be honest. Video is popular but expensive. By 2021, video is expected to represent 82% of all IP traffic, but it’s time-consuming to produce and expensive to get done right. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of your audience and use them to help you generate content.
People want to see videos, but they don’t need to see it directly from you. They are just as happy seeing and interacting with videos created by your customers.
Capitalize on your product niche, engage the community, and encourage them to share pictures or videos of themselves using your product in the scene for which it was intended. This is easier said than done, but once you get a few influencers on board, it’s much easier to grow the momentum and get more pople on board and sharing.
Social media can be used for more than just talking at your customers. It can be used to demonstrate your expertise within your industry and to connect with other influencers in the space. It’s this influencer outreach that will actually have some of the biggest impact on how you build trust with your customers, because while consumer trust is declining, influence is rising. Don’t take our word for it, check out these stats:
- 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers trust influencer opinions over traditional celebrities.
- 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
What’s the best way to collaborate with influencers?
There are many options, but one unique angle is to enter into a custom content creation agreement with another brand. For example, one of my clothing companies, INTO THE AM, collaborated with Think Lumi, a photoshop influencer, to bring its customers a unique collection of products called Dreamscapes.
These products utilize the influencer’s network to reach a wider consumer base.
Do you have a social media tip for 2018? Let us know in the comments.
Brian Lim is a serial entrepreneur who has bootstrapped three eCommerce businesses including iHeartRaves, Emazing Lights, and INTO THE AM, which collectively gross over $20M per year. He started out with $100 selling out of the trunk of his car, and was able to grow that into a 50+ person company. His companies have also been featured in the annual “Inc 5000” list for the past four years in a row.