Social Media Users Tango with New Numbers

By Lisa Travis | RE: vive | January 25, 2018

The 21st century marketer’s dream tool belt is currently undergoing yet another series of changes that bring both good and bad news for those social media butterflies.

New Facebook and Instagram algorithms mean another series of adjustments for all 500 million daily active users, especially the 48.8 percent of brands who rely on this personal approach to marketing to engage with customers and clients (Kit Smith, Brandwatch).

According to Forbes’ Keenan Beasley, all social media users can expect less organic media content and more paid ads gracing users’ social feeds. Beasley says that this new algorithm will trigger an even greater rise of influencer marketing among macro, micro, and even nano social media influencers that partner with brands.

Photo Credit Simon Steinberger courtesy of http://bit.ly/2ygmbaE

With this new marketing ecosystem, as Beasley calls it, there will be a learning curve for many companies as they find where they fit within this niche-focused algorithm. Beasley recommends that companies deeply understand the nuances of their brand or product’s ambitions in order to align with target audience sectors.

Brandwatch’s data collection show that half of all Instagram users follow brand accounts, which is more than on any other social site. Brandwatch also calculated that engagement is 10 times higher with brands on Instagram than Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter. By the end of 2017, Brandwatch had seen 416 percent growth in average engagement per Instagram post since 2015. But, if a brand is looking for more than just social interaction from their followers and loyalists, the Pew Research Center found that 19 percent of consumer purchase decisions come from Facebook, labeling the social networking cite as “most influential,” according to eClincher.

With the strong follower base already created by many brands as demonstrated by these statistics, business accounts should take Beasley’s advice for pairing down target audiences and taking a more influencer-focused approach to social media brand marketing. The story feature on Instagram has really picked up steam as an even more personalized way to reach followers. Stories can give followers a sense of connection with an account as they watch a sneak peek into someone’s life or a company “behind the scenes” as these snapshots with just a 24-hour lifespan are often less filtered than a standard Instagram post.

Photo courtesy of http://bit.ly/2nf6w8z

Now, Instagram’s latest update allows users to officially add GIFs to their stories. GIFs are “the internet’s favorite tool,” as Ted Kitterman of PR Daily put it. These short, repeating videos have become quintessential to the 2010s for summing up emotions and iconic moments. Instagram’s integration with GIPHY, a primary GIF provider, allows anyone with an account to make GIFs in real time with nothing but the app and a Smartphone.

This new feature is a bright spot in the latest social media updates giving brand accounts a great incentive or starting point to engage niche audiences. It also provides influencers another way to interact more personally with followers.

With Instagram and Facebook – the most influential social tools for brands – under one roof, Beasley says, “the future of social media marketing depends on how Zuckerberg chooses to regulate influencers.”

What do you think? Will Mark Zuckerberg be in control or do you predict users will continue to beat the system? Leave your comments below.

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