Social media is constantly evolving and is continuing to play a major role in any small business’s digital media marketing strategy. As Nathan Mendenhall opines, it is vitally important to have “a solid social media strategy [as it] will help you navigate towards business goals through the ever-changing social landscape”.
His commentary has hit the nail on the head. We are indeed living in an “ever-changing social landscape.” 2016 was a year where the social landscape changed immensely, from the recent political events, including racism, xenophobia, and social protests made, and continue to make, global headline news, to the way it influenced the way business and clients interact with each other. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
were the driving factors that helped protest organizers inform people about the details of the protests.
The impact of social media
Social media has not only made an enormous impact on the socio-political landscape in 2016, it has also changed the digital media marketing landscape. It has made a significant impact on the way businesses engage with customers and has also opened the doors for businesses to develop unique, creative marketing campaigns in order to attract new customers and retain existing customers.
However, 2017 is nearly over and we need to look forward to 2018.
The impact of social media on SME’s in 2018
According to Madame Clicquot, “the world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow… Act with audacity.”
One thing is certain – social media is here to stay and will play a major role in the way we market our products. As digital media marketing strategists, we need to ask ourselves what our customers are looking for and how can we persuade them to buy our products?
Here are my predictions for 2018:
Customers are looking for a vicarious experience.
They want to feel what it is like to be involved in an event. Live video streaming, 360-degree images, and real-time posting will immerse the customer in our brand. Facebook, Instagram, and Snap are great channels for posting real-time photos and video streaming. The best way to explain how video streaming can have a positive impact on our pro.
For example, I manufacture a brand of running shoes and I am wearing them to run a tough trail race. Customers want to know what it feels like to run up the side of a mountain and back down again so I attach a small video camera to my head and stream my race live as I run it. Viewers will feel both my pain during the race and my sense of achievement as I finish the race. Consequently, customers will associate my brand of running shoes with sheer guts and determination. This will encourage them to purchase my products.
Twitter’s star will continue to wane
Twitter seems to have lost its momentum as a social media platform. Its value proposition seems to have diluted to the extent that it is losing it’s impetus and it’s ability to play a meaningful role as an influencer. As a result, other social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and even Whatsapp have taken over.
I believe that Twitter still has a place in the SME’s digital media marketing toolbox; however, it is worth monitoring where Twitter as a brand will end up in 2018.
The evolution of Facebook marketing
“Facebook Marketing has become an integral part of any digital marketing strategy and it has revolutionized the way we look at the online marketing industry.” This is the opinion of Roshni Chhabria in her opinion piece entitled “Facebook Marketing Trends: What to expect in 2017.”
Companies from large corporations to SMEs are leveraging the power of Facebook marketing, allowing them to engage with their customers in a meaningful way. In a nutshell, Facebook is now seen and will continue to be seen as a powerful marketing tool. It is also important to note that new features are continuously added to Facebook so it’s a good idea to keep up to date with these new features and change your digital media marketing strategy to incorporate these new features.
The importance of Geolocation marketing
Geolocation marketing is on the rise and will continue to play a prominent role in social media marketing in 2018. In the case of a business whose values proposition is relevant to the local community, local advertising is more valuable to the business than global advertising.
You can use Google, Facebook, Instagram and geographical location advertising to alert the local community to your business offering.
Not only is social media marketing is here to stay, it will continue to play a major role in your business’s digital media marketing strategy. Embrace the changing landscape and use it to leverage sales and grow your business.