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VIDEO CONTENT THE COMMON DENOMINATOR

FOR A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

With the total social media reach now exceeding the 4.62 billion users mark across all platforms, brands need to be cognisant of the evolving trends in the social space to bolster awareness and sway the minds of consumers, or return to the days of the Nokia 2110, writes Ryan de Smidt, Content Specialist at Eclipse Communications.

Social media has become a staple in the brand playbook of today, and understanding the evolving trends and harnessing the potential of the various platforms is crucial to unlocking the brand growth numbers game. At the heart of brand growth is incorporating video content in the overall social media content strategy.

VIDEO CONTENT THE COMMON DENOMINATOR

FOR A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY

With the total social media reach now exceeding
the
4.62 billion users mark across all platforms,
brands need to be cognisant of the evolving trends in the
social space to bolster awareness and sway
the
minds of consumers,or return to the days of the Nokia 2110
,
writes Ryan de Smidt, Content Specialist
at Eclipse Communications.

 

Social media has become a staple in the brand playbook of today,
and understanding the evolving trends and harnessing the potential
of the various platforms is crucial to unlocking the
brand growth numbers game. At the heart of brand growth
is incorporating video content in the overall social media
content strategy.

 

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The recent addition of Threads to the fold – a platform that saw an unprecedented uptake with 30 million sign-ups in less than 24 hours, and 100 million users in under a week – is increasing competition in the social space. This means that brands need to focus their attention on garnering followers across the myriad of options that are now at consumers’ fingertips. 

Here are a few trends that brands can leverage to bolster their social showing:
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THE HOME OF AUTHENTIC USER-GENERATED VIDEO CONTENT

TikTok was recently ranked the second largest social media platform in South Africa, surpassing Instagram and challenging Facebook’s META for the number one spot. 

With TikTok usage increasing among marketers by 15% year-on-year, it is clear the platform is providing significant benefits to marketers. Amassing over 1.677 billion users to date and more than a billion videos viewed daily, it’s no wonder it has become a social staple for consumers to discover, and a key part of their path to purchase.  

As with the majority of social media platforms, consumers appreciate real and authentic content that they can resonate with – ultimately leading to a more engaged and loyal following. Influencer marketing and collaboration will continue on its upward trajectory as brands vie for high engagements, while user-generated content that is unique and creative will allow brands to leverage TikTok’s algorithm and benefit from higher prioritisation than others. 

Lastly, live streaming can allow brands to showcase new products, answer any questions that consumers may have, and engage with their audiences in real time.  

 

VIDEO VISUALS ARE A REEL THING

With more than two billion active monthly users, Instagram’s visual focus is the ideal way to show consumers that your brand is more than a faceless organisation. This is particularly important given that research shows that consumers recall as much as 65% of visual content after three days when compared to only 10% in the case of written content. 

As with all social consumers today, authenticity remains key to building a strong brand presence. Consumers want to work with people – meaning that brands mustn’t negate the people behind the brand. To accomplish this, highlight the team behind the brand as this will allow consumers to better relate to them. 

Posting short videos – such as on Instagram’s Reels feature – is important for boosting engagement, particularly as organic video posts enjoy around 40% more comments and likes than organic images. Adding to this, brand partnerships, or collaborations, have the potential to further expand brand reach and overall growth.

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X MARKS THE SPOT

With research suggesting that 49% of X users are more likely to recommend brands they follow, and 54% take action after seeing a brand mentioned in tweets, brands need to be aware of key trends to leverage the platform to their advantage. 

Brands should lead with authenticity, transparency and honesty to engage in meaningful conversations with consumers. Personalisation, too, is becoming increasingly important to create a sense of exclusivity that can lead to increased loyalty and consumer retention. This can also be achieved via the use of engaging and informative video content that can be shared, and thus, expand brand reach. 

Apart from the use of hashtags, ads, account verification, and the more recent Spaces feature that allows users to host live audio conversations, influencer marketing is the optimal route for those brands wanting to increase their visibility and maximise the human element of their messaging and values. 

THE PIONEER IN MODERN SOCIAL INTERACTION

Facebook remains one of the most highly used channels today. And with more than 1.98 billion people logging on daily, Facebook is still considered an indispensable tool in social media marketing. 

Apart from harnessing the growth of online shopping, the expansion of AR and VR technologies, and video content creation, there is an increased focus on privacy and security from both a Meta and regulatory perspective (think POPIA) that will see brands needing to be increasingly mindful of how they collect and use consumer data. 

Furthermore, improved features across Groups and Communities are providing new ways for users to engage and interact with one another. As such, brands need to find creative ways to create intimate experiences that will translate into increased brand equity, such as participating in discussions and hosting events. 

 

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DON’T LOSE THE THREAD

Reminiscent of an early X (formerly known as Twitter), Instagram’s Threads platform – sometimes referred to as the “healthy Twitter” or X’s clone – is stirring up attention after surpassing the 100 million users mark faster than the likes of Instagram, TikTok or even ChatGPT.

The text-based messaging app, which is owned and operated by Meta, is deeply tied into Instagram and allows users to follow the same people and brands they do on Instagram. As an alternative platform for brands to distribute real-time updates and a space to create and join public conversations, it is quickly gaining traction as the next big thing.

While still early in its adoption, Threads is said to surpass the capabilities of X, with users able to share posts that are up to 500 characters long, add links, and share up to 10 photos and videos that are up to five minutes long. 

LINKING UP WITH THE PROFESSIONALS

With brands having access to a pool of over 922.3 million users to tap into, gone are the days of LinkedIn being a simple job search platform. It has evolved to become a mainstay for brands to network and establish thought leadership in their respective industries. 

For those brands that have amassed a sizeable following, social selling through the use of compelling stories that are both educational and entertaining and crafted around the needs of their followers, will allow them to build meaningful relationships with these connections.

In terms of visual content, short-form video is becoming an irreplaceable form of content creation. As studies indicate that LinkedIn traffic generated a conversation rate of 2.74% – far higher than X and Meta at 0.69% and 0.77% respectively – the use of influencer marketing, particularly micro-influencers, will help brands differentiate themselves and connect with their desired audiences. 

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Is your brand in need of a social media strategy to help generate an authentic following that will convert to long-term sales? Or are you merely looking for a team of skilled advisors to boost your brand’s online presence? Send an email to info@eclipsecomms.com and one of our experts will be in touch. 

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