A new report released by Hootsuite identifies a drastic shift in how people use social media, in large part due to several social media scandals involving Facebook and Twitter in 2018. According to the study, 60% of people no longer trust social media companies, and this skepticism has carried over to how people view social media posts from businesses. At the same time, a new Pew study shows that social media has become more popular than newspapers as a news platform among US adults. So, what exactly does this mean for your business?
The takeaway here is that there’s still plenty of opportunity for your business to connect with clients and customers on social media—it just requires a shift in how you do it. Here are the two keys we’ve identified specifically for small- to medium-sized businesses when it comes to social media marketing in 2019.
1. Know Who Your Customers Trust
Along with the widespread distrust of social media companies, people are also skeptical of promises coming directly from businesses on social media, particularly large companies that rely on celebrity influencers. Who do customers trust, then? According to the Hootsuite study, consumers trust their friends, family, close acquaintances, and local news sources.
If you’ve been diligent about fostering trust with your customers on social media throughout 2018, there’s a good chance your business already falls into that trustworthy category rather than getting lumped with questionable big businesses. Either way, there are several things you can do to help bolster your trustworthiness in the eyes of your customers.
- Ask your happiest customers to provide testimonials and share them online
- Repost positive customer reviews of your business
- If you get any positive local news coverage, make sure to share that too
- Make sure to post lifestyle photos of both your customers and your employees to remind customers that your business run by real people, right there in your community
ProTip: If you’re running a loyalty program through SpotOn, you can offer Spots to your customers for liking your page, liking your posts, and sharing your posts. Try increasing the number of Spots you offer for sharing posts to encourage your customers to share your posts with their close network of friends and family.
2. Take Advantage of the “Stories” Feature on Social Media Platforms
Beyond taking some tough PR hits, the major social media platforms have taken some positive steps to evolve how users can interact online, most notably with “Stories” that let people visually capture and share a moment through video or photographs. In fact, according to the Hootsuite study, “stories” are growing 15 times faster than traditional newsfeed-based sharing.
Since this is a fairly new development, it will require you to test out what sort of “stories” resonate best with your customers. The methodology is pretty straight forward: post different types of stories over time and see which ones get the most likes, comments, and shares from your customers. Once you determine what types of posts work best, stick with them. Here are some ideas you can test out and try for stories:
- Post a virtual tour video of new seasonal products or a specific category of products
- Post behind-the-scenes pictures and videos of you and your employees hard at work
- Post pictures and video that highlight your customers and how much they love your business
- Have fun and experiment with built-in “story” features, such as stickers, background music, and animation effects
- Incorporate creative ways to tell the story of what your business is all about
Need help planning a 2019 marketing strategy suited to your business? We’re here to help! Contact a SpotOn specialist. Not yet a SpotOn merchant? Get your free demo today to see how we can help you do more with less.