We at eClincher thank you for a great year in Social Media and for helping engage so many people around the world, and making it a smaller and cozier place to be :). And by all signs, 2019 is going to be as exciting as ever. According to a recent report from Global Web Index’s on the Social Media Market, 98% of digital customers are social media users and the average time spent on social media is 2.22 minutes – going as high as 4.11 minutes in countries like the Philippines (.11 more minutes than in 2017). And among this digerati across all age groups, users have on average 8.5 social media accounts, with Facebook, YouTube and Instagram leading the pack of top social media platform (excluding messenger apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp). Social commerce stays strong as well – 42% of users say they use social media to research new brands or products.
The numbers points to the still-growing power of social media on how we engage with each other – personally, professionally, and commercially. The power is fueled by the continued global proliferation of smartphones – between 2012 and 2017, shipments grew on average 16% per year – nearing saturation in developed markets. This means that access to social media is more immediate and ever more prevalent. And in particular, the Millennial or Generation Y (born between 1977 and 1994) and Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2012) segments demonstrate greater social media marketing receptiveness – 29% of Millennials and 34% of Generation Z prefer social media as a way for Brands to reach them. Key developments that we see emerging or continuing into the new year are around: 1) discoverability 2) democratization of commerce 3) 1:1 relationships with customers and 4) content is still King and Queen. And 5) the final trend being that Social Media Marketing platforms are going to become more central to an effective and modern marketing strategy and plan.
It used to be that succeeding in online business and commerce was about SEO optimization – which of course was of tremendous impact when Search was the main way people interacted with the Web. Now with social media, and the growing number of people all around world getting online and having social media account, discoverability is largely defined by the virality thanks to the online crowd. When you go to another city you haven’t been to, you will be more likely to discover a restaurant or find a dentist recommendation through the voice of these establishments in social media – whether that’s Facebook, Google My Business, or other channels. And the discoverability is reinforced by your network who endorse or recommend the establishment.
Before, it used to be the brands that had a great website and maximized SEO that were able to reach, convert and engage an online audience. With the growing influence of Social Media, small and/or unknown brands can now have as much of impact as the big brands. Given the smaller nature of the world with the internet and the social media influence that creates the shortest distance between users and brands, it means that the smaller brands also have a much greater TAM (total addressable market). So the artisan popcorn shop in Berea, Kentucky now can reach, convert and engage with popcorn afficianados in Lisbon Portugal, and all parts of the globe. And the greater its social media presence, the greater its discoverability and opportunity to expand their business through the network effect of social.
1:1 Customer Relationship
Before the internet and social media, once brands earned your loyalty, there was a stickiness that brands could lean on. However a study by Inc.com shows over 70% would retract their loyalty more readily than they would 3 years ago. Scott Cook, Founder of Intuit, says it best:
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
The same study showed that brands need to work harder to retain loyalty from 78% of millennials. And 38% of Millennials would switch their loyalty if influenced by friends or family. Customers (consumer and business) just have too easy of an access to alternatives based on what their whim dictates – from price, to reviews, to preference based on peer choices. We live in an era where loyalty has to be constantly earned – through direct engagement with customers/users or through brand advocacy in social media networks.
Content Still King and Queen
With the continued growth of use across many different social media channels depending on the geography and age segment, the fight for mindshare and attention is ever fiercer. The most effective weapon in this fight is still content – with a greater piece of the content pie veering to visual content. Pictures and video. No surprise that YouTube beats out Facebook if we narrow the measurement of social media popularity to users who have visited or used the service in the last month. It’s the only major social service to have more people visiting than those who are a member. Meanwhile 56% of internet users outside China have watched a video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram in the past month. Instagram which heavily uses photos and images hit 1 billion users in 2018, from 800,000,000 the year before, making it the fastest growing social network.
A Social Media Marketing Platform is your BFF
As the Millennial generation becomes the dominant segment of the workforce starting in 2019 (1.72B in size), their spending power will continue to increase. And they soon will be joined by the Generation Z (2.52B in size) as we get into the 2020’s. All this means that these trends will continue to expand making it critical that business not only establish a digital presence, but also a voice and community through social media networks. And with the ever increasing reach of social media, and the constant changes and evolution of the networks, taking advantage of social media marketing platforms is a no brainer. They help you manage all your social media posts, interactions, analytics, content, etc all in one place. And they also stay on top of the constant tweaks the networks are making so you don’t have to. We know how much work it is just to run your business. Using these tools will help you rest easy and be productive with your valuable time.
We’re excited for 2019, and the team here at eClincher will be working hard to continue delivering the best social media management platform possible. Try us out for free and tell us what you think! We will help you navigate the inevitable changes ahead by the networks, and engage you as powerfully as possible with your users. With tools like auto-queueing your posts, to managing your social inbox, to having access to on-point content for your messaging, to engagement analytics – our commitment is to provide you easy to use tools that maximizes your social impact and optimizes the process so that you get more time back to each day of the 360+ days ahead!