By Terry Collins | Central Coast Access News
Social media has taken an interesting turn in how audiences view and consume content – and that means it’s time for your business to make some changes to its online presence, according to the team at LEP Digital.
Founder and director of the company Laura Prael said a 2019 social media trends report by software company Hootsuite showed audiences were beginning to question the value of information and data sharing following the 2018 Facebook Cambridge Analytics scandal, which affected 87 million users around the world, including 300,000 Australians.
“More than 3000 business customers were surveyed in the recent report, from both large entities to small businesses,” Ms Prael said.
“The results indicated a strong need for a social paradigm shift, as users are no longer appreciating or even noticing generic content being served to them.
“Audiences have developed a social scepticism to businesses online and 60 per cent of people no longer trust social media companies.
“This means the push for human communication online is needed more than ever. So businesses will do well to become more engaged, become more personal and encourage discussion among users and fans.
“Consider investing more time in live discussions on Instagram and Facebook.
“Test your products online, answer questions, talk to your audience, and address individuals. Go in depth about a topic that your audiences want to know about, answer questions and encourage responses to videos and articles. You can also begin discussions and forums in private groups relating to your brand.”
Ms Prael said maintaining credibility was key.
“When curating informative content such as product demonstrations and brand explainers, consider interviewing specialists in the field to input research and opinions on the matter,” she said.
She said 64 per cent of respondents had either implemented Instagram Stories into their social strategy or planned to do so in the near future.
“More consumers are embracing vertical content such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat stories, as the nature of the platforms is designed to be authentic and raw,” she said.
“These often short and personal pieces of content drive interest because of their fleeting nature. It is more important than ever to get creative with your ads by telling stories. Sponsored content is on the up,” Ms Prael said.
“But with this rapid movement in paid content, you must be more creative. To avoid consumers using ad blocking techniques, businesses need to create content that differs from the rest. Find your niche and run with it –whether that’s creating humour or other emotion,” Ms Prael said.
Ms Prael said while it was a great idea to release content online, creating a closed client relationship in a more personalised space was also important.
“Messaging applications such as Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype have found their place in the business world, as customers desire a more personal, private and safer buying experience in 2019,” she said.
“This means businesses need to incorporate tools such as Messenger to their business pages, as well as plugins that drive customers to messaging apps.”