It’s a scary statistic, but 45% of the world’s population are using some form of social media. User numbers in 2020 have topped previous predictions, exceeding 3.484 billion users. A quick look at these numbers might suggest that social media shows no signs of slowing its growth. However, recent studies conducted in the UK have made it clear that adults here are now choosing to cut back on social.
Yep, you heard that correctly. Globally social media usage is on the rise, but in the UK we are currently experiencing a digital detox. According to a recent Tech Tracker report, the percentage of UK adults accessing social networking sites has steadily declined over the past year.
Fear not social marketeers, social isn’t going anywhere. Social media experts need to be wary, however, that the reach, impressions and engagement of their posts may be affected. With this in mind, traditional tactics on the platform will need to change. We touched on this in our recent Social Media Predictions blog, but we are going to delve into it further here.
How will the UK’s digital detox impact on marketing strategy?
While there are numerous reasons people are choosing to take a break from social media, the top two are as follows:
- People feel overwhelmed by constant sales messages across all platform
- A overall lack of trust in the platforms
So, how should brands combat this? We think it stems down to two things, building brand trust and providing personalised, meaningful content that people want to engage with. How do you do this? The answer is simple… ish.
First, understand your customer better and ensure you are doing everything you can to target them
If you want to keep your customers engaged with you on social media, you need to understand exactly who they are. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google Analytics provide ample amounts of information for you to be able to identify exactly who your audience is. So use them. Then make sure those insights inform the demographic you target with all paid and organic social content. This works on many levels. Firstly, it has to inform the content you create and then the people you disseminate that content to.
In a world where people are starting to lose interest in the usual tropes of social media, finding your target demographic is RULE NUMBER 1.
Second, don’t sell (at least not at first), start a conversation and build a community
Traditional forms of social activity are beginning to lose their effectiveness. There was once a time when advertising was new to social media and campaigns focused on sales worked on their own. Now, it’s essential that brands focus on winning their potential customer’s trust and forming a relationship before they introduce a sales message.
How do you form this online relationship?
- Prioritise having a conversation with customers, rather than pushing product.
- Use each of your platforms (particularly Instagram) as a place where your customers can share their experiences with your brand. Then make sure you ALWAYS respond and spark up a conversation.
- Consider starting a branded private Facebook group. These have been proven to be effective ways of tapping into your most engaged followers. Use this group to start a conversation surrounding your products and how the members use them in their everyday life. This is a highly targeted form of social communication, so we only suggest starting a group once you have a high following on your main page.
- Make the most of Twitter. Twitter has been shunned in the past few years as Instagram and Facebook have continued to dominate the social sphere. While user numbers have slowed in the past years, Twitter still remains one of the most important platforms for building trust online. In fact, 77% of social media users say they have a better impression of a brand when they receive a response to a tweet. With this in mind, prompt and on brand replies are the name of the game on Twitter.
So, where is social media headed?
In a world where our thumbs move faster than our minds, brands and agencies need to be constantly rethinking and restructuring their strategy. As is often the trend with social media, as one platform begins to lose its following, another one rears its head. The current move of Gen Zrs and millennials away from social may simply just be a slump before another platform takes over.
However, with people increasingly taking time out from social media, this is perhaps the perfect opportunity for brands to rethink their strategy, re-evaluate their target demographic and re-examine their means of communicating with their audience. A simple sales message no longer works, it’s all about building that trust.
If starting a better conversation with your customers and potential customers is a priority in 2020 – why not get in touch to see how we here at Brandnation Social can help your brand? Or check out some of recent Social Media case studies here.