For many, one of the most daunting things about implementing social media marketing is keeping up to date with the latest developments in the industry. Channels, tools, apps, trends and tactics all evolve at lightning speed, so we’re here every month with a round-up of 5 things you need to know right now.

November (2018) was the month of Social Media Week London, all new Stories and an update on social shopping, here’s all you need to know…

  1. Social Media Week London, 2018

It’s the annual conference that brings all the big brands together to share an insight on what’s trending, what’s working for them and what’s coming next. Inevitably, marketers wait with baited breath to hear straight from the horse’s mouth as the platforms themselves take to the stage too.

This year Facebook addressed disruption in customer loyalty and opened with “77% of people are more likely to switch brands than they were 3 years ago.”

Photo credit: Social Media Week London

Facebook claims that customer satisfaction and brand loyalty is at an all-time low and as a result, smaller businesses are able to rival the big brands as consumers are spotting things in their news feeds that they didn’t know they even needed or wanted to buy.

Times are changing for online sales; immediacy has become the new standard and consumers are looking for a standout experience to stick with a business. Interestingly, 64% of people said they would choose messaging a business over picking up the phone or sending an email, indicating a new approach to marketing and sales is needed moving forward.

  1. Time to start spending

There was a stand-out stat shared at Social Media Week that couldn’t be ignored: The organic reach of social media content was at over 60% in 2014, but by 2019 it will be down to 15%.

That means that only 15% of your audience will see your content, unless you invest in social ads. For a small business that could mean that of the 2,000 people you’ve worked hard to attract to your page, only 300 of them could be seeing your posts.

This isn’t a sudden drop, organic reach has been declining over the past 4 years but it’s reached a critical stage where businesses are being tested on how serious businesses they are about social media marketing. Moving forwards, if you want to impact your bottom line, a social media advertising strategy is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a necessity.

  1. It’s all about Stories

Snapchat’s breakthrough ephemeral social media format caught the attention of other social media channels and it wasn’t long before Instagram launched their own version.

Now, Stories are rolling out across channels, with each finding their own take on the trend to suit their user demographic. Just this month we saw:

Photo credit: Techcrunch

  • Facebook rolled out a new ‘reactions’ feature on Stories
  • LinkedIn is rolling out a Stories equivalent for students and graduates called ‘Student Voices’, however these posts won’t disappear, they will eventually appear on the persons profile.
  • Similarly, Instagram is considering a Stories service for Schools where posts are manually reviewed to make sure the community is a safe space.
  • Instagram is testing a ‘promote’ feature for Stories to work as easily as Facebook’s ‘boost’ feature, providing businesses with an easy and instant advertising option.
  1. Speaking of Stories…

This month came to a close with the news of Instagram’s ‘Close Friends’; a new feature that allows users to easily share their Stories with just their nearest and dearest.

As Instagram networks become larger and broader, Close Friends will allow users to speak directly with their friends and keep some of their live updates within their inner circle.

  1. Pinterest continues to inspire

Often perceived to be the quiet relative of the competitive social media set, we’re firm fans of Pinterest and believe that it’s actually paving the way for many future trends. 

ASOS has shown that they feel the same way as they launched their take on the mood-board concept, Boards. In addition to saving wish list items, shoppers can now create boards to categorise their wish list; by theme, trends, season, gift ideas, whatever you so choose!

Instagram too launched a new shopping feature this month, not as closely related to the Pinterest mood-board, but instead allowing shoppers to save wish list items to buy at a later date in a bid to tackle to ever shrinking attention span of social media shoppers.