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Tools for businesses on social media are constantly expanding and this is something that we like to keep a close eye on. There are plenty of features that we know platforms like Twitter and Facebook are working on, but we won’t be able to use them until later this year.
One of these new developments is Messenger for Businesses. If you’re familiar with Facebook on a personal basis, you’ll know that Facebook Messenger is the chat system that the platform uses so that you can instantly send messages to your friends.
Facebook are opening this system up for businesses in an innovative new tool. In essence, it will give companies better contact with their customers and improve the communication that happens regularly between the consumer and the brand.
It will work in a very similar way to email in that you will be able to send receipts, send delivery information and even change orders on request. The only differences between email and Messenger is that it will seem more instant and direct for consumers - especially younger audiences or those who spend a lot of time on the platform.
As with all of these new tools, it will most probably be released in the US first so it may be a while before any UK-based businesses get to use it.
Our advice: Keep it on your radar because it may be a completely new way to connect with your customers.
For the past few months, Facebook have introduced auto-play on any videos uploaded to Facebook. This means that if your video appears on somebody’s timeline, it will automatically play (albeit muted). Whilst some people found it annoying at first - as with any Facebook change - everybody has just simply ‘gotten used to it’.
There have been reports that this new change has improved engagement drastically for video creators which means that if you have videos in your marketing collateral, you should upload these directly to Facebook instead of linking them from YouTube.
Data has also been circulating which suggests that Facebook gives these videos a significant boost in organic reach which means you won’t have to invest as much money into promoting these videos to your fans.
Our advice: Upload your marketing videos to the Facebook platform instead of linking to them from YouTube.
Live-streaming isn’t new - is it has been around for years now. Live-streaming is basically video content that is live. Many YouTubers and even celebrities have livestreamed performances or even just chats to their fans and it has given younger audiences a direct channel to communicate with their favourite singers or actors.
Live-streaming is starting to become popular with businesses now - and not just big businesses. Smaller and medium businesses have started to livestream thanks new technology that has allowed it to be cheap and easy - with the help of mobile apps.
Apps such as Meerkat and Twitter’s own Periscope (released in March) have made it easy for businesses to turn on their camera and stream an event - whether this is a shop launch, new products or they have a special event in their store.
Our advice: Consider livestreaming one of your next events to widen its marketing reach - demonstrations, promotions, interviews, FAQs etc.
One of Facebook’s developments over the next few months (or maybe the next year or two) is with publishing partners. It seems like Facebook wants to begin hosting content on the platform.
We’re not quite sure how they plan to make this work but we do know what if and when they do begin to host content, it will mean that any content shared from outside sources (including your own blog) is likely to have a much decreased organic reach and a higher price to promote it.
This may sound like bad news for anybody who uses content marketing in their strategy but it doesn’t have to be - so don’t stress too much yet.
Our advice: If your social media strategy mainly involves sharing content, begin to vary it up with questions, competitions and shareable images so that your strategy doesn’t take too much of a hit if this does happen.
We’re all probably aware of how popular mobile apps are these days - some of them stick around and some are popular for two months - but it’s a sign that mobile technology is more and more important. This is something we always say to clients and we always design our websites to be mobile-friendly.
Apps like Tinder and Pinterest have adopted ‘swipe’ actions in their interface. You swipe across the screen to see new content or do an action - and this is becoming more expected not only in apps but on websites too.
Websites with image and product galleries are using ‘swipe’ actions as ways to move between images / products and this is an interesting trend that we are seeing this year.
Our advice: Whilst ‘swipe’ actions may not be relevant to your website, we strongly recommending making it mobile-friendly for users visiting on their mobile devices.
Technology that we wear - what will they think of next? The Apple watch is released this year and we may see a new wave of technology fads involving clothing integrated with technology. But a recent survey has reported that 75% of Brits just don’t see how wearable tech will make their lives any easier.
Instead, more Brits are interested in technology that is integrated with the home. This may be apps that control the thermostat or entertainment systems. The same survey reported that 56% of Brits think that home technology will have a significantly positive impact on their day-to-day lives!
Our advice: Don’t do anything drastic to your marketing strategy in an effort to be ‘trendy’ with wearable technology - we’re not entirely convinced yet that it will last …
If you have any thoughts regarding Messenger for Business, livestreaming or even wearable tech - send us a tweet to @Statement!