Social Media Predictions

Last December, Livres Canada Books held a webinar on global social media strategies hosted by marketing expert, Monique Sherrett. The webinar gave key insights into developing and employing social media strategies for a global audience, a high-level overview of current best practices in social media uses for publishers, including examples of successful international social media marketing strategies used by selected publishers and distributors, as well as a review of what is happening in social media in certain international markets. In today’s post, we share some of Sherrett’s social media predictions for the year ahead.

Whether social media are envisioned and employed as marketing tools or as publishing platforms in their own right, there is no escaping the significant role they play in global publishing today. Used by publishers for over a decade as a means of building and sustaining communities of readers, social media have evolved into powerful marketing and advertising tools, particularly with the advent of data analytics. In this new environment, social media platforms have become an essential tool for advertising titles and reaching new readers, with Canadian publishers and authors successfully using social media platforms to reach their audiences at home and abroad. Below we review some of Sherrett’s insights on how these social media tools will be used and evolve in the near future.

#1 Facebook Newsfeed is evolving to groups, stories, marketplace and private messaging

Facebook is experiencing a user trend towards digital detox that has pushed the platform to improve their users’ experience by focussing on posts from friends and family. Users will see fewer public posts from businesses and brands in their Newsfeed because Facebook wants to encourage meaningful interactions between people. Their algorithm is skewing for person-to-person interaction rather than person-to-brand, and the Newsfeed algorithm is no longer based on old signals and metrics for connecting people to posts. The current signals are much more heavily focused on the engagement and interactions that people have with content. Sharing is key in this new context, particularly posts or items shared in Messenger since this suggests that the content is especially worthwhile and that the one-to-one connection is highly meaningful. Thus, Facebook is more likely to overvalue videos and Groups vs. posts from Pages. Key metrics for Facebook include the number of comments, particularly those between users, and sharing posts, especially private shares within Messenger or WhatsApp.

#2 Twitter remains steady

If you are a publisher on Twitter, you are likely very happy with the traffic and e-commerce sales you are generating on this platform. Use https://analytics.twitter.com/ to track your mentions and branded hashtags, as well as what content is resonating and the number of impressions and engagements you are generating. You will want to use Google Analytics to help you track what’s happening when your Twitter audience arrives on your website. As with Facebook, you will want to focus on sharing and interactions on Twitter.

#3 Instagram organic reach and engagement will decline

Instagram is a fast-growing tool for increasing reach, especially among publishers. It is a rising star and Instagram Stories and IGTV are trending. Its popularity, however, means that more and more companies are turning to the platform to market their products. This means that there will be much more competition for attention on Instagram as more and more content is being generated, which will lead to a decline in organic reach and engagement. In this environment, tracking follower growth is still a good metric for tracking your success, but perhaps the best metrics are again those that provide insight into audience engagement, such as saves and comments.

Key Takeaways (see Slide 17 in Sherrett’s presentation slides provided below)

  • Time spent on social media keeps levelling out in some countries. Perceived negative effects of social media have some users seeking digital detox or turning to private messaging apps.
  • Facebook is still dominant but Instagram’s reach is growing.
  • Instagram’s organic reach will have an inevitable decline as brands will pay more to access the community they’ve cultivated.
  • Facebook is betting on its Groups as it aligns with connection and community.
  • Watching video on mobile is on the rise.
  • Podcasting is the new blogging.

Knowing how to employ video and the tools described above will be increasingly important for engaging audiences across different languages, time zones, and cultures. You can view a short video of Monique Sherrett discussing her predictions here, including solid tips on how to create social media content for video. For more information on—and strategies for—maximizing your social media strategies for international markets, visit our website to view a recording of the full webinar she hosted on global social media strategies back in December.

To learn more about social media marketing, check out Monique Sherrett ‘s one-minute marketing tips on YouTube.com or visit the Boxcar Marketing website at  https://boxcarmarketing.com/.

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03/10/2020 | Marketing