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Social Media Marketing Trends: A Look at How We Got Where We Are Today

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

Hashtags, emojis, pop culture references, and even slang. E-commerce retailers have likely tried all of these as a means to connect with consumers and to relate with them. Social media marketing trends are difficult to ignore, and sometimes, hard to adopt and utilize with the right frequency and moderation in mind.

Trends ebb and flow and change constantly. That’s why we’re sharing an overview of some of the social media marketing trends of the past and how they have shaped the trends in our present day market.

Group of people counting likes

YouTube & Vimeo As the Only Video Sharing Tools

Videos are an extraordinary tool used to showcase a retailer’s products, uses, and even company culture. In the past, if a marketer created a video to promote its company, he or she would share it on the company’s YouTube or Vimeo channel.

With the ever-increasing use of (read: obsession with) phones as a social sharing device, YouTube has taken a back seat in this new day and age of social media marketing. If consumers are waiting in line or are bored, what are they doing? They’re checking Instagram and Twitter on their mobile devices.

Both platforms made a giant leap forward in the realm of video sharing this past year. Instagram extended their video time limitations to a full minute, and Twitter now enables users to embed videos in tweets.

The Big Three (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)

Many marketers for B2B companies have long been focusing all of their social media marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. With the overflow of new social media platforms over the last five years, two 800-pound giants have come to the forefront: Instagram and Snapchat.

Instagram has become a new and impactful channel for marketers to share culture-related content. Consumers can feel a closer, more personal, connection to an e-commerce brand, if that brand utilizes Instagram as a means to share company-specific content.

Snapchat is still in the testing phase for commercial use, but has proven to have consistent traction with millennials. If a retailer’s target market lays in this age range, they should consider using Snapchat to promote company culture and other initiatives.

GIFs

Eye-catching and engaging graphics have always been used by marketers as an attention-getter on social media. With the rise of the GIF in 2015, we are hard-pressed to find a more engaging graphic moving forward.

Of course, there are best practices involved here, namely “everything in moderation”. In 2015, organizations were using GIFs that featured hilarious lines or actions from pop culture references, but 2016 is the year of personalization. Retailers can make this social media marketing trend their own through the use of Photoshop or apps like Giphy Cam, where they can now create their own GIFs.

The “Buy Now” Button

gapsocialmediaThere has been an increase in promoted posts with a “Shop Now” or “Buy Now” CTA, as illustrated in the GAP example to the right.

This is a new addition to the Instagram for Business offering, that further pushes Instagram to the forefront of enterprise’s social media marketing efforts. Online shopping has long been a key avenue for retailers, but this new spin could slingshot that initiative even farther. This up-and-coming social media marketing trend is new, and, therefore, not much data currently exists to attest to its success, but we expect impressive results.

Influencer Marketing

Word-of-mouth has always been an incredibly effective spoke in the marketing wheel. Influencer marketing has emerged from a variety of legacy practices (namely, word-of-mouth) and industry studies; the focus being on specific key individuals. Selecting industry-specific influencers will take time and research, but is guaranteed to make an impact on social media marketing efforts.

How Is Your Retail Organization Keeping Up?

While these aforementioned marketing trends are the here-and-now, e-Commerce retailers should remember the necessity to constantly re-visit and adjust efforts in accordance with new trends. After all, trends are to be done in moderation.