The number of social media users rose to 3.196 billion in 2018, up 13 per cent year on year – according to the Smart Insights’ Global Digital Report 2018. That amounts to around half the world’s total population, the vast majority of which consume website content and connect to companies, influencers, and friends via social media. If you are looking to boost your numbers and ride the wave of the hottest trends, take note of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of social media.

The Rise of Micro and Nano Influencers

Influencer marketing has hit an all-time high in recent years, with a recent study by Nielsen Catalina Solutions showing that influencer marketing brings 11 times the ROI that other forms of digital media do. This year, however, we will be seeing top marketing firms giving increasing importance to micro-influencers and nano-influencers, who have a following of between 1,000 and 100,000. Their numbers may be smaller, but their followers are more engaged than those of macro followers (who tend to have millions of followers). The rise of smaller influencers has to do with relatability. For instance, a group of make-up lovers connected via a Facebook group or other social map, have a bigger influence on each member’s purchasing decision, than a top-rated beauty influencer may have.  

Creating Real Engagement with Followers

Do you use your social media pages simply to promote the products or services you offer, or is your page one that users turn to every day to entertain, inform, or guide them? We once again turn to the beauty community to point out the value of real engagement in establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. While some make-up artists only feature products from the company they represent, others go beyond their own products, providing useful skincare and beauty tips that amateurs find invaluable. One of these influencers is Nikkia Joy – an Australian beauty guru who has managed to build a close-to 1M following in just a few years. Those who know your site has video or text that can make a positive change to their lives are more likely to remain loyal and to recommend your site or page to others.

Rise of Live Video

Live video has become one of the most appealing types of media, with 80% of audiences stating they would rather watch live video than read a blog. It makes sense considering the fact that millions of viewers are consuming content on smartphones and tablets. While smaller screen sizes may make reading hard on the eye, video content that is mobile-optimized is easy, quick, and informative, with shorter videos being particularly popular among audiences with a wide variety of media competing for their attention.

More Employee Content

It can take quite an effort to show your audience you are an authoritative, trustworthy, authentic business. One shortcut when it comes to this aim, is relying on employee-generated content. Storytelling is arguably the key ingredient of generating interest on social media, and your employees are the best protagonists you can have. You may be surprised to know that your audiences are curious as to how you conduct business, make your product, or help your clients in their everyday working lives. Have an employee visit a client and ask them how the system you set up has made life easier, show the most fascinating stages of your production process, and highlight any sustainability or social efforts your company is engaged in. Rather than making it seem promotional, focus on the story. Employees will be able to do this naturally, by simply revealing their day-to-day highlights.

If you are seeking to up your social media following this year, building engagement is what it’s all about. Live video, employee-generated content, and the reliance on nano/micro influencers are just a few ways to establish your pages as must-follows. For each item of content you put up, remember the importance of storytelling and entertainment, so that audiences feel connected and uplifted and more likely to visit you the next day for a similar buzz.