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Op-Ed: How new social media trends can boost your business

No one can argue that living in the technology era has made life much easier. Sometimes all our problems are solved simply by opening an app and clicking on a button. Although our relationship with technology is becoming closer and closer, we also see consumers´ desire to establish trust relationships with brands, especially those that show transparency and authenticity in social media.

So, to keep businesses competitive in this scenario, creating a web page and be present in social media it is not enough. We must truly be active and create engagement to take full advantage in using these platforms.

It is incredible to think about how often social media surprise us with a new format, a new type of advertisement or content that previously was unimaginable. It is also important to understand the types of social media, their audiences, and all their functions to achieve appropriate brand recognition. Let’s discuss some trends that we must consider to boost our sales and help us expand our business.

Real-Time videos are still very popular
Sharing content in real time is still one of the strongest trends that social media is using to generate engagement. Spontaneity is in fashion. Apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Live (video) can be fantastic allies if you know how to use them well to promote a service or a product in a creative way.

360º content formats
Social media like Facebook and YouTube are using more and more immersive content, which means that users are starting to have complete control of what they see. This implies more time of use by users.

The advantage is that the user observes specific details of what really interests them, and not only what the brand wants to show. When the video ends, the user wants to see it from another perspective with a deeper interest in the service or product, in that way achieving the target.

Currently, chatbots can be the best response to more effective customer service. Chatbots are software systems that use an algorithm to determine the most frequent questions. Once identified, they try to understand the intention behind each individual message to meet users’ needs.

All this usually happens through text messages. Chatbots´ benefit is that they streamline work and improve the level of customer service productivity while eliminating the possibility of a human error.

The importance of engagement
It is essential to pay attention to publications with a lot of interactions. The content can be shared many times and generates great interaction. For example, on Instagram, those that have the most interactions appear in the users’ feed. Therefore, the only way to distinguish ourselves and get ahead is to generate attractive content.

The trends in social media for 2019 are focused on creating all types of content that meet these characteristics.

Influencers continue to gain credibility
Influencers are earning space on social media and influencing more and more people. They are trendsetters and have even more influence than celebrities. One advantage of working with them is that they already have their target audience and are not as expensive as a famous person, which makes them more accessible for startups or small companies.

The first step is to identify who are the most relevant for your type of business. The main goal is to create authentic relationships with those who can develop more natural campaigns. Influencers can become important business partners and those who will help us achieve our sales goals more quickly.

Podcasts and audios online
Digital audio is being used a lot and is emerging as easy-to-access content for all those users who have integrated the mobile into their lives and all their daily actions and transactions. Ideally, a podcast or online audio is complementary to the information already delivered in a different format. It is important to establish a periodicity to keep the audience interested, without saturating it.

It is also necessary to develop an easy-to-implement audio content strategy. If you have a good idea and a good quality production, the podcast can be very successful and be very beneficial for our business.

Making consumers prefer your business, among all the options, can be very complicated. Social media provide a fantastic database and, also, allow to create more personalized communication strategies. If we are up to date with these trends, we are more likely to distinguish ourselves and stay in our audiences’ minds.

Author Tania Magalhaes is director and head of communications for PayPal Latam.

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