In 2015, we wrote about the top five ways social media made our lives easier. Now—with two years of new platforms, updates to old ones, and changes in technology—we revisit the influence of social media and how it makes life easier for marketers.
Hashtags are still on top of the list since they’re as relevant as ever—and that doesn’t look like it’ll change anytime soon. In addition to being a way for users to sort and search for objects, hashtags have become a widely used means of starting conversations or calling people to action.
If you want to know the latest news about an event or product, find out what everyone else is talking about, or even start the conversation yourself, all that is just a few keystrokes away.
2. Live Videos and Stories
Live videos and limited-time content (e.g. snaps, stories, or days) are rampant on social media brand pages. They help connect brands and audiences by making the latter a part of the event, especially through live feedback. This lets brands know what they’re doing right and what they can improve on in terms of events and audience engagement, all in real time. These media also evoke a stronger sense of immersion. Brands don’t just tell audiences what they’re up to—they show them.
3. Rating & Customer Reviews
From restaurants to theaters to retail products, all kinds of brands rely on social media reviews so much that managing them has become a mainstay of online PR.
Reviews can help a brand, whether they’re good or bad. Negative reviews provide information that can help a brand improve. Positive ones serve as excellent social proof. And both open opportunities to engage customers directly.
4. Social Media E-Commerce
Before, you’d need to go to the mall to get your shopping done. Now you can shop through social media. Social media e-commerce is a great way for brands to boost their digital presence. A survey by Aimia shows 56% of consumers follow brands on social media to browse products for sale and 31% use it specifically to look for new items to purchase.
5. Virtual Reality
The influence of social media can also be seen in how emerging technology gets put to use. While virtual reality is still a niche technology, marketers are using it to offer a higher level of engagement through an immersive medium. Most common are 360-degree photos and videos that can leave a memorable impression on anyone. Virtual reality takes you places—you can experience a country without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Some social media elements, such as hashtags, have been tried and tested, while others, like virtual reality, are quickly proving their worth. Social media keeps changing and upgrading, as do its marketing strategies. If you’re looking to keep up with its rapid pace, we’d be happy to help.