I have just returned from Melbourne where I presented a session about chatbots at the Future Social Media Strategy 2017 Forum.
I could only make one morning of the two-day conference, but even in the few hours that I was there, I learned so much about where social media is headed, and it’s extremely exciting.
Here are the three key predictions that I took away from the event:
1. Vertical video generates greater reach & engagement
I’m not going to bang on again about the importance of social media video. Video is not a future trend. It is happening right now.
With that off my chest, one of the key themes from this event (shared by Kate Heironymus and Brendan Lucas) was that shooting video vertically rather than horizontally generates greater reach and engagement on most social media platforms.
Shoot for mobile first rather than desktop.
Gone are the days when creating one video and sharing it across platforms helped to generate decent organic reach. Creating videos to suit specific platforms has become a necessity.
Vertical video goes against everything I have ever been taught. I have tertiary qualifications in film and television, worked in television production and have made at least 100 corporate web videos over the years, so vertical video feels wrong.
However, the only constant is change, so I will definitely be experimenting with vertical video from now on.
Key Tip: Shoot enough footage for both vertical and horizontal so that you have options for a range of platforms.
2. Social Media Managers are powerful, many just don’t know it yet
According to Mireille Ryan, Social Media Managers are in a very powerful position within the organisations in which they work.
They have knowledge, skills and expertise that organisational decision-makers do not, and it is up to Social Media Managers to embrace this role, to continue to educate themselves and their colleagues to create positive change. Achieving tangible results in this space can also result in Social Media Managers rising up the ranks.
This was also a key finding in my PhD research about social media in non-profit organisations and I have suggested three ways to help to get decision-makers on-board in terms of social media.
Key Tip: Social Media Managers need to keep learning and sharing their knowledge with others within their organisations, particularly with those at senior levels.
3. Facebook Instant Articles = More clicks & shares
Kate Heironymus from Queensland Health also shared all about her success with Facebook Instant Articles.
Facebook Instant Articles allow content creators to distribute articles directly to the Facebook app, which means that the article will load 10 times faster than clicking through to a website.
By using Facebook Instant Articles, users stay within Facebook, so the content receives more clicks and shares. Another amazing statistic is that 70% of people are less likely to abandon the article when it is loading than if it was a link to an external website, because it loads faster. In short, if people click on your article, the majority will actually read it.
Setting up Facebook Instant Articles involves embedding some code into your website and choosing the format etc. For WordPress sites it is an easy process with a plugin, and a worthwhile one to share content more effectively. Yes, it reduces traffic to your website from Facebook. However, Kate measured an increase in website traffic via Google after using Facebook Instant Articles, so it actually worked in their favour.
Key Tip: If you want more people to read and share your website articles on Facebook, use Facebook Instant Stories to distribute them.
There are my three key predictions from the Future Social Media Strategy Forum this week. My other prediction was regarding the use of chatbots, but seeing as that was my presentation, please feel free to download it and take a look for yourself. I will write another article about chatbots soon. 🙂
There are so many developments happening right now in social media. What is your key social media prediction for 2018?