I recently went to a conference and had the chance to listen to Michael Stelzner, one of the keynote speakers and founder of Social Media Examiner. On stage, he reminds us of the light at the end of troubling tunnel of marketing in the Digital Age. Admittedly, marketing is harder now than it has ever been. Stelzner explains that much of this is due to the Influencers and Social Celebrities, who are the new TV stars. From Donald Trump to Kylie Jenner, the media is drawn to their every move, and they know how to promote themselves—and things. Stelzner references Zach King, an American Vine star and YouTube personality. King is an example of the new age video star, but for the Digital Age.
In a time of outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, Mike details seven key findings based on the research of his social media examiners.
According to Stelzner 73% of marketers use videos in 2016, and 21% claim it is the most important form of communication. Live videos have been a sensation since beginning with Meerkat, but were quickly revamped and overtaken by Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live. Having live videos have only added to the success of these services. As Mike explains, from this comes Blab.im, a service that allows people to interact and broadcast to the world.
Mike Stezlner speaks of the vastness of video; video can be a great tool to hold customers’ attention. Videos show customers that exciting or entertaining things happen all the time (live Facebook, etc).
- Year of Live
Mike emphasizes that 2016 is the Year of Live. Although only 14% of marketers are currently using live-video services, up to 50% plan on increasing live videos this year and the other half want to know more! He adds that Facebook publically prioritized the service, growing its popularity towards big business.
- The Decline of Facebook Traffic
The time of easy Facebook marketing is over. Stezlner hints at a trend that many marketers have yet to pick up on: the traffic from Facebook has declined. He notes that 40% of marketers don’t know this, 23% do know, and 37% argue that it has gone up. Buffer mentioned that lost nearly half of their social referral traffic in the last twelve months. Mike suggests that it may be that people have “content shock”—too much out there and not enough eyeballs—or that Facebook was slowly taking it away.
- People Do More With Facebook
Mike also highlights the use of Facebook, stating that people will do more with it, even without knowing if their traffic has increased or decreased.
- The Importance of Facebook and Social Media
Facebook has a hold that is not like any other current platform; Facebook is foundational to the Digital Age. It takes shares from Twitter and Linkedin, and continues to be a major player. JetBlue has introduced an initiative that allows for new media-driven boarding experience. People can now stay active on social media, book flights, leave messages, etc. JetBlue is getting people to talk and, and Stezlner states, “be the Trojan horse of their social media marketing!” It comes down to leveraging the customers, because social media creates new experiences.
- Facebook Is FULL
Surprise! According to Mike, there are 50% more advertisers in the past year than before. This explains why there is so little organic exposure!
- Social Media = A New Experience
He also points out that while 86% of marketers use Facebook ads regularly, only 18% use twitter. Chocolatier John Kapos, aka Chocolate Johnny says, “I make viewers feel like they are part of my business.” Kapos uses social media to interact with his customers, making people laugh and replying to everyone. (In May of 2015, Kapos had over 2 billion views on snapchat, and by February of 2016, he reached 8 billion! You can find him Snapchat at Chocjohnny or his website perfectionchocolates.com.au) Based on recent trends, Mike argues that Snapchat could be the biggest takeover from Facebook.
People love Snapchat. It is intimate and connects people with what appears to be minimal advertising. 5% of people use Snapchat, moving up from 2%, and its activity is expected to increase to 16% this year. Mike believes that Facebook and Snapchat could be the leading platforms within the next year.
His closing question to all us marketing mavens is, how are you going to run this foot race?