The new kids on the block – integrating the newest social media trends into your PR timeline

Social media is a huge part of our lives. In fact, according to Statista, it’s estimated that 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide. By 2025, that number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion. With that large of an audience online, it would be silly not to develop a social media strategy for your clients! However, social media evolves daily – new updates, platforms and trends crowd our timelines and feeds. You may be asking yourself, “How can I break through the noise?” Here are a few trends to follow if you want to make waves on social media.

1. Videos, videos, videos

While videos on social media aren’t new, their popularity grows year after year. According to The Marketing Helpline, social media posts with video have 48% more views. Videos are perceived as more interactive and personal compared to static posts (posts with text or photos with captions). But besides being more engaging to users, what’s contributed to the rise of video?

The resurgence of silent films

Did you know that it’s estimated that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound? Facebook removed its autoplaying function for audio – scrolling and hearing sound if your phone’s sound is on – sometime after 2017. Additionally, Facebook added a closed captioning function to increase accessibility, further encouraging the non-use of sound.

When creating video content, it’s important to remember that there’s a high probability your video won’t be viewed with sound. If speech is an integral part of your video, consider selecting the automatic closed captioning function when uploading or entering the text in manually for accuracy. Also, when creating your storyboard, consider which shots would work best without sound. A step-by-step demonstration about how to make a sandwich or a renovated office space tour doesn’t need sound to be effective.

We’re live in 3, 2, 1…

Live video functionality is available on most popular social media platforms. Whether it’s recording a video in advance to be posted to your brand’s Instagram Story or going live on Facebook to showcase your newest product, live videos are preferred by 82% of users compared to standard social media posts.

Live videos also give you the chance to engage with your audience by taking questions from viewers in the comments, granting them access to information in real time. This is a great way to personally connect with your audience in a time where face-to-face interaction is limited.

2. Reassess priorities

Recently, Instagram made the call to remove the total number of likes from posts. While this update is still being finalized, countless users are experiencing like-less feeds – which can complicate things if you measure success based on likes or comments. Instead of measuring “vanity metrics,” consider measuring engagement, like website clicks from the posted link, profile visits and messages to your account. This data can be used to determine which posts perform best by completing the call to action in the post.

3. Utilize influencers

Did you know that 70% of millennials are influenced by their peers when making buying decisions? Not only that, but they crave authenticity – 90% of them say real content is important when choosing which brands to support. A good way to increase brand loyalty is by using microinfluencers ‒ an influencer with 1,000 to 10,000 followers who has a large local following or specializes in a particular area of interest. Creating genuine content in partnership with a microinfluencer is a great way to get in front of your target audience at an affordable price. Most of the time, these influencers accept comped meals or event tickets in exchange for posting. Depending on the size of the account, however, there may be a charge for a static post.

Staying on top of industry trends is the best way to grow and enhance your PR timeline. Spending a little time each day researching the latest applications, updates and additional hot-button topics will ensure that your client stays at the forefront of the social media game.