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Social Media and Workforce

Our 7 Social Media Trends and Predictions for 2017

By | Avocado Social, Business Lessons, Social Media, Social Media and Workforce, Social Media News, Social Media Platforms, Social Media Strategy | No Comments

We get asked all the time ‘What’s the next big thing in social media?’ so we thought we’d put together our top predictions for 2017 in a blog post.

Social media is one of the fastest growing and ever changing industries around, with new developments, trends and behaviours coming out every day.

From working with some top brands, speaking to Facebook and listening to the industry commentators, here are our top predictions:

  1. Rise in GIFs

We’ve noticed a huge increase in GIFs this year, which are short looping video clips that usually last between 1-3 seconds. Twitter integrated free GIF provider Giphy into its app in February this year, and Instagram’s standalone GIF app Boomerang soared in popularity over the summer. Brands from Chanel to Subway are using these short form videos to grab the attention of mobile users in the newsfeeds. Who is going to watch a 2-minute video in social media anymore!? (apart from the John Lewis Christmas Ad of course!) In 2017 we will see a rise in smaller brands, and small businesses utilising GIFs to show off products, and of course personality.

2. 360 Video

Zuckerberg is really pushing 360 videos, having just used it to capture his daughter’s first steps. We haven’t seen many examples of brands using 360 videos yet as it requires a specialist camera – but perhaps innovative brands such as Burberry and AirBnB will invest next year. Check out this example from National Geographic! The feature is a fantastic way to tell a story in a more interactive way. If you take a panoramic photograph on your iPhone and upload it to Facebook, it will become a 360 photo – try it, it’s very cool!

3. WhatsApp for Business

Many businesses have tried setting up shop on WhatsApp in a basic form, as a way to engage audiences directly in a private setting. The platform receives over 1 billion users every day, and is apparently used by 1 in 7 people on earth! We love following Battenhall’s WhatsApp broadcast for our daily fix of social media news. We know a personal trainer in South London using it to engage VIP clients with daily motivation and recipes. Gregg’s this year launched a VIP WhatsApp channel for hardcore pasty fans! We wonder what next year will bring, especially with the messaging app apparently looking to release a Business version.

4.Workplace Social Media

A huge amount of businesses are using social media in the workplace to collaborate and communicate with their peers. We are huge fans of Slack, for example. Facebook Workplace has soft launched, and we’re particularly excited to see more businesses adopt it for messaging, live video, forum chats and project management. If you’re interested, signup and take the demo webinar. Obviously, there is a whole host of questions that comes along with it, like house rules, codes of conduct and time spent on it – but could this mean the death to email within a few years?

connect_better2x5. AI and Social Media

A big trend set for 2017 is the use of Artificial Intelligence in social media, particularly when it comes to customer service and also data analysis. The rise of digital assistants, such as Siri and Alexa means we are used to speaking to robots to get things done, and chatbots are set to become mainstream in 2017. This will allow brands to answer commons FAQs automatically, and utilise customer service representatives for more in-depth issues.

6. Algorithm Squeezing

As social media builds in noise, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all set to continue to squeeze their algorithms meaning only a tiny amount of what we post to our business pages will be placed in the newsfeeds. The solution to this is social media advertising, which means you can reach desired audiences which you select by age, interests and location, with paid-for adverts. The winning formula here is to use custom audiences; those that have already engaged with your business in some way before.We are set to see more and more businesses using these tools and only expect more in 2017. If you’re interested in building your knowledge, come to our next workshop.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our predictions and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Your biggest social media weapon?

By | Articles, Social Media, Social Media and Workforce, Talks and Events | No Comments

By Alison Battisby, Founder of Avocado Social.

Today I spoke at Digital Shoreditch, an event celebrating creative, technical and entrepreneurial talent of London and beyond. I chose to speak about utilising your workforce to gain a larger reach and more credibility in social media. This is a trend which many companies are exploring and are seeing success with.

We’ve all seen the stories of it going wrong, where individuals don’t quite understand the public nature of their updates and put something incredibly inappropriate, which then goes on to damage the reputation of the company that employs them. For example the PR executive who tweeted before a trip to South Africa in late 2013. She was dismissed from New York-based internet empire InterActive Corp after the tweet went viral.

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However the reach of your employees is huge. Think of all your staff who use Twitter, or who have a LinkedIn profile. Getting them involved could really help to reach brand new audiences, and give your own activity a much needed boost.

Your staff are your best advocates, as they can genuinely speak about the business in a genuine and honest way. It’s a much more personal level than a billboard campaign or newspaper advert, which people are more likely to take notice of and trust. They can highlight great work you are doing, publicise any initiatives you are running and also what it feels like to work at your company. For example, Ashley works for St John’s Ambulance and recently tweeted about how rewarding it is working for the charity.StJohns-1024x608

The way that most of the social media newsfeeds now work means that the better posts do in terms of engagement (likes, comments, shares & clicks), the more visibility they will get. LinkedIn now arranges posts in the newsfeed depending on how popular they have been, rather in the order of when they were published. This is a point I will come back to shortly.

So how should you get your staff engaged with your social media? I’ve put together 5 ideas: 

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1. Create a clear and simple policy:

Do you have a social media policy or guidelines for your staff? By formalising this, you can be clear to your employees what is allowed and what should be avoided, how you expect them to act across social media and how to protect themselves. You can also suggest how they can get involved with the company activity to help you meet your goals. Take a look at Social Media Governance to see hundreds of top policies from Tesco, BBC and Adidas. Once your policy is ready, don’t hide it away in the intranet or in a folder somewhere. Remind your staff about the key points, as Dell has done. Put it by the kettle, in the loos or by the printer!

 

2. Encourage your employees to share (and make it easy for them!)

Your staff can be assisting your company posts to reach more people, by simply liking or sharing some of your updates. Often this isn’t happening because your staff aren’t sure what they are allowed to do or what’s appropriate. I’m not asking you to get all your staff posting all over their Facebook Pages, but a simple like on LinkedIn can help your company updates reach much wider, and often highly relevant, audiences.

 

3. Give your employees social media training:

Social media training can be extremely useful not just for expanding knowledge, but for giving your staff new ideas and inspiration in how they could be helping your company to reach new audiences and engaging your current customers. Often your staff will not understand why or how you are using social media, so showing them exactly how they can help and why they should help will hopefully encourage them all to get involved.

4. Make social media part of everyone’s role:

Okay perhaps not everyone, but it’s important to make it clear who in the company should be using social media, and make it official.  Macmillan Cancer overhauled their social media by training over 1,000 staff in the power of social media, and how it can be used in the organisation.

By adding it to everyone’s job descriptions, from nurses to fundraisers, it is taken more seriously in the organisation, and they are now able to reach over 1 million people easily thanks to their staff offering advice, campaigning and supporting via social media.

5.  Empower your workforce!

Let your staff have a say in what’s posted in social media by holding regular brainstorms and invite different people from within the business to share their ideas and content. I have clients who have run internal competitions to encourage sales teams to send the best photographs from their global meetings, or that encourage their staff to tell the social media team what charity activities they have been doing in their spare time – all of this kind of content enhances the company brand and culture online.

Below is a copy of the slide deck which I presented, with some more examples. Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss training or strategy for your business.