05 Jun 2019 Trends in Social Media and Marketing
In February we highlighted our favorite 2019 Craft Trends spotted at Creativation, and more recently we’ve reported on 2019’s Hottest Sewing Trends. Once you know your product offerings are on trend, what is the best way to market them? Let’s talk about the best ways to reach your customers in 2019!
If you’re a crafty business entrepreneur, you’re probably wearing a million hats as it is. Finding time to create and execute a comprehensive marketing and social media program may seem daunting, but sharing your offerings with customers is the key to growing sales. No matter how busy you are, it needs to be a priority. Automation is your friend!
One of the biggest time-saving techniques is understanding how and where to automate. Whether it’s using tools like Boomerang to schedule your emails, Zapier or IFTTT to connect your apps and automate workflows, or more high-powered social media schedulers like Sprout Social, we can show you how to create a marketing program that fits your needs.
One of the best ways to engage with your customer base is through email. You have access to their inbox and, through list segmentation, can target specific products to different types of customers easily and quickly. Automation plays a role here, too: we’ve got a great article on how to create Drip Marketing Campaigns. Follow the steps to set up a campaign introducing customers to your brand, business, and product line, then let it automatically do the work for you!
Shopping from Instagram and Stories
Since 2018, when Instagram introduced Shoppable Posts, product sales through Instagram have been skyrocketing. You can’t afford to be missing out on this trend.
Instagram Shoppable Posts and now Instagram Stories Stickers mean that your customers can view your lifestyle and product photos, then click to shop without having to head to your profile to find a link to your shop. This saves them time and makes the sales transaction pretty seamless. If you’re not using these features, here’s how to get started.
- You need to have an Instagram Business Account. If you don’t have one there’s a great guide here that teaches you how to make the switch!
- Your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog. Instagram provides a simple step-by-step guide on how to get your catalog set up.
Once you have your account and catalog set up, it’s as easy as tagging your offerings when they appear in your posts and stories! If you set up a Facebook catalog, then you can use product tags on your Facebook posts as well. Selling has never been easier!
In the last several years we’ve been seeing an explosion in the use of video marketing. Gone are the days of need a full video production setup to produce quality videos. With ever-improving smartphone technology and cameras, it has never been easier to produce marketing quality videos using only your smartphone. And 87% of customers say they want more videos from the brands they love in 2019.
Videos are dynamic, engaging and the perfect way to showcase your brand’s look and feel and how your product fits into your customer’s lifestyle. Video allows you to tell a complex story that you just can’t tell with just a static image. Instagram Stories, which are favored by Instagram algorithms, are the perfect way to add short videos (from 3 to 60 seconds) into your marketing plan. Whether you’re pre-shooting product videos to share, or capturing behind the scenes or “day in the life” footage, you need to spend time strategizing how video will fit into your marketing plan. The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Video from Later.com gives you the nitty-gritty on how to get started or enhance your current offerings.
We’re seeing a huge increase in what we refer to as conversational commerce. Whether you’re conversing through direct messages on Instagram, Facebook messenger, or in comments on your posts and videos, the chance to interact with your customers in through conversation is increasingly important to building relationships with your customers. These conversations will help you build your Know-Trust-Like funnel and increase customer loyalty. Each conversation may not be about a specific sale, and you shouldn’t push your offerings in the conversation unless circumstances are right, but the more conversations you have with your followers, the more likely they are to become loyal customers that lead to sales.
Chatbots are a popular way to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide quick and efficient responses to commonly-asked questions. Chatbots enhance your customer service providing instant responses, particularly “after hours” when you may not be available to respond to customer queries. Chatbots are being implemented everywhere from Amazon to Facebook. If you’re interested in learning more and developing your own Chatbot (or leveraging Facebook’s service on your page) check out this great article from Sprout Social The Complete Guide to Chatbots.
Consistency – Quality over Quantity
We always emphasize consistency in a social media and marketing campaign and quality over quantity. We recommend setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals. If you can only realistically produce one piece of social media content a week, then concentrate on making that one piece the best it can be. Don’t get sidetracked thinking that multiple posts that you throw together quickly will make more of an impact than one solid piece of content.
Many platforms favor consistent posting, too. Etsy rewards people who are consistently and frequently adding new products to their shops by featuring them more in searches. Pinterest favors adding only a few pins consistently (every day) versus adding a ton of pins inconsistently (once a week, once a month, etc.).
Again, automation can be your friend. Using schedulers to map out your content and post it at consistent intervals will help you share quality pieces on a regular schedule. For example, Pinterest works with Tailwind, a paid service that can be used to schedule your pins and track your Pinterest analytics.
In an age of Facebook data and privacy breaches, and increased use of bots to muddy the waters, customers have never valued transparency from the business they patronize more. Skip the fine print, and make your business practices and policies clear. Admit when you’ve made mistakes, and respond to customers openly and honestly. Customers want to know who is speaking to them and that what they’re hearing from your brand and business is a true, authentic reflection of who you are and how you can help them. Practicing more transparency in your social media will take some time to implement organically, but customers desire for it, particularly in the millennial sectors, isn’t going away and you need to be prepared to confront it and build it into whatever social media and marketing plan you choose to pursue.
We hope these tips have given you some ideas on how to expand your current social media and marketing programs. If you’re interested in working with us to help add new items to your marketing plan, contact us today to get started!