Top 7 Social Media Trends & Features for Professional Services

1. Shopping on Instagram

If your business hasn’t been using Instagram or the new shopping features, now is the time. Let's do a quick refresher on Instagram Shoppable posts:

Have you ever clicked on a post and a shopping bag icon pops up that says “Tap to View Products”? Then you were looking at a Shoppable Instagram post that links to a website where you can purchase the featured product. It’s important to note that this all happens on Instagram and is not an ad or a boosted post. You can learn more about how to set up shoppable posts here. Quick Bonus: Instagram has recently rolled out an updated version of Instagram Shoppable posts that now allows posts to be visible to both followers and non-followers.

2. If You Didn’t Record it, It Didn’t Happen

OK, this isn’t true, but the fact remains that it’s important for businesses to have a variety of content. What’s the content that can help you increase your reach and engagement? Videos. According to Cisco, this year’s projected Internet traffic in the U.S. will be primarily driven by videos. What does this mean for your company? That your target market wants easily digestible, informative, and eye-catching content. Heads up: The goal of these videos is not to get thousands of views, so don’t be discouraged if you are not getting a large number of views. The ultimate goal is to convert these viewers into customers by taking them through the sales funnel. To track the effectiveness of videos and social media campaigns, make sure to use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter Insights (or a variety of other analytical tools) to track KPIs and conversions.

3. Want Professional Connections? Go to Facebook. 

Don’t get us wrong, LinkedIn is an amazing tool to use to engage a professional network of individuals in your industry. However, according to the State of Inbound Report 2017, 74% of those who were surveyed admitted that they use Facebook for professional reasons, such as networking, events and business promotion, product sells, and more. So the next time you send a friend request on Facebook, ask yourself “Is this for business or pleasure?”

4. Boost it up

It’s no secret that Facebook’s algorithm is a Pandora’s box when it comes to mystery. However, there’s a trend that shows boosted posts are increasingly important for your social media strategy. User-generated content is always important; however, you want your target audience to see your posts. How do you do that? Through posting the content that has already performed well and seen a high return on investment in the past through boosted posts.

5. Scheduling posts through Instagram business page

If you hate live posting for your business's social media page, you’re in luck. Not long ago, if you wanted to post through Instagram for your business’s Instagram page, you’d have to either live post or schedule through social media management tools that were partnered with Instagram, like Sprout Social and Hootsuite. Those days are over, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. This can all be done through Instagram’s API, along with the ability for the partners to have this on their platforms as add-ons. Instagram has other plans in the works for this scheduling feature, but the real question is, how are you going to use your free time now that you’re free from live posting?

6. Analytics are Queen

Have you received pushback at your company that social media doesn’t result in a return on investment or that it’s not a true touchpoint for your target audience? Don’t fret, just show them the analytics. Through analytics, you can understand how visible your company is to its target market, what type of content and campaigns are working, and if the perceived target market is actually your target market. If you aren’t convinced yet, here’s a stat to change your perspective: In 2015 alone, 8.3 billion was made by advertising on social media platforms alone. Want a piece of the pie? Use analytics to see what is (and isn’t) working in your social media strategy and what you can do to improve it so your company can see significant results.

7. Timing is everything

Well, at least on Instagram it is. Instagram recently released a new algorithm that has switched back to (you guessed it) showing all posts in chronological order in the newsfeed. This means that consistency in quality, brand, and voice of your social media posts has an added level of importance. The internet can be a fickle beast, and if you feel that a post may not be putting your best foot forward, reconsider posting it. Take the extra time to make sure you are following brand guidelines and aesthetics. This can mean the difference between a bump in followers and a sharp decline in target audience engagement.

Bottom Line

If you want to see returns on your social media activities, you have to stay up-to-date on social media, technology, and industry changes. It can feel daunting, but your business will thank you in the form of new customers and engagement. The team at Imagine Media Consulting can help you stay up-to-date on these changes through our skilled team of social media rockstars.

Story by: Bailey Thompson