The end of the year is the biggest event for all marketers as there will mega-sales after mega-sales throughout the last quarter of the year. The ever so popular Single’s Day Sale (11/11) is the biggest sale of all, especially in the online world. Following up the Single’s Sales, some southeast Asian countries have also adapted the Black Friday Sale and Cyber Monday Sale. Creeping up later on are the Christmas Sale, Boxing Day Sale and New Year’s sales. It is the time where marketers would be busy configuring their sales mechanics and advertisements as well.
What are the key trends to look out for to maximise your ecommerce revenue during this sales season?
Make full use of the extended shopping season
The last quarter of the year is usually the best quarter for consumers to shop as there are sales piling on top of each other. A lot of them started researching on items they intend to purchase but just left them in their online cart without purchasing yet. The reason- to get the best deals or discounts during sale events. During Singles Day 11/11, many people tend to “celebrate” by “treating themselves” with some retail therapy while those not-so-single people take the opportunity to buy things they’ve been eyeing on for the entire year.
The sales continue on the Black Friday sale, 12/12 sales, Christmas and New Year. Many people continue to shop even after January because the Lunar New Year is just around the corner.
Take this opportunity to build and plan your marketing strategy around the peak days of the year-end sales extravaganza and be sure you have an always-on, optimised media plan.
Using the mobile platform and being responsive
Using mobile phone while shopping
Online shoppers are constantly on their phones to search for the best deals and savings before they decide which items to add to cart and finally hitting the checkout button. Be sure to make full use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to advertise your great deals. You’d be surprised to find out how much these two social media platforms heavily influence the consumers’ decision to buying decisions. Mobile is also the most preferred method and channel to shop during the year end sales because it’s convenient, fast and easy to access on-the-go.
Also, during this peak season it is vital to be responsive to your potential customers. Make it obvious that you are there to answer any questions your customers have before purchasing your products. Messaging is the key communication and consumers are more likely to purchase when they get an answer personally. This also applies to responding to comments when consumers ask or comment on your posts. It is not uncommon for customers to message the business or seller especially during the holiday season sales.
Another important key with mobile is to ensure that your mobile site is responsive and does not slow down during the peak season as this will affect the consumers’ decision as well.
Be fast and different
It’s the peak season of shopping and sales, of course all businesses are preparing to provide the best service they can during this quarter. It’s the season for shopping so what appeals to your customers? Discounts definitely!
With generous discounts and price cuts, it is bound to get the clicks and traffic to your ecommerce site, however, what is the one thing that gives you second thoughts on clicking the checkout button?
A lot of customers change their minds and buying decision when they see that they have to pay for delivery. Offer free delivery during this peak season to buy and bind the hearts of your customers. Besides just offering free delivery, it’s an added bonus if you can provide fast delivery. Companies like Amazon.com offers delivery as fast as next day delivery and that is one of the brand key of the company- besides offering attractive prices on items.
Sure enough every brand is doing attractive and appealing ads but why not go further and be different? Instead of a plain old static ad, use video ads instead. A short interactive ad can quickly catch the attention of a potential customer. Video formats can be short and relatable- incorporate holiday moods and themes in your video ads during this peak season.
Manage client’s expectations
It’s no denying that it can get crazy during this peak season and it could be difficult for you to provide the best service to your customers. However, that’s no excuse to slack but instead, this is the opportunity to provide the best experience you can to your customers. First-time customers could turn into repeating customers and they could stay loyal to you from then!
Be sure you come prepared to provide a seamless, no-hassle, no-frustration experience for your customers because ‘tis the season to lock the keys to your customer’s hearts!
Some of you with Instagram accounts may have noticed that the little thing under your post looks unnoticeably yet so obviously different. Instagram has rolled out an update where it hides your likes on your posts. This update is currently still in its testing phase, and only certain countries or accounts are affected by it.
This is what it looks like with no likes displayed.
So, the question here is, will this affect your social media presence? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? In their defence, Instagram’s reason for removing the number of likes on your post and the number of views on your video is to improve the lives of consumers. They also quote “we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
Currently, the countries affected with this update are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand. There are also users in Hong Kong reportedly don’t see the number of likes anymore.
How will this update affect your social media presence? And how are the users reacting to this?
While some people are reacting negatively to it, claiming “nobody asks for this”, some people love this new update- giving them less anxiety to keep checking on how many “likes” their posts have achieved.
Influencers and KOLs are making a huge deal out of this because they claim to rely on the engagement rates as their KPIs when it comes to sponsored posts. Just like the number of followers they get, the number of likes is equally essential to them to prove that they have high engagement rates.
Does this matter? This is exactly what Instagram is trying to banish. The obsession with the number of likes on users’ posts.
@kyliejenner with over 8million likes in a post
How will it look for the world of marketing without likes displaying?
Hiding the likes on Instagram posts will help boost authenticity in the posts and might resolve the problem of fake data. For years, users have been buying likes to give their profile a boost and to appear relevant. Without the display of the number of likes, the pressure of needing to keep up with Instagram likes can be deterred. Social media can now be authentic and postings don’t have to be so heavily planned and curated- just post whatever you like!
Everyone is now equal when the likes are hidden. You’d be surprised at how many people’s self-esteem relies on the number of likes they get on one post. The anxiety caused by waiting on the likes to keep rolling in is a real thing and can be considered worrying. With the likes hidden, this issue can be defeated when users can post without thinking and worrying about the number of likes they would get.
In conclusion, the removal of likes does not negatively affect your social media presence. Instead, from a positive perspective, users are more likely sharing their posts with more freedom. They will no longer be bounded with the idea of “more likes equal higher self-esteem”.
As we’re marching into the final quarter of the year 2019, it is not a surprise that there are many “trends” circulating in the social media world. You might just shrug and scroll or tap next to these trends but what you don’t know is, these trends will help your brand stay relevant and ahead of the competition. Trends are effective because it represents the “now” and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to stay significant in social media platforms.
Let’s dive into the 2019 trends made popular in social media and get your social media growing with followers and engagements!
Adding Animations To Your Stories & Posts
Instagram has been rolling out many new features and it has made the platform so interesting to use. Simply adding the stickers, GIF, music and or AR feature to your posts and it immediately animates a boring ol’ post into something interesting. People are more likely drawn to colorful images and videos and with the use of these trends, you’ll draw more engagement and create a dynamic experience on your stories.
Adding Subtitles/ Closed Captions To Videos
Admit it, most of the time your phone is on silent mode and you can’t be bothered to turn up the volume to watch a video. A lot of times when people are on their social media, they are most likely in public places like being on the train, eating out, waiting in line, etc. Some may argue that they could use their earphones but be real, how often do you take them out.
It is almost a MUST to add subtitles to your videos- whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. Up to 85% of the videos on social media platforms are being watched without sound.
With these subtitles added on, you’ll be surprised to see how much of an increase your engagement gets and it also improves your viewers’ attention span. Bonus point: having subtitles on your videos and content are more user-friendly for people with hearing impairment.
Longer Videos on Instagram with IGTV
Remember the horrible days when Instagram would only allow uploading videos of only up to 1 minute? How limited our contents were back then? Everything had to be crammed into a minute and that was not enough, obviously. Luckily for us, Instagram heard our frustrations and answered our prayers. Thus, IGTV was born!
With IGTV, we no longer have to succumb to the limited 1-minute content, we now have the freedom of up to 10 minutes! Are you a verified account? Well, good news, you get up to 60 minutes long! While this is celebratory, always remember that nobody wants to watch a video that’s 3 minutes long. While 2 minutes would be the ideal amount, we’re quite pushing the human attention span here. In order to have one person stay till the end of the video, you have to grab their attention within the first 8 seconds of the video.
So, make your IGTV content worthwhile because you can either make it or break it.
Nevertheless, we’re grateful for this!
Product Tagging & Shoppable Posts
This…THIS really comes in handy if your brand has an e-commerce website. With the convenience of displaying your product to the most-used social media platform aka Instagram, why not make it a one stop shop? With the product tagging feature, you can link your website to your Instagram account and watch those shoppers rolling in.
Similar to user tagging, product tagging allows you to tag the item directly and when your followers tap on the tag, it opens up to the exact item page on your website. Shoppers can now shop directly from that Instagram post without leaving the app.
Color-blocking & Grid Planning Your Feed
There’s nothing more pleasing and attractive than landing on some Instagram account that looks like it has its life figured out. Well, in this case, it’s the amount of thought and planning one has put into making their feed look aesthetically perfect. This might not be news to you, many influencers and big brands play around their feed- alternating posts, color themes, micro-color blocking and more.
An aesthetically impressive feed tells a lot about your brand. It subconsciously implants the impression that your brand is putting in effort and a lot of strategic planning is done. A beautiful feed will get visitors tapping on that “Follow” button in no time, hence, giving you more potential customers to your brand.
Incorporating Memes In Your Content
Yes, memes (pronounced as meems, not mi-mi) are taking over the world. Everyone loves a good, funny meme especially your potential customers- the millenials. While memes are very trendy, it is also very fast-paced. A new meme could be born within minutes to seconds but a good meme gets caught on for a long time, long enough for you to ride on it.
Take for example the latest celebrity meme that has the world talking about – Kylie Jenner and “Rise and Shine”. It all started with a Youtube video of Kylie Jenner giving an office tour and she walks into her daughter, Stormi’s playroom and nonchalantly melodize these three simple words “rise and shine”. It went viral and almost everyone on the internet is singing to the “tune”.
And what did the billionaire do? As what a smart entrepreneur would do, Kylie Jenner laughed about it and turned a meme into a business opportunity. You can now buy that meme merch which is a hoodie on her website. What. A. Freaking. Genius.
While trends are ever changing and gets replaced in no time, it is vital that your brand leverage on trends to be relevant in the social media world. While not all trends may fit your brand’s identity, there are tons of other trends that will fit perfectly. Don’t be afraid to play around, at least you’ve tried!
How to grow your Instagram followers the “organic way”
Social media plays a great part in growing your brand digitally, especially if you are new and taking baby steps in promoting your brand.
Of course almost every brand has a Facebook page, but what about an Instagram account?
According to Instagram, 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram. And there are over 500 million Instagram accounts that are active on a daily basis. Imagine how many users your brand can reach out to via this social media platform?
So how do you reach out to these users via your Instagram account?
Here are a few things to observe:
Make sure your content on your Instagram is consistent, or tells a story or your brand. There are a few way you can make your content work. Because Instagram is a photo-based social media platform, what your followers first see when they visit your Instagram account are the photos on your account. So be sure that your Instagram page is aesthetically attractive and interesting.
Say you’re running a travel agency, and you want to gain more followers on your Instagram. Your Instagram account should be filled with pictures of breathtaking images of to attract these wanderlust followers.
If your brand is selling designer goods, bombard the page with all the pretty designer clothes and bags and shoes.
Make your content as relatable to your brand as possible, you catch the drift.
Source: Instagram @oreo
Make your feed aesthetic
Once you have your content ready, it’s time to prosecute them in the best way you can.
Creating content may be easy, but making the content look beautiful and aesthetic as a whole is a challenge.
Now hashtag is so heavily used in all social media platforms.
Why is a hashtag so important?
A hashtag is used by social media users to search for a specific event or topic or category in the social media world.
The importance of including hashtags is significant as it brings your post out to the public and everyone searching for that specific hashtag will see your post. The likeliness of them clicking into your picture is higher if they found your picture attractive and interesting, which also leads to them clicking into your Instagram account.
Here are some hashtags that you can use, categorized according to the relevance of your Instagram posts.
You can go up to 30 hashtags per post to maximize the capability of the hashtag game, however, is 30 hashtags per post necessary? Some will say that it will bring down the credibility of your post, or even, making you look spammy and amateur. Instead, use about 5-11 hashtags per post, and make sure they’re relevant and match your brand and pictures.
However, you should create your own brand hashtag so that it is specifically for your brand.
Your brand hashtag does not necessarily be just a one-word hashtag. Play around and create a phrase of your own!
Promote your Instagram on other platforms
If you already have a bunch of followers on your Facebook or Twitter or any other social media platforms, you can post a shoutout there and ask your followers to follow you on your Instagram account too.
Add your Instagram handle on your profiles and even on email signatures.
If you already have a website, add a widget to your website with your Instagram live feed and a clear “Follow” button for the ease of your new followers.
Get boosted help from KOL or influencers
Key opinion leaders aka KOL and social media influencers are the experts in product knowledge and has influence in the social media world. These influencers usually have a big scale of followers who they can sell a product to and easily get their attention.
Collaborate with influencers especially if your brand is new and needs to get some attention.
KOLs and influencers can be a vast of variety, ranging from superstar celebrities or just someone with a lot of followers on their Instagram.
When working with KOLs, not all have the same style or price package. You can engage with a local influencer with not as much followers who will contribute a post on their Instagram for free, given that you send them your brand products for them to review. Some might charge you a hefty amount but will be able to provide higher ROI to your brand. It all comes down to your budget and whichever you are comfortable with.
Just make sure you discuss with the influencers on what you are expecting from their posts and what is the target you’re trying to achieve, and they will be able to give you some ideas and feedback.
There are plenty of ways to boost your organic followers. So here’s the breakdown of what we’ve learned:
Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags (but not too many)
Get promoted by KOL and influencers
It takes time to build a massive amount of followers, so just be patient and start off by inviting your friends and family to start following your page, and get them to invite their friends.
When you scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any sort of social media platform, you tend to leave a comment on your friend’s status or your cousin’s cute photo of her pet bunny, or just reply to a comment of your favourite celebrity’s Twitter update. What if we told you that in the near future, you’d be able to leave a comment on your search results as well? Sounds odd but it is true! Google will be rolling out this new feature that allows the user to comment and also read comments on the search results. It is similar to leaving reviews on Google results as well, just like how you can leave a review on restaurants or any other businesses on Google. So what exactly can you leave comments on? According to Google, while sports games are played live, you can add comments to the games on Google. Additionally, you can also leave comments on things you have searched on Google. Also, you can rate the comments left by other users as well. We are not 100% sure on how this comments will work and it is still under the works and this feature is not available yet. It is also understood that this feature does not work with all languages or region yet. But here’s how to leave a comment:
Leave a Comment
Go to Google.com or open the Google app.
Do a search.
In the overview box, tap or click More More.
Tap or click Comments and then Viewers.
Tap or click Add a public comment…
Enter your comment.
It is pretty much very straightforward just like how you would leave a comment on Facebook and Instagram. You would need to log in to your Google account first to leave comments so you can’t leave comments anonymously. The public who read your comment will be able to see your basic profile when they click on your name. You can definitely delete your comment after it is published.
Delete a Comment
Go to Google.com or open the Google app Google Search.
Search for the game you commented on.
In the overview box, tap or click More More.
Tap or click Comments and then Viewers.
By your comment, tap or click More More and then Delete.
This feature is yet to be made available however we think it will be rolling out soon. What do you think of this new feature? Does it bring a whole new aspect to your Google search? Or is it just redundant and pointless?
Instagram has been updating its features over the months and each of their updates has never disappoint us, except for the algorithm part. There’s quite a number of updates and we are here to take a look at all the new features that rolled out in 2018.
1. New Fonts and Type Mode
Before this, we were only give one font to place over our Instagram stories. As of today, we’re given 5 different fonts – classic, modern, neon, typewriter and strong.
Remember when you’d had to take a pic with a black background just to type an essay of your rant. With the Type Mode introduced, gone were the days where you’d want to rant on something but don’t need a picture for that post.
2. Poll, Gifs, Hashtag and Mentions
You may also notice that Instagram has added the Mention and Hashtag in the pull up menu. Now you may tag people and hashtag with a more enhanced color. It’s nothing different than your good old way of just adding the @ before tagging people and # before you type in your hashtags. The Poll feature was a great hit when it was newly introduced. Everyone started asking questions in their stories which is a great way to interact with your followers. However, a lot of people didn’t know that their voting is NOT anonymous, until they found out the hard way- voting jokingly that someone does not look cute in their new outfit, then being confronted by that person. Ooops.
The most popular and best new update to our Instastory game is the GIF feature. We were blessed and grateful enough to have the IG stickers and emojis to be added in our stories, but Instagram heard our prayers and kept up with the trend to throw in GIF in this bundle. Instastory has never been more interesting and fun to watch.
Recently, Instagram has also introduced another poll feature, called the emoji slider. You can no select the emoji you want on the slider, and your followers will vote by sliding. The results of the poll is based on the average sliding meter.
3. Mute stories and posts
When Facebook allowed us to unfollow someone’s posts without having to unfriend them, it was the best idea ever. You know what we mean. There will be someone in your friends list that posts annoying and uninteresting opinions on their Facebook and you just do not want to see any of those. But at the same time you can’t unfriend them because of some reason. So UNFOLLOWING their post was the best thing ever. You remaind Facebook friends, but you don’t get their annoying updates. Instagram first had this feature only on Instastory posts. However, over the past few months, this new added feature was announced and everyone was ecstatic. You can now mute posts!
Press the three dots on the top right of the post.
Choose to “Mute Posts” only or “Mute Posts and Story”.
P/S: We did not mute @verge posts nor story, it was merely an example, we promise.
4. Follow hashtags
This is a great new feature because you no longer have to go to the discover page to search for hashtags and scroll through your favorite hashtag topics. Hashtag following is so convenient now as they appear on your timeline as well. It usually shows content from the most popular and most liked posts. We believe the certain account’s post will appear frequently according on your own interaction as well, for example if you liked the hashtag post shown on your timeline, its account’s posts are more likely to appear on your timeline.
5. Adding username and hashtag on your profile
Useful for anyone with secondary account and especially if you want your brand hashtags to be known. Great feature for companies with sister brands and want to get the brand out there in the Instagram world. It’s convenient now because you can just simply hit on the username or hashtag and you’d be brought to the page or hashtag posts.
This brand new feature was quite confusing at first because we don’t know what’s the purpose of this. After a while, it hit us that it’s just like a YouTube channel inside the Instagram portal. It also makes sense this feature exists because everyone knows that you can only post 1 minute long videos on your Instagram post and 15 seconds videos on your Instastory. IGTV allows videos longer than 1 minute to be posted on your Instagram account. Social media influencers and especially YouTubers could make great use of this IGTV. Notice how they would promote their new videos on YouTube on their Instagram posts or stories to have their followers watch them? With IGTV, their followers do not need to exit the Instagram app and could just watch their videos via IGTV.
7. Video Calling
YES! You can now do video calls via Instagram! And word of the mouth is, it supports GROUP VIDEO CALL at up to 4 calls
If you hadn’t notice, there is a video icon in the DM now.
The best part is, you can multitask while video calling. As in, you can continue scrolling on instagram. This is great because even iPhone’s FaceTime has yet to allow a group FaceTime call.
Is there any feature that we’ve missed out? Which one is your favorite feature of Instagram?