The inevitable: Evolution of social media platforms
Have you ever wondered how a platform can evolve so much year after year? We saw Instagram evolve from a social sharing platform for us to connect with our loved ones to now a monetization platform. As the number of users on social media increases to 60%, the platform realizes the potential for businesses to connect with users. Now, businesses can reach out to users with CTAs, ads, and potentially future features for a more interactive interface. For all we know, we are (im)patiently anticipating the Live Shopping feature to arrive to Malaysia’s shores.
The creators behind Instagram (IG) are working hard to catch up with the ever-changing consumer behaviors and match them with new features on the platform. So who’s to say businesses shouldn’t be in this loop of change? Would you want to miss out on juicy opportunities and experience loss or grasp onto any chance of success given? As you ponder on that question, let’s break down the nitty-gritty of what business owners need to know to ace 2023.
Best content format for engagement
Users are now seeking less advertorial content. Consumers are increasingly sensitive to ads and can sniff ingenuine content from a mile away. Hence, choosing the right influencer for your business is top a priority. Users will be able to tell if an influencer truly loves the product they are promoting or if they are purely doing it for advertising purposes. Our advice to you is to avoid focusing on the follower count but to seek influencers that truly want to use your services and share the same core values as your brand. That goes to say, influencers with a niche where they are the KOL in their area of expertise.
1.2 Value-driven content
When it comes to IG, no matter the content format used, whether video or image, the value, and quality of content triumphs over all. In the end, it’s about the content of the content. Images have been proven to bring quality and engagement too when done right. It gives room for different content formats to shine and adds diversity to your feed. Perhaps that may be the reason why IG has recently launched a new feature to add music to IG posts. Share valuable information your audience will find favor in and watch your engagement soar.
“Content triumphs all algorithm hacks.”Cecilia Ooi, BASH Clothing co founder
A question to ponder: Since the algorithm works by tracking the behavior of users, what if we change our behavior of using the platform?
1.3 Short videos
Short videos continue to take an uphill trend in the social media world as all platforms adapt to this format. It has been proven that short videos rank number one in lead generation and engagement when given the right value.
85% of marketers say short-form videos are most effective hence its no wonder why TikTok is becoming the top platform in Malaysia.
Short videos work best in showcasing different perspectives of a business. For example, when businesses take their business to TikTok and share the behind-the-scenes of the brand, the challenges they encounter, and even the people behind the brand, they see an increase in engagement on their TikTok account. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this TikTok video by Joi showcasing their boss. Consumers are increasingly interested to know the owner of the business with 70% of consumers feeling more connected to a business when they see or know the owner.
Though people are often hooked by short videos, and short videos are far more interactive than just mere photos, we would like to emphasize that the quality of the content is still far more important than the format. Users may come across your video on the reels tab for example, but they may not be interested after the first three seconds upon watching your video which may not lead to conversion.
Another way to increase engagement is by creating talkability and it can even be controversial topic. Though of course, this needs to be threaded carefully as your brand image still needs to be taken into account. But if you can utilize this technique and twist it to relate to your business, it works well with the algorithm. Why? The reason is, when you post a controversial topic, discussions may occur and the algorithm may recognize it as worthy content and push it to the top.
Though, be aware of how different platforms cater to different audience needs. For example, users head to IG for more aesthetic content and inspiration whereas for TikTok, people often go there to destress. So more candid moments, behind the scenes and funny content may work better. The strategy is to keep a balance between hopping onto trends (controversial topics) and posting authentic content. The best is of course to merge both trends and authenticity together. But it will heavily depend on the trend of course.
2.1 Sense of urgency
Utilize live streaming to create a sense of urgency among consumers. Use this time to announce last stocks—buy now or there will be no more restock, double digit sales (12.12) today only deals or live exclusive promo codes. This is also a good time to share products for last minute purchases before festive seasons like Chinese New Year or Christmas.
2.2 increases authenticity & connection with audience
Live streaming holds an instant two way communication between businesses and consumers interested to purchase the items seen in live.
Cecilia Ooi, BASH Clothing co founder
“We love to bond and ask questions with customers and showcase different outfits on different bodies.”
Going on live is important to gain trust among consumers as they are able to see the products in real-time; the material, how it flows when worn and the entirety of the exact product. Consumers will also find favor watching the live as a shopping guide. Businesses can then measure the engagement and ROI after the live by measuring the number of orders received, and leads from the live.
2.3 Repurposing content
It goes without saying that businesses can repurpose content by extracting snippets from live videos. Don’t be too concerned if the viewer count is low during your live sessions as people may still watch it after the live ends when they have time. Post it on your IG feed, and they can save or share it with others, which may lead to an increase in followers.
If you go on IG now, you will notice there are more influencers who are sharing about brands they love on social media. It has become a platform for sharing rather than users just showing what they are up to on the day-to-day. Now consumers go on IG to learn more about a brand they came across, find inspiration, and shop. According to Loreal, platforms are now driven by content and in today’s world, everyone can be a creator and have the opportunity for a shot at fame.
Quoting Loreal, it’s now not sufficient to just have celebrities and macros. It’s more than just a scale standpoint. Even though creators with lower follower counts might not have the highest reach, they have niche audiences that are very clustered in specific tribes in specific areas. Businesses need to start engaging with more micro & nano influencers in lower tiers for higher engagement. Also, because they have a more dedicated following, the trade-off results in better ROI.
When you look at the chart above, a Partipost study discovered that Nano influencers, 46%, have the highest impact on consumers in regard to buying decisions. The other tiers of influencers are celebrities 20.6%, macro influencers 17.7% and micro influencers 15.7%. Just a short introduction to nano influencers, nanos are usually a consumer’s circle of family and friends. This group of influencers has the highest impact on buying decisions which may help businesses hit their sales targets.
Hence, tapping into influencer marketing is vital. The best strategy is to utilize both micros and nanos as a balance to maximize your ROI. This ensures you are not maximizing your budget while reaching for the stars. The best way to know if an influencer was effective is to always measure the ROI. Take for instance, once they post a photo, how many followers are coming in? You can also measure the ROI from the unique code you gave them.
Cecilia Ooi, BASH Clothing co founder
“It is more than just the follower count that matters.
We had one influencer who brought in 500 followers and 30 leads with just 1 IG story posting. Whereas another influencer with 500k only got us 20 leads.”
Using micro-influencers usually leads to a one-time thing. Their followers may like that particular dress that the micro-influencer is wearing and ask for the link to the outfit. But it doesn’t grow the business. It’s a one-time effect with no long-term benefits. However, if you utilize nano influencers (everyday people), it works as a recommendation from a friend and they will most likely follow your business long-term as they like their friend’s style and know that they will find similar styles if they follow this store. Hence, this leads to long-term conversion. Therefore, having a mixture of both micro and nano influencers is important for your business. Select influencers based on how well they fit with your brand and not by the number of followers they have.
Ask yourself these questions: Does this influencer share the same core value as your business? Who are their followers and why are they following this influencer? As people usually follow others that are similar to them to gain inspiration.
Ummi Nasir, MUA and Content Creator
“Make sure that the influencer you use can relate and represent your brand.”
Building a community
In a case study, L’oreal has mentioned that one way to build a community is to invite creators who are genuinely interested in your brand. Having your own community of influencers is the best strategy to put your brand out there as creators now have the power.
Businesses should start learning how to leverage their customers as influencers. Facilitate a platform where existing customers can engage with prospective customers, especially now when people in similar industries are searching for ways to connect with industry peers and share knowledge online.
One of the best ways to get into consumers’ hearts is to make them feel like they belong somewhere. When businesses show they care about their followers by sharing helpful tips, and talking about things that matter to them, it increases the sense of connection between consumers and your business,
You can start with having a KOL or spokesperson for your brand, or people who have followed you for a long time, your loyal customers who follow and connect with your brand values and support your business since the beginning.
Ceciilia Ooi, BASH Clothing co founder
“We plan to have more events and activities with our community of girls in 2023. To build a deeper connection with them.”
Long-term partnership with influencers
This form of partnership helps to build a community of consumers who love your brand. Reach out to an influencer that shares similar value as your business, adores your products, and is a frequent consumer of your products. That way, it speaks authenticity, long-term partnership, and possibly free advertising.
Utilize long-term relationships with influencers to increase retention rates, remain top-of-mind, increase authenticity and trust. When consumers see that an influencer continuously chooses to work with your brand, it speaks volumes as an influencer would only continuously work with a brand if it’s good.
To further confirm this, 52% of Malaysians are influenced to make a purchase by continuous exposure. So it is always good to build a relationship with influencers, engaging with them for a 3 to 6 month period to fully integrate them into the brand so that their followers see your product in their feed month after month. If the influencer feels fully invested, they will speak genuinely about the product. This often also leads to overdelivery of brand content organically and influencers who become authentic brand fans.
Ummi Nasir, MUA and Content Creator
“When an influencer loves your brand, they will constantly talk about your product even though they are only paid once, even after the campaign ends.”
To strengthen the above point further, the chart above was a study done by Partipost which showcases 32.7% of consumers who agree that they are influenced by influencers who recommend a product many times.
With all that said, how do you then leverage influencer marketing to be ahead of the game and ride the wave to success?
Here at Partipost, we’ve made it our mission to strategize precisely that—and particularly to harness the power of everyday people to help brands in impactful and cost-effective ways by enabling them to activate influencers with scale and speed. With Word-of-mouth marketing driving $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of sales, how can you not only take a bite out of the pie but also benefit your brand’s objectives and KPI?
To date, the company has been working with brands in the mass consumer sectors such as FMCG, F&B, and Lifestyle to name a few not only in Malaysia, but also in the 5 other countries we are in: Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
If you are keen to experience this ever-growing trend, feel free to drop us your contact details below and we shall contact you soon!