Future Implications

Social media changes on an almost weekly basis it seems so it is important to stay on top of the trends otherwise your brand will suffer.  Some upcoming trends that brands need to be aware of are as follows.

Live Video 

Live video will continue to grow in popularity in 2018 so brands should start adding that to their social media strategy if they already haven’t. Personally, I have noticed that live video is naturally boosted by the Facebook algorithm more than any other type of post.

According to Facebook, live videos receive 6x the engagement as non-live ones, which is absolutely crazy to me. (Hubspot, 2017)

Messaging Apps

Although messaging apps like Facebook messenger, What’s App, and the like are already relatively popular, companies will need to be utilizing messaging applications to chat one-on-one with their customers. Quite a few retailers have this functionality already built into their websites like Nordstrom, but it will continue to grow in 2018. Nowadays, people are all about instant gratification so people expect their problems solved instantly so this will help assist brands in getting back to their customers quicker than they had in the past.

If brands do not start utilizing this in 2018, their customers will find other brands who are and they may end up losing some customers because of it.

Virtual Reality

VR became really popular in 2017 but it will continue to increase in popularity this year. Virtual reality encourages people to engage by offering a unique experience unlike anything ever before.

Voice Search and Artificial Intelligence 

Things like the Alexa and Google Home have made voice search more popular over the past year or so. It seems like everyone has some type of voice controlled device in their homes these days.

Social Listening Tools

Social listening tools are already used by most marketers but this year, the usage of these tools will explode in 2018 as brands are trying to be more innovative with the content they create and need to measure what is working and what is not.

Instagram Stories and other forms of Ephemeral content 

Going along with the live video trend mentioned above, Instagram Stories and other types of ephemeral content will continue to gain popularity this year. Ephemeral content is content that disappears after 24 hours so it gives people the incentive to check it more often so that they are not missing out on anything.

Influencer Marketing 

In 2018, influencer marketing usage will continue to rise. Influencers are seen as honest and relatable, unlike most celebrity endorsements so brands will continue to break into the influencer marketing sphere.

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

Today I am going to be sharing the top five characteristics of a viral campaign. According to Marketing-Schools, Viral marketing is a marketing technique that uses pre-existing social networking services to promote a product or service.

  1. Unique

    A campaign that isn’t unique most likely will not go viral so if you’re looking to have one of your campaigns go viral, you need to present unique content instead of something that everyone has seen before. One unique campaign that comes to mind is the Always #LikeaGirl campaign. It’s very unique and something we haven’t seen before.

  2. Appeals to emotion 

    A viral marketing campaign usually appeals to emotions. The emotions could be happy, sad, or even angry but it needs to have a really strong effect on your intended audience to make an impact. One campaign that appeals to your emotion is the Dove Real Beauty campaign which shows how we perceive ourselves and how we can be so tough on our own personal appearances and that we should appreciate our own natural beauty more.

  3. Content is developed for a specific audience 

    When creating a campaign in hopes of going viral, you should have your ideal audience in mind when going through the creation process. You need to consider their interests including their likes and dislikes, what channels they are most active on, and more when you’re crafting a campaign so that you maximize your chances of reaching your target audience and having a viral campaign. One of the companies that I think nails ad campaigns for millennials is Chipotle. They make their campaign relatable and applicable to their target audience and it works.

  4. Gets the viewers involved 

    A viral campaign usually gets the audience involved in some way or another whether that’s with a contest or another tactic. For example, Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contents allowed customers to submit new potato chip flavors for the chance to win $1 million. This got people very excited because not only would they get to potentially have input on the next potato chip flavor, they would also have the chance to win $1 million.

  5. Content generates additional content 

    Campaigns that go viral usually generate additional content, which helps the campaign grow at an exponential rate. An example of this is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, users participated in this challenge and continued to tag their friends and continue generating awareness about ALS and the challenge in general at no additional cost to the ALS foundation.

Differentation

The two brands that I’ve selected to compare for this assignment are Nordstrom and J.Crew. These two companies are both retailers that sell both men, women, and children’s clothes, shoes, and accessories among other things. Nordstrom is a department store while J.Crew just sells their own brand of items but they are both still retailers that offer clothing, shoes, and accessories to a fairly similar clientele. I feel like both companies utilize social media well but in different ways. They both have a few similarities but also some differences as well.

Similarities 

Both companies are very active on social media.  They also put a lot of value in responding to their customers and making sure that they have a great experience with each company.  It is refreshing to see that both of these companies care so much about their customer and want to ensure that the customer leaves feeling satisfied in every way.

Another similarity that these two companies have is the voice behind their brand.  Although the brand message and voice are not completely identical, they are fairly similar.  Both brands share promotional content but they also share behind the scenes and online love from their customers. This makes both brands more relatable and makes people more likely to want to follow along. I personally do not follow very many retailers on social media but J.Crew and Nordstrom are two brands I love to follow along with.

Differences 

One difference that I have found is that J.Crew separates their Twitter profiles. They have one general Twitter, one specifically for help, and one for making hiring announcements.  I understand their reasoning for separating the accounts but I have not seen many other companies do this so I thought it was pretty interesting.

Strategic Goals

Although both brands have similarities, their strategic goals are surely different.  While it’s obvious that both brands want to increase their engagement (likes, comments, followers, etc.), they both have different end game goals in mind as well.

Just by looking at their social media accounts it’s hard to tell what each brand’s individual goals for social media are but after doing a little research, I was able to find out a little more about each companies’ social media strategies.

One of J.Crew’s goals for social media is to use digital marketing to drive sales to their website and retail stores and I am sure Nordstrom’s goal for their digital marketing is very similar to that as well. Nordstrom has been in the digital world for a lot longer than other companies so while other department stores are failing, Nordstrom is staying afloat.