Gone are the days where generating audience engagement on social media was primarily a passive process. The always-online audiences of today want to be involved, interact, and co-create.
The brands that are successful in delivering personalized experiences to their audiences are the brands that are likely to thrive with their social media strategies this year. But in order to capitalize on this and everything else social media has to offer, you have to get a good look at audience and platform trends to understand the bigger picture.
If you aren’t caught up on our latest Insider posts on social media or otherwise, it wouldn’t hurt your pet store or your marketing skills to backtrack and play some catch up. Better yet, you could just give us a follow and subscribe!
Data Backed Social Media Trends 2019
Explosive Growth of Live Content
If you haven’t learned about Instagram TV, Stories, or Facebook Live from our past Insider posts, those are 100% worth your time to do some learning about. In 2019, we will see live content outperforming produced content. By the end of this year, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video. Mobile usage and even shorter attention spans will continue to increase the popularity of short-lived content in 2019, especially with Millennials and Generation Z’ers, who thrive on their relationships with brands being authentic and meaningful.
Which is exactly why it’s crucial that social media marketers establish a solid video strategy for ephemeral content. As a pet store owner, take the opportunity (5-10 minutes a few times per week) to embrace this personal, authentic and in-the-moment style content vs. overly produced, pre-packed content.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Introduce yourself – Your pet store is likely getting new followers all the time and some may not know the backstory of how you got to where you are today.
Share customer testimonials – How often do you get someone else’s opinion on a product or service before you spend your money? Customer testimonials help people on the fence take the next step.
Show off your company culture – Do you have a super fun back room? Did your pet store just throw an awesome event for its employees? Believe it or not, highlighting your culture doesn’t just help for recruiting - buyers want to know they’re spending their money with a business that cares for its employees.
Thank your customers – After all, you wouldn’t be where you are without them. While “thank you” videos are typically an end-of-year item, your customers are buying from you every day, not just during the busy, year-end holiday season. Take a quick moment to thank them and don’t be afraid to use some humor or let your personality shine through!
Transparency and Honesty
One of social media’s biggest challenges in 2019 is going to be trust and transparency. In 2018, amid data breaches and privacy concerns, people’s trust in social media dropped to only 41% globally.
What does this mean for pet stores? Well, it’s more important than ever to build trust with your audience. You can do so by being transparent with your customers, whether that involves admitting a mistake or updating them on a recent change in policy. It may seem like a small task, but assuring your customers that their information is safe with you may be the difference between keeping them or losing them to another business who does.
The Customer Service Opportunity
71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others. 63% of customers actually expect companies to offer customer service via their social media channels, and 90% of social media users have already used social media as a way to communicate with a brand or business. Your pet store cannot neglect social media as a crucial customer care channel and opportunity to build brand loyalty, bring in new customers, and satisfy current ones. The impressive rise of Facebook Messenger makes this a relatively easy opportunity to capitalize on when marketing your pet store.
Let Your Advocates Do The Talking
You’ve probably heard of influencer marketing. The theory behind influencer marketing is that when a person with great influence over their large following posts about your product, brand, or even your pet store, it has a bigger impact than if you try to target the audience yourself. This is because many people online trust the opinions of others more than posts from a brand themselves.
Influencer marketing really took off in 2018 and influencers have more bargaining power than ever before. However, micro-influencers are going to be a huge trend in 2019 and should be part of your pet store’s marketing strategy. Our suggestion? Identify some influencers in your industry or in your local area (not as crucial if you are eCommerce) such as dog or cat Instagram pages and reach out with information on your business to determine if you’re a good fit for each other.
Want to know the really cool part? Most pet stores already have influencers within their base, it’s just a matter of finding them and striking the right deal. They may be happy to take store credit, gift cards, gift boxes, or others to promote your pet store. Sounds like a win-win.
Visual Visual Visual
If you haven’t already made the switch from text, you must know that visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
Pet stores can no longer afford to ignore social media ads as a viable means of spending ad budget. We’re already seeing a ton of businesses jump on board with social media ads, increasing social ad budgets 32% in 2018 alone and producing more ads than ever before. In fact, one of every four Facebook Pages now use paid advertising as part of their strategy. And Facebook accounts for 23% of total U.S. digital ad spending. All of those numbers are sure to increase this year.
So, in a space that’s already crowded and continues to get busier, it’s imperative that your pet store invests in high quality content in order to stand out and make a splash, strike a nerve, start a fire. With more brands competing for people’s attention on social media, ordinary posts just aren’t going to cut it.
As always, it’s a lot to think about right? In our experience, some of these terms, ideas, tactics, and strategies may be entirely new to pet store owners. That’s fine, because we can’t tell you how happy we’d be to take it all off your hands! Reach out to us and let’s start helping each other.