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3 Emerging Social Media Trends to Watch

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shutterstock_156399695In the current marketing landscape, relevant and well-advertised brands all have the social media basics down pat. They have social strategies in place, and are active on all the big social platforms like Twitter, Facebook,and LinkedIn. They blog about industry news and post company announcements on their websites. In the mission to improve SEO, brands turn to these major social channels, building blocks of online engagement.

However, when targeting the 18-25 age demographic, it’s important to utilize new and emerging media, not just the major social channels. Let’s take a look at three of the most popular new social media methods brands are using to connect with Generation Next.

1. Don’t be afraid to get on Snapchat. Though media giants and events (like CNN or Coachella) have paid to be placed within the app, there are many benefits to creating and running an account as a brand. This piece from Social Media Today outlines some of the factors which differentiate Snapchat from more widely used social channels:

“Since Snapchat allows you to swipe through all stories and updates, it allows the community to interact with the brand even more so than Facebook or Twitter. Snapchat is also special because after 24 hours of posting on their ‘My Story’ feature, the update is gone, which means engaged users will often check for updates over the course of the day.”
-Chris Kyriacou, “5 Reasons Why Brands Should Be Using Snapchat

2. Traditional celebrities aren’t the only influencers. More often than not, brands trying to reach young adults are collaborating with new media celebrities. In a recent survey, Variety found that the 5 most influential figures for Americans aged 13-18 were all Youtubers. Given that information, it’s not hard to see why endorsement from YouTube and Vine stars has become extremely common on the platforms. For those making their living by releasing free content on the Internet, the offer of a paycheck is usually well-received. See this great list of brands making new media work for them.

3. Playlist-making offers a new way to interact. For some brands, the music streaming service Spotify has given them an “in” with consumers listening to music. Brands are making playlists to amplify the excitement of releases and events, and people are taking notice. eMarketer recently released a case study on how Carnival has used Spotify to connect with Millennials:

“As one of the top 10 most integrated social apps on Facebook, according to April 2013 research from AppData, and with 20 million active users, Spotify seemed an ideal destination for Carnival to provide a music-focused, social experience that would resonate with a younger, millennial user base.”
Case Study: With Spotify Playlist, Carnival Engages a Millennial Audience

Another unique feature of playlist creation on Spotify is its relative subtlety. If we know that young people don’t like to be directly sold to, creating playlists that users can choose to ignore or interact with is a welcome divergence from the paid ads which interrupt streaming on the service, such as 30-second audio spots or “takeover” banners.

These are just a few big ways that marketing via social has changed in the last few years. For brands to stay relevant and engage younger audiences, thinking outside the box is key.

Know of any other brands using social in an innovative way? Let us know! Keep up to date on the latest marketing news by following @ovrdrv on Twitter.

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