Social Trend Watching: July Edition

Michael Oelschig Submitted by on the 18th of July 2016

Welcome to July’s edition of social media trends to watch out for.

  1. I don’t even know what a Pokémon is

No really, I have no idea. But then this game came out and the entire world went completely mental. My level of interest in downloading it sits somewhere between that Kardashian app and that app that plays the entire 99 bottles song from start to finish.

It did get me wondering, though, what is it about this game that has made it more downloaded than Twitter in five days and what can we as social media marketers learn from it?

For me, it’s simple really. It brings to life that big trend from a few years ago that said, “experiences are the new luxury good.” Social media is best used in conjunction with real-life events or experiences. Brands need to be reminded of this, because too many are still stuck in the boring written content game. Getting customers to experience something in the real world that is then augmented and amplified by social media is where brands really win.

And it took some cartoon aliens to remind us of this. Or are they animals? Monsters? Whatever.

  1. Live video #winning

Facebook is changing its algorithm again. If I had a rand for every time I heard that I could probably buy Facebook. Well a couple shares at least.

But I really like this one. While not an entirely new development, we tend to be a bit behind big trends here on the southern tip, so it hasn’t really taken off to any large degree. We all know that Facebook’s algorithm has taken a liking to video on the platform recently, but in its quest for absolute world domination in all things content, Facebook has taken aim at Periscope by announcing that live video is now numero uno when it comes to news feed ranking. Users tend to spend more time on and engage more with live video than an archived stream, so the update does make sense.

Live video does have its issues in South Africa, however, from data consumption and internet speeds to there not actually being anything really worth watching. I personally hope that these types of developments give live video the push it needs to become pervasive. It is an incredible medium for brands when done right.

Facebook is really making a big bet on live streaming and I for one want in on that action.

  1. Native publishing versus “building on your own land”

We tell all our clients that they need to own the land they build on. Meaning, why publish content on a platform you have no ownership of or real control over? Seems legit, right? Well, not so much anymore.

With Twitter making changes to its 140-character limit, LinkedIn doing its best to be the definitive professional publishing platform, and Facebook being more publisher, less social network in the true sense of the term, an interesting quandary has arisen.

On the one hand, publishing directly on the platform means you can tap into reach that very few owned platforms can even dream about. But, the old building on someone else’s land question is back. We want people on our blogs and websites because we are more likely to sell to them, therefore we should rather link to our blogs and websites. But then less people are likely to consume the content.

It’s a classic catch 22. But the answer is pretty simple. What is the objective of the content? Do you want awareness or sentiment? Or do you want conversions? I’ll leave you to figure out which to do for each.