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Staying Relevant

Social media is changing. Is your strategy changing with it?


ocial media has evolved from an intimate network reserved for young, tech-savvy extroverts to a communication tool integrated into the everyday life of most Americans. This year, Facebook continues to lead in its efforts to revolutionize the social experience – with the help of its social sister, Instagram. Social media has gone well beyond creating profiles and connecting with other users. Here’s a look at some key social media trends worth considering to keep your strategy relevant and meaningful: Live Video Social media was built on a desire to capture and connect

on the everyday moments – in real time. Last year, real-time became literal with the launch of Facebook Live, a new tool that allows users to stream video on their feed and elevates engagement received through likes, comments and shares. Facebook also made the technology available to some users on Instagram through the stories feature in 2016 with plans to expand in 2017. If you haven’t “gone live” on your organization’s Facebook page yet, it’s time to take action. Leverage it and you’ll see the return. Visual Storytelling Even before social media and the 24-hour news cycle bombardment of news and

By Dawn Zimmerman

information, the studies were clear: Images capture the attention. Storytelling is not limited to the written word, no matter how carefully or cleverly crafted that post is. From images to videos, posts need to visually tell the story, too. What would it look like to take your content completely visual? Imagine the possibilities and make visual storytelling a priority. Facial Filters Snapchat first introduced the world to facial filters in 2015, with the help of artificial intelligence lenses, and last year allowed users to draw their own. Facebook also has started testing the concept and acquired Masquerade, a live

contributor Dawn Zimmerman is CEO of The Write Advantage, a St. Cloud-based communications company that specializes in social media.


Business Central Magazine // M AY/J U N E 2 0 1 7

filter and selfie app for live streaming video. The advent of augmented reality technology advances social media’s evolution from sharing information with a targeted group of people to sharing experiences. And it often infuses fun and humor in the process, which tend to perform well on social media. Instagram I often am asked, “What’s one social media platform to watch?” My answer this year: Instagram. Snapchat certainly is the fastest-growing among younger generations and seeing increasing adoption among older users, too. But most organizations will be able to better leverage Instagram. It has the power of Facebook behind it, which already has shown its stronghold on the market. Last July, Instagram grew to 500 million users – a 100 million jump in less than a year. It is built on visual storytelling. Last year, it launched a new feature called Instagram Stories. Pulled from Snapchat’s playbook, Instagram Stories allows users to post and share videos or photos with their followers for 24 hours before they disappear. Once recorded, users can add notes, comments, stickers or drawings. Within the first two months of launching, Instagram Stories engaged nearly 100 million daily active users. The common theme for this year: Go visual. The true value of social media comes when organizations step out of the norm from sharing information to sharing experiences with their followers.

May/June 2017 Issue  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

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