Businesses nowadays are starting to realize that social media is the best avenue to reach clients and customers. Some companies are now also starting to use social media as a way to communicate with employees and keep them on the same “page.” Studies have shown that companies who use social media to keep their employees connected have demonstrated increased engagement as well as higher productivity. This article will go through some examples of what kinds of shifts are taking place that are enabling businesses to take full advantage of the age of social media.

Videos are the New Norm

Videos are now flooding social media sites in a way never seen before. The average person now watches several hours of video, with a large quantity of these videos being shared on social media sites. This means that online videos are now a key way to reach consumers. Live streaming has seen a surge in activity in the last few months, and short, witty videos keep people engaged much more successfully than long strings of text. Facebook purportedly doubled its daily video views in 2015, and now more users are viewing videos on the social media app than on Youtube.

Businesses are Employing Specialized Social Media Teams

More businesses today are encouraging their employees to use their social media accounts to share updates about the company they work for. For some, this isn’t enough, as more companies are realizing that there is a big audience on social media for them to reach. These companies hire people specifically to engage social media users. Posts made by employees provide a much higher reach than posts made by brand channels.

Social Media Ads are Getting More Precise

As the technology that collects data on the interests and demographics of social media users gets better, so does the quality of ads being shared on social media. The way ads are designed nowadays, they show up on the feeds of social media users looking almost like real posts. These ads are targeted in a way that almost always shows users exactly what they are interested in. Due to the effectiveness of these ads, spending on social media advertising increased by more than a third in 2015.

Social Media is Being Used at the Workplace

Email is starting to be phased out in favor of internal social networks. These specialized social media applications allow information to be exchanged throughout a company in a way that has shown to be highly effective. The internal social media application, Slack, now has more than a million users who are active, and it’s only taken two years for it to rise to that degree of usage. Facebook is also getting on the bandwagon by providing a trial mode of Facebook at Work, a networking platform aimed towards usage in workplaces.

Social Media is Used as an Outlet for Customer Service

Businesses have seen that social media allows a quick way to respond to customer needs, and gives consumers a forum to discuss what they want out of a company. People are seeking faster customer service today, and calling in on a phone number isn’t going to cut it. A lot of times it is great customer service that keeps people coming back to a company, while poor customer service causes many to look somewhere else. It is important for organizations to interact with customers in a personal setting, such as on pages in social media.

Visual Marketing is Effective

Already, the majority of social media communications are visual, and it is projected that the ratio will be more than 80 percent visual by 2018. Posts with images get far more shares and likes than do text-centered posts. Some companies are turning to Instagram in order to engage customers through relevant images. Hampton Creek is one company whose Instagram is filled with images that espouse their message and give people vegan recipe ideas. Their line of “Just products” is advertised in many ways via the images they post on Instagram.

Digital Evolution

Advertising in social media allows users to click through and find themselves on a company’s website instantly. Customer service can now happen real-time and in the view of the public eye. Employees are finding social media networks an easier medium of communication than emails. All of these trends point to a more effective way of doing business that keeps up to date with the new developments in social media.