Social media marketers have been hit with a decline in engagement of organic social media content. This has initiated a move into producing more and more paid content. This latest trend appears to be coming from the idea of a ‘disappearing post’. Originally popularised by Snapchat when it launched back in 2011, users are able to send a photo or video to their contact list which will disappear after no longer than 10 seconds.In Autumn 2013, Snapchat went on to release ‘Snapchat stories’; this allowed users to broadcast live content to their followers for 24 hours before the content disappeared. The use of Snapchat stories has become incredibly popular with users being able to follow their favourite celebrities and brands. Most recently, Snapchat have introduced an ad-targeting option which allows advertisers to send follow-up ads to the people who had previously interacted with one of their ads on the mobile app.Some advertisers have recognised the average user of Snapchat to be aged under 25, a category widely referred to as ‘millennials’. Jenny Chen at Sport Social has explored Snapchat’s demographics and has found that they have over 150 million daily active users and that 15.8% of millennials prefer Snapchat to Instagram. If you’re a brand which wants to target such a demographic, Snapchat may well be your golden ticket. In comparison to the likes of Facebook, competition for advertising is currently relatively low.Following the introduction of stories, Facebook reportedly offered to buy Snapchat for $3 billion dollars but were unsuccessful. Since then, the competition between Snapchat and Facebook has intensified.Social media trends 2017 - the rise of video.At the beginning of the year, we were inundated with articles expressing the importance of using video on your business’ social media pages. This was followed by the introduction of stories on Instagram, the Facebook owned social media platform. It was described as ‘Snapchat for adults’ as Instagram cut the gimmicky filters and allowed users to produce creative posts with help of their partner app, Boomerang. Instagram stories have become increasingly popular with celebrities and bloggers, particularly as a platform to share brand deals and sponsored posts.However, we can expect the competition to grow as the use of advertising on videos rose by 51% last year. Mark Sweney at The Guardian recently reported that internet advertising spend surged above £10bn in the UK last year as companies more than doubled the amount they spent on mobile video ads.

Do I need to be using social media to advertise my business?

Facebook has 1.5 billion daily mobile users. That’s a lot of people you could be targeting. A report by HGEM found that two-thirds of consumers check a restaurant’s social media pages before making a decision on whether to dine there.We know that the majority of brands now post regular content on their social media pages, but are they taking advantage of the power of posting live content? The idea of disappearing ads and also posting live content on Facebook and Instagram may seem fairly new to many, but these websites absolutely have advertisers and social media marketers in mind. To help businesses capitalise on the growing popularity of real-time content, Instagram launched full-screen ads in stories to global advertisers in March 2017.So what does this mean for your business? Should you be turning your attention to creating disappearing content? Stories aren’t available (yet) for Facebook business pages, and they aren’t visible to people who follow you but aren’t your friends. If you fancy trying out social media ‘stories’ for your business page, give them a whirl on Snapchat or Instagram to get the hang of it. With the increasing popularity of stories for businesses, we can certainly expect Facebook to soon follow suit.

What kinds of brands are using social stories to advertise? Are they just a bit of fun?

So who’s taking advantage of social stories? McDonald’s recently identified that the core audience of Snapchat matched the highest percentage of employees and used it as a recruitment tool in Australia. Snapchat created a McDonald’s themed lens so job seekers could virtually try on the uniform and send a 10-second video or “snaplication”. Once the application was reviewed, McDonald’s sent users back to the digital careers hub where they download an application form. Gimmick or genius?Recently, with stories becoming available on a number of social media platforms, they have become the subject of various memes circulating the internet. There is even a Twitter account set up in dedication to social media stories(@NowHasStories). One post pokes fun at KFC with the heading ‘KFC 2017 will now have stories’ along with a photo-shopped image of their menu.Social media marketing is undoubtedly here to stay it’s constantly evolving and it’s important to stay on top of the trends. So what’s next? Twitter surely has stories on its’ agenda, but if they roll this out before we have the ability to edit a tweet, I suspect there will be some very strongly worded tweets indeed…For advice on getting the most out of your social media strategy, talk to us. Contact us via our online form and one of our social media experts will be in touch.