Search engines are not the only place consumers are absorbing their information: social media now plays a huge role as well. 64% of the UK population actively use the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and this prominence has resulted in social media being one of the biggest, if not the biggest, influencers on our daily lives, especially for Generation Z and Millennials. This is precisely what makes social media marketing such a valuable asset for any brand.
We’ve already spoken about how reality TV influences shopping habits through social media, but in this article, we’ll explore how social media can impact Micro-Moments and offer brands the opportunity for increased awareness and sales.
What Are Micro-Moments?
Micro-Moments have changed the Digital Marketing sphere entirely. They’re the new battleground where brands are competing with each other to be there, in that invaluable Micro-Moment when the consumer’s interest is at its peak.
Our decisions and choices are now made in these ‘Micro-Moments’ – and they’re all inherently mobile. With a massive 9/10 of internet users now owning a smartphone and mobile search traffic knocking desktop traffic off the top spot, 65% of all ‘digital media time’ occurs on a mobile device.
Consumers have access to a goldmine of information at the end of their fingertips – anywhere and at any time – so it’s inevitable that limitless numbers of micro-moments will appear during the day.
Social Media Micro-Moments
One of the most significant, and yet overlooked, drivers of Micro-Moments is social media. As it’s generally seen as a source of fun and a way to wind down the time on the way into work in a morning, many marketers fail to see the link between social media and Micro-Moments, but with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram dominating our lives so much there’s huge potential there.
Let’s look at some examples. In January 2017, health and beauty company Manuka was mentioned a couple of key times on Instagram. In the first instance, which happened on 12th January, a video was posted at 4.19pm on 12th January. The video was hugely popular, gaining over 2 million views. However, the impact wasn’t just seen on Instagram. Inspired by the post, users took to Google to find out more about Manuka and its products.
The significance of social media on searches isn’t just limited to the hugely successful posts that rack up millions of engagements. Later in January 2017, an Instagram post mentioning Manuka received only 518,000 views, significantly fewer than the first example. This did nothing to limit its impact though.
Social media isn’t just fun; it’s a way to keep up with the latest news and follow the current trends. So if a Twitter user sees a piece of news that they want to learn more about, they’re going to head to Google to search for it. And if a Facebook user sees a friend posting about their latest fashion purchase, they’re going to do the same: head to Google and search.
With an average of 6,000 tweets being sent every second, that’s a lot of potential Micro-Moments for brands to take advantage of.
Brands such as Manuka are helped by Influencer Marketing. This describes the act of a brand enlisting a personality with significant sway on social media to mention their products in the public sphere (typically through a post on Twitter or Instagram). If you’re a brand looking to tap into your target audience through social media then influencer marketing is perhaps the most effective method, with the younger audience being especially receptive. Millennials or Gen-Z are more likely to listen to their favourite TV personality or celebrity than a generic TV Ad.
Research from Twitter shows that 49% of consumers seek purchase guidance from social media influencers, and a huge 40% of Twitter users said they had made a purchase directly as a result of an influencer’s post. Influencers come in many varieties: some are bona fide celebrities with an army of followers, while others are lesser-known. Such people are known as micro-influencers and while they have smaller followings, they’re also more concentrated and loyal, and can be even more effective in driving sales, if used well.
Arguably the most prominent influencer on social media is Kim Kardashian West, who’s followed by over 55 million users on Twitter and has a number of significant brand endorsements, including GOOD AMERICAN jeans, as seen in the tweet below.
Influencer marketing is most prevalent on Instagram, whose visual appeal makes it easier for brands to make a big impact quickly. This has led to brands spending over $1BN per year on influencers. Anything from watches, protein, to smartphone apps are used in Influencer Marketing. The opportunities are endless.
Look, for example, at this year’s Love Island winner Amber Davies, who has a following of over 1 million people on Instagram. She recently posted a picture of herself wearing a pair of shoes from Shoeaholics and the post garnered over 65,000 likes. This will, in turn, inspire her followers to search for more information about those shoes specifically, or shoes like it, so a number of micro-moments will be created for Shoeaholics, or other brands, to take advantage of.
Social media is now a vital part of a brand’s overall Micro-Moments marketing mix, but doing it effectively is not about overkill or spamming consumer newsfeeds with posts that are clearly not genuine. We’ve previously spoken about how consumers want authenticity in food advertisements and social media campaigns are no different. A clear and thorough strategy that places authenticity and reactivity must be put in place if brands are to really capitalise on those precious Micro-Moments and reap the benefits that are there to be had.
What do you think of social media, influencers and their impact on Micro-Moments? Tweet us your thoughts at @mporiumgroup!