2016 will see the best of everything in social media space: Sapna Desai

Sapna Desai, Vice President - Head, Marketing and Communication, Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company, writes about the trends and developments in social media marketing in 2016.

It took the radio 38 years to reach a user base of 50 million. In contrast, in 2015, it took just 24 hours for the trailer of ‘Star Wars 7’ to garner 100 million views. Such is the power of digital technology, and social media is one such tool harnessing the power of digital technology to create avenues that help in creation and dissemination of information at speeds like never before.

Now, let’s look at the top 5 trends in social media in 2016.

Visual content is one-up on textual content
The shift from text to images, and images to videos is very evidently on your timeline on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks to smartphones and social media, the attention span of the Millennials today is 8 seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish. Therefore, it becomes imperative that content creators are able to convey the maximum amount of information possible in the shortest duration. We too post GIFs on health benefits to draw the attention of the audience.

Social media – the new age CRM tool
As a brand, you are on social media and so is your audience. Hence, it is but natural for a brand to want to know what a customer or a potential customer is talking about the brand. Recently, Facebook Messenger got an update, and since then Facebook confirms that there are over 11,000 bots being launched on the Messenger platform. With these bots the brands can almost instantaneously engage with any user in real-time using “Quick Replies” and developers can be given ratings feedback almost instantly. The other interesting updates are listed here. (https://marketingland.com/messenger-platform-update-183066)

Stands for Social, Local and Mobile. Today, it is a mobile first generation. Gone are the days when brands felt the need to have a “mobile optimised” website in line with their desktop version. Mobile marketing has taken the digital world by storm and SoLoMo is creating ripples with a significant impact. Everything a brand does today in digital media is mobile first, localised and a social angle is a must for it to gain popularity.

Crowd sourced content
Activating passionate people within a social network environment where they can co-create and participate is an opportunity to scale reach, especially on platforms like Facebook. Mobile devices make the engagement with the brand all the more easy. Our #MyHealthie, #WhoGivesYouMore and #TheGreatIndianYogaChallenge are all examples of this trend. The month-long #MyHealthie campaign on both Facebook and Twitter tried to give the craze around “selfies” a healthy twist. Again, a 7-day contest was planned around the International Yoga Day. Participants had to click and upload a photo of themselves performing the Yoga Asana of their choice. The campaign gained a lot of visibility, and hence, we have decided to continue its legacy every year.

Going social has been great so far
2016 is all set to witness the best of everything in the social media space. With the help of social media, brands today are increasingly focusing on the higher purpose than just earning profits and revenues. Interestingly, the profits and revenue have, more often than not, followed the success of the purpose related to the brand. In the age of purpose driven brands, making the world a better place is perhaps the new norm to succeed.

(The author is Head, Marketing and Communication at Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company and has been associated with the company for the last two years and 10 months. Prior to that, she has worked with ING Vysya Life Insurance, BPL Mobile, Indian School of Business and Ogilvy Advertising.) 


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