Social media trends and popular engagements are increasingly impacting how companies market their products and services. Consequently, outsourcing companies are tapping into this new marketing force to drive sales for their clients.
One of the factors that make the new business model successful is the rate at which social media is impacting the world through universal reach and integration with everyday life. According to Kepios's analysis, more than 4.55 billion people use social media around the world, which represents about 57.6 percent of humanity. The figure also implies that nine out of ten web users log into a social media website at least once a month.
Social media use continues to increase with more people joining various platforms faster than ever. Kepios reports that there were 409 million new social media accounts in 2021 alone. Note that the popularity of social media is greatly undervalued since such websites have a policy that prevents children under the age of 13 from creating accounts.
Combined, all social media users in the world easily spend 10 billion hours on such platforms daily, which translates into about 1.2 million years. According to the study, most people have several social media websites they visit monthly.
For example, the average user visits about 6.7 social media networks monthly. They also spend about two and a half hours browsing such sites daily. If you assume that the average person sleeps for eight hours, it means that people are spending about 15% of their waking years on social media platforms.
As businesses begin to embrace social media trends to generate sales, several new trends have emerged across various industries:
- Increased automation
- Emphasis on social media services
- Growth in SaaS and cloud computing
- Diversification of BPO services
Business automation has been facilitated by advancements seen in artificial intelligence (AI) in various aspects of people’s lives. Estimates suggest that almost 40 percent of all jobs in the United States could be replaced by automation by 2030.
Social media has changed how consumers provide feedback to companies. More users are realizing that tweeting at a company is more likely to capture the managers’ interest than making calls. It’s also clear that making an issue viral is likely to trigger the change needed in regards to policies or other matters.
Software as a service (SaaS) represents a shift from downloadable programs to web apps that run on the cloud. As the range of computing devices increases, more BPO companies are preparing for a future where all processing is cloud-based.
Another popular trend is the diversification of the services offered by BPO companies. A few years ago, outsourcing was reserved for technology, customer care, and IT. Today, companies are outsourcing entire departments including management and production.
A major reason why consumers have embraced communication and interactions over social media is the direct nature and openness of the platforms. In addition, modern instant communication platforms provide end-to-end encryption which means that the chats are impossible to decipher if they are ever hacked.
Sprinklr states that 80 percent of all consumers are comfortable interacting with business brands through the internet. About 54 percent of them prefer such interactions when done on social channels as opposed to email or phone. The implication is that social media trends are rapidly growing as a customer service channel. The following trends are evident from this paradigm shift:
- Increased use of direct messaging
- The popularity of customer care bots
- Use of social data by customer care
- Customer care as a marketing tool
More consumers have grown comfortable contacting companies through direct messaging such as Twitter and Facebook Messenger. It represents a shift from tagging companies to initiating a private conversation.
Chatbots have grown in popularity as millions of people send private messages to companies. The bots provide automated or AI-based replies. It is expected that chatbots will cut business costs by up to $8 billion.
Customer care staff are using social media trends to collect data for use by company executives since such insights represent the company’s interaction with a consumer. The companies are implementing efforts to minimize the ratio of negative to positive comments which inadvertently gets reflected in the sales.
The use of social media as a primary contact point between consumers and organizations has restructured how modern businesses are structured. Customer care and marketing are increasingly merging into a single department.
Social Feedback (VoC)
Social media introduces numerous benefits especially in understanding the Voice of the Consumer (VOC). It influences the following key business factors:
- Customer retention
- Customer engagement
- Marketing and branding
- Advertisement and promotion
- Sales opportunities
- Innovation and improvement
Social media affects a company’s ability to retain its customers through the quality of interactions online. Users will gravitate to companies with a reputation for replying to direct messages helpfully and satisfactorily. They may be willing to overlook a few rough edges if the company’s social media workers are friendly and helpful.
Helpware is strategically placed to assist your business capture VOC by providing you with a complete package that includes social media business insights for more productive customer interactions.
One of the most crucial benefits of social media trends for business use is allowing companies to interact with their customers in discussions about the products and services. Customer engagement can be used for various purposes including:
- Cultivating communities
- Damage control
- Acquiring feedback
- Customer support
With social media platforms providing modern animation and video editing tools, companies can showcase their latest products as a marketing and research tactic. As the customers interact with the material, the organization can collect critical insights for improving the item.
Social media trends can be used by companies as a source of branding ideas. The most popular social media websites have several hot trends and viral memes nearly every day. A company that has masted the use of the platforms can take advantage of the trends to promote products and services.
Social media networks have grown into popular advertising platforms. Aside from being able to create free accounts and pages, companies can sign up for Twitter or Facebook ad programs. Doing so lets them run sponsored ads that have a wider reach and have a probability of driving sales. Sponsored ads are viewed by millions of people daily since the top social media networks are also the most visited websites in the world.
You should note that relying on trending topics doesn’t mean adding a # at the end of the promotional message. Proper use of social media trends requires much more investment to ensure that the audience does not brush off the message as a lame attempt by a corporation to ride the trending wave. The promotion needs to be as organic as possible relative to the trending topic or subject.
Social media allows companies to improve their services and products through beta feedback programs. A company does not have to release a product to announce it on social media. It can showcase the prototype of the product and collect the audience’s feedback for further modifications and improvements.
Once a product is ready, an organization can opt to use traditional promotional platforms such as TV and radio of modern avenues including social media. With the latter, it’s possible to generate more profitable sales since the service is free and more popular.
Employing chatbots remains to be one of the most popular communication and social media trends in business. These tools allow organizations to boost consumer productivity without necessarily requiring the company to invest additional resources.
In most cases, the business will save thousands of dollars as it doesn’t have to hire additional customer care staff to chat with clients through various platforms.
Chatbots are still far from perfect since they may not understand contextual queries by customers. As AI technology improves, chatbots are expected to develop more human-like capabilities including the ability to respond to out-of-context queries accurately. Presently, chatbots boost productivity by availing the following services:
- Automated replies
- Service management
Chatbots can handle the most basic queries from customers since they can be programmed to access a database with answers provided by human respondents over the years. Some of the areas that can be integrated with automated replies include:
- Business hours
- Locations and contact information
- Social media accounts and website
In each of the services listed above, clients often require generic responses that can easily be saved and retrieved by a bot when prompted. For instance, a bot that makes an announcement only needs to be triggered by a date and time component to send notifications to an email list.
Chatbots can be programmed to handle order and service management in companies handling lots of merchandise frequently. The services that the bot can handle include:
- Order placement
- Order updates
- Order modification
A bot can be designed to scan the shelves in a warehouse and request new orders if the capacity falls below a specific threshold. Similarly, it can link to a computer system to update a database every time an order has been requested.
When managers manually make tweaks to the placed orders, the bot can send an update to the database ensuring that the entries are corrected in real-time.
Companies are embracing self-service to lower operational costs by replacing human labor with bots. Mostly, such changes affect the repetitive tasks that do not equip a human worker with any new skills over time. Some of the areas where this have been embraced include:
- Account set up
- Account management and monitoring
- Service availability
- Buyer profile customization
- Ticket submission
Self-service allows customers to interact with the systems set up by an organization without assistance from a human agent. They can create a new account, send payments, manage their portfolios, and check for services’ availability. Social media trends 2021 prove that companies can create self-service bots on platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
With self-service, a customer can customize their account, submit tickets, and conduct basic troubleshooting. Bots allow clients to enjoy a streamlined experience with self-service such that the entire experience feels guided. If there are obstacles that the bot can’t handle, it will alert a human respondent to assist the customer.
The BPO services offered by Helpware ensure that self-service helps your customers engage more with your business. The organization recognizes the delicate nature of this technology and ensures that a human respondent is ready to jump into the loop every time the self-service bot fails to nail the client’s request.
Social media platforms come with a variety of tools and features that provide a streamlined process for handling business accounts. Some of the BPO features that social media has improved include:
- Targeted advertisements
- Data analysis
- Platform integration
- Content management
Each of the services listed above can be augmented through social media trends in a way that maximizes sales and ensures that customers’ desires are fulfilled. You can further make adjustments to you business's social media presence based on weekly social media reports you get from the analytics' section on the platforms. A key strength of using social media to handle the business processes listed above is the user-friendly nature of the platform.
BPO companies can handle the above business processes through integrated social media in a way that lets you focus on other core aspects of your company. As the popularity of social media grows, companies are opting for experts such as BPO services providers since they are guaranteed to reap maximally from this technology trend
Social media platforms have grown so robust that a business can embed its entire online presence on Facebook or Twitter. While this comes with the loss of administrative control, it also means that the company will enjoy a better online presence.
Social Media: The Business MVP
Social media is having a tremendous impact on businesses and the BPO sector. In the past, many organizations considered social media to be a periphery component of their business.
Social media trends play a central role in nearly every aspect of running a business from research surveys, customer service, product development, promotion, and sales. Outsourcing via social media is also enjoying fast growth as businesses consider experts' assistance in growing their brands on such networks.
Today, social media is no longer a marketing and PR tool for use during the marketing promotion. It has evolved by accommodating other business processes such as sales, marketing, communications, IT, and customer services.
The growth means that a well-placed BPO service provider such as Helpware can help your company maximize the benefits of social media.