For most of us today, social media accounts for a major chunk of the way we spend our time in a day. Whether it’s for interacting with our social circle on Facebook or for professional networking on Linkedin, using social media is an integral part of our lives now. Globally, billions of people use different social media platforms to socialize, communicate, access news etc. Likewise, the use of augmented reality in social media creates cool and fun user experiences. For a while now, augmented reality or AR has been impacting social media trends in different ways. In this article, let us explore how AR will redefine social media marketing for brands and marketers.
What Is AR and How It Works?
Augmented Reality is a technology that facilitates laying content (images, video etc.) onto physical products and environments. In simple words, AR makes an interactive experience possible. Augmented reality can blend computer-generated reality into a real environment. It creates 3D images, graphics and sound effects etc. and superimposes them in the real world. This can be experienced by the user using devices like a mobile app or a smartphone camera.
AR application provides businesses with vast opportunities to give their customers a unique experience. As a result, it provides a business with an edge over competitors.
Snapchat was the first social media platform to adapt AR technology. The idea of applying amazing real-time filters on images and videos is very fascinating for social media users who love to capture creative selfies. Similarly, many retail brands like Specsavers UK, ASOS etc. have adopted the AR feature to help their app users visualize the merchandise.
Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?
Social media platforms have a significant reach and impact on our lives. From the way we access news to the way we communicate with our friends social media is omnipresent.
According to various reports, some startling statistics about social media are:
- An average user spends over 2 hours per day on social media apps
- As of 2020, there are 3.78 billion social media users which are 48% of the total population
- Facebook is the most popular social media network with 2.271 billion users
- 73% of marketers find their social media marketing efforts effective in some ways
- Approximately 78% of businesses have dedicated social media marketing teams
- 54% of users research products on social media
These facts make social media marketing very appealing to marketers.
Influence Of Augmented Reality In Social Media
When innovative augmented reality joins hand with the mighty social media, the result is obvious, unique user experiences. Novel technology, ease of product visualization, increased time spent and engagement are some of the compelling reasons that make use of AR in social media lucrative for marketers.
Some of the amazing ways in which AR will influence social media marketing are:
1. Unique Content Delivery
3D is the future of content delivery and AR makes it possible. AR-powered content will be very interactive as well as specific which users will prefer. Hence, marketers need to focus on ways to develop content to suit the new audience preferences and increase their value proposition.
2. Increase Likes and Shares
Likes and shares on your social media posts are the new age word-of-mouth marketing, just that it’s instant, transparent and more powerful. With AR, marketers can explore quirky ways for users to spontaneously share social media content. Similarly, AR can enhance product/service reviews and rating systems where users can visualize the reviews. Though users are already doing the rating, sharing etc. with AR the experience can be much more engaging.
3. Target Millennial Buyers
Millennials are the early adopters of innovative products and services as they prefer value over change. According to an autonomous study, 40% of millennials refer to reviews before buying any products. Likewise, they don’t prefer TV-style ads that do not touch their emotional quotient and not associate with their lifestyle. And AR integrated marketing has a better potential to appeal to this target audience.
4. Boost Impulse Buying
One of the reasons that make social media marketing popular is because it enables users to see product videos and images. Now, imagine the potential if AR-based adverts also let the users virtually try the products. This ability of AR to present the real world to the user remotely will definitely boost their impulse purchase behaviour and in turn, drive product sales on social media.
5. Increase Customer Engagement
AR is ideal to engage your audience in these times of social distancing and quarantine. Usually, social media platforms serve as the initial point of research for shoppers and can provide good customer conversions with the correct approach. AR technology can keep the users engaged who in turn will spend more time on social media. More time spent by users means more opportunity for marketers to convert them to customers.
6. Promote Social Causes
Social media is not only a powerful tool for product marketing and sales but also for spreading awareness about social and humanitarian issues. Augmented reality in social media can help drive empathy and encourage people to actively contribute to such a global crisis. Similarly, field workers can access information and could familiarize themselves with ground conditions to prepare themselves for a calamity.
Augmented reality is redefining the marketing landscape and is likely to take over social media platforms. As a marketer, it is imperative to keep up with these new trends and changes. And adding augmented reality in social media marketing strategy will give you that extra edge!