3 Reasons Why Audio Will Conquer Social Media

Opinion: You can consume it passively

Voice and audio allow people to multitask seamlessly and effortlessly
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Today, most social media platforms are visual platforms. From static photos to animated GIFs, long form video, short form video, ephemeral content, live videos and also text (because you need to read it), everything is almost visual.

But what about audio content?

Let’s look at the top social networks and what they are used for the most:

  • Text: Twitter, Medium, Reddit, Quora.
  • Video: YouTube, Facebook, Stories (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, WhatsApp).
  • Photos: Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr.
  • Audio: SoundCloud, Spotify.

So, the major social networks are using photos, videos and text. But, as we all know, there is a rising star among content in social media and digital marketing: audio.

Let’s take, for example, podcasting, the type of content that’s growing year over year, with monthly listeners increasing 24 percent in 2017.

When you want to consume a video piece of content on social media—let’s say, on YouTube—you have to be actively involved. This means that you have to watch the video. Or, when you scroll down the Instagram feed, you have to see those photos.

But audio content is different: You can consume it passively.

This means that even if you are shopping, cooking, going to the gym or driving your car, you can easily consume audio. You don’t have to be actively involved.

According to Activate Tech & Media Outlook 2018, podcasting is projected to almost double to 112 million people and 15 billion hours of content by 2021.

So, is audio important in social media marketing strategy?

I asked Brian Peters, digital marketing strategist at Buffer and host of podcast The Science of Social Media, for his opinion on audio content in social media and in the digital marketing world in general.

Peters said, “Audio content gives marketers and brands yet another incredible (and innovative) way to connect with their audience on social media. Plus, audio is one of the most ‘personal and intimate’ types of media available, allowing people to connect on a much deeper and more meaningful level. At Buffer, we’ve used audio to repurpose blog posts, share snippets of our podcast, say hello to our customers and much more. You have to be agile and willing to experiment constantly on social media, and audio is the perfect platform to do so.”

When we talk about audio content, we aren’t only talking about podcasts: It can also be audio content as repurposed articles, reply with an audio format to customers, creating music playlists and so on.

And to be honest, we use audio daily (create and consume): We send daily voice message to our friends in private discussions, we use voice to find out results (50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020) and we consume audio and voice.

Just think about what your company sounds like.

Lately, I have very interested in everything around voice and audio. I looked at how podcasting is rising in social media and, according to Google Trends, they are going almost hand-in-hand.

And I strongly believe companies that are starting to use audio content in their social media strategies will earn a lot of sympathy, awareness and also new clients in the future.

That’s why I have three reasons why audio will conquer social media in the near future.

The most intimate type of content

Think about how close you stay to a display (desktop, tablet or phone) to consume visual content. Now, think about how close you are to audio content. Unless you are listening to speakers, you are using headsets that are the most intimate devices you use. And that’s why audio consumers love to spread the word about podcasts, because they feel like they’re part of this type of content.