Life comes at you fast, and social media trends are no exception. Time spent online has ballooned in the last year, with social media increasingly being used to satisfy needs from creating community to e-commerce. This social media trend has shifted power into platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where consumers now spend a huge chunk of their day.
So how do you grab the attention of that captive audience and harness it for your small business? Here are nine social media trends to boost engagement, attract followers and elevate your brand.
Grow brand influence with these 9 social media trends
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1. Social selling is the future of e-commerce
Social selling, or the integration of e-commerce into social media platforms, is thriving. Product tags and shoppable posts are making it easier than ever for small businesses to not only connect with customers but convert them.
These seamless social media shopping experiences reduce friction in the customer journey by offering options to purchase products without leaving the platform. With online retail up nearly 30% in both the UK and the US, social selling has the potential to transform online sales.
2. Harness the power of micro-influencers
One long-standing social media trend is influencers. These powerful brand ambassadors have the ability to make or break a product launch and can be a better investment than advertising to get more visibility for your brand.
If your budget isn’t likely to support a shout-out from a Kardashian, never fear. Micro-influencers are effective in niche markets and far more affordable. These influencers have smaller spheres of influence but up to seven times more engagement with followers than larger accounts.
3. Focus on video content
From Instagram Reels to TikTok, the dominance of video content is here to stay. A study from Cisco indicates by next year, 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads. Whether it’s user-generated shorts or long-form YouTube, video content is king for generating engagement.
Social media trends like video don’t have to be a big investment. You can start small by livestreaming or doing quick tutorials. Many brands also get extra mileage by editing and recycling clips to create fresh video content.
4. Pay attention to private social media communities
Engaging your customers in the comments is an excellent first step, but there are benefits to social trends like connecting with private groups on social media. These collections of users with shared interests can blossom into robust communities that support your business goals.
For instance, Facebook groups for wandering nomads are a powerful place to get feedback on travel services or amplify products like luggage. On Instagram, you’ll find like-minded communities gather in shared hashtags such as #Eeeeeats or #GirlsWhoTravel.
5. Get real with social listening
Increasingly, social media audiences are less interested in what you’re promoting and more invested in having meaningful conversations. Once you frame social media channels as a way to connect with customers and build community, sales inevitably follow.
Fortunately, the key to nourishing social media conversations is straightforward. Listen. Find opportunities for your followers to give feedback and ask questions. Create an authentic social media presence by committing to transparency, owning up to mistakes and apologizing. Having those hard conversations in the public eye shows your brand cares.
6. Try livestreaming
If you associate livestreaming with gaming, you’ve got some catching up to do. Livestreaming dominates social media as a way to connect with followers in real-time and gain a wider audience. Going live on Facebook or Instagram was once a novelty but is now the norm for both casual users and businesses.
Because much of our daily lives have shifted online, livestreaming is a way to hold events virtually, from pet adoptions to open houses. Streaming gives your audience a behind-the-scenes peek into your work and helps them feel more invested in what you do and who you are.
7. Combat the rise of disinformation
Social media isn’t all roses, and the rise of disinformation on many platforms has proven it. The good news is brands can become part of the solution. Taking responsibility to correct misinformation within your industry earns you karma points and loyal followers who will amplify your stuff.
However, proceeding with caution when promoting social media trends like this is paramount. Even small missteps can generate embarrassing attention online, so double-check your facts before posting.
8. Invest in socially conscious content
As brands have discovered recently, the line between personal choices, politics and public policy can become blurred. Using your social media channels to amplify socially responsible messaging communicates the kind of support for the community that can be a brand booster.
According to 5W Public Relation’s 2020 Consumer Culture Report, 83% of millennials and younger consumers want to support companies that align with their values. Given that forecast, social media trends like social action campaigns are here to stay.
9. Get more out of your metrics
Much to the frustration of social media marketers, metrics used to boil down to conversion. That focus is shifting as more brands recognize the power of social media translates to more than sales. Measures of success are widening to include not just how followers engage but also the reach of social media content.
Here are few metrics to consider for your social media marketing plan:
- Brand awareness (post reach, mentions and impressions)
- Engagement (amplification rate, applause factors)
- Customer satisfaction (testimonials, review scores)
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook still offer metrics on conversion like click-through rate (CTR) and cost-per-click (CPC). But some of the newest metrics seek to capture customers whose interest lands higher up in the sales funnel.
Staying on top of social media trends helps your business adapt and thrive online, but it’s also important to cover the basics of a well-branded social media presence. Lucidpress can help. Get started and try our free social media templates.