Social media is everywhere. The amount of social media users are increasing and so is the amount of time that users are spending on social media. So how does a small business stand out in a crowd? What are the tricks and tips to catch the attention of a potential customer so they will want to check out your brand? As with everything, social media is always evolving. Below are just a few of the social media trends that your small business should follow so you are able to stay competitive in today’s market.
1. Creating Videos
Short-form videos have taken over and possibly the biggest trend that it currently happening in social media. In this age of shortening attention spans, social media users tend to move to the next video in about eight seconds. This is why you need to capture their attention in the first few seconds when they decide whether they should continue watching or scroll to other content.
Here are some ideas for your next video
- Behind-the-scenes of the company, allowing people to put a face to the company
- Highlight employees and how they contribute to the company
- Live video, giving the opportunity to interact with customers in real time
- Q&A sessions or even how-to videos
Why create short-form videos for your social media, it’s a great way to increase your audience
- Videos on Instagram get more engagement than other formats
- Tweets with video generate 10x more engagement than those without
- Pinterest reported a 240% increase of organic video pins from 2020 to 2021
- As much as 82% of online content will consist of videos by 2022
2. Collaborating with Influencers
Working with influencers has already been popular over the years, but the market is going to continue to grow. With new social media platforms popping up and various forms of content, this is a great way for a company to be able to engage with their target audience and expand their reach.
Here are a few benefits of working with influencers
- Improves brand awareness by expanding your companies reach and positioning in the market
- Help your brand build trust and show authority
- Reach your target audience and drive purchasing decisions
- 71% of marketers say influencer marketing gives better quality leads and traffic
Just ensure that you are picking your influencers carefully, as they will represent your company. Don’t assume just because they have a lot of followers that they are a good fit. Instead pick influencers that are relevant and engage with their audience. Also, don’t rely on just a single influencer. You cannot assume that everyone in your niche followers that one influencer. To maximize your reach, engage with multiple influencers.
3. Contributing Towards a Good Cause
Companies that are putting their profits where their mission and values say they are experiencing higher customer loyalty. Customers have a high expectation that companies should be more socially responsible and conscious. It is important that a company be clear and authentic on its values. When your company takes a stand on an issue or cause, you are creating an emotional connection with customers.
Why it matters when brands align personal values with their customers
- A significant 79% of people said that they make a special effort to buy from brands that are aligned to their personal values
- On the other hand, 69% of customers have stopped supporting brands that don’t align with their personal values
- Studies show four in five customers choose brands aligned with their personal values
- Two-thirds of consumers believe their individual protest actions, can make a difference in how companies behave
If a company is not transparent with customers, it can lead to them boycotting or speaking out negatively against the company on social media. Customers will also feel betrayed which can lead them to taking their business elsewhere. Avoid taking a stand on a cause because it is trending, or other companies are doing it. Customers will realize when companies are not being authentic. When taking a stand on an issue, it needs to represent the company.
4. Direct Messaging for Customers
People no longer want to call a company and be placed on hold for any length of time. They want to be able to direct message a company as it is more convenient for them. Consumers are impatient and if they don’t get a reply back quickly, the competition is only one click away.
Benefits of direct messaging with your customers
- 64% of people say they would prefer to message rather than call a business
- 60% say they are open to receiving personal messages for companies
- Able to connect with customers and resolve issues quickly and in a timely manner
- Embed a chat option on website so that customers can quickly ask questions about products or services that are offered
Direct messaging can also be used as a way to connect with customers that have left negative comments on social media platforms. When addressing a negative comment, it is best to reply to the customer in the comment section. Then ask them to direct message the company to the issue can be resolved.
5. User-Generated Content Will Increase
User-generated content (UGC) helps build trust and credibility with your customers. Which may be why 87% of brands are using UGC to share authentic content with their audience. Companies understand that customers are more likely to trust the reviews of existing customers. Only 1% of millennials find brand advertisements engaging and trustworthy enough to warrant a click.
How user-generated content can help your brand
- 90% of consumers find user-generated content helpful
- Customer engagement is around 28% higher with user-generated content than with content that is professionally created
- User-generated content is more cost effective for a company
- User-generated videos about a brand are viewed 10x more than official brand videos on YouTube
Types of User-Generated Content
- Content, such as a tweet about your brand
- Product reviews
- Live streams
- Blog posts
- YouTube content
When asking for user-generated content, be clear and specific on the content. Customers are always willing to share content with companies in hopes of having the content highlighted by the company. Make it easy for customers to share their content, such as using a specific hashtag when posting.
Which of these trends will you try first?
These are just a few of the trends that are circulating out there on social media. With social media constantly changing, it is important to be doing your homework and researching trends. What works today, may not work for you tomorrow. Staying current with social media trends helps to ensure that your business will grow and not become idle. Stay updated with new social media platforms that are coming out and if your target audience is migrating to them. Know what platforms your audience is using so you can capitalize on them.
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Category: SEO, Social Media Marketing 101