5 Social Media Marketing Trends Small Businesses Should Know
Social media has transformed the internet, modern media, and marketing. Many large and small businesses now embrace and use a social media platform to reach their current and potential customers. According to statista.com, there were 4.59 billion social media users in 2022, projected to increase to 5.85 billion in 2027.
The plethora of users and its expected influx creates an opportunity for businesses to grow, engage with their audience, and build brand awareness. Understanding the current trends is critical to a successful social media marketing campaign. This article will share five social media marketing trends small businesses should know.
1 – Collaboration
It can be challenging to develop content ideas, primarily when focusing on running your business. Collaboration can help you solve this problem because it will distribute the creative process.
How to do it
There are several ways to implement collaboration into your marketing strategy.
- The simplest method involves using the duet/react feature on TikTok and Instagram. First, find a video to which you would like to react; then, select the react or duet button. Usually, this button is found under the overflow menu or share menu. Film your reaction, caption, and post.
- A step-up involves reaching out to other small businesses or content creators and creating a post together. You both have the opportunity to reach each other’s audiences, and they may have ideas you do not. As a bonus, you may learn from their creative techniques.
- Host a contest on Instagram. Contests provide a reason for followers to create posts for you since their posts on Instagram will count as an entry.
- Send PR packages. Sending some of your products to influencers can provide them with the resources to discuss your brand; however, they are not obligated to post about what you send them.
- Pay for content creation. Reach out to content creators whom you would want to work with. Sponsorships and affiliate links are two ways to pay creators to post about your business.
- Host a giveaway. Sometimes, businesses will team up to offer a giveaway with items from both businesses. This spreads your name and brand to another audience, and you can reduce the product you would typically offer as a prize.
Tips for Success
- Pick people in your field/niche to collaborate with. Marketing to an uninterested audience in your product or service is futile since it will be challenging to convert to sales.
- Try to work with a creator or business with a niche following rather than a massive one. Again, this will help you funnel your sales.
- Set clear boundaries. If you plan on paying for content creation, it is in your best interest to develop a contract so that each party is treated fairly.
- Talk to multiple creators to understand a typical and reasonable rate for affiliate links and sponsorships.
- Giveaways on Instagram can create the expectation that you will give products away for free and draw in a crowd uninterested in purchasing from you. This is especially true when a prize is unrelated to your industry or business.
- Anything that involves sending out a prize creates a vector for criminals to try and scam your audience. Make it clear how participants will be communicated with and what to expect.
- Partner with an expert or reputable source. This can build your credibility by backing up your claims.
2 – Short and Sweet
TikTok set the expectation for short-form video content. To remain competitive, Instagram and YouTube followed suit with Reels and Shorts. These videos are short and typically between 10 and 60 seconds.
How to do it
You may need to purchase a bunch of equipment to start making content. Fortunately, this is not true. All you need is a smartphone and a social media strategy. You can pre-film your video on your camera or film directly from the platform’s app: caption and post.
Tips for Success
- Create a strategy. Finding time to brainstorm consistently, film, edit, and caption posts can be overwhelming and frustrating. Start by creating a schedule for when you will create and post. This will help you set aside time to complete each step and keep you consistent. Feel free to adjust your timing as you see necessary. Some people will take one day a week to batch-create their videos, while others film one video per day. Be patient and develop a routine that keeps you consistent.
- Provide value through your videos. It is okay sometimes to have low-effort and fun content; however, this content will not convert viewers into customers. Instead, they need to see a reason to purchase your product or service. For example, let’s say you sell dog mittens. A funny video of your dog playing in the snow will make viewers laugh and smile, but it does not provide value to your product. Instead, you could educate viewers on why your dog mittens are essential. This could be the caption of your video, text on your video, a voiceover, or a combination of these.
- Audio is more important than video quality. Luckily, many apps provide a way to add music to your short videos. These sound bites can be trending, which may help show your video to more viewers. Remember that audio quality can only compensate so much for video quality. Avoid filming in low light. If you do not have lights, try to film during the day near a window.
- Repurpose your videos. Many creators post on multiple platforms. It is incredibly time-consuming to film for several different social media sites. You can use the same video across platforms, and some apps allow you to post to multiple accounts simultaneously by joining accounts.
- YouTube does have a feature to clip long videos into shorts.
- You can download reels before posting, while TikToks can be saved after posting. Both will remove added sound bites.
- Be mindful that not all content should be reused because each platform is used for different reasons. What works for one audience might not work for another. Not to mention, it can be fatiguing for followers to see the same thing across different sites.
- Please keep it simple. Over-edited videos overwhelm the viewer, making them less enjoyable to watch, and simplicity keeps workflow high.
3 – Social Responsibility
Social media has created a way for followers to interact directly with brands. This means brands can receive direct feedback on their business and its practices. Content with misinformation or false advertising will be less likely to cover their tracks since users can critique content by commenting, tagging, messaging, or producing content about brands. Additionally, social media users can look for and select brands that align with their beliefs. For instance, consumers who want to be more environmentally conscious will look for brands that show they have the same goal.
How to do it
There is no one way to be socially responsible, but you can highlight how you uphold your claims to social responsibility. For example, a brand that markets itself as environmentally friendly but fails to use sustainable practices will be seen as dishonest and could be publicly scrutinised. People are increasingly looking to support brands that promote and participate in social advocacy.
Tips for Success
- Anything posted on the internet is forever, so think before you and your team post.
- Explain what topics are important to you (like sustainability), and show how your services or products support your claims.
- Listen to feedback. Although it can be uncomfortable to receive critiques, it is vital to learn how to manage them. You do not have to respond to every negative comment or review, but you may learn from them if you see a pattern.
- Be transparent and honest. People do not like to be lied to or fooled.
4 – Communication
Communication is critical, and consumers and businesses have begun using social media. As an owner, you and your staff need to be prepared to engage with consumers via social media through comments, tags, direct messages (DMs), and more. Moreover, consumers are now looking at social media as a way to receive mass communication, like when a sale occurs, mass delays on orders, etc.
How to do it
Choose which tools you will use and delegate time to respond to comments, tags, and direct messages. With high volumes of inquiries, it can take much work to respond individually so that you may create a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page or post.
Tips for Success
- Make it clear what type of communication will be used on social media. Will you use direct messages to address customer concerns about their order, or will you direct them to a different method to reach customer service?
- You and anyone from your team posting/replying will need to be on the same page. Miscommunication or inconsistent answers can make your brand appear disorganised and confuse patrons. Moreover, your brand should steer clear of making rude or condescending responses. News spreads rapidly online, and poor communication can tarnish your reputation.
- Address bad news with a strategy. Every business is bound to have a blunder of some sort, and a proper strategy paired with good communication skills will help you regain trust after a problem has gone viral. Avoid responding out of emotion, but do not try to hide the issue. Also, waiting too long to acknowledge a problem is seen as unprofessional.
- Keep your FAQ up-to-date and easy to locate. The significant part about FAQs is that you can integrate them into current trends by using a popular sound bite or TikTok dance while answering questions.
5 – Shopping via Social Media
Regarding shopping via social media (social commerce), Facebook Marketplace has reigned supreme for several years, but that might change in the coming years. Accenture.com estimates that the global social commerce market could reach $1.2 trillion by 2025. The growing market is good news for small businesses.
How to do it
Only some social media pages allow social media users to sell directly to their audiences, so you may have to link back to your storefront on your posts and profile. According to Elise Dopson, from Shopify.com, the following social media sites allow for social commerce on their platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, WeChat, Twitter, and Twitch. Every platform will have a unique way to set up a virtual store, so it is best to consult their site for instructions.
Tips for Success
- Please keep it simple. Complex shopping and checkouts reduce follow-through on sales.
- Do not put all your effort into one social media platform. If you already have a profitable virtual storefront, do not move it to a single social media site. Instead, link them so traffic can come from multiple avenues.
- Keep your audience in mind. If your target audience is young adults, then TikTok is a better choice for a storefront than Facebook Marketplace.
- Try Livestream shopping. Products or services are showcased live, where viewers can chat with the host(s).
Overall Tips for Success
Regardless of where your content is seen, followers should be able to recognise your brand. It will help build brand loyalty and make it easier for consumers to recognise a scammer attempting to use your likeness. In three words, Inkbotdesign.com suggests that your branding should be unique, attractive, and appealing.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is crucial to any business seeking online visibility. SEO is used to improve your ranking, so your content becomes more visible on search engines like Google. This also applies to social media; however, their algorithms are looking for different factors than search engines. These factors include keywords or phrases in captions or hashtags, which help categorise content into niches. They also look for valuable content or posts with a high engagement – more on that later.
Consistency applies to several areas of a business. For social media, posting routinely can help grow your profile. For one, it shows the site and your followers that you are reliable. This reliability allows consumers to interact with you and keeps your business on their minds. Consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand they recognise than one they do not. As mentioned above, it is paramount to create a schedule. A routine will keep you consistent and efficient and lead to higher interaction rates when paired with good timing.
Be the Face of Your Business
As mentioned, consumers want to know they are supporting a brand they can trust. Showing your face and personality produces a simple and effective way to connect with your followers. Moreover, social media is hugely saturated, and only you can be you! As you can see, this provides a unique quality and will integrate well into your brand recognition.
Assess your Analytics
To grow your online presence, you must ensure that your content strategy is effective. Analytics supply a wealth of information to the host. Video tends to show when viewers lose interest and move on. You should study your successful posts for what makes them different from your other content and try replicating them. For instance, a hook to catch one’s attention is a question like, “did you know that your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score?”.
Another area of difference is the timing of your post. Typically, you want to aim for high volumes of engagement when you first post, so it is in your best interest to experiment with posting at different times. Some creators suggest using Story views to estimate the number of average viewers during a given period. Once you have found a good time, try to stick to it. This can be tricky, but some platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, allow you to schedule your posts to go live at a specific time.
Furthermore, it would help if you addressed analytics on every platform you post. Each site also has its target audience and niche. Therefore, reviewing and keeping notes on times and posts that do well for each medium to improve performance across your accounts is paramount.
Choose Trending Content Carefully
Viral content will undoubtedly show your page to a broad array of viewers; however, this does not translate to sales – especially because trends come and go. What is in today may not be in tomorrow. Fortunately, you can use them to your advantage on Instagram. Using trending audio or trends to relay valuable information about your business is a much more effective strategy than simply following a trend because it is trending.
Social media is meant for engagement, hence the term social. The algorithms of these platforms spread content that is deemed attractive. Therefore, posts that are well-engaged through comments, likes, retweets, and so on will be shown to more users than posts that are not engaged.
How do you get your audience to engage? It would be best to aim for natural interaction that fits your brand. The following are some ideas to get you started.
- Answer questions live or on video – You can answer questions live, or users can submit questions via comments, and you can answer these questions in the next post.
- Ask your audience questions – You can ask questions during a livestream, in a video, or even in a caption. This will prompt people to comment. Additionally, survey answers offer valuable insight into consumer needs, wants, and questions that will help you improve your products and services.
- Host a contest/challenge/giveaway – Some brands will have users post their submissions on a post or via hashtags. Giveaways can be tricky since they may attract users interested in the prize rather than your brand.
- Use story tools on Instagram – Instagram offers several interactive tools for their stories. Your business can use these to host polls, run a quiz, rate a product, and more.
- Interact with other content. Strike up a conversation with someone in your field or like their posts. This may entice them to either respond or visit your profile.
Even though it is crucial to engage with your community, it can be highly time-consuming, and you may find yourself scrolling rather than working. Working in time chunks can prevent these tasks from becoming time sinks.
We all know the tremendous amount of work that goes into running a business, and every job’s aspects are tedious and annoying. Try to find and embrace the parts of the social media platform you enjoy. Otherwise, it will feel like a chore, and you will likely burn out.
Top Social Media Sites Heading Into 2023
According to Alfred Lua from Buffer.com, the following are some of the highest-used social media sites for the start of 2023 and their monthly active user (MAUs) rates.
- Facebook – 2.9 billion MAUs
- YouTube – 2.2 billion MAUs
- Instagram – 2 billion MAUs
- WeChat – 1.26 billion MAUs
- TikTok – 1 billion MAUs
- Snapchat – 538 million MAUs
- Twitter – 436 million MAUs
- Reddit – 430 million MAUs
- LinkedIn – 250 million MAUs
The Bottom Line on Social Media Marketing Trends
Social media is here to stay for 2023 and the years to come. It is as good a time as ever for small businesses like yours to embrace the social media marketing trends forecasted. Today is the day to start your experiments and find your unique techniques for collaboration, social advocacy, short videos, shopping, and communication, as they will play a vital role in setting you apart from the competition.
Check out Inkbotdesign.com for more branding and marketing education and services.