Six Social Media Trends You Need to Know Now

Since the dawn of the internet, social media has steadily gained popularity. Nowadays, it seems like you can’t go anywhere online without seeing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat posts.

Recently, Shortstack reported that more than 83 percent of marketers say they use social media platforms to increase exposure to their brands and that stat shows no signs of decreasing any time soon.

For your business, using social media is now a must-have part of your marketing strategy.

But as a business owner, how do you know which trends are worth adopting and which ones should be left in the dust? Especially when there’s an endless supply of “hot new trends” as new features and platforms emerge.

To help you sort out what to add to your strategy and what you may want to skip, here are six social media trends you need to know about.

#1. Live Video

When Facebook launched Facebook Live in 2016, I don’t think anyone was prepared for how quickly it would be adopted by both individual and business users.

Now that nearly all mobile devices have the capability to capture video, it has created an easy and inexpensive way to share content in real-time.

Making a connection with your clients is one of the best ways to build your know, like and trust factor, so using video to connect with them face-to-face makes it one of the most impactful ways to reach people on social media. (In fact, research shows that Facebook actually favors live video over other content in the newsfeed, so another reason you may want to consider it.)

As for which platform is the best, it really comes down to the social channel where you’re most likely to find your ideal customer.

Currently, Facebook Live is the most popular choice for live video which isn’t surprising given the network’s reach. Whether it’s a business marketing a product or a news station covering a real time event, FB Live offers the ability to connect with your audience in the moment.

If doing live videos seems a bit daunting, you may want to consider using YouTube. You can set up a channel for your business and pre-record your content, then promote it on social media. Once you have a bit more practice with being on camera the move into live videos will be a more comfortable transition.

#2. Visual Content

Over the past three years, Pinterest and Instagram have led the way for visual content on social media. With people being busier than ever and attention spans decreasing, more and more marketers are

looking for ways to make an impact with their viewers, and images are one of the best ways to do it.

Content like blog posts, still have a place in marketing, but consumers are looking for more bite-sized content. Images are the perfect way to evoke reactions in the viewers and convey information quickly.

Keep in mind with images, you need to get creative to stand out. As more and more people use visuals on social media, you can’t get by with just any old picture. You’ll want to put some time and effort into your photos, graphics and more.

Here are a few suggestions of things you can promote with images on your business’ social media:

  • Research or stats
  • Products
  • Events
  • Fans of your business
  • Your workplace culture
  • Relevant community work
  • Welcoming new clients

#3. Analytics To Measure Success

When social media first gained popularity there wasn’t a tangible way to measure success. That mean business owners had to rely on instinct to know if their social media efforts were working or not.

Since then, social media analytics have come a long way and have become far more user-friendly. There are countless choices for high-end analytics tools, but nothing beats the data of the completely free Google Analytics.

With Google Analytics, the data gathered gives you the ability to determine the success of your marketing campaigns and can help your marketing strategy. For example, you can easily see what social platforms send you the most traffic, which ones result in sales and much more.

#4. Social Advertising

Just like search engines, social networks are now incredibly sophisticated.

For example, algorithms enable social networks to personalize content based on what viewers are interested in. As an individual user, this is helpful, but as a business, this can be frustrating as it’s harder and harder to have your content reach your audience because there are only so many business ads that can get into someone’s feed on a daily basis.

This is why advertising on social media platforms has become increasingly popular over the last two to three years.

There can be huge benefits to paid advertising on sites like Facebook, it’s only going to be worth your while if you have a solid strategy in place.

One of the biggest benefits of advertising on social media platforms is brand exposure and recognition. The more people see you, the more likely they are to know who you are, which we all know can translate into them being a future client.

Another key benefit of social media advertising is your ability to target your audience. Most platforms offer the power to target by location, age and other demographics, as well as by an individual’s interests. With these targeting options, you can now reach a very specific audience with your brand’s message.

Another positive benefit of advertising on social media is that it can drive more traffic to your site. When it comes to search engine optimization, social media acts as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate and credible. This helps to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) results and people have a greater chance of finding your business when searching online.

#5. Social Media Ecommerce/Instant Purchases

Online shopping is at an all-time high, with retailers adding more and more options for buyers, and social commerce is rapidly growing. Social media is quickly becoming the new online marketplace.

Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to impacting someone’s decision to buy. It provides the opportunity to interact real-time with other people purchasing, or ask for feedback and recommendations.

Not only are buyers being influenced by what they see online, but they also want the ability to purchase quickly when the decision is made. More and more companies are offering the option of instant purchases. People want to cut out the “middle man” and get what they want in a single click.

Where applicable, businesses who don’t make social e-commerce a priority in their marketing strategy are at risk of missing out on opportunities to engage potential customers and convert their browsers into customers.

#6. Mobile Optimization

While this last item may not only be limited to social media, it’s absolutely critical. Most people are visiting social media platforms on mobile, so your content and your company’s site need to be fully optimized for the best viewing experience possible.

If someone is browsing your social media and clicks on an image that takes them to your site, and your site isn’t mobile friendly, they’re going to quickly click away. Your goal is to keep people on your site, so having your site optimized for mobile users is essential.

The bottom line is this – if you look at your competition and they’re already doing any of this – you’re falling behind. And if they aren’t, then being first out of the gate by embracing key social and digital marketing trends will have a positive impact on your business.

Gary Thompson
Owner, OnMerit Marketing

About the Author

Gary is OnMerit Marketing’s owner and blog writer. A Brand Designer and Internet Marketing Specialist, he has a passion for helping small businesses look great and grow their businesses online. Follow Gary on Twitter @onmerit, or Facebook: