You don’t need to be a wiz to see that social media trends are constantly changing. With over 91% of businesses using social media as part of their marketing mix, what you can do as a marketer right now and over the next six months of 2021, can make a difference.
- Engagement rates matter. Monitor engagement on your own social media accounts, but also pay attention to the social media of other businesses, especially companies you look up to. How are their viewers responding to posts? What type of content is most popular and getting the most hits, comments and likes? Is it stories, videos, surveys or polls? What’s getting a positive response and what’s turning the dial to get negative comments?
- Bye bye posts, tell a story. Watching stories rather than scrolling a newsfeed is a definite trend. Typically, stories remain at the top of a viewer’s screen for 24 hours. For many, it feels more natural sharing everyday life; the places you visit, pictures of friends, family, pets, selfies (of course), even your morning coffee. If you think stories are just for Instagram and Facebook, think again. LinkedIn has even added stories to their platform, simply because they drive engagement.
- Grab your viewer’s attention. There may be millions of posts and stories on social media, but most get ignored. Take the time to build an editorial calendar that grabs attention. Content should be interesting, eye catching, trending, perhaps even contrarian. A block of text might get passed over, but a video has a better chance of being watched. Inform, entertain, make someone laugh, cry or think. Watch some of the big social media stars for inspiration. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
- Make your content tighter. Have someone’s attention? Find a way to keep it. So what if you have amazing things to say and a supposedly irresistible offer. Viewers have limited time and an even more limited attention span. Keep your content tight. Look at videos no longer than 90 seconds. Even shorter videos—30 seconds, 20 seconds or less work. Longer format videos (like How-to’s on YouTube) have their place but not for all social platforms.
- Use AI and ad-tracking. Many companies are doubling down on their social media marketing efforts with paid campaigns. If you decide to supplement your marketing efforts with social media ad dollars too, spend wisely, use artificial intelligence (AI) and ad-tracking to get more valuable data. These tools can optimize your social media advertising and content like never before, increasing your ROAS (return-on-ad-spend) by around 25%, a significant savings, even if you’re not a bean counter.
- Create a sense of community. One of the reasons people like social media so much is because you can connect with people you know, haven’t met in person but would like to, and be part of a like-minded community. Online communities are growing rapidly because it’s a safe space to gather to view, like, and react, to join livestreams and private chats and groups.
If you clearly know who your target audience is (and isn’t), you can build a community that people want to be a part of. This community or audience in turn, builds like, know, trust and believability – the first step in client attraction and filling your sales funnel.
Ready to use social media to its full potential? Keep up with these six social media trends over the next six months, and track your progress. I’d love to hear!