Social media marketing has become an essential part of any brand’s digital strategy. Whether it’s a multi-national corporation or a small local business, everyone seems to have at least one social media account dedicated to promoting the brand and its products. What are The Top Social Media Marketing Trends You Can Use Today?
Even though social media marketing may seem straightforward, there are still so many aspects to it that you should keep in mind for your campaigns to be successful. Hence, here are the top social media marketing trends and everything you should know about them.
Why Understanding Trends Is Important
Before we begin, it is first necessary to explain why understanding trends is so important. Of course, you could just look at what your competitors are doing and copy them. Or you could search up the latest social media marketing trends and try out whichever one sounds more appealing to you.
However, approaching this topic so carelessly won’t be very effective. In fact, to truly get the most out of such trends, you need to understand how they work and why they work the way they do. Once you understand the logic behind them, you will be able to apply them to your own campaigns in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Moreover, many of these trends are rather general which means they could be applied to your entire social media marketing strategy rather than a specific aspect of it. In this sense, following trends could help you reevaluate and rejuvenate your entire social media strategy. This will, in turn, help you launch successful campaigns one after another.
Another reason why you should be able to understand how trends work before using them is that this knowledge will allow you to find a unique approach to them. Your competitors might be using these trends in one way while you might have to use them in a completely different way to get the best results from them.
1. Instagram & TikTok for Branding
There’s a lot to be said about Instagram and TikTok and how they are being used by some brands to go viral, yet Instagram still reigns as the number one social media platform for branding. Instagram is perfect for establishing your brand because of several reasons:
- It has one of the largest user bases with almost 1.4 million users. Instagram is only behind Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp.
- Instagram is primarily a visual platform where visual content takes the front stage. This creates the perfect environment for visual branding and building a recognizable brand (e.g., brand logo, colors, typography, etc.)
- Though it functions differently from TikTok, Instagram is still a platform where content can go viral. And with virality, businesses can get more exposure and improve brand awareness and recognition.
- There are different content formats users can work with (though the focus is still on visuals). For brands, this means that there can be a fair amount of variety and diversity in content which is essential for a strong social media strategy.
- Along with running a brand account, businesses can also use influencer marketing as well as launch ad campaigns on the platform.
2. Influencer Marketing
Speaking of influencer marketing, just a few years ago, it would likely be considered yet another trend. But nowadays, influencer marketing has become if not the primary, then definitely a commonly used technique in social media marketing. In fact, some businesses choose to make it their main focus when planning their social media strategy.
The reason why influencer marketing is so popular now is that influencers have become a new type of celebrities. Influencers have their own follower bases with people that support them and look up to them. This is why the products or brands the influencers mention usually get a lot of attention from their followers.
Consequently, influencer marketing can be quite effective in helping brands achieve a variety of goals, including improving brand awareness and recognition, growing social media accounts, and even increasing sales. Depending on your budget and resources, you can build relationships and work with two types of influencers:
- Micro-Influencers: These are influencers with around 1k-100k followers. Micro-influencers often have higher engagement rates and are more closely connected to their audience. They also have a more niche-oriented approach. Because they have fewer followers, micro-influencers are usually a more affordable option, especially for small businesses.
- Macro-Influencers: There are influencers with 100k+ followers. Macro-influencers have huge audiences, but their engagement rates are not always as high as those of micro-influencers. Macro-influencers can sometimes be perceived as very high-profile public figures which can potentially give them a lot of influence on their audience. Macro-influencers usually charge more for promotional content than micro-influencers do.
3. Social Commerce
With the growth of e-commerce, more and more businesses started looking for new ways to reach their customers online. That’s when social commerce was born which is pretty much e-commerce done on social media. Social commerce is huge now with both independent creators and big brands alike selling products on social media.
It is no wonder then those social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer special social commerce tools. Instagram Shopping is a whole set of different features you can utilize to start selling products on the platform. But initially, Instagram started rolling out social commerce features one by one.
For instance, back in 2016, the platform introduced a feature that allowed businesses to tag products in their posts. Even before that (as early as 2014), Instagram allowed users to switch to a business account that would let brands view their impressions, reach, and ad statistics. All of these and many other features definitely helped brand accounts grow.
The big transition to e-commerce happened in 2019, but the shopping tab as we know it today became a separate entity only in 2020. Before that, Instagram had already allowed users to shop within the app, but the social commerce aspect still wasn’t as straightforward. In any case, the platform’s numerous e-commerce features definitely help brands of all sizes.
4. Social Advertising
While social commerce is definitely big, there’s something that preceded it that has played an important role in digital marketing – social advertising. Businesses both big and small can run ad campaigns on different social media platforms, but by far the most popular ones for this are Facebook and Instagram.
There are several advantages to running social ad campaigns:
- You can reach your audience in an environment where they feel comfortable.
- You can tailor your campaigns to target a specific group of people.
- You can create native ads that your audience will be less averted to.
- You can get very accurate analytics about your campaigns.
- You can launch ad campaigns on multiple platforms (e.g., Facebook and Instagram).
Almost any social media platform out there now allows you to run social ad campaigns and set them up in a very nuanced way to reach very specific segments of your target audience. This is precisely why social advertising is so effective: social media platforms have the necessary data to target your ads as accurately as possible and thus reach great results.
In addition to that, most social ads are native ads which means they are presented in a way that is similar to the usual social media posts. The point is to make them stand out less so that the audience doesn’t immediately consider them ads and skip them. Native ads can be extremely effective in a time when consumers are so used to ignoring advertisements.
5. Live Content
These days, more and more brands are choosing to focus on live content and there are many reasons for this. Live content allows businesses to achieve a variety of goals that other types of content can’t always handle:
- Increase Engagement: When you start live streaming, there will usually be a rise in engagement. Users are often quite active with commenting during live streams. Moreover, live events can help you reach more people. For instance, Facebook live videos usually get 6x more interactions than regular pre-recorded videos.
- Connection with the Audience: Live streaming is one of the best ways to truly connect with your audience because you are communicating with them in real-time. Besides, this type of content is actually preferred by many social media users. According to a survey by LiveStream, 80% of respondents claimed that they would rather watch a brand live stream than read its blog. Similarly, 82% of respondents said that they would rather watch a brand live stream than view its social media posts.
- Expanding to Other Platforms: Rather than only using live features on certain social media platforms, you can actually expand to separate platforms that are focused specifically on live content. The most well-known of these is Twitch which allegedly hosts 91% of streaming content on the market.
6. Video Diversity
Last but not least, there seems to be way more diversity in video content and video marketing as a whole than there ever was before. Some experts claim that short videos reign supreme while others believe that long-form videos are actually more popular. The reality is that both types of videos are thriving – it just depends on the platform.
For instance, TikTok is a great example of how short videos can be used to their fullest. To profit from the success of TikTok, other platforms also introduced their own short video features (Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts).
On the other hand, long-form videos are also quite common. There’s an obvious trend on YouTube with many creators producing videos that are sometimes an hour long (or even longer than that). Instagram has also introduced its IGTV feature for longer videos.
There are also other types of video content that have been around for a while. For example, Snapchat and Instagram Stories both of which allow users to post either photos or short videos. Regular Instagram posts can also contain videos, but there is still a limit of 60 seconds.
Ultimately, social media marketing can be very effective when done right. It’s important to know and understand the latest trends in the field, but it’s also crucial that you use them smartly. Which is your favorite from the ones listed above? Leave a comment!
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