It is the tendency of the social media landscape to evolve at an exponential pace.
As of 2019, it is estimated that 91% of all businesses were engaged in social media marketing. Social media is as integral to marketing now as television and print were in the past.
But with its lower barrier to entry and far greater reach, the landscape has become crowded with competition for the attention of potential customers. In this environment, success often hinges on capitalizing on social media marketing trends.
7 Social Media Marketing Trends to Grow Your Brand
Trends in social media reflect developments in social culture, security, and technology. Keeping competitive means keeping abreast of how these events affect your brand and your reach.
To that end, here are 7 current trends you can try, and how they can help grow your brand.
1. Invest in Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing isn’t new. Way back in 2017, commentators noted that influencer-based content was already on track to outpace conventional ads.
What is new is the rise of micro and nano-influencers.
While they don’t have the same reach as celebrities, you can often get more mileage out of a figure who has a smaller but more specific following.
2. Avoid Fake Followers
Since the beginning, the success of a social media campaign was judged in large part by the sheer volume of viewers it was able to reach.
On Instagram, for example, the prestige of a brand would be identified by the number of followers it could garner. And a common way to boost prestige artificially inflate those numbers with likes follows and comments from phony accounts.
As of 2019, this is no longer a viable strategy. In order to maintain its own reputation, Instagram has rolled out new strategies to identify and remove fake accounts.
In order to reach a broader audience, brands need to encourage authentic interaction among the audience they already have.
3. Always be Engaging Your Audience
This was alluded to on the last point, but as social media algorithms become smarter, they are increasingly favoring content that sparks genuine conversations among users.
Simply asking your followers to like and share isn’t going to cut it as platforms work towards cutting back on the influence of so-called “engagement-baiting” techniques.
Instead, you will need to find unique ways to get your followers talking about your brand in meaningful ways.
4. Post Social Media Stories
While Snapchat’s relevancy has waned somewhat, nearly every other social platform has been keen to replicate its best feature.
Instagram and Facebook both implemented stories into their platforms, and the feature has proven popular on both. They’re easy to create, engaging, and require little editing.
And as they are only available for a limited time period, they are more engaging and less repetitive.
5. Build Trust Among Your Audience
If there is one serious threat to social media, it’s the high incidence of privacy breaches. Just as most would be wary about using a site labeled as “not secure”, many users are now wary of putting out their information on social media.
Facebook, in particular, has had a difficult few years with controversies related to data breaches, unethical information mining, and other controversies.
Take Facebook’s troubles as a learning opportunity. Always be as upfront and transparent with your audience as possible.
Whether that means owning up to past mistakes or being forthright about future changes in how you use social data, honesty will help you gain and keep your audience’s confidence.
6. Focus Your Efforts Where they are Most Fruitful
As social marketing becomes more competitive, the importance of niche marketing increases in proportion.
If you market on multiple channels but only see a notable return on investment from one or two, it’s probably worth dumping the others to focus on the avenues that elicit the greatest response.
7. Sell Your Brand, Not Your Stuff
Above all else, your brand needs to be your primary product.
A brand will always be worth more than a commodity. Customers identify themselves with the products they fill their lives with. Just think back to Apple’s “I’m a PC/ I’m a Mac” campaign.
Branding your product as a lifestyle choice, as something to be proud of, both encourages consumer loyalty and for them to share your brand with more potential consumers.
Beyond Following Trends, Build a Strategy
Keeping up with social media marketing trends will help to keep you at the top of your game, but lasting success comes from a sound overarching strategy.
If you’re ready to overhaul your social media presence but aren’t sure where to start, check out our post on crafting an effective social media post.