It is no surprise anymore that social media plays a crucial role in the success and growth of businesses. It has become an integral part of all marketing strategies and has gained a central position among consumers.
Social media has become the go-to place for seeking information, learning, socializing, shopping, and customer support. There are almost no limits to what it can be used for. And this puts demands on the marketing team, who also need to navigate AI tools, algorithms, trends, and countless best practices.
Mastering social media is a challenging discipline, which is why we have gathered 10 important trends that can help you. Perhaps they will give you great ideas on where you can improve or adjust your efforts on social media. It can be a guiding hand in a time where social media is undoubtedly a means to success, but the path to get there may seem difficult
Trend 1: Social Media is the Future of E-commerce
Social media is increasingly evolving into e-commerce platforms where users can directly purchase products within the app. Apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are capable of showcasing products in a realistic manner, often with the help of influencers who test, demonstrate, and recommend products. And these words potentially hold more weight than the product description on your website.
Studies show that up to 35% of people prefer to use social media as their primary means of staying updated on brands and products. Therefore, social media should be considered as part of the overall shopping experience and a significant supplement to your online store.
Trend 2: Consumers use Social Media for Customer Service
Trend 1 highlighted that social media is the future of e-commerce, and consequently, customer service is increasingly moving from websites to social media platforms.
In the past three months, one in five consumers has reached out to a brand with questions about a product or service through social media. More and more consumers are turning to social media as the direct contact point for businesses instead of relying on traditional customer service channels like email or phone. As a result, 76% of companies already offer customer service through social media.
It is crucial to invest in providing customer service through social media rather than solely relying on traditional channels like email and phone. This involves dedicating time and resources to be visible and accessible when customers need support on platforms such as Instagram.
Trend 3: Social Media Searches are more Popular than Search Engines
There was a time when Google was the go-to place for searching information about brands and products. That time has passed.
Consumers are already using social media extensively to search for brands. Among users aged 18-54, 24% now turn to social media instead of Google when searching for brands. In the 18-24 age group, this number rises to 36%.
As more people conduct searches through social platforms rather than Google, it signifies that channels like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are the preferred and familiar medium, even for gathering information about businesses.
It is also on social media where consumers can find authentic reviews and recommendations about products and brands. Users on social media who test or recommend products or alternatives are considered more authentic and trustworthy sources of information. And this is highly valued in a time where options are plentiful, and people seek help and confirmation to make informed purchase decisions.
To cater to this trend, you can include relevant keywords and hashtags in your posts, ensure that your username is easily searchable and consistent across the platforms you use.
Trend 4: An Active Online Community is No Longer Optional
One of the biggest changes we have experienced in recent years is the significance of online communities. Part of the explanation can certainly be found in the 2019 Corona pandemic, which affected the entire world.
For health reasons, we were deprived of our usual social life in various forms: family gatherings, recreational activities, sports, and much more were reduced to a minimum, and some of them were even completely removed from our daily lives. These were necessary interventions in our routines based on health-related reasons, but nonetheless, they caused a major upheaval in our personal lives and well-being. As a result, most of us began seeking social connections elsewhere, such as online communities.
Although we are fortunately on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that active online communities were not just a passing trend. These communities are here to stay.
And that is a fact we all need to acknowledge. It is no longer optional for companies and organizations to use social media or to build and maintain communities through them. Your customers expect and demand it.
In fact, 1 in 5 social media users have participated in an online community in the last 3 months. There is potential to create online communities on various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The choice of platform naturally depends on your target audience.
There are different ways you can create successful online communities. For example, you can establish an exclusive customer club for your loyal customer base and reward them with discounts or other benefits. Alternatively, you can create a more open community where you can share useful tips and tricks, creating a platform that makes members feel like they are part of something bigger.
Trend 5: Micro-influencers are Gaining Ground
Influencer marketing has been a significant part of marketing strategies for a long time. Many companies enter partnerships with influencers because it works. People trust recommendations that come from those they choose to follow on social media. Additionally, it matters to consumers to see and experience products being used.
Therefore, influencer marketing has been an effective way to reach target audiences for several years. Now, it has become increasingly popular for companies to collaborate with multiple micro-influencers rather than just a few larger influencers. This approach makes the marketing even more authentic, and companies potentially reach a larger audience by spreading their messages through multiple influencers instead of relying on just one prominent influencer
Trend 6: The Short Video Format Delivers Results
At MCB, we have said it before, and we will say it again: the video format creates online success!
Instagram Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts are some of the content formats that generate the highest ROI. Why? Video content on social media platforms like these is effective in increasing brand awareness and engaging the audience. Video with motion and sound grabs attention and is a means to stand out in the vast media landscape.
Furthermore, there are cost savings associated with using the short video format. You do not need expensive productions to create successful videos. Your smartphone, a good sense of humor, and a sharp message might be all it takes to create the perfect video for your brand.
Trend 7: Fun, Trendy, and Relatable Content Stands Out
What captures people's attention as they scroll through their social media feeds? When aiming for the best possible return on your social media investments, fun and relatable content is the way to go.
With relatable content, for example, you can show your target audience that they are not alone in their challenges and struggles. It gives the audience a sense of being part of a community, and that is highly valuable.
There are several different ways to create content that is fun, trendy, and/or relatable. Here are some ideas:
- Behind-the-scenes: Show your company's work culture, the good stories in the office, or what an ordinary day looks like at your place.
- Memes: Use humor to engage and expand your audience.
- Create a miniseries: Explore selected topics or products week by week. Keep the format consistent but vary the content, creating a desire to follow along each week.
- Content that reflects your brand's values: Interview the company's CEO or a department head. It can also take the form of employee takeovers.
There are many possibilities. Let your imagination run wild!
Trend 8: Instagram is the Highest ROI Platform
Instagram is widely used by most businesses, and for good reason. In recent years, the platform has proven to be the best source of ROI and overall user engagement. There are several reasons for this:
1. Instagram is a visually oriented platform that allows for sharing images and videos in an aesthetically appealing way. It appeals to users' senses and makes it easier to convey brand messages and establish an emotional connection with the audience.
2. The platform has invested in various features and tools that support engagement and brand growth, such as Stories and Reels, which enable the sharing of more dynamic and entertaining content. These features create a more interactive and engaging experience for users and allow brands to express creativity and differentiate themselves from competitors.
3. Instagram has a sophisticated algorithmic system that tailors users' feeds based on their interests and preferences. This means that users often see content that is relevant and interesting to them, increasing the chances of engagement and positive reactions to the content. The personalized customization also provides an opportunity for brands to reach the right audience and achieve better results.
Does your business have an active presence on Instagram? If not, it is time to jump on the bandwagon.
Trend 9: Sharing the Same Content Across Platforms is a No-Go!
On average, marketing professionals use four different social media platforms in their work, but many forget that each platform has unique trends and styles.
What works well on one platform may not necessarily fit another. For example, Instagram is primarily visually focused, while Twitter is more text-based. By sharing the same content across platforms, you risk losing relevance and not leveraging the unique characteristics of each platform.
Users choose specific media for a reason—perhaps they use Twitter because they prefer text-based updates or Instagram because they prefer content with visual and aesthetic images. Regardless of the platform, users expect content to be tailored to each one. Otherwise, you risk creating more noise than positive resonance with your target audience.
Trend 10: AI has Become Ubiquitous and has Changed the Way we Create Content
Artificial intelligence has been a topic of conversation for several years. As early as 2022, AI became more accessible to the general public, and today it is more popular than ever. ChatGPT became the fastest-growing app ever, reaching 100 million users just two months after its launch.
ChatGPT, Dall-E, and other tools like Canva's Magic Write have quickly become part of the marketing toolkit. It is a rapidly growing trend in marketing. And there are different ways you can consider using AI in your daily life:
- Source of ideas: Integrate AI tools into your creative process as a source of inspiration, research, and faster content production and campaign development.
- Customize content for different platforms: AI can help you rephrase content to fit the specific platforms you use.
- Gain insights into audiences: If you use AI correctly, it can be a helpful tool in understanding your audience better.
- Image generation and emojis: AI is not only text-based. You can also get assistance in generating images for your posts or finding the right emojis that match the post's mood.
- Multilingual posts: Do you run an international business? AI can quickly help you translate posts into multiple languages.
The list could go on. There are many ways you can advantageously use AI in your marketing strategies. Although everything may seem fantastic with AI and its endless possibilities, our recommendation is always to use the technology wisely. You are still the expert in your business!
Thus, we have covered 10 trends in social media. We understand that it is not realistic for you to address them all. But hopefully, it has inspired you on where and how you can improve and adjust your company's efforts on social media