Social media has become an integral part of people’s and businesses’ lives. Having a solid social media presence is key to nurturing leads along every part of the customer journey. Social media provides customers direct access to their favorite brands allowing businesses to create trust, foster engagement, and brand loyalty.
Still, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a world that evolves more rapidly than the world of social media. Social media channels, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are continually changing their social platforms and algorithms, making it difficult to draw customers if you don’t keep your finger on the pulse of the latest social media trends.
For social media marketing professionals, it’s a constant challenge to stay up to date with all the features, branding, and algorithm changes. Social media sites are no longer just one thing. Companies like Facebook and Instagram have engineered a social commerce space by creating shoppable feeds that make online purchases more effortless than ever.
Moreover, it seems new forms of social media pop up every now and then as others fade into oblivion. Take TikTok, for example. It succeeded where other video-based social media platforms, like Vine, failed by having a more robust feature set and an algorithm that creates a highly calibrated and personalized #ForYou page. Plenty of brands are now incorporating the platform into their social media strategy. TikTok is also proving to be one of the best ways to grow an organic following, fast.
It can be challenging for your brand to stand out without a clear social media strategy, especially considering the content overload on social media. That’s why it’s essential to pause and listen before joining the conversations. Social listening remains a crucial business strategy because it ensures your messaging matches the audience’s tone, attitudes, and values.
Now more than ever, people are craving authenticity and connection. The following social media trends will help you foster a sense of community and bring your audience into the fold.
1. Video Content Will Continue to Rule the Day
So, it’s already evident that TikTok is the place to be now. TikTok has completely transformed the world of social marketing by making videos one of the most impactful ways to grow an organic following. As a result, it’s now possible to share insights and resources via bite-size video content on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and now YouTube shorts. Unlike long-lived content like blog posts or YouTube videos, short video allows you to capitalize on today’s decreasing attention spans.
Video content has always been useful in helping potential buyers learn more about a brand and product. Condensing heavy topics into easily digestible snippets enables you to hook your audience and increase their interest in a brand. It’s also an effective way to give your brand a recognizable voice plus deliver relevant content to your audience.
On the subject of video content, live streams will remain popular. If you’re looking to humanize your brand to the general public, live broadcasts allow you to put some faces to your name.
Consumers often complain about the sense of disconnect between them and big companies. A lot of big-name brands tend to hide behind their size and their already established market. Smaller brands do not have the same advantage – being personable is one of the best marketing strategies a small business can have in such an environment.
But even industry giants are starting to catch up with the times. Prospects often notice the lack of personality, which can have a tremendous impact on brand reputation and, ultimately, sales.
That’s why influencer marketing partnerships seem to work so well for brands. Your brand doesn’t actually have a face, but the people who represent it do.
Having real people take over your brand’s social channels is a refreshing way to humanize your brand. Live streams and video content allow you to showcase the authentic and diverse faces of your brand so the world can better connect with your company.
2. Ephemeral Content Is Becoming More Popular by the Day
Several years ago, Snapchat became popular for its disappearing, FOMO-inducing content. The feature has since been assimilated into Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels. Ephemeral content capitalizes on people’s fear of missing out. It’s the kind of content that’s available only for a short period of time, prompting people to engage more with brands and each other.
As mentioned, attention spans are short. It’s not that people cannot concentrate for long periods; it’s that they don’t want to persist. They want short, engaging content that’s impossible to get bored of. It’s for this reason users can spend hours scrolling through one Instagram Story after another.
Businesses can use stories to make connections, express the creativity of their brands, create engagement forums and nurture leads throughout the customer journey. According to Instagram, over 500 million accounts use stories on the daily, with one-third of the most-viewed stories coming from brands. Joining the 4 million businesses using Stories ads every month allows you to run promotions while keeping your engagement levels high.
On the subject of engagement, the novelty of social interaction with brands is something that will never really wear off. Consumers want easy, fun communication online. For this reason, utilizing interactive stickers on Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to boost your engagement levels and generate conversation around your brand.
3. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Will Become More Popular on Social Media
The virtual space continues to penetrate deeper and deeper into everyday life. It’s not really surprising that Virtual Reality (VR) is starting to merge with social media, considering it offers countless opportunities to keep your audience engaged and entertained.
Facebook has become one of the first social networking sites to embrace Virtual Reality, with Facebook Horizon. Other brands are also busy playing catch-up. But what does VR mean for social networks and your brand? First of all, social media is no stranger to evolution. It’s constantly transforming and perfectly capable of mixing with other technology.
Advertising will be built into the virtual reality of social media. As such, VR will open up new opportunities for advertising and marketing brands and products. Think of all the possibilities of merging VR, social media, and out-of-home advertising. Digital signage can immerse groups of consumers at once, creating the immersive experience customers crave. You can now utilize videos, panoramic photos, virtual galleries, and albums to interact with virtual social media users.
VR is the future, and it’s time your brand started preparing for this future. It’s the same case with Augmented Reality (AR) experiences. Unlike VR, Augmented Reality doesn’t require additional hardware beyond a smartphone or internet-enabled mobile device, making it possible to connect to a broader range of users. Companies are using AR to create thumb-stopping content by way of filters with interactive designs. AR filters are also proving to be an excellent way for increasing brand reach and visibility since you can upload the filters to the broader filter library.
The transition of social networks to virtual reality is inevitable, especially considering how quickly VR devices are becoming ubiquitous in everyday life.
Delve Into The Future
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for shaping brand perception. You can transform your digital presence in a way that builds brand awareness and creates trust. Use social media to keep your audience engaged and build a community around your brand’s purpose.