In the world of digital marketing, time waits for no one. Between radical emerging technologies like AI and shortening attention spans, marketers must race to keep up with competitors.
The latest social media trends reflect these changing times. Greater emphasis is being placed on short-form media to grab the public’s fickle attention quickly. And innovative marketers are utilizing things like AI and VR, albeit with mixed results.
Some things haven’t changed, however, and those include the benefits of social media. Despite the shifting landscape, social networking continues to be one of the most effective ways to get attention and spread your message.
You just need to know how to do it in the right way.
If you want your business or agency to be competitive on social media platforms today, you need to be prepared. And that means knowing what trends are happening now and expected to happen soon.
In this article, we’ll go over the top social media tips for capitalizing on current trends. To find out how you can best leverage social media this year, keep reading.
Humanness and Authenticity
At one time, brands could post simple messages about new products and offers on social media and get attention. But a trend away from dry corporate-speak and towards more authentic, sincere messaging has been ongoing for some time.
These days, people have a tendency to tune out advertising. This shouldn’t surprise us since ads are plastered everywhere on the Internet. People were bound to start ignoring them at some point.
So in order to get your message noticed, it can’t feel like an ad. At best, it should be remarkable and unique, like a good Super Bowl ad. At the very least, it should feel like something a human being, and not a soulless company, would share.
Brand Responsibility and Integrity
The Internet has brought on a massive wave of information and transparency. It’s harder than ever before to keep secrets, and if one person catches wind of a scandal, you can be sure the world will know about it soon.
As a result, businesses are held to a higher standard by consumers than ever before. People want to feel like the brands they’re supporting are making the world a better place. In turn, brands have begun to make their public images a big priority.
This comes with a major caveat, however.
Although people like to see brands doing genuinely good things in the world, they also have a zero-tolerance level for hypocrisy. A business cannot claim to operate at a high standard of integrity while directly supporting questionable things.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, many consumers are feeling fed up with brands’ attempts to curry favor with cheap appeals to sympathy or morality. It’s no longer enough to do lip service to a good cause—you must actually support it tangibly.
However, the solution is simpler than it might seem. A business must know what its values are and support them openly, tangibly, and unapologetically. Not everyone will share its values, but those who do will appreciate it even more.
Value-Focused Content Marketing
Consumers have run out of patience for brands that act like they’re entitled to their time and attention. It’s no longer sufficient to spam audiences with sales messages and quirky memes.
To get ahead, brands must focus on providing value first.
As any SEO marketer can tell you, this trend has been going on for a long time—almost since the dawn of marketing itself. SEO blogging and YouTubing are prominent examples of ways that brands try to provide value to audiences.
But content marketing is only becoming more important over time as brands compete with one another for the public’s limited attention. In the end, the business that offers the most value first wins.
The idea behind content marketing is optimistic but simple: if you give first, others will give back more later. In other words, when a business gives away valuable information and resources, people will buy their paid products later.
A common misconception is that by giving away too much value, you won’t have anything left to sell afterward. After all, if people can get your best work for free, why would they pay you for it?
But as it turns out, customers don’t see it that way. Yes, some will take your free offers without buying any of your paid products. But many more will feel indebted to you for the value you gave away, and they’ll become repeat customers.
Mobile-First Content and Design
It’s been well-known for some time that people spend more time browsing the web on their phones than they do on traditional computers.
This has been especially important for web developers, who have pivoted from designing for desktops to focusing on mobile browsing. But it’s a concern for social media marketers as well.
When you spend all your time at work on a desktop computer, it’s easy to forget that most of your audience is viewing your content on much smaller screens. That’s why you must focus consciously on doing mobile-first design.
This approach applies to all aspects of your digital strategy. Images that you share should be formatted to suit all screen sizes, but that’s just the beginning.
Calls-to-action must lead to responsive webpages that are easy to view on mobile. Actions you want your audience to take must be possible and convenient on mobile devices. And articles and videos should be brief and to the point.
Short-Form, Vertical Video
As part of the mobile revolution, vertical video has taken social media by storm.
While it has pretty much always been possible to upload vertical videos to YouTube and other platforms, it was uncommon and often frowned upon. But that changed when TikTok entered the scene. Now, vertical video is everywhere.
And it isn’t hard to see why. People use their phones in a vertical position, so having videos formatted to fit their screens perfectly was always an obvious next step.
Making short videos mainstream was also fairly predictable, given the wealth of distractions on the web. Shorter videos can get more views more easily because they’re not asking for as much of their viewers’ time.
One benefit of this is that organic reach with short-form video is still achievable, especially on TikTok.
Whereas many platforms became overpopulated with content and ceased to offer much organic reach, this hasn’t happened yet on TiTok. Even YouTube Shorts, the video giant’s TikTok alternative, has impressive organic reach.
Making high-quality short-form videos that people like to watch and share can be tricky. But the brands that get it figured out will reap the benefits for years to come.
Nearly every major social network offers live-streaming capabilities these days. And with the right strategy in place, streaming can be a great way to foster a brand’s audience and stand out.
However, live-streaming can be as tricky as short-form video to get right. Although you could simply stream premade YouTube videos, this isn’t the way to get the most value out of streaming.
The most significant aspect of streaming is community involvement. Because the show is happening live, viewers can interact directly with the host and one another. This elevates it far beyond other types of content.
With the right content, host, and promotion behind it, a regular live stream can transform your passive audience members into raving fans.
All around the world, companies realize that consumers connect with individuals far more easily than with brands. No example of this is more obvious than the rise of influencer culture.
Social media influencers have become mainstream businesses all on their own, and the pool of successful influencers is only growing wider.
But fortunately, your brand doesn’t need to become an influencer or create one to capitalize on this. Instead, it can sponsor influencers that are already popular.
Even an influencer with a small audience can offer an excellent opportunity for a business to expand its reach. And if the influencer and business are both targeting a niche, tight-knit group of people, all the better!
Capitalize on the Top Social Media Trends This Year
Social media trends can be an enigma. It isn’t always clear what’s going to be popular or why. But with this list, you should have an idea of what to expect in the coming year.
If you’re a social media manager or entrepreneur who feels out of their depth, you might want to consider hiring outside help.
Social media services will watch trends and develop content for you while you focus on what matters. An agency like Ten Peaks Media can even manage your website and SEO. Contact us and take your business to the next level.