Social media is on the mind of every business owner right now. Social platforms have become the hot spots for marketing to new customers and engaging current clients. Although social media is constantly shifting, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
However, there are ever-changing trends on social media that you want to be aware of. The usage of social media can vary nearly every month depending on social media algorithms, updates, and users.
It’s important to differentiate between trends and fads on different social platforms. Although you want to utilize social media for strong marketing, you want to avoid throwing resources at passing fads.
So should you be concerned with or focused on social media trends? How can you optimize on these trends to boost your online business?
Should you focus on social media trends?
Yes and no.
Jumping on every trend is guaranteed to drain your resources and leave you with a poor marketing strategy. It’s like investing in a product that’s a passing fad that leaves you with stale inventory and a lacking bottom line.
You want to focus on those trends that will see long-term success for your business.
This means you want to focus on social media trends that are consistently swinging upwards, rather than fads that hit the scene quickly and disappear just as fast.
Moreover, Gen Zers and Millennials are the primary users of social media. These audiences are highly attuned to the authenticity of a brand. If you try to use too many trends, these users will see right through you. Hopping on social media fads can make you look like you’re trying too hard to fit in, especially if it doesn’t suit your brand’s personality.
Not all social trends work for all businesses. Here are three examples how social media “crazes” have failed e-commerce businesses:
- QR codes have been around for several years—but they’re not yet widespread. They’ve made a few comebacks here and there but never on an extensive scale. It’s much easier for users to type in your website URL or Twitter handle than scan a QR code in a separate app that then brings you to that page. While QR codes are being used more and more frequently around us, from WiFi access to PayPal purchases, it hasn’t become prevalent enough on social media to be worth it.
This is an example of a low usage trend.
- Memes are a hot social media trend that doesn’t seem to be going out of style just yet. However, even if they stick around, they may not be the best business move. Even though they spread like rapid fire, they’re not branded. You could post a meme that someone else reposts without linking back or relating it to your brand whatsoever. This does very little for impressions or social reach.
This is an example of a low conversion trend.
- Infographics are hot trends on almost every social media platform, and they provide significant success to businesses. However, they may not be the go-to for a pet care company who doesn’t have significant data to share about their dog products. One or two infographics might work, but it would likely not be their primary form of posting. They might instead focus on a more fun trend, like live videos of puppies.
This is an example of a low relevancy trend.
From these examples, there are three things we can glean for hopping aboard a social media trend train:
- Choose a trend that has a strong following and is here to stay for some time.
- Implement a trend that has a strong business utility.
- Use a trend that is relevant to your brand.
Nevertheless, if you find a trend that’s on the upward swing and could boost your marketing metrics—go for it! There are a number of social media trends that you can tap into to boost your social marketing.
What are some of the social media trends that could show success for your e-commerce business?
What social media trends are worth it?
Videos are one of the top trends on social media, and it’s a trend that’s only continuing to grow. In fact, video is expected to account for 79% of total global Internet traffic by 2020.
Video is the future of the Internet and social media. Videos have become the go-to for nearly every social platform including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Even LinkedIn and online publications are moving towards a more video-based communication.
Businesses love using videos because it’s a post that doesn’t need to “go viral” to have an effect. While the metrics of views and clicks matter, they’re not the final result of a successful video.
The purpose of social media video is to promote a lifestyle, image, and story around your brand. Video is one of the easiest ways to create and spread a unique brand voice. This itself shows a strong return by building up your e-commerce business from a store to a brand.
In fact, 73% of B2B organizations report a positive ROI for videos in their social marketing campaigns.
The trendiest, most successful types of videos include:
- Short, precise videos between 30 seconds and 3 minutes
- Mobile-friendly videos
- Primarily visual stories (85% of people watch Facebook videos without sound)
- 7-second story videos (tell a second in 7 seconds)
- Horizontal videos (for Snapchat and Twitter)
2. Live Streaming
Live streaming is similar to video, but it’s growing at an even faster rate on social media. In fact, it’s expected that video streaming will become a $70.5 billion market by 2021.
Live streaming is when an individual or business turns on their camera and brings their online audience with them for some sort of live event or talk. These live events can be anything from a discussion about the brand to a CEO interview to an in-person event.
Customers love live streaming because it’s more authentic. It’s not a strategized marketing post that took hours to create. It’s right there in the action with the brand or influencer. In fact, 80% of customers reported that they would rather watch live videos than read posts from brands.
Businesses love live streaming because it’s faster and cheaper to make than other forms of visual content. The quality doesn’t have to be as strong, so it works well for smaller businesses without a lot of video equipment or editing.
The most successful live streaming video types include:
- In-person events (streamed for those consumers who can’t make the event in person)
- Live interview or Q&A
- How-to or making of the product
- Announcement, like a product launch or company news
Social media “influencers” are individuals with a lot of followers and associated engagement. They’re often celebrities or athletes, but they can also be bloggers or individuals with a solid personal brand.
Influencers have become their own social media stars. Businesses have been partnering with influencers to optimize on their following. For example, some businesses will provide free products to influencers in exchange for a product review on the influencer’s blog and social media.
The goal here is to approach relevant influencers in your industry. Create a proposition that is mutually beneficial for both parties. You’ll gain exposure with their audience, and you want to provide them with an equivalent value—whether that’s through products, services, or their own exposure.
Successful uses of influencers include:
- Affiliate marketing
- Placement marketing
- Guest blogging/posting
- Personalized campaigns
How should you use social media trends?
So you think some of the above social media trends are relevant to your e-commerce business. How do you implement these to see success in your marketing?
- Make sure the trend is relevant to your brand voice. If you have a fun and upbeat brand, an infographic might be too heavy. If you have a more serious tone, a meme would not be effective.
- Relate the trend to your audience. Is your audience already involved in this social trend themselves? If not, you’ll likely not gain much by participating.
- Ensure the trend is relevant to your product. Can you utilize this type of social media to generate direct or indirect sales?
- Don’t overuse social media trends. Focus on one or two that you can hone well.
Management is the most important factor of success when it comes to social media trends. You want to have a marketing manager or team who knows what trends are on the upswing—both in general marketing and with your audience in particular.
You want someone who understands how to cater to the trend while also selling to your business.
Seller’s Choice is the perfect marketing partner for you. We are constantly researching new and upcoming marketing trends to ensure our clients are ahead of the curve at every step.
We gave you just three of hundreds of possible social media trends you could utilize. We’re poised and prepped to weed through these trends to find the most relevant and successful for your business.