Social Media Trends for Small Businesses in 2017
As social media continues to grow, so do the compelling trends that make it so successful. Young and old, more people are gravitating to social media sites. Hopping on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like has become a routine, daily habit for most users. Why? It’s not just about staying in touch with family and friends anymore. Social media has become a form of entertainment, a vital communication tool, a shopping mecca, a way to get the latest news and so much more. Considering all that “noise,” what do small business owners need to pay close attention to this year? Here are the trends to be aware of:
What’s in: Whether it be live, recorded or 360-degree, video will be a key way to communicate on social media this year.
Why it works: Video on social media has become a new form of TV. It’s hard to look away, especially when it’s live. Live video also brings a level of authenticity that audiences crave.
What’s out: Social media posts that don’t include some form of media… Views and engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) will be less on posts that are text-only.
What to do: attach a video or an eye-catching image.
What’s in: Utilizing emojis to communicate and enhance conversations on social media.
Why it works: With social media sites becoming increasing visual, emojis are the perfect form of visual communication. Take a close look at a few big brands’ social media feeds, and you’ll see that they’ve fully embraced the use of emoji in their commentary. It’s a unique and fast way to communicate online.
What’s out: Overly formal, lengthy or wordy posts that have no visual appeal.
What to do: Learn the meanings of emoji and begin using them in your social media comments, even if it is a simple smiley face or thumbs-up.
What’s in: Companies encouraging their employees to like, share and converse on company social media posts.
Why it works: The people on your team are your brand ambassadors. Every person that engages with company content will help to broaden your social reach and therefore, expand your audience.
What’s out: One-sided conversations, or worse yet, no responses to comments on social sites.
What to do: Make your content interesting so that your team wants to like and share, rather than feeling forced to do so. And good or bad, ensure you always respond to valid, appropriate comments on your posts.
Find your tribe
What’s in: Concentrating your social media efforts on only those sites where your target audience is hanging out.
Why it works: A post on Snapchat will not have the same effect when posted on Facebook. In fact, it could work against you. Instead, think about the platforms that have had the most engagement success for your business and work solely with those.
What’s out: “Spray and pray” rifle approaches where businesses post the same messages on as many social sites as they can.
What to do: Narrow your focus to the platforms where your audience is listening – and engaging. Create authentic, shareable content that is an ideal fit for that platform.
Turn comments into conversation
What’s in: Turning off the native comment feature on business blog articles and taking the conversation to social instead (or enabling Facebook comments on your blog).
Why it works: Comments on blog posts have increasingly become troublesome. People often comment to pitch their own products and services (or worse). Steering genuine comments to social can start interesting, highly interactive conversations as well as bring in more followers.
What’s out: Having no blog at all (this one isn’t new).
What to do: Blogging is a tool that drives traffic to your site. Be sure to have one and update it often. Own your own content, but engage about it in public forums.