We're just going to come out and say it: Social media is chaotic. What we mean by this is that due to its continuously changing nature, it can be hard for most business users to keep on top of current trends. While many small to medium businesses are starting to develop a presence on various social media platforms, many aren't too sure about new ways in which they can capitalize on this new technology.
Here is an overview of five common social media trends that small to medium businesses should be aware of.
1. Visual content rules
Being successful with social media efforts means that you need to have engaging content. Sure written content will get likes and interest, but it's visual content that seems to really engage viewers.
According to a recent study by Kissmetrics, "photos get 53% more Likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs than posts containing text only." If you don't already post visual content, like pictures and videos, it may be time to start looking into how you can do this. One great platform that enables this is Instagram. You can also take great quality pics from a smartphone and post them directly onto Facebook.
2. Search and social media are one and the same
With the recent release of Facebook's Graph Search, increase of Google+ related content in Google Search, and Google now indexing various social media activity, it's quickly becoming essential for a business to have a presence on various social media platforms. The key point to be aware of here is that Internet search results will likely continue to pull results from various social media platforms, so, you need be active on several of them.
3. Social media monetization
Businesses are really starting to realize the important role social media sites like Facebook can play in branding and advertising. Companies are starting to take advantage of paid advertising, like Facebook's Ads, that ensures content is displayed to relevant users or user groups. These paid advertisements have proven to be largely successful for many small businesses.
4. Social currency
Social currency is the idea of capitalizing on resources that are discovered by having a presence on social media. Essentially this means leveraging your presence on social media to explore new customer related trends and gain insight into what your customers are doing online and what they want. You can then use this information to create new products, or content related to customer wants, that will not only increase engagement but potentially sales too.
The popularity of sites related to microblogging e.g., Twitter, is still on the rise. The more popular microblogging sites are actually ones that are more visual, like Vine and Instagram. These short posts allow users to share what is going on through images. As we said above, visual content really is key. If you can create posts using these microblogging sites, you are in a good position to see an increase in engagement with your customers - they will enjoy seeing what you are doing, as long as you don't bombard them.
These are just five social media trends but there are many more. Which ones have you noticed and how have they worked for your business? Let us know and share your social media experiences.