The years 2020 and 2021 have been turning points for businesses. The pandemic changed the world overnight, forcing industries to adopt an online business model. As such, they had to ride on social media trends to stay on top of people’s minds during this period.
Small businesses tend to gain more engagement on social media. Since the owners themselves interact with the customers, they leave a more lasting impression and impact. To maintain this good engagement, small businesses should leverage social media trends. And we don’t just mean memes. Instead, trends can redefine the norm in marketing.
Effective online marketing may use short-term trends like memes or viral photos, but more than those, they stick to the trends that change the market’s behavior. Whether consumers are aware or not, social media trends change the way they behave. For example, when Vine was famous, everybody made and shared seven-second short but impactful videos. Now that TikTok is the trend, everyone is suddenly into dance challenges and creating reels.
If small businesses take advantage of those types of trends, they’ll also sway the market to patronize them. So without further ado, here are the social media trends they should leverage in 2021 and beyond:
1. Live Streaming
Live streaming has been a common practice in recent past years. But business didn’t usually partake in it. Now, though, as the pandemic forced enterprises to go digital, they found a new marketing avenue in live streaming.
Small businesses can use livestream marketing in various ways. Home improvement shops, for example, can make a live demonstration of how to use their products inside a model or makeshift room. Service businesses, like facial and body-contouring centers, can go live to offer homemade solutions for common skin and weight issues.
The advantage of live streaming is that businesses don’t have to hard-sell their products. But the outcome can still be an increase in sales. Think of live videos as shopping TV content. When you see how a product is being used or solves problems, you become compelled to buy it. Likewise, if live videos reach its target audience, it has high chances of attracting a purchase. In fact, nearly 40% of executives place a call to a vendor after seeing a live video. B2B businesses seem to perform exceptionally well in this; 73% of them use live streaming to reach their target audience and report achieving a more significant return on investment (ROI).
2. Disappearing Videos
These are basically Instagram Stories and Facebook MyDay. Snapchat popularized disappearing videos, but there wasn’t a huge interest in such features back then. But when Instagram adopted it, disappearing videos became a hit; over 500 million people now use the feature.
Instagram even added a “Highlight” feature to keep Stories from disappearing. Businesses should take advantage of it, especially if they use Stories to promote contests. And even if their Stories disappear after 24 hours, it will still likely reach the number of views it’s targeting. According to a SocialInsider study, Stories have a 5.65% higher tap forward rate than videos. This means the number of users who move on to the next Story before finishing it. As such, 51% of brands regularly upload Stories as of late.
3. Augmented Reality
A growing trend in the Stories community is the use of augmented reality (AR) filters. Snapchat started this trend, too, back when the dog-ear filter was all over the uploaded contents on the app.
Not to be confused with virtual reality, augmented reality is the addition of digital visual elements in the real, physical world. Applied in marketing, augmented reality can allow customers to “try” a product before buying it. Brands usually include AR in their e-commerce sites, in the form of virtual fitting rooms, for example.
Makeup brands can create an AR Instagram Story filter. As a result, they can let their customers see themselves wearing particular eyeshadow looks, lipstick shades, or face makeup shades. This can be a great way to boost sales among people interested in makeup but not skilled at it.
4. Engaging Blog Content
Brands also share engaging blog content to increase traffic on their websites. They share these blogs on their social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter. Their blogs can also appear on search engines after a user types in a keyword related to those blogs.
To gain a high rank on search engine results pages (SERP), small businesses must not only use an interesting title but an attention-catching meta description, too. Those are the short, preview-like sentences you see below a page’s title. They give users an idea of the full content.
Social media trends change fast, but these particular trends have redefined marketing and will likely continue to do so in the coming years. If your business hasn’t adopted them yet, what are you waiting for?