Social media has forever changed the way service-based businesses connect with current and potential clients. While there are many benefits to social media marketing, it is undeniably a lot to keep up with. We know it can be overwhelming (and nearly impossible) for small business owners to stay on top of all the emerging social media trends. Seriously, social media burnout is REAL! So, before you spiral into panic mode, take a deep breath. We’ve got you covered.
Are you ready to take your small business social media strategy to the next level? Here are some of the top social media trends you need to implement (and a few you can ignore).
2021 Social Media Trends You Need to Jump On
Short-Form Video Content
In recent years, video has dominated the digital marketing landscape. Video content naturally builds a much more compelling and personal connection with your ideal clients. Many entrepreneurs and service-based businesses have seen tremendous success converting when they leverage video as part of their content marketing mix.
While the trend toward shorter form videos really started when Snapchat (and then Instagram Stories) first emerged, it exploded in the past year. With lockdowns forcing people to stay at home, quick, entertaining videos captured the attention of social media audiences around the world. TikTok was one of the biggest social media winners of 2020, and will undoubtedly continue to shatter records in 2021. Search Engine Journal already confirmed that TikTok surpassed Facebook as the number one social networking app based on the average monthly time spent per user on the platform. Instagram has since followed suit with its Reels feature. Many other social networks jumped on the short-form video bandwagon in 2020. Twitter introduced Fleets, LinkedIn added LinkedIn Stories, and Pinterest debuted Story Pins.
Short-form video content is easily digestible, entertaining, and engaging. You can successfully implement this social media trend to creatively build brand awareness, showcase your services, or establish yourself as the industry expert in your niche.
Live Video and Audio Streaming
In a world driven by instant gratification, consumers want immediate access not only to information but to the businesses, influencers, and brands they love. With global forces minimizing our ability to connect face-to-face, live video has taken a stronghold. Unlike the short-form video content trend, live video and audio allow your audience to actually participate in relevant conversations. Corporate live video conferencing and meeting trends through platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are certainly here to stay. Outside of an office setting, the social media trends are also following a similar path.
Clubhouse, a groundbreaking, invite-only, audio social app is the latest social media trend to capitalize on this desire for deeper connections and conversations. Clubhouse Rooms focused on virtually every type of topic imaginable have made their way into the daily routines of millions around the world. Twitter also introduced its own live audio conversation platform called Twitter Spaces.
Facebook Live has remained a popular video feature and is increasingly used in Facebook Groups to build relationships and share knowledge. Instagram also expanded its IG Live feature to meet the demand for these types of personalized yet distanced interactions. You can now broadcast a live video chat with up to three others to all of your followers simultaneously.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, your audience wants to know you on a more personal level before they choose to become clients. By implementing live video or audio tactics into your social media strategy (especially in oversaturated niches), you will create a stream of high-converting, personalized connections. This social media trend is a great way to turn passive followers into active participants and eventually clients.
This past year has not only shifted the way we interact with one another, but it has also majorly shifted the way we make purchases. If you are not already selling products or services on social media, it is definitely a social media trend you want to implement as soon as possible. Through social media, brands can now hit those in every stage of the buyer journey, from initial awareness about your products and services to the final purchase of them. Some of the biggest social media platforms that have integrated shopping include Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
One our favorite things about this social media trend is that everything can happen within the same moment. How great would it be to introduce your latest service or e-book within your Stories, and then have people actually purchase it right away? Guess what, this can be your reality! Having a social commerce element linked right within the channels your audience consumes your content makes it much more likely to capture those conversions.
Authentic, Vulnerable Content
The term “Content is King,” will probably never go out of style, as the type of content you share on your social media channels is more important than ever. Though recent tactics focused on showing up and showing your face for your audience, the trends now go far beyond that. Your audience and potential clients don’t just want to know who you are and what you do. They want to know what you stand for as a brand and as a business owner. Beyond your core competencies, your audience wants to know what social causes you are passionate about. What do you do to better the world in your spare time? It’s about being authentic and vulnerable with the content you produce. Admit to not being perfect, remove those filters, and showcase the personality behind your brand.
2021 Social Media Trends You Can Live Without
Focus on Viral Content
Yes, on social media we all want to go viral. But that quest to produce viral content makes so many other (arguably more important) parts of your strategy secondary. We hate to break it to you, but most businesses that use going viral as a goal for their social media content, end up majorly disappointed and frustrated. We don’t want that to happen to you. If you focus on building quality content that resonates with your audience, the virality of it really won’t matter. And hey, maybe you will surprise yourself with a piece of content that not only prioritizes conversions but explodes in its reach as well. You can take this social media trend and put it on the back burner.
We all want to hack the algorithm, but guess what – you can’t! While you can certainly post daily, show up multiple times on Stories, create loads of short-form videos for TikTok and Reels, and engage every hour of every day, none of it is truly sustainable when you’re a small business owner. Time is the most valuable resource you have. We promise it’s much better spent strategically creating, sharing, and engaging than pumping out anything you can to beat something that’s not meant to be beatable. We’d put this social media trend into the ignore pile.
We know that staying on top of the latest social media trends can cause overwhelm for many small business owners. By separating those that are a must from those that can be left in the dust (see ya!), you will have a much easier time implementing them. Are you having trouble navigating this yourself? You are not alone! Sign up for our newsletter here, and get our latest social media marketing tips delivered right into your inbox. They’re the perfect complement to your morning coffee.
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