It’s hard to compete in the social media arena, especially as a small business. Everyone wants eyeballs on their content, and bigger brands always seem to have the advantage. So how do small businesses, multi-unit locations, or franchise locations get seen? By paying attention to the trends.
But isn’t social media an ever-changing amalgamation of algorithms, you ask? Yes, yes it is. And while these trends can be hard to spot and even harder to navigate, we are here to make the impossible possible!
We’ve compiled a list of the current trends from social media platforms to topical trends that will, hopefully, get you seen by a wider audience.
Buckle up and read on for what we’re seeing in the social media Zeitgeist.
TikTok is on trend to become THE app for social media. They have everything from stories (think Instagram stories) to search ads (like Google ads), and they’re even in talks to roll out a podcast feature. There are over 1 billion active users on TikTok, and it’s consistently the only app with positive sentiment around it. Moreover, it is the number one app where people spend the majority of their time. The average user spends 95 minutes a day on TikTok—*shocked face*!
So how do you get seen on a platform with over a billion active users?
Ads can be a fantastic way to be seen on social media platforms like TikTok (and Instagram and Facebook). According to Google Trends, interest in TikTok Ads (which is a good indicator of business interest in the platform) has increased by 1,125% since 2020.
TikTok’s ad revenue is set to match YouTube’s by 2024. This means that if you aren’t promoting your business on TikTok yet, it’s probably time to start! It’s okay if you don’t have flashy content. Even simple videos can go a long way toward getting eyes on your business. And who knows! Maybe you’ll find you have a knack for creating fun content that gets a wide array of people engaged!
Instagram is still a champion for brands, with more than 1.5 billion active users daily. Instagram reels will continue to be the number one way to be seen by a wider audience. In fact, Instagram reels grew by 220 million users between July and October 2022 when they announced that all videos on the platform would be reels moving forward.
Open up Instagram’s Reels tab to get familiar with their short-form content. TikTok offers a platform for longer videos, while Instagram reels have a cut-off of two minutes. There is a way around this time restraint, and that is to post your video as a regular post. However, you won’t be seen by the wider net that Reels has to offer.
Just like TikTok, making video content doesn’t have to be a chore! You can mix up the type of content you create by utilizing Instagram’s audio tracks (music, sound bites, etc) or create your own audio by doing voice-overs. Hot tip: when you use trending audio, you have a greater chance of being seen! There are also plenty of ways to customize your video content by adding clip art, captions, and screen prompts.
According to Hootsuite, a tool for scheduling posts across platforms, 62% of Instagram users use Instagram as a place to research brands and products. This means the platform is ripe for your business to be discovered!
Instagram’s ad platform has been around for some time, so there’s no real gamble when it comes to placing an ad on this platform. Just follow the steps to be seen by a wider audience!
Speaking of, how does your profile look? Make sure your business profile’s bio is consistent with what you have on other platforms, such as Facebook. Also, make sure to switch your profile from “personal” to “business” (if you haven’t already) so that you can take advantage of the free metrics Instagram has to offer.
Instagram is still a great place to utilize hashtags. People use hashtags as a way to categorize content and find posts containing those words. Though, fun and irreverent hashtags are out of style as Instagram will likely think you’re spamming the network and block you from being seen by a larger audience. Keep your hashtags relevant to your post, your brand, and what you believe your audience will be searching for, and make sure to use no more than five or six hashtags at a time. If you use more than that, Instagram may think you’re attempting to spam their platform, so be advised not to get too carried away!
We would like to mention that social SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will replace hashtags in the foreseeable future. This is already being done on Twitter. Have you noticed that people are finding your tweets without having any hashtags on them? That’s because they’re looking for specific words or phrases that your tweet may be using. That’s the basics of SEO—frequently searched for words and phrases that allow you to be seen higher in the search listings. This means that since people of all ages are using social media to search for brands and businesses, it may be smart to start utilizing specific keywords and phrases in your social media copy and captions.
User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to showcase support for your business by utilizing content your followers and/or fans of your work have already posted about you. UGC both increases awareness and deepens relationships with your current or previous customers and clients. Re-share their content on your social media platforms! People love getting a shout-out and a little bit of “internet fame”, and don’t forget to tag them!
And speaking of UGC, reviews are a great source of this and something you can share (sparingly) with your social media following. If you do this, make sure you also reply on the platform (like Google) so anyone viewing the reviews can see you’re paying attention and keeping your online reputation strong!
Memes are an amazing way to stay on trend and connect with a wider (and often younger) audience. They’re a fantastic prop to fit into a trending conversation that’s happening on any social media platform. Keep in mind that meme trends tend to last for only a few days before people get sick of them, so you have to stay on your toes with this one!
This is also a great way to showcase your wit and creativity! A perfect example of this trend is the “Little Miss” version that circulated everywhere a few months ago.
We bet that you probably watch videos on social media with the volume off. Are we right? A lot of people scroll at inopportune times (like at the office, ahem, or on the job), and closed captioning makes this possible. With the plethora of reels and TikTok video content out there, it was inevitable that this device would become mainstream. While being an incredible accessibility aid for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, it has also become a mainstay to the able-hearing individual who is trying to be covert. Both Instagram and TikTok have an onscreen button option you can choose to offer this option.
Using keyword SEO optimization in video closed-captioning is a great tool for discoverability on social media, as well.
If your video includes any type of voiceover, make sure to utilize this important tool!
Sixty-percent of Gen Zers in the U.S. use Instagram to discover new brands and products. This includes you, our dear reader! While Gen Z may not be your ideal market, they’re probably helping their parents out with researching exactly what they need. And they’re doing it on social media.
Even though many people don’t necessarily trust buying products or services through social media, that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking up your business to get a feel for how you engage with and handle customers and their complaints.
By keeping your online reputation sparkling you’ll appeal to every single potential customer that comes through your social media pipeline.
We get it. You’re probably tired of the social media train. However, it’s an incredibly important tool to keep you fresh and top of mind with all of your current, past, and potential clients. This is how you grow on social media in 2023. It’s also why staying on top of current trends, whether it’s what’s happening on social media platforms or what is making the rounds, is imperative to keeping your online presence, and reputation, looking top-notch.
If you need help with your online reputation, you can count on WebPunch to knock out your competition! We’re here to help manage your listings, generate reviews, gather customer and employee feedback, and our tools help you to Close The Loop and make your feedback actionable. We can even respond to your reviews with our team of Reputation Defenders.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!