Woman on phone checking social media

3 Powerful Social Media Trends

Written by Rachel Richards

Building meaningful connections on social media is vital to almost every business. Each year, new tech and trends crop up, but being real online is here to stay.

We only need to look to modern companies like Glossier, Saje and Knix to see how successful this approach can be. Vulnerability humanizes your business, rallying an enthusiastic community around your brand. On social media especially, authenticity pays dividends in engagement, followers and revenue. 

How Can Your Business Get in on the Action?

Well, as a Content Manager, I always recommend my clients begin with a social media strategy. This marketing tool answers big questions such as: What are the motivations and desires of the human beings who follow you? What unique value can you—and only you—bring your niche? How does your brand look, feel and sound on social?

A strong social media strategy taps into these insights while aligning all content efforts toward your business goals. It solidifies you who you are, so when you share the authentic side of your brand, it actually resonates with your community.

After you’ve done all this soul-searching, you can wade into the wonderful waters of creating social media content. Rather than pushing the hard sell, you should aim to educate, inform, and inspire your audience while subtly promoting your products and services.

Let’s dive into three social media trends that will boost the authenticity of your brand.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Have you seen businesses share photos, videos, and reviews from real customers on social media? Then, you’ve come across user-generated content (UGC).

Big names like Apple, Patagonia and GoPro all rely on their followers’ creativity to bolster their feeds. And, it’s easy to see why: 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

Here are a few tips to get started with UGC:

  • Create a branded hashtag (example: #TeamPixel), so you can easily find photos and videos on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
  • Make the ask simple and clear: “Tag #brandedhashtag for a chance to be featured on our feeds.”
  • Add instructions and calls-to-action on your social media bios, posts, website, retail environment and product packaging.
  • Launch a UGC giveaway or contest to encourage entries and maximize your impact.

We’ve even delved into UGC with the #AlbertaConnected campaign for our client, MCSnet:

Alberta Connected campaign, people in Edmonton Oilers jerseys

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has reached its heyday, with research predicting it will become a $9.7B industry in 2020. Brands the world over are shelling out thousands (if not millions) of dollars to be promoted on the social media feeds of the biggest stars.

We’re all familiar with Instagram celebrities like Kylie Jenner, and we’re now seeing the rise of TikTokers like Charli D’Amelio. But, the true power of influencers lies not in follower counts and likes, but in the engagement they get from their enthusiastic communities.

Audiences feel an affinity toward influencers because they can relate to their experiences, lifestyles and beliefs. This translates into real dollars and cents, seeing as the ROI for influencer marketing is $6.50 for every $1.00 spent.

Try these tips to get started with influencer marketing:

  • Reach out to passionate people in your community with an engaged following, a compelling personal brand and great content.
  • Seek out micro-influencers (<100K followers) and nano-influencers (<1K followers). These personalities often have the most loyal followings—and their fees are more affordable.
  • Some influencers have rate cards, while others may look to you for pricing. To get you started, influencers with 10,000 followers generally charge $100/post, but reflect on what’s best for each party and your ROI.
  • Brief your influencers on your brand and messaging guidelines, but let their creativity shine with their own unique content.
  • Be sure to ask for their analytics and reporting so you can see if their content is driving results.

Video Marketing

Video is the most shared content on social media, so now is the perfect time to get in the game.

We all intuitively know this. When we’re scrolling through our feeds, a well-crafted video is what makes us laugh, cry and eventually send the post to our friends.

Just look at the success of the Mailchimp Presents series: These offbeat documentaries and shorts have a very loose tie to the email marketing platform. But, the videos capture the stories of the fascinating entrepreneurs and creatives who use Mailchimp.

Follow this advice to get a jump-start on video:

  • Wondering what kind of content to create? Try your hand at behind-the-scenes moments, webinars, live streams or Q&A’s.
  • If you think video is expensive, think again. It’s simple to capture professional-looking shots with a phone. Set up a tripod, find good lighting and focus your framing.
  • Tap into free online video creation tools to edit clips together with branded graphics, animations and music.
  • Make it short and snappy! To keep your audience engaged, get to the point quickly and make your timing around 30 seconds to 3 minutes.

Let’s Get You Connected

So, are you inspired to share authentic content on social media? Be sure to mix it up and keep it fresh by balancing UGC, influencer marketing and video. Remember, as long as your social media is rooted in your purpose, goals and strategy, your business will reap the rewards of being real online.

Want to get into social media, but not sure where to start? We’re experts at building passionate online communities. Contact us and we can craft a compelling social presence for your business.

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