Social media marketing trends show that increasingly, local marketers are realizing the power of social media to engage with prospects and are using it to drive opportunities for their business. In fact, the number of local marketers who have no social media presence at all has fallen to just 17%. Social media advertising usage is also increasing—from 2019 to 2020, it grew by 9% and is now a top 3 priority for almost 60% of local marketers.
To get the greatest benefit from social media, businesses must post organic content, advertise, and engage with the online community, rather than rely on a single type of social activity.
Top Three Trends in Social Media
1. Create a virtual in-store experience
One social media trend that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic is turning social media pages into a virtual in-store experience. Consumers are less inclined to make in-store visits these days, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to shop and see what you have to offer. In lieu of regular foot traffic, bring your business’s offerings to the customer. Use social media to post pictures, descriptions, sneak peeks, and product demos to give customers the “shopping” experience. Create digital signage for sales and promotions so customers know when they can get a deal. Offer virtual customer service by responding quickly to comments and direct messages, or do livestream Q&As to answer common inquiries about products.
2. Call-to-action buttons
Facebook has created an option to add a call-to-action button to organic posts to increase conversions. For example, you can add a button to encourage users to shop online, download an app, get in touch with your business, or book an appointment or reservation. Try out this feature by directing users to engage with a new piece of content, or by promoting sales of a particular product or category. Doing this will encourage your audience or take direct action instead of just browsing your site or scrolling past your post altogether.
In 2020, many brands and small businesses alike fell from Internet grace for co-opting social movements as advertising opportunities without aligning their business actions to the cause. This trend of callout culture will only continue to gain momentum in 2021, as activism and political engagement are at a peak. Make sure all of your messaging across social media is authentic, consistent with your business history, and sensitive to the current moment. Consider the do’s and don’ts of taking a stand on social issues before making a hasty or generic post.
Top Social Media Platforms For Businesses in 2020-2021
The top social media platform for businesses in 2020-2021 is Facebook. With more than 90 million local businesses leveraging Facebook for marketing their products and services to their communities, it continues to be the most used platform year-over-year. Local businesses are slow to adopt social platforms outside of Facebook. Still, the number of local businesses that are both engaging with the online community and advertising through social media is on the rise.
58% of local marketers are using Facebook to promote their business. 17% of local marketers are using it for paid advertising, 13% are using organic posts to engage with their community, and 28% are utilizing both tactics.
With 20% of local marketers using Instagram, it’s the second top social media platform in 2020-2021. 5% of local marketers are using it for paid advertising, 6% are using organic posts to engage with their community, and 9% are utilizing both tactics.
Despite that Twitter is the third top social media platform for local marketers, just 8% are using it, demonstrating the lack of social media marketing happening outside of Facebook. 2% of local marketers are using Twitter for paid advertising, 4% are using organic posts to engage with their community, and 2% are utilizing both tactics.
To encourage your local marketing partners to be more active in promoting your brand, especially outside of Facebook, offer more social media support and better tools as part of your channel marketing strategy. In 2020, just 11% of local marketers reported that their channel marketing program provides specific guidance and support for both organic social marketing and paid social advertising, and 17% reported their program doesn’t provide any support for social media marketing. Given that social media is a top priority for a majority of local marketers, providing support in the form of customizable content and educational resources can give your partners the boost they need to increase revenue through social media.
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