social media

By now, it should be evident that social media is no longer “new” nor a passing fad. It is not something to try—it is something to do. Hootsuite, a leading social media management tool, calls social media a “primary lifeline by which businesses can connect with customers, drive sales, and build brand loyalty.” Henk Campher, Hootsuite’s VP of corporate marketing, says over “half a billion people have joined social media platforms in the last 12 months.”

Recently HubSpot and Talkwalker issued the Social Media Trends Report, which contends:

  • [Businesses] will continue to take a less is more posting approach.
  • Content value will beat production quality.
  • Conversational marketing will change its tone.
  • Consumers will crave snackable content.
  • Video will continue to take center stage.
  • More [businesses] will go live.
  • Social networking could double as shopping channels.
  • Users will embrace gaming and VR.
  • Authenticity will be vital.

For the details on each point, you can download the free report and/or read the blog post.

One of the positives for small businesses noted in the report is that “COVID-19 forced many [businesses] to get scrappy when it came to producing content, especially video work,” says HubSpot’s Social Media Manager Kelly Hendrickson. “Without a production studio or tons of equipment available, production value became a bit more lo-fi and in the end, but also a bit more human.”

And, according to Hendrickson, consumers loved it—because it was relatable, “they too were on Zoom, filming things with their phones, or stuck in their homes.” And Hendrickson predicts this type of “bare-bones productions” will continue this year because consumers will still appreciate the approach.

Another advantage small businesses have is the importance of authenticity. Instead of trying to dazzle consumers, just be you. HubSpot says creating relatable content, such as “highlighting customer stories and talking about your company’s larger mission or purpose,” will “create a deeper connection with your audience.”

HubSpot also advises businesses to “use a conversational tone—create social media captions like you’re speaking to a friend.” And you can increase engagement by “asking your followers questions or telling stories.”

There’s a lot of value here—well worth your time and consideration.

Video stock photo by New Africa/Shutterstock