With more of us spending more time at home and some traditional pastimes still not back up and running as normal, social media has taken on new importance over the last few months.

The latest figures from Data Reportal show that the number of social media users has grown 10% in the last year, while Statista research suggests that around the world, 40% of consumers have upped their social media time since the pandemic.

With lots more social media consumption, it’s important that your brand is timely and on-trend with its social media marketing. Here are four trends happening right now that you can easily embrace to strengthen your social media presence and better connect with consumers.

1.    Online events

In the last few days, Facebook has rolled out a new feature which allows small businesses to host paid online events via the social network at no cost for 12 months.

Facebook says that due to social distancing, online events are more popular than ever, with live broadcasts doubling on the platform. Its hosted online events tool means that those with a business Page can “…create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place.”

In addition to the soaring popularity of online events, Facebook says it wanted to find a way to support small businesses. Fidji Simo Vice President, Head of Facebook App said, “In our most recent State of Small Business Report with OECD and World Bank, we found that access to cash continues to be the most common ongoing challenge for SMBs. Only 19% of surveyed businesses were getting any financial help (down from earlier in pandemic). Many businesses are struggling and every cent matters. Shifting in-person events to online is costly enough that businesses shouldn’t have to worry about fees charged by platforms.”

Payment for events will be made via Facebook Pay, though if you host an event via iOS you will be charged a 30% App Store tax as Apple has dismissed Facebook’s request to waive that fee.

So far, the online events tool has been used in testing for a wide range of events from cooking classes to trivia events, boxing classes to expert talks.

To get started, visit: https://www.facebook.com/paid_online_events

2.    More video content

If you noticed that there seemed to be more video content and more Lives than usual as the pandemic continued, you’d have been right on the money. According to Instagram, video made up just 0.8% of all content in the first quarter of 2019. Fast forward to the same period this year when restrictions started to kick in and video made up 17.1% of Instagram content.

With live streams also booming, video is set to be a critical component of social media marketing through the rest of this year.

If you’re new to creating video for social media, it’s actually easier than you may think to get started. If you have a smartphone, you can begin by creating short little videos on your device. Try dipping a toe in the water by sharing a short video, such as a behind the scenes in your office or products being packed to go out to customers, and share on your Stories instead. The good thing about this trend is that you don’t need to spend a small fortune on expensive equipment to get started; just remember that as with all content, relevancy for your audience is a critical factor. Not sure what to film? Create a quick pool on Instagram Stories and ask your audience what they want to see.

3.    Social media commerce

Directly connected to the Facebook paid online events tool which has just rolled out, social commerce is also emerging as an important way to monetise your social media presence as a small business.

If you’re in the process of taking your business online but don’t yet have a fully functioning store, you can use social media to sell your products instead. While Instagram has had shoppable paid ads for a while, Facebook Shops gives you a free virtual storefront so you can sell your products on social media. This runs entirely from your business Page while the customer transacts directly from the app, meaning the whole process takes place on social media.

Even if you do have an e-commerce store, selling on social media could provide an additional revenue stream for your brand.

4.    TikTok

Chances are you’ll have seen a few viral TikTok videos creeping their way into your feed and that’s because the video social media network is booming right now. It’s already been named the most downloaded app, despite being banned in some countries (the USA is said to be pondering a ban currently) and has an estimated 12.9 million active users in the UK alone.

TikTok users tend to engage with the funny, entertaining videos the most so, this is a chance to show a different side to your brand.

If you’d like to find out more about how Adrac can help you leverage these social media trends, contact us to speak with one of the team.

Author Rebecca

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