Trends exist in any industry. From fashion to technology, the world changes faster than it ever has before. Technology has given us access to new ideas, unlike at any other time in history. Social media trends are no exception. Starting in 2006 with the advent of Facebook until now, we have seen the world of social media morph into something completely different. AI has turbo-boosted these changes even more quickly.

Consequently, there are two types of rapid changes in social media.

The first social media change that rapidly occurs is in regard to content creation. One example is the latest popular dance on TikTok. One day everyone is “flossin,” and then the next day it’s “the gritty.”

Secondly, there are emerging platforms and social media trends on those platforms that affect both what the content is and how it’s created. Previously on Marketing Rocketfuel, Drew discussed the massive shifts on social media platforms like as “Twitter” changing to “X.” Then, Instagram launched its “baby threads.”

Challenges for Small Business Owners

Many small business owners struggle with social media trends for several reasons. For starters, they do not want to be the on-air talent. By being camera shy, business owners won’t create or publish content. The social anxiety of putting yourself out there can really inhibit your business’s growth. However, putting yourself out there and staying true to your brand won’t hurt your business or its social media presence.

Staying Ahead of the Game

Staying ahead of the latest social media trends can feel like navigating choppy waters. With everything changing at such a rapid rate, who can keep up? Marketing experts Drew and Michael have a simple formula to help you navigate these social media shifts for your small business.

A Two-Step Solution

1. Identify Your Target Audience:

  • Understand who your ideal audience is. This includes demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences.
  • Create buyer personas to get a clear picture of your target audience. This helps tailor your content and engagement strategies.
  • Conduct surveys or use social media analytics tools to gather data on your current followers and customers.
  • Once you know your audience, research which social media platforms they are most active on. Focus your efforts on these platforms.
  • Keep an eye on emerging social media trends within your niche. Trends can vary by platform and audience, so be selective.
  • Experiment with new features and content formats that align with the trends. For example, if short video content is trending, consider creating TikTok or Instagram Reels videos.

I Still Can’t Keep Up!

Drew’s advice for you as a small business owner is that you don’t have to become a social media trend expert. Using the above-mentioned strategies is a great place to start. Educating yourself in the time that you have and dedicating time to stay educated is your best bet at staying ahead. You can’t know everyone’s brand, but you should know yours.

Action Tip of the Month

Setting aside dedicated time each week is to educate yourself on social media. Here are some additional tips for staying updated on social media trends and platform changes:

  • Follow Industry Leaders: Subscribe to newsletters, blogs, and social media profiles of industry experts and thought leaders. They often share insights and trends.
  • Join Online Communities: Participate in relevant forums, Facebook groups, or LinkedIn groups where professionals in your field discuss trends.
  • Use Social Media Trend Monitoring Tools: Utilize tools like Google Trends, Trendspottr, or social media monitoring tools to track keywords and topics in real-time.
  • Attend Webinars and Conferences: Look for webinars, virtual conferences, or local events related to your industry. These are great places to learn about the latest trends.
  • Experiment and Adapt: Don’t be afraid to test new strategies and adapt as needed. Social media is dynamic, and what works today might not work tomorrow.

Drew and Michael want to provide small business owners with the tools they need to be successful with social media marketing without it sucking them dry. If staying in touch with social media trends is difficult for you, start by identifying your target audience. Then, research which social media platforms your audience is using. By doing these things, you will be much more likely to stay current with the content you are creating and posting.

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Coming Up Next: How to Create Engaging Content on a Limited Budget