Most of us spend too much time on social media, but that’s good news for entrepreneurs and digital marketing companies. If you “tweet” or update your Facebook status on the regular, then you already know how addicting it can be to keep scrolling through the endless feed to find out what your friends are sharing. (More cat videos, Marge? Really?) Just about everything is available online now, like what your celebrity crush had for breakfast last Sunday. (#BrunchTime)

The bottom line? Social media marketing is a great way to introduce your brand to new customers, and to stay in contact with people who already know how wonderful you are. But to stand out among your competitors, you’ll need to adapt to ever-changing trends. Just as flowers blossom in the spring, so too should your digital marketing strategy. But don’t let anyone fool you into believing that social media marketing isn’t fun. Need a digital marketing strategy? Use these ideas to get started…

Facebook Contests

Running a contest can be an affordable and easy way to help achieve your social media marketing goals. There are some great holidays in the spring, including Easter, Mother’s Day, and Earth Day, just to name a few. Holidays provide an opportunity for online marketers to shine. Running a social media contest around a holiday is a great way to gain new followers and spark engagement. You get to set the rules for entry, as well as the prize. For example, in order to enter the contest you could require people to follow your account and share the post, or even tag their friends. This is a great way to connect with customers and expand your reach.

Video Content Continues to Rise

If you’re working on promoting your brand through social media, you’ve probably noticed that video is taking over news feeds. Estimates suggest that video content will account for as much as 82% of consumer internet traffic by the end of 2022. That’s an astonishing figure. Popular platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn, are developing more options for video posts. These days, Internet users want and expect to see this kind of content.

So, if you’re not currently creating videos for your social media pages, now’s the time to include them in your digital marketing strategy. Anyone who doesn’t realize how important they are will have a tough time staying ahead of their competitors. Videos can be added to Stories or social media posts, even on platforms that were once dominated by text and images.

Live Streaming is Here to Stay

Once just a trendy phenomenon, live streaming has become a top method to ensure better reach, obtain more audience engagement, and increase brand awareness. Live streaming is far from new, but what makes it relevant today has to do with the mobile revolution and the rise of social platforms.

Social media networks are always look for ways to add special features. This unlocks new options for marketers to generate traffic and revenue. It can also humanize your brand by giving your audience a glimpse behind the curtain. A “meet the team” stream, for example, is always fun to watch.

User-Generated Content Remains Popular

In the early days of advertising, online content used to be created by professional photographers, graphic designers, and videographers. But now that most people can capture quality images or video content on their smartphone, people are generating their own content all the time. This is called user-generated content. And, as a business owner, you’ll want to take advantage of it for your social media marketing.

Countless photos and videos are uploaded on Facebook and Instagram each day—365 days a year, and millions of tweets are posted to Twitter. User-generated content has become a freely abundant source of content for marketers. Not only that, but it’s also the most trusted. Like it or not, potential customers trust recommendations from real people more than what a brand claims about itself. Brands that take advantage of user-generated content put their audience first. Incorporate this strategy into your social media marketing to build trust with your followers.

Stories are Still Trending

Stories have been one of the biggest social media trends over the last few years, and this isn’t expected to change in 2021. Stories, especially Instagram Stories, should be a primary part of a brand’s social media marketing strategy. With this feature, you can promote products, services, tools, or any message you want to share with your followers. You can create polls, and also allow customers to ask or answer questions. As you can imagine, this helps keep engagement rates high. In fact, according to Instagram, stories published by brands get more views than those from regular profiles. Even if a Story only lasts for 24 hours, the advantage is that it’s not only seen by those who follow you, but by other users as well. Instagram Stories are discoverable.

In 2017, Instagram released Instagram Story ads, a feature that allows brands to obtain link clicks and conversions. This has become a great tool for digital marketing. Who knows what the future holds for Stories, but we can safely assume it’s only going to get better.

P.S. Canva is a useful graphic design platform if you’re looking for a way to make your own social media graphics.

Influencer Marketing Takes the Cake

Before influencer marketing came into our lives, celebrity endorsements were the norm, and wow was it expensive. But in today’s digital world, social media content creators with niche audiences can provide even more value to brands. These online figures have dedicated groups of followers that are more likely to make a purchase if the influencer recommends that product or service. For example, a yoga teacher who promotes a brand of yoga wear in his Instagram posts can boost sales.

Surprisingly, collaborating with online influencers can be a lot cheaper than investing in paid ad campaigns. As a result, many digital marketers have decided to increase their influencer marketing budgets. As with any social media marketing strategy, this takes deliberate targeting and planning.

Social Media For Customer Service

As a brand, you’ve most likely worked on customer service in one form or another. Consumers today have a wide variety of service channels to choose from. Gone are the days where there was only an automated phone system to call. Social media may be just one of the many channels for customer care, but it’s one of the best. It’s immediate, convenient, and no one puts you on hold.

If you don’t yet have a social media customer care plan in place, you need one. Get ahead by working out an approach. More than 70% of people who message a business page do so for customer service or support, and most of us would rather write a quick message than call the business.

One way to use social media for customer service is to employ social listening to monitor tags and conversations that are centered around your business on all major social media networks. This is an important aspect of digital marketing.

Shift Online Shopping to Instagram

Businesses need to adapt to keep the sales coming in, especially during the pandemic. We’re not leaving our homes as often as we used to. Brick-and-mortar stores don’t always take advantage of eCommerce platforms, but it can create some amazing opportunities. With social media networks, like Instagram and Facebook, already integrating in-app purchasing, the steps required to convert a visitor into a buyer can be significantly reduced.

Instagram is without a doubt the most popular network for social media shopping. It’s estimated that up to 70% of users are interested in discovering new products. With features such as Instagram Checkout, purchases happen through the app. Brands can sell directly from their page on Facebook, too, while “buyable pins” have been used for years on Pinterest. It’s safe to say we are experiencing some exciting times for social media eCommerce, so be sure to make this part of your digital marketing strategy for 2021.

Geo-Targeting is More Essential Than Ever

Geo-targeting is a common practice, yet few business owners truly understand its importance. This isn’t a simple process, but if you choose to use it, it can have an immense impact on your brand’s popularity and public perception.

Geo-targeting allows brands to target consumers at a personal level with messaging that’s based on their physical location. Using this data, you can reach your audience based on important qualifiers. For example, their proximity to your store. This has proven to be effective from discovery to retention. The insights derived from geo-targeting provide digital marketing teams with more information on how to entice new customers.

Reels for Organic Instagram Exposure

As mentioned earlier, video is the king of content these days. Reach seems to be exploding for Instagram Reels. Some say they’re seeing ten times the number of views than the stories and feed posts they share. The time to embrace Reels is now. Instagram Reels can be up to thirty seconds long. You can add music or text to them to make them more interesting as well.

Three effective ways to use Instagram Reels in your digital marketing strategy include:

  • educational content
  • product reviews or case studies
  • behind-the-scenes videos

The latter is a nice way to build the relationship between your brand and your audience. It makes your company more relatable. Add Instagram Reels to your social media marketing for more exposure, as well as to increase brand transparency.

Schedule Your Free Social Media Marketing Consultation

Social media marketing isn’t just for the pros. There’s a lot you can do on your own, but why not outsource some of the more technical aspects to a digital marketing company? After all, do you really want to spend  your free time analyzing SEO spreadsheets? At D-Kode Technology, we can help you connect with the right customers through social media marketing, and teach you how to rank higher on Google. Let’s talk. Give us a call at 925.332.1315 to schedule your free marketing consultation.