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3 Social Media Trends for Small Businesses #DreamSmallBiz

Growing a business in the digital economy isn’t easy. And for small businesses, it’s tough to cut through the noise to market your product and gain the attention of customers. Social media, however, is the easiest and cheapest way for small businesses to level the playing field and compete with companies of all sizes.

I recently attended Social Media Marketing World #SMMW16 and discovered the hottest trends in social media and digital marketing. In honor of National Small Business Week #DreamSmallBiz, here are my top 3 social media trends to help grow your business.

1. Video

When you scroll through your social media feed, which posts catch your eye? Images and videos. More and more marketers are integrating video into their content strategy. If you don’t believe me, here are some stats from a recent Hubspot article:

  • 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI

  • Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers

  • Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion

If you think it’s too expensive to create a video, try live-streaming video. There are many tools out there such as Periscope, Blab, and Facebook Live, all of which are free. But what do you feature in a live video? It’s an opportunity to present a real person, unscripted, which in turn shows your authority and authenticity. Create a weekly show about your industry.

Showcase a “how-to” about your products. Share live events so viewers can be part of the action. Your efforts will not only create awareness about your brand, but they’ll build a community that comes back for more.

2. Analytics

Is the content you post on your social channels engaging? Does it reach your targeted audience? It’s imperative to understand which content receives the most engagement and what your audience does with it. Do they share it, or just “Like” it? Knowing this level of detail will help you create better and more focused content. There are multiple tools to choose from such as Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Twitter insights. Jay Baer put together a nice summary of the 39 social media tools he uses on daily basis.

3. Engaging content

Good storytelling is at the core of all successful content. Without a good story, who is going to pay attention to your brand and your products? To come up with a great story, you have to know what your audience cares about. As Change Evangelist,Brian Fanzo says, “You must think like a fan.”

People want to relate to a customer and experience how the product helped that person. But content is changing. Traditional blogs won’t do. You need to think outside the box. As Ann Handley says, ­“Bigger, bolder, braver content marketing.” And that is where live-streaming video comes back into play.

Without much cost, if any, you can create a weekly show where you tell a story that revolves around topics your audience cares about. Take the audio from the show and turn it into a podcast, and then create a blog that references the video replay. Right there, you’ve created three pieces of evergreen content that you can use for months in your social media channels. Keep in mind that your live video content doesn’t have to be perfect. What’s the expression? Perfect is the enemy of the good.

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