Top Social Media Trends Taking the Local Business Marketing World by Storm
If you think that social media isn’t relevant for you because you’re a small business, think again. As a small business, you actually have an advantage over bigger businesses when it comes to social media because of your ability to engage directly with your customers. Small businesses are more likely to respond to customers than large businesses, which allows for seamless connections with them. Plus, as a small business owner, you can work with neighboring small businesses that target customers within your niche.
This gives small businesses the opportunity to take advantage of personalization and make their customers feel special. Building these relationships can go a long way for small businesses, and it can even allow them to have leverage over big businesses. One of the most effective ways to build these relationships is through your professional social media pages. Staying on top of the latest trends is necessary if you want to increase your engagement to the fullest extent possible. These are some of the top social media trends that local businesses would do well to incorporate into their social media platforms in 2022:
Short-Form Video Content
Short-form video content has been on the rise for quite some time, but we saw the popularity of this media explode in 2021. On many newer social media platforms, the maximum video length has become shorter, which might have contributed to this trend. Even more than that, this trend can be attributed to the fact that social media users are typically scrolling through their feeds quickly. The first type of short-form video content that might come to mind is TikTok, but that is not the only option that businesses have. Below are some examples of popular social media platforms and ideal video lengths for each:
Facebook: Generally speaking, Facebook videos should be no more than two minutes in length. Studies have shown that engagement for most video tends to drop sharply after the two-minute mark. On Facebook, users typically enjoy videos that are entertaining and informative, and videos that are directly uploaded to Facebook perform better than those that are posted through a YouTube link.
Instagram: Your Instagram reels and stories should be no longer than 60 seconds. Some data has even suggested that videos as short as 30 seconds might be more ideal, and videos that average 26 seconds tend to garner the highest engagement rates.
Twitter: On Twitter, short-form video content should be even shorter than on Facebook. Videos should be no longer than 30 seconds in length. This is because Twitter content is typically meant to be used as a “tease” for full-length content that can be found elsewhere, such as on your website.
Like the name suggests, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers. Individuals who have a dedicated social media following are viewed as “influencers.” There is no specific number of followers that qualifies someone as an influencer, but they are considered to be users that have the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others.
Influencer marketing exploded in 2021, reaching a market value of $13.8 billion, more than doubling from 2019. Small businesses are definitely taking notice and hopping on board. Influencer marketing used to come with a high price tag and was reserved for small businesses, but that is no longer the case.
More and more, small businesses are taking advantage of local influencer marketing, which can be a great way to promote their brand within the community. Local influencers can build your brand awareness at a local level, increase engagement with branded content, bring in new customers, and increase your community presence. Below is an example of an influencer in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, who has around 14k followers and specializes in showcasing the premiere venues that the area has to offer. An influencer like this can be a great choice for local businesses because they are well-connected in the community and can raise awareness with the right audience without the need for a big-ticket influencer budget.
Customer Service Outreach
Social media has become such an easy way for people to engage with their friends and family, so they have evolved to think of businesses in the same way. Studies have shown that half of customers say they would rather seek out support through social media rather than over telephone or email. This is advantageous for businesses too – it is up to twelve times cheaper to solve a problem through social media than it is to solve it over telephone. On Facebook and Instagram, you can utilize direct messages and comments to have conversations with your followers. You can address their concerns and make them aware of all of your services. Plus, you can give them a positive experience interacting with your account by showing them how friendly and helpful you can be.
In the past year, we saw organic reach for brands on social media steadily decline, especially on Facebook. The company even released a statement admitting that organic reach was declining. Even though your posts have the potential to reach a wide audience organically, the market has become hugely competitive. Paid social media advertising is a great solution to this. Your first instinct might be to steer away from paid advertising based on the name alone, but making small investments in your advertising can actually be quite cost-effective. One of the best parts about paid advertising for social media is that your efforts can be customized to fit any budget. All the popular social media platforms offer a wide range of ways you can utilize paid advertising. We have found that some of the best platforms for local businesses include:
Facebook offers a variety of paid advertising options, and it is important to be familiar with them in order to go the best route for your business. Image ads are one of the most popular, and this is a great way to get started with Facebook advertising. You can create an image ad by simply boosting an existing post that has an image. Facebook also offers video ads, which can run in the news feed and stories or appear as in-stream ads. You can use these ads to show your team or services in action or to present a demonstration. Facebook also offers poll ads, and carousel ads.
Below is a prime example of a local business using paid advertising on Facebook to their advantage. The post targeted locals in the area and brought those who clicked on the ad to a landing page where they could sign up for the course. The advertisement is simple but informative, and quickly encourages the users to take the desired action.
Just like on Facebook, Instagram ads appear in various places throughout the app, including in users’ feeds, stories, and explore pages. They look similar to a normal post, but have a “sponsored” label at the top. Unlike a regular post, they have links, CTA buttons, and product catalogs. On average, Instagram advertising will run you between $0.20 and $6.70, depending on the bidding model.
LinkedIn is especially effective in terms of paid social advertising, particularly for B2B companies. This is due to the high quality of leads that you can gain through a LinkedIn campaign. LinkedIn even offers sponsored messaging that allows you to advertise directly to members in their inbox. The platform also offers text ads, dynamic ads, and LinkedIn ad objectives. Below is an example of a local business, in this case a Minnesota law firm, taking advantage of a trending event to promote their business with a paid LinkedIn ad:
As you can see, this business is speaking directly to their target audience by providing relevant information. At the same time, they are establishing themselves as an authority on these subject matters while still maintaining a level of relatability. Striking this balance is key in LinkedIn advertising.
When it comes to local business advertising, social media use is definitely on the rise. There used to be a perception that social media advertising was reserved for big brands, but that is no longer the case. In 2021, we saw an explosion of short-form video content, influencer marketing, customer service outreach, and paid advertising in local business marketing. If you would like more specific information on how you can use these trends to your advantage, the marketing team at Scorpion would be happy to help. Reach out to learn how we are empowering local businesses and how we can do the same for yours.