Social media marketers are forever on the lookout for trends that will not just work the best for their brand, but also make them stand out amongst their competitors.

Considering 42% adults online are present on multiple social networking sites for personal and business purposes; staying out dated is totally out of question.  So we decided to give you a comprehensive look at the top social media trends this year and that’s not all! We came up with a few dos and don’ts for each to help you create an effective strategy.

1. Content Repurposing

Content Repurposing is all about using existing content to create another piece of content so that it looks different from the original, but conveys the same message. With content marketing still ruling the digital world, content repurposing is a growing trend this year because it saves on a lot of time that marketers will have to invest in creating unique content.

Facts You Should Know

  • Businesses that blog attract 67% more leads than those who don’t.
  • 58% of B2B companies are increasing their content marketing budget this year to avoid being hit by Google updates like Penguin and Panda. (Source)

We spoke to Alex Stojkovic, Marketing and Communications Manager of Blue Pencil Information Security Inc., who shared his thoughts on content repurposing: “In my opinion, especially in this day and age, \”quality content\” will always surpass \”quantity content.\” I\’m sure many will argue my opinion, however the bottom line is, the more people who enjoy, discuss, like, retweet and share your quality content, the greater the chance it will get picked up. Imagine for a second, you generate a \”home-run\” article, photo, infograph or document that gets picked up by a substantially larger website? With your content being picked up, you gain more exposure, more backlinks and consequently more viewership.\”

2. Customer Service

Brands are increasingly using platforms like Facebook and Twitter to offer customer services to their audience instead of the conventional help lines. People these days don\’t really prefer being put on hold by customer service help lines and think social profiles are the best places to raise their opinions and issues for them to be resolved.

Facts You Should Know

  • 42% of audience use social media for raising issues related to brand products and services, and expect a 60 minute response time.
  • Out of the 42%, 24% of the audience above 12 years of age expect a 30 minute response time irrespective of their time of contact. (Source)

3. Video Marketing

Video marketing is a trend that involves incorporating videos in your marketing strategy to promote your products/ services instead of using the conventional advertisements and textual content.

Studies show that videos are received 50x more by the audience than textual content. It has a proven record of being an effective way to market themselves for non-profit organizations.

Facts You Should Know

  • About 100 hours of videos are uploaded every minute on YouTube.
  • Online video audience is nearly 84.5% in the US.
  • By 2017, videos will account for 69% of consumer internet traffic.
  • Branded Vines have 4 times the impact YouTube videos do. (source: comScore and Cisco)

4. Storytelling

Storytelling is a popular trend amongst marketers from 2013. Here they promote their brand\’s products/ services in a series of events through a narrative. Who doesn\’t like a good story?

Facts You Should Know     

  • About 50% of internet users look for interesting stories on social media during their work break hours.
  • A relatable story line on why the audience needs your products/ services is 50x more effective in increasing your sales than directly nudging them to make a purchase.

5. Social Advertising

The use of advertisements on the various social media platforms to promote the brand\’s products and services amongst a larger audience. It\’s a great way to reach out to millions of people at a relatively low cost. 

Facts You Should Know

  • According to Analytic Partners, 83% of Facebook users find advertisements intrusive in their News Feed as they are usually not of any use to them.
  • Twitter ads are received well by many according to Forbes, as they take up very less space on the Home Page.
  • Instagram advertising is being increasingly used for creating brand awareness.

Lior Degani, Co- Founder of Swayy shared with us the important factors of social advertising: \”Advertising on social media must include ROI measurement, so it’s important to A/B test your campaigns to figure out where you should invest more. You need to always use UTM parameters in the inbound links you add to your social media posts. For example, create a separate link to each variation of your promoted post using Google URL Builder, or use a different link to the same post you share on Facebook and Twitter to see the conversion differences among the networks for this specific post.

6. Instagram Marketing

Marketers are increasingly using Instagram to promote their existing products/ services and offer teasers to their upcoming ones. Incorporating this trend in your strategy, is a guaranteed way to connect with your audience better and encourage more interaction.

Because if you haven\’t been keeping a tab on social media news, Instagram recently hit 200 million active users , and that accounts for a major chunk of almost every brand\’s target audience.

Facts You Should Know

  • Instagram has more than 200 million active users, including all age groups.
  • It is by far the best source of user generated content (UGC).
  • A majority of customers engage with brands indirectly through tags on Instagram.

7. Pinterest Marketing

One of the latest social platforms to be used increasingly by marketers is Pinterest. They use their accounts to curate pins relevant to their brands, also to promote their existing and upcoming lines of products services amongst a large target audience. Pinterest is a great platform to not only curate stories content around your brand but also the number of active users is significantly high.

Facts You Should Know

  • Pinterest is not a sales platform, it’s a platform to drive in sales by sharing brand values, products, etc with the audience.
  • Pins that include a customized description along with the relevant hashtags, have a better reach than those which don’t.
  • Verified accounts show up better on search results than a regular account.