Social media trends making waves in the business world

There are more than two billion active social media users worldwide – and your target audience is likely to be amongst them.

By connecting with your target audience the way they want you to connect with them, your business will remain fresh in their minds when they need the products or services that you’re offering.

Staying up-to-date with social media trends can be an essential part of keeping in touch with your customers. But which trends should your business look at following this year?

Interact with live streaming

Live streaming has started to make waves in social media marketing circles. With the emergence of Facebook Live and Periscope (among others), there are opportunities to interact with your customers while showing them your small business’s world through your eyes.

Live streaming video is a fantastic way to interact with your customers in real time. For instance, you could:

  • Demonstrate – how you run certain services.
  • Conduct training – and become a go-to reference for a particular product.
  • Host interviews – offering personal ideas and opinions to increase engagement.
  • Share live events – to let people who can’t attend be part of them.

For example, a number of U.S. gyms use Facebook’s live streaming service to show actual footage of their customers working out using their gym equipment.

Attract leads with data driven storytelling

When it comes to gaining and retaining customers, it isn’t really just about advertising. It’s become just as much about publishing – about providing useful content that leads to the sale of your goods or services.

Data driven storytelling is one of the most recent trends at the heart of using content to attract leads in order to gain paying customers. By embracing data driven storytelling, your small business will be able to:

  • Connect through stories that your clients find valuable or can relate to.
  • Keep your brand in front of its potential customers.
  • Offer a deeper understanding of the values of your bank.

Narratives that are proven to work

There are a few essential narratives that work well when utilizing data to tell a story. They are:

  • Trends – how something is increasing or decreasing over a period of time. For example, if you have an online clothing store, you might create a data driven story based around the increasing trend of purchasing clothes on the Internet.
  • Relationships – this is usually the correlation between two sets of data. For example, your business might decide to take a closer look at the relationship between linking through to your website and filling out your contact form.
  • Comparisons – how one business is performing compared to its competitors. For example, a comparison story could feature how Starbuck’s sales are growing compared to McCafe.
  • Surprising data – that challenges or confirms something that people think is true or false.
  • Rank orders – telling a story about the ranking of the data in a table. For example, you could find out how often your small business clients ask questions online through your chat service.

Encourage social word-of-mouth

These days, consumers are becoming influencers and thought leaders in purchase decisions. Their voices are heard through social media channels, so they can greatly impact the opinions of other potential customers.

Social media is a conversational tool by its nature, so encourage the conversation about your business, and its products and services to be a positive one.

Target digital natives

It’s likely that part of your target market will be younger customers who have grown up in the online world. Digital natives may not only be in the younger age bracket, but they tend to have a few common qualities including:

  • Unpredictable life paths.
  • Financial instability.
  • A lack of long-term consumer loyalty.

Using online stores may be the only way they purchase consumer goods and services, so keep that in mind when deciding how to market via social platforms.

Experiment with GIFs and video marketing

GIFs (Graphics Interchange Formats) are now generating about 60 percent more engagement than a static visual. They use a compressed system that’s suitable for small animations – to get simple messages across quickly.

Both GIFs and video marketing are powerful tools that can attract and hold attention, or capture and convey an emotion, in ways that words can’t. This makes them highly useful in social media circles where the attention of consumers is constantly being bombarded by information and advertising.

Next steps

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