Anticipating & Targeting Social Media Marketing Trends

Staying ahead of social media trends takes focus. Learn how your brand can connect with audiences using short-form videos, micro-influencers, and authenticity.

The pace of professional social media marketing is fast! With constantly evolving platforms and shifting trends, you can’t afford to let your social media strategy gather dust. Stagnation? Not an option. Even as the social media landscape matures, the thrill of the “Wild Wild West” remains alive and kicking. Staying on top of emerging trends isn’t just smart—it’s essential.

Social media platforms are ever-changing ecosystems. Trends rise and fall, algorithms are updated, and user behaviors can shift suddenly. Staying informed about these changes is vital for your brand’s relevance.

To help you navigate this complex landscape, the team at First Media works to keep track of social media trends to be aware of for this year and beyond. Read on to learn about our six most-anticipated social media marketing predictions.

Content Remains King

There is a content overload on social media, which means the competition is no joke. We’ve talked before about the importance of a thoughtful content marketing strategy. But how can you ensure the quality of your content meets new social media trends?

Our advice: Don’t forget everything you know about engaging social media content, but make sure you adapt to what users are looking for in the future.

We know videos, specifically short-form video content, are quickly becoming the most important type of content across all platforms. From TikTok and Snapchat to Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and more – videos are the new holy grail if you want to make content that catches the eyes of your social media users.

At the same time, we’re seeing more movement around iterations of the Metaverse’s augmented reality. Meta is just the beginning, but following this trend doesn’t mean you have to develop videos that are only watchable on a VR headset. Instead, focus on interactive, engaging content.

Brands should also continue to take advantage of user-generated content (UGC). Why? Because it’s free, and UGC is typically considered the most authentic form of content. This will establish a trustworthy image for your social media presence. Your audience will feel comfortable engaging with your educational content, and they will continue to promote your brand for you.

In short, as much as we’ve seen content hold power online already, its importance in the social media marketing sphere will only continue to grow. Your job is to use strategies like short-form video, UGC, and even adaptation to the Metaverse to follow its lead.

Social Commerce Is the Solution

Social media is becoming the top destination for e-commerce. All the big hitters (Instagram, TikTok, etc.) have made significant strides toward getting consumers comfortable with buying on social platforms within the last year. This relatively new feature of purchasing via social media networks is known as social commerce – and the trend is here to stay.

Social commerce makes it easier than ever for new customers to go from discovering your social profiles to buying their first product from your brand without ever having to leave the app. By clicking on new products via social media posts, so-called social consumers can view, learn, and checkout in record time, giving you more customer access than ever before.

Keep the platform’s e-commerce capabilities in mind when developing your social media strategy. Develop shoppable posts, educational product videos, and a clear brand message to highlight on your social profiles to garner loyal customers.

Micro-Influencers Take Over

Influencer marketing has long been a requirement for digital marketing success. But now, micro-influencers have emerged as preferred choices over regular influencers in social media marketing due to a few unique advantages. 

While regular influencers might have a broader reach, a micro-influencer’s niche expertise allows brands to effectively tap into specific markets based on demographics and shopping preferences and foster genuine conversations. In the evolving landscape of influencer marketing, it’s clear that these content creators offer a compelling blend of authenticity, relatability, and focused engagement that can drive impactful results for brands.

Micro-influencers often excel at content creation, producing relatable and genuine posts that resonate with followers. Your collaborations with them can extend beyond sponsored content, encompassing podcasts and joint ventures, allowing for diverse and meaningful interactions. Their personal touch makes marketing campaigns feel less like advertisements and more like valuable recommendations.

Social Media as a Search Engine

Social media apps have evolved into more than just communication tools; they now function as dynamic search engines. Incorporating elements of SEO, they offer brands an avenue to enhance brand awareness and optimize customer experiences. Users frequently turn to platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook to search for information, products, and services. Leveraging the principles of search engine optimization (SEO), brands can strategically position themselves to appear prominently in these social media search results.

This trend of social media as a search engine plays a key role in shaping online interactions. Brands that understand and capitalize on this trend can effectively drive organic traffic, boost brand visibility, and foster a robust online community. By tailoring content and engagement strategies to align with user search behaviors, your brand can create a seamless customer experience that blends information discovery with interactive engagement. Integrating social media into broader search engine strategies is essential for harnessing the full potential of online presence and growth.

The Influence of AI

The integration of AI in social media marketing has been a transformative trend. Powered by AI, Chatbots streamline customer interactions, enhancing engagement, while platforms like LinkedIn leverage AI to personalize content, expanding networking possibilities. Brands also continue to use AI to aid in back-of-house elements like data analytics, wielding the power of AI to do everything from developing a pricing template to finding the most effective hashtags for a post.

AI’s role continues to grow, optimizing campaigns, refining targeting, and amplifying the overall marketing impact. As AI technology advances, its potential to revolutionize social media marketing by predicting trends and automating processes becomes increasingly evident.

Authenticity & Sustainability Soar

Gen Z cares deeply about the future of the planet. With that appreciation for Mother Earth comes a desire for brands that show they value environmental sustainability and are making changes to ensure younger generations have a safe world to live in.

Along with sustainability, more and more active users in all generations – Gen Z, Millennials, Boomers, and beyond – are interested in brands that put an authentic face forward to their audiences.

Apps like BeReal and content like live-streaming are gaining popularity because they offer audiences a way to use social media more authentically. Many people are identifying a need for a healthier relationship with social media, and following brands that post authentic, responsible, and inspiring content satisfies that need.

To work with this trend, be thoughtful about the content you post. As you read earlier, working with micro-influencers can be a great way to engage with your target audience in a way that meets this desire for authenticity, pushing you higher in the algorithm.

First Media’s Social Media Trend Tracking

In the world of modern marketing, anticipating social media trends is the only way forward.

Social media marketing trends can illuminate the pathways where your customers tread, revealing the content formats, engagement strategies, and interactive experiences that resonate. It’s about crafting narratives that don’t just exist within the current conversation but shape it.

At First Media, we fuse creative strategy with meticulous production, omnichannel distribution, and insightful data analysis to follow and anticipate social media trends and develop content that perfectly aligns with them. Consider a partnership with First Media to explore how following social media marketing trends can benefit your business.