Social media is constantly changing. With more social networks popping up, and additional ways to use them, it is important to stay up to date on industry trends and changes in how small businesses are leveraging social media.

Trends from Recent Studies

  • 75% of Facebook post engagement takes place in the first three hours of posting. This is important information for businesses to know. What you post is time sensitive. In order to be effective your Facebook posts need to relate to what is happening right now. You can extend the life of your posts by talking about, or sharing pictures of, things that are relevant to your customers.
  • 74% of people use #hashtags in their social media networks. A #hashtag is no longer for Twitter only. People are using them in Google+ posts, on Instagram and Facebook as well. This gives social media users an opportunity to connect with other people that are interested in and talking about similar things. You can leverage #hashtags for your business by placing them before relevant keywords in your posts. When users search for keywords with a #hashtag, the posts you have made can show up.
  • Email marketing is still very relevant. A research study conducted by IDC shows that 78% of smart phone users check email on their phone. Small businesses can engage consumers through email marketing with links to their profiles on social networks. Invite people to become fans with special promotions sent out via email. This tool can reach consumers on their phone, making it an easy addition to any Facebook Marketing campaign.
  • Local search is on the rise. Over 46% of people are now conducting local search from their phone. This makes being listed on directories essential for businesses that want to target a local audience.
  • Maps and directions are used by 64% of smart phone users. Being listed with Google Maps will ensure that your business comes up as a local option for consumers looking for businesses while on the go. Integration with Google+ ensures that consumer reviews show up alongside your address and contact information.
  • Social networks such as: YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Yelp, and Google+ have all seen positive traction in the past year. More small business claim that they are using these social networks to see business growth.

Social media networks provide an excellent way for businesses to connect with consumers. The key is staying up to date on current trends and always placing up to date content on your various social media sites. In order for Facebook Marketing campaigns to be effective you need to post relevant content on a regular basis. As the study shows, each post has an average life span of three hours. What you post today will not carry you into next week.

The same holds true for content placed on other social networks. In order to engage the audience you must become a participant in the conversation. Engage people online as you would in a face to face conversation. Leverage tools like #hashtags to reach consumers that care about topics in your field, ask customers to give you reviews, post regularly, and become listed on directories in order to be found through local search. These tools and more will ensure that you are benefiting from the changes in the social media world.