Social media is no longer a nascent technology, but as the category grows, small businesses only have more reasons to devote effort into social media marketing. As social media becomes more integrated into everyday life and consumer decisions, capitalising on the trends becomes paramount. Social media trends can highlight ways for small businesses to expand their efforts and grow their social marketing reach. So what do small business owners need to know in 2019?
More consumers say social media is important in making purchasing decisions. In 2016, only about 45 percent suggested that social media played a role in purchasing decisions, but in 2018, those numbers rose to 58 percent, according to the 2018 Social Commerce report. The trend suggests that more shoppers are using social media to make buying decisions.
More consumers are using their mobile device for shopping. More potential customers are likely to see your social media posts and ads from a mobile device than a desktop. In three years, the number of respondents in a GFK survey that list their mobile device as the most important shopping tool jumped from 29 to 45 percent.
Customers are hesitant to use the buy buttons on social media. Despite the growth, small businesses may not want to spend too much effort in creating options to buy directly on social media platforms. The 2018 Social Commerce Report indicates that 82 percent of consumers have never used the “buy now” buttons on social media that allows users to buy without leaving the network. So what’s the hesitation? Most said that privacy concerns kept them from purchasing on the platform, a key concern as many networks face cringe-worthy privacy scandals.
Chatbots are increasingly helpful. Chatbots aren’t just helpful for businesses trying to keep up with customer questions. The Social Commerce Report suggests that 72 percent of shoppers that used chatbots found them helpful. The number of customers willing to buy through a chatbot also jumped by twenty percent.
Video will continue to dominate. Visuals always bring more interactions than text-only posts, but videos are seeing big surges in growth. The latest studies continue to suggest videos will dominate social media, suggesting small businesses should focus on integrating more video content into their social media marketing efforts. Live video is also a big draw, since many platforms send users notifications for live videos.
Social media marketing continues to be a must for business — but looking at the latest trends and statistics can give small businesses a better idea of where to focus their limited time and budgets. In 2019, looking to provide purchasing information on social media, tailoring the message for mobile users, and using chatbots should be a focus, while “buy now” buttons aren’t yet trusted by a majority of consumers.