A young woman sits on a plush gray carpet and waves at a ring light attached to a tripod. She's sitting on the floor of a wood-panelled bedroom; behind her is a bed and beside her are a couple of small stools, a cushioned chair with a base made out of wooden pallets and a wooden railing wrapped in a string of lights.
Working with an influencer doesn't necessitate seeking out a big name. Your business may find the best success with a local or micro-influencer who specializes in your industry. — Getty Images/MarioGuti

Social media is an integral part of most people's lives and shopping habits. Their feeds are where they get their news and entertainment and engage with their social circles.

Regardless of their industry or audience, every small business can leverage social media to expand its reach. Here are some social media trends small businesses should consider using or adapting to in 2022.

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing, which involves working with influencers to market your products or services, is gaining even more traction in 2022. Small businesses don't need to reach for the biggest stars in order to get exposure. In fact, partnering with micro-influencers or local influencers will typically drive more sales, as these individuals tend to have a more engaged and niche audience.

Social commerce

If you haven't yet, consider selling your products or services online directly through social media. A segment of e-commerce, social commerce involves selling products through social media platforms. This allows your customers to engage with your brand on social media while purchasing and checking out directly from your social channels.

Short-form video content

Today’s consumers prefer short-term video content to text or image-based content. These videos can range from anywhere between 15 seconds to two-and-a-half minutes long, depending on the platform's capacity. For instance, TikTok and Instagram Reels typically host videos of 60 seconds and under (although TikTok now allows users to create videos up to three minutes long). You can use these videos to market your products or increase awareness by partaking in common trends.

Social media for customer service

Consumers have increasingly made social media platforms their go-to channel for customer service issues, and marketers have been adapting accordingly. According to Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2022 survey, nearly 60% of marketers say social customer care has increased in value for their organization over the past year.

Direct messages and comments on social media allow for a direct conversation between your customer and your support systems. When creating a customer support account for your small business, make sure you have a streamlined, organized process so you aren’t overwhelmed by the number of inquiries and notifications.

More paid advertising

More small businesses are investing in paid ads over traditional marketing strategies, as the ads allow them to leverage different social media platforms’ algorithms and internal data. For small businesses, depending on your marketing and advertising goals and budget, it may be worth looking into paid ads over hiring a marketing team.

[Read more: Marketing Your E-Commerce Business in the Digital Age]

If you haven't yet, consider selling your products or services online directly through social media.

Inclusivity

Consumers want to support companies that are inclusive and take a stand on important issues. In fact, 67% of U.S. consumers believe that brands are effective at raising awareness on important social and political issues when they use social media. As a small business owner, make sure your social feeds are inclusive and welcoming to all consumers.

User-generated content

You don't have to be the only one who is generating content for your social media feeds. Invite your followers to share posts and images using your products and services, and repost their content on your own feed. Not only does this provide you with fresh content, but it also acts as a positive review of your products.

Local targeting

Small businesses can cultivate more brand awareness by focusing on location-based marketing tactics, like using geotags and choosing locations for your social media ads to be shown. Additionally, being involved in your community and creating location-specific content can help you build brand awareness and attract a new audience in your area.

[Read more: How Local Stores Are Moving to Selling Online]

Social listening

By analyzing what your customers are saying about your business and industry on social media, you can better understand your strengths and weaknesses as a brand. Your small business should invest in social listening tools to monitor different channels for your company, competitors, products and any keywords that are related to you and your industry. Then, analyze this information so you can make more informed decisions about your brand and marketing strategies.

Social media communities

Groups or communities on social media platforms allow like-minded users to converse with one another. Small businesses can create these groups on their pages to create engagement and nurture leads, leading to more trust and increased loyalty.

Learn more about strengthening your social media communities with our guide to boosting engagement.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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Published February 10, 2022