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How To Stay On Top of Ever-Changing Social Media Trends

Consumers are no longer buying strictly from brands, they’re buying from people. Rather than making decisions purely on marketing techniques, they spend more time carefully looking at the reviews and comments brands received from others on social media to gain insight into the experience those brands offer. 

“For any digital marketing strategy to succeed, it must include social media management,” says Scott Leventon, CEO of Interphase Marketing. “Social media is where a brand’s community congregates. It’s a space where people chat over their morning coffee to get new information and where they decide whether or not they still like that brand, even if they’re already loyal customers.”

To succeed, savvy marketers know they must have an unquenchable thirst for discovery and continued education. Technology is constantly improving and becoming more intuitive, meaning the digital marketing landscape — but specifically social media — is ever-changing. 

For this reason, it’s vital that marketers stay on top of the latest social media trends and updates to stay ahead of the curve by practicing social listening, continued learning, and remaining adaptive in the face of new challenges. 

The Importance of Social Listening

In essence, social listening is the ability to pay attention to what people are saying about your niche and brand. “Read the comments and conversations consumers post about you when they put you down or give you a shout-out,” Leventon says, adding that these are not only free customer reviews — they are also essential feedback. “By listening to what people say on social media platforms, you gain valuable insights that can inform your marketing strategies, content creation, and overall business direction.” 

Likewise, by monitoring keywords specific to your niche, you can stay on top of emerging trends and spot new topics as they appear in real time. This helps you stay ahead of the curve and allows you to participate in or leverage those trends effectively. Listening to your clients allows you to meet them where they are.

“Social listening is also a great strategy to monitor your competitors, as listening to what people are saying about your competition helps you pivot and fill in the gaps,” says Leventon. “Congruently, it helps detect potential issues, complaints, or crises early on, allowing you to avoid any unnecessary retroactive crisis management. By actively monitoring and analyzing social media conversations, you can adapt your strategies, engage effectively with your audience, and maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace.” 

Continued marketing education 

The easiest way to stay up-to-date on marketing education is to set up Google alerts for keywords such as “Instagram updates” or “TikTok updates,” for example. Networking with other professionals in your field can also provide valuable knowledge and connections.

There are also many free workshops and conferences you can attend that offer opportunities to learn from industry experts, attend panel discussions, and gain insights into the latest trends and best practices. 

“Additionally, try taking advantage of online courses, trainings, and webinars focused on social media marketing and complete them during your downtime,” Leventon says. “Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses covering various aspects of digital marketing, including social media marketing and management. Given the sheer amount of courses offered, you can easily find several that specifically address trends, platforms, and strategies relevant to your niche.” 

More importantly, Leventon emphasizes the need to stay updated on any planned changes or updates to social media platforms. Because these updates frequently include adjustments to social media algorithms, it’s crucial to understand how they work on a week-by-week basis. 

“Follow the platforms online, as well as any influencers, thought leaders, or other experts who are able to speak to their planned changes,” Leventon notes. “Subscribe to their blogs and participate in webinars and training sessions the platforms offer. This knowledge will help you leverage the latest features and ensure your digital marketing strategy remains relevant and in front of your competitors.” 

Remaining adaptive and topical 

While most businesses start with all the right intentions, many fail to properly invest in their digital marketing efforts, resulting in failure before they have even gotten a chance to take off. Businesses that fail at adapting tend to be the first ones to die out. 

For example, dozens of major department stores like JCPenney, Sears, and Macy’s failed to adapt their marketing strategies over the past decade, leading to millions in lost potential revenue because of it. Dozens more have even been forced to shut their storefronts and salvage what was left by establishing partnerships with smaller individual brands. 

“Businesses that fail to adapt to the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape puts them at a competitive disadvantage, while their competitors who are quick to adapt and embrace new trends attract a larger share of the market,” Leventon remarks. “The result is an inability to engage with their target audience, which subsequently leads to missed opportunities for improvement and growth.”

To ensure your business stays topical, conduct regular audits to assess your digital marketing strategy and embrace a test-and-learn mindset to meet your clients where they’re at. “For example, in the real estate industry, it’s no secret that home buyers regularly “window-shop” online and on social media after hours. Meeting these clients where they’re at — be it TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook — with valuable content raises the chances of them purchasing from you,” Leventon adds. 

Fostering a culture of innovation through continuous learning within your organization helps your business stand out, so empower your team to explore new ideas, share insights, and experiment with different approaches. This promotes a proactive mindset and ensures your digital marketing strategy is always evolving, but also helps everyone achieve the same goal, which has a significant impact on the bottom line. 

Understanding and implementing the latest trends and updates helps identify new patterns that will help you shift your digital marketing efforts to garner clearer insight into customer behaviors and tailor your messaging, campaigns, and advertising efforts accordingly. By taking advantage of these trends, businesses can stay relevant, maintain a competitive edge, and maximize their reach and impact. When done successfully, this will result in increased brand visibility, customer engagement, and loyalty. 

Scott Leventon is the CEO of Interphase Marketing, a full-service marketing firm on the cutting edge of using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to streamline business operations and content creation. SEO Agency Roadmap is the most complete and comprehensive SEO and digital marketing book on the market, and offers practical, hands-on advice for entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, and scale their own digital marketing business.

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