The Social Media Marketing Industry report was recently published by Social Media Examiner and once again it has valuable findings useful to small businesses.

Below are three of the most notable social media marketing trends and why they matter for your small business:

#1. Usage of social media marketing platforms is shifting slightly away from Facebook.

For the first time, marketers want to learn more about Instagram than Facebook (even though they are both owned by Facebook). YouTube is the next platform that marketers want to learn about which is likely due to the increasing accessibility and popularity of creating and using video. In fourth place is LinkedIn.

What this means for your small business:

It’s important to know where trends are shifting as a small business because it predicts where the business offerings for those platforms will get better. You can expect Instagram to offer more business friendly tools in the next year that you can use as a small business.

#2. Social media advertising is continually growing for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

These pie charts show marketers’ intent in using social media ads in the future. It’s not a huge surprise that the use of Facebook ads is increasing. Since organic reach of Facebook posts is below 5% at this point (i.e. Facebook will show your non-advertised post to roughly 5% of your followers) businesses who have invested in building a Facebook following must use ads to get their posts seen. In fact, this first chart shows that only 15% of marketers aren’t using Facebook ads!

The rise of popularity of Instagram reflects that more people are investing in Instagram ads, possibly because that platform’s audience is growing every year.

And of course, Google-owned YouTube’s ads are also likely to increase somewhat. An interesting note is that nearly half of marketers polled don’t plan to use YouTube ads at all in the future. This could be because many small businesses are still getting up to speed with video marketing and advertising.

What this means for your small business:

As a small business, you should be considering Facebook and Instagram ads if your customers are on these platforms if you aren’t using them yet. Both of these platforms (again, owned by Facebook) are refining their ad options to help businesses reach their target audience with the right message at the right time. If your customers aren’t on Facebook or Instagram, don’t worry. It’s likely that platforms like Pinterest and LinkedIn will begin improving their advertising tools as more and more businesses migrate to social media advertising.

#3 Video marketing on social media platforms is set to take off in the future.

The bar chart below shows the video platforms that marketers want to learn about most in the future. It’s notable that both YouTube and Facebook share the first place spot at 75%, and Instagram is not far behind at 71%.

It’s a significant shift that all the social media platforms are now able to host video posts, and many of them can also host live video.

What this means for your small business:

Although many small businesses are still trying to figure out how to strategically use video for their businesses, this content type of marketing will continue to grow quickly for businesses of all sizes. Now tools for video creation and editing are continually coming available to make it easier for small businesses to create and share video. If your business, hasn’t begun to dive into this trend, this is the time to begin.

There are more findings in Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report that you can evaluate for yourself on their website. I’ve focused on these three takeaways because I think that overall social media usage, social media advertising, and the emergence of video are all topics that are important for small businesses.

Are you interested in learning more about how to use social media marketing for your small business?

I’ve recently updated my book, The Social Media Cookbook: Strategic Marketing Recipes for Small Business Success.  In the book, I dive into each of these platforms with strategies and tactics to help small businesses establish and grow their presence.

Be sure to grab a copy of my book here:

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