Social media has been shaping the marketing landscape for online business owners for years--but it's still a constantly evolving world where technological advances and shifting trends keep even the most social savvy entrepreneurs on their toes. Here are three key trends you need to know to stay up-to-date on social media for online business mid-2017.

1. Facebook ads are now a must

Think about it: If you could tap into a platform where you could reach 100,000 members of your target audience in a single day, would you want to take advantage of it for your online business? Sure you would. That's incredible. And many online business are doing just that.

Data from WordStream shows that these efforts are paying off and translating to ROI, too: Online businesses leveraging Facebook ads outperform those not running ads by leaps and bounds. Facebook ads drive 96 percent more page clicks and reach 90 percent more people--which means greater opportunities for discovery, customer acquisition, and ultimately, sales. Those who still aren't taking advantage of this opportunity are becoming the forgotten minority.

2. Influencers are taking a megaphone to the product discovery process

More and more online brands are discovering that working with influencers (people with a large following) on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are a simple way to attract new shoppers and to aid the product discovery process. This tactic makes sense: Research from GlobalWedIndex shows that 30 percent of online shoppers use social media to research products--and influencers are a go-to source for product recommendations.

With new and improved click-to-buy features rolling out across social media platforms, influencers and their engaged, loyal audiences now allow online retailers to reach a new customers and create a quick path to purchase.

3. Video is the next major frontier

YouTube is the second largest search engine (behind Google), and this platform's mobile audience alone reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the United States. As a result, it's no big surprise online businesses are hopping on the video production bandwagon and adding their own original video content (like product videos or Facebook live broadcasts.)

Because of video's ability to quickly and effectively communicate complex ideas through audio, visuals, and on-screen text, it's highly consumable--and a powerful tool for mobile users with ever-decreasing attention spans.

As you prepare for the year-end stretch and the eventual holiday marketing push, keep these trends in mind as you formulate your online marketing strategy. Facebook ads, influencer partnerships on social media, and video can boost the effectiveness of your online approach in a big way.

Published on: Aug 29, 2017