3 Social Media Trends Every Merchant Needs to Know

We are constantly hearing how the social media and tech space in general is moving at an unprecedented speed, but how often do you actually think about how these changes can either make or break your business.

The beautiful thing about change is that in of itself it creates competition. There are either those that identify the change and adapt, or those that choose to ignore the facts, writing it off as a fad, and take the risk. This is a game of cat and mouse that every seasoned business man knows too well.

Thankfully we are more connected than ever before in human history and have access to information, opinions and news that was once hard to come across. I spend copious amounts of time on social media as part of my job and try my best to follow the latest news and events that are happening in the areas which are of interest to me, social media, eCommerce and business in general.

In this post I will cover 3 current social commerce trends which I believe will continue to grow and in a year or two from now be considered “standard” features of the way we do things in the social media and eCommerce spaces.

Online marketing will become more guerrilla

Guerrilla marketing is growing

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If you are involved with online marketing in some way or another you know how tough it is to get peoples’ attention. Guess what, it isn’t going to be getting any easier. We will continue to see a decline in click through rates, open rates and ROI from online advertising. The reason for this is quite simple. We are now living in a world where we are being exposed to too much too often, and our brains have been forced to develop strong filters that can help us process the constant flow of information that we are exposed to through social media.

For marketers this shift has made our lives very difficult and we have been forced to go back to the drawing board on many aspects of online marketing. If you accept this premise then the obvious solution is to find better ways to get peoples attention and this is where guerrilla marketing comes into the picture.

By definition guerrilla marketing is a low cost, unconventional way of marketing a brand, product or service. Guerrilla marketing is different and as online marketers living in a world of too much of the same, we need different.

There are many books, guides and examples of guerrilla marketing but I believe that the secret to adopting guerrilla marketing is a complete understanding of your target market. The more you know about your customers habits, lifestyles, geography, language and culture the more likely you will be to develop and implement a powerful, newsworthy guerrilla marketing strategy.

The video below is an amazing example of what I’m talking about.

These kinds of campaigns will become more and more common over time because the whole online marketing world has been forced to develop new ways to grab peoples’ attention.

The rise of user generated content as a form of marketing communication

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Your customers are better than you at communicating your brand. I know this isn’t something you like to hear but it’s the truth and let me explain why. The most powerful aspect of social media is it’s potential to spread a message exponentially. This is why the holy grail of all marketers is to have their content go viral. In order for something to go viral it needs to spread it needs to spread from person to person through the language of the everyday man. If you start off by communicating with your customers with the same language they use to communicate about your product the more likely you will be to create that viral effect.

In order to help with this process, online marketers are relying more and more on user generated content from their customers and fans. More and more services that help to automate word of mouth marketing are gaining market share in their respective industries as the power of user feedback, reviews and comments is now being embraced by the business community.

We will be forced to spread ourselves too thin

Social media overload

The growth in popularity of video and image apps (namely Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and others) have resulted in a multi-network social ecosystem where the average Internet user is now spending close to 30% of their time.

In order to be in the places where our customers spend a lot of their time online marketers will need to adopt more social networks, publish more posts, record more videos and write more content. This shift will put pressure on many small businesses that will be forced to concentrate on more networks than they can handle but will also create opportunities for businesses with strong marketing teams to gain “social market share” and help their businesses thrive.


As negative as these trends may be we all know that there is always disruption in business and it is our responsibility to adopt and survive. I welcome all your feedback on the trends I have mentioned here and would love to debate on any others that you see highly prevalent to our day and age, so feel free to message me in the comments section below.

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