While there may be a few major corporations that dominate the social media space with their extensive resources and rooms full of social media experts, the reality for most small restoration business owners is that social media may be a duty of one or two people, and oftentimes it is not their primary job. While in years past it was expected to be on each of the social networking sites to dominate the space with your brand message, new trends are emerging for 2017 that can help you get ahead online.

Here are the top 6 Social Media Trends for 2017:

  1. Focus Your Efforts

While it was the norm and expectation to dominate all social media platforms in the past, 2017 forecasts a trend to see which platforms work best for your company and refine your efforts toward the one or two platforms that are performing best. This will result in companies cutting ties with social media platforms where they aren’t seeing a return on investment. It’ll be better for your company to focus on the few platforms that are performing rather than be lackluster everywhere. Refine your efforts and it could pay off.

  1. Have a Clear and Defined Social Media Purpose & Strategy

When dealing with social media it’s important to have a clear strategy that outlines the goals and objectives you’re working to achieve. Do you want your page to have a lot of interaction? Do you want those interactions to generate leads? Do you want those leads to become sales? Whatever your goals for social media, it is important that it’s clear. Once your goals are established, then you want to generate content that is relevant to your brand message, but will also strategically help you meet your goals.

  1. Know Your Audience & Tailor Your Content

It should go without saying that you should know who your target demographic is. However, what may be surprising to find is how different demographics associate and engage with your brand on social media. Utilize analytics and tailor your social media content to each of your demographic audiences. You can’t post the same content on all platforms and assume it’ll resonate with each of your audiences.

  1. Explore Live Content

While this is a fairly recent trend, more and more people are amused with video content and augmented reality filters. Live video has become widely accessible on most social media platforms and can be a great tool for your business to communicate with your audience in real time. Customers enjoy participating in live Q&A’s, watching a vlog or seeing an “in the moment” behind the scenes or sneak peek event. Users no longer want to hear about your events after the fact or read about it in a post, they want to experience the event vicariously for themselves through video. Engage your audience and allow them to genuinely feel part of the experience. You can explore filters, such as Snapchat’s Selfie Lens or Masquerade filters to make posts more entertaining and whimsical, and see how your audience responds.

  1. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Your social media presence is an extension of your customer service. You can quickly engage and communicate with your customers in real time. Make sure to respond to comments, messages and posts about your company as quickly as possible. If you show appreciation for your customers, they’ll reciprocate with continued brand loyalty. Even if they had a bad experience, do what you can to show concern and work to offer a solution and resolve the issue.

  1. Invest in Social Media

It takes time, effort and money to be able to reach your audience and compete with your competitors. If you don’t take your social media strategy seriously, your audience will know and will soon remove themselves from your network. It’s important to designate time, money and resources toward your social media efforts if you want your social media strategy to be profitable. Never become complacent in your social media efforts. You want to have continual supervision over your accounts so you can evaluate growth, work toward meeting your goals and objectives and continue strategizing and staying informed as new trends and technologies emerge.