Trends come and go, we get that. But when it comes to social media, waiting for trends  to change means leaving money on the table. 

On Facebook and Instagram, trends aren’t just silly, fads. They’re valuable tools that you can use to increase your brand’s reach and engagement, which means that more people are seeing your posts and taking the time to actually interact with them.

What makes this tricky is that the world of social media is constantly updating. So if you aren’t taking time to stay on top of the latest trends, then chances are you’re already behind. 

If that’s you, don’t worry, you can get ahead of the game with a little time, and a few helpful tips.

1. LEVEL UP YOUR HASHTAG STRATEGY

You read that right, we said hashtag *strategy.* We choose all of our hashtags for a reason, and you should too. 

When it comes to hashtags, using them on Instagram is invaluable. In fact, Instagram posts that use at least one hashtag get 12.6% more engagement than ones that don’t. 

But we stay away from hashtags on Facebook.  We post one every now and again, but posting a bunch of them on each post doesn’t work like it does on Instagram. Instead of leading to increased engagement, it really just makes your posts look cluttered. 

Choosing which platform to use hashtags on isn’t the only thing you need to create your own strategy. You also need to take into account how often they’re used. 

For example, if you use #beer you’ll likely get lost in a sea of posts. Instead use something location-specific like #newyorkbeer or something more descriptive like #drinkcraftbeer. 

Before you start posting, do a little research and see if there are any hashtags that others in the industry use that you can use, too. The New York State Brewers Association uses the hashtag #thinknydrinkny and that’s a great one to include if you’re from the state.

Use stickers in your Instagram Stories and tools like photo polls on your Facebook posts.

2. START CREATING STORIES

Instagram Stories are also a great way to increase your brand’s reach. You can use hashtags in your  Stories, as well as fun stickers. If you’re collaborating with another company, mention them in your Story. If you have an event coming up, make a countdown clock. 

Stickers can be used to ask questions, create polls, and add emphasis on parts of your video or picture. You can even add a slider and change the emoji on it so people can tell you how “fire” the Story is. 
If you haven’t already, set aside some time to explore the features in Instagram Stories.

3. FOCUS ON FACEBOOK FEATURES

Instead of creating a generic Facebook post, get people engaging with an interactive photo poll. Keep them up to date by creating a post announcing the winner. 

If you’re selling merch, you can create shoppable posts and ticket tags so that people can click on the picture and buy the product they see! 

Other features, like buttons on posts, allow you to invite users to message you with any questions directly from the post.

KEEP CHECKING IN

It’s important to realize that the features that are popular now, won’t be the same as the ones you should use in a couple months. 

Pay attention to new features that the platforms release and to what other, respected companies are doing on social media. 

If you’re having a hard time staying up to date, send us a message and we’ll talk. 

This wraps up the final blog in our series on the biggest mistakes that craft beverage companies are making online and how to fix them. ICYMI – last time we talked about why you shouldn’t only post still content.