Trend 1: Long-Form Video Storytelling is Rising

We’ve all heard that video is a must for engaging your audience on social media. Short-form videos like Instagram Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts have been dominating feeds. However, there’s a new twist – long-form video is making a comeback.

Platforms like TikTok are now encouraging longer videos up to 30 minutes. And data shows users are spending over half their time watching videos over 1 minute long. This means in addition to your snackable short videos, you should start experimenting with long-form storytelling.

Trend 2: Playful, Meme-Inspired Content Builds Connections

Gone are the days of trying to cultivate an edgy, sarcastic brand voice. The new trend is all about being playful, relatable and tapping into internet culture. Brands are getting creative by riffing off memes, using a more human and humorous tone, and not taking themselves too seriously.

A great example is Chipotle, which frequently creates meme-inspired graphics and videos that feel fresh and on-trend while still being true to their brand identity. Their social media has a distinct personality that connects with younger audiences.

For Chicago small businesses, this is a chance to show some personality and connect with your audience on a different level through:

  • Meme-inspired graphics or videos
  • Captions that riff off popular internet slang or jokes
  • Content that addresses common pain points or situations in your industry…but with a fun, humorous spin

Another powerful social media strategy for Chicago small businesses is to leverage user-generated content (UGC). Encourage your customers to share photos, videos, or stories featuring your products or services on their own social channels. This not only provides authentic, relatable content for your brand, but also builds a sense of community around your business. You can re-share this UGC on your own channels, run contests for the best UGC, or even feature it on your website. UGC shows that real people love what you offer and can be incredibly influential for potential new customers in the Chicago area.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs in Chicago, having an effective social media marketing strategy is crucial for success. The key strategies to focus on include creating a mix of short and long-form video content to engage your audience, tapping into internet culture with playful, meme-inspired posts that show personality, optimizing for local SEO and listings, partnering with local influencers, telling unique brand stories, participating in community events, and leveraging user-generated content.

Additionally, consistently requesting and responding to online reviews, setting up a strong Google My Business profile, researching your specific Chicago audience, and considering transit advertising can all help increase local visibility.

The most successful Chicago businesses find creative ways to showcase their local roots and build authentic connections with the community through social media.

By implementing a well-rounded social media approach that combines engaging content, local SEO, influencer marketing, community involvement, and customer advocacy, small Chicago businesses can cut through the noise and attract their ideal local audience.