Smiling woman recording herself putting on makeup for a video.
"Deinfluencing" is on the rise, with consumers looking to social media influencers who are providing honest and authentic opinions. — Getty Images/Alistair Berg

Why it matters:

  • “Deinfluencing,” which warns against overconsumption, is more than a trend. The influencer economy is evolving to favor more honest opinions and authentic voices.
  • Despite a learning curve, adopting new tools like social commerce or shoppable video can help businesses stay ahead of market demands.
  • Social media gets brands even closer to their consumers, and tools like artificial intelligence (AI) can help streamline conversations to maximize sales conversions.

Social media continues to shift the consumer landscape. Consumers shopping and interacting with brands online has made its way into everyday scrolling and digital socializing, creating more opportunities for businesses to reach and retain new customers. Below are three standout strategies to make the most of today’s most innovative social media tools and trends.

Invest in next-generation influencers

The influencer landscape is shifting. Some of the most established influencers have become rich and famous in their own right, eroding some of the grassroots authenticity that helped them connect with everyday consumers in the first place.

In response, a new crop of creators is breaking through with a trend toward “deinfluencing,” which warns against overconsumption, and encourages giving candid product reviews – even if that means telling their followers to avoid purchasing a product. According to Comscore, mentions of deinfluencing were up 240% month-over-month between January and February of this year, indicating the importance for brands to rethink their social media marketing strategies and potentially tap into the power of microinfluencers, who consumers often perceive to be more authentic and trustworthy.

“The rise of social media's mass adoption over the past 15 years has led to the democratization of popular opinion,” Jeremy Jankowski, Strategic Partner Lead, Publishing, North America for Pinterest, told CO—. “Independent voices are now just as large as conglomerate media companies…even how small businesses operate has significantly changed forever.”

[Read more: Leveraging the ‘Creator Economy,’ Platforms Like Pinterest and Shutterfly Drive Growth While Helping Entrepreneurs Scale]

A new crop of creators is breaking through with a trend toward “deinfluencing,” which warns against overconsumption, and encourages giving candid product reviews – even if that means telling their followers to avoid purchasing a product.

Make social media tools work for your business, like product tagging features

Emerging capabilities are helping turn social media platforms from pure brand marketing vehicles into sales tools. For example, Economy Candy co-owner Skye Cohen told CO— that when Facebook and Instagram introduced the product-tagging feature that lets businesses tag products in pictures and link them to their e-commerce site, “It [was] such a direct way to say, ‘Look at this cool thing in my store. If you want it, click here.’”

Shoppable content can integrate with an e-commerce storefront, streamlining the customer journey from discovery to checkout. “[It] has a halo effect – an impression created in one channel transfers to another – because it ties into brand awareness,” Kelly Coller, Chief Marketing Officer at Lady Gaga-founded beauty brand Haus Labs, told CO—. “If you see a shoppable video, you can buy the product there or it may encourage you to spend time on the website or follow us on TikTok or go to Sephora to see more products,” she added. “It’s a win-win.”

[Read more: How Shoppable Video Fuels Business — and Brand Awareness — for Haus Labs by Lady Gaga]

Streamline your customers’ conversations to glean key behavioral insights and forecast trends

More social media channels create more touchpoints but can also make it harder to keep track of conversations between brand and customer. Leveraging new technologies can help convert social media traction into revenue.

Brands can lean on artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology gets more sophisticated. Tools like Quilt.AI can gather and analyze millions of comments and conversations across social media, to gain insight into consumer behavior and help forecast future trends.

“BARK had been speaking with its customers on multiple different systems and with multiple datasets,” Ed Walloga, Vice President of Lifecycle Marketing at BARK, told CO—. “That also meant that we were having three or four conversations with the same customer, rather than one conversation addressing the right questions at the right time.”

“This allows us to have a unified conversation with each customer, and also to leverage data and insights from one product line to tailor offerings in other product lines,” said Walloga.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Connect with vendors who can meet your needs

Answer a few questions to tell us more about what you're looking for, and we'll help you reach vendors who can provide you with more information, pricing, and products.