The top three trends in social media

Good things happen in threes, and this week I share three social media trends that are gaining some serious momentum — from a hashtag syndrome and profile-picture rehab stint to a campaign that targeted tweens using a limited-edition mobile photo editor as the hook! 

1. Less effort may mean more style

Are you suffering from “trying too hard” online? With millions of photos hashtagged with terms such as #selfie, #slick or #memyselfandI, “less is more” is making a social media comeback thanks to a new site, Social Effort Scale, offering hashtag ratings.

The information is gathered from your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, as this is how you enter the site. Each is given its own score, and multiple connected accounts will average out a total score based on the use of emojis, frequency of posts, number of hashtags and the actual type of hashtag being used.

The site also keeps track of the flow across the three social network platforms in real time, analyzing hashtags and trends worldwide. It even carries the capacity of revealing the cities trying the hardest on social media!

2. Tween campaign raises eyebrows

Social media campaigns using real people are popping up routinely, and the trend appears to have no boundaries based on the age of the targeted audience. 

Take the I Heart UGG Australia campaign, which was used to attract uber-young consumers for a new line. UGG beefed up the impact of the campaign by partnering with mobile photo editor Aviary as it went after new “tween” customers offering a limited-edition collection of youthful filters for selfies and other photos.

This brilliant concept to embrace not only the tech-savvy interests of the targeted tween audience proved to be a major victory, as the social media campaign also became an excellent word-of-mouth platform that generated more of those arched-eyebrow surprise moments than those of traditional advertising.

The result was not only an innovative medium for fans to express themselves, but the effects of the app clearly mirrored the aesthetics of the line.

3. Profile pics go pro

Social media is a place where business can begin or end. Prior to formalizing a partnership or solidifying a sale, new customers routinely check out profile pictures on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to solidify their final decisions.

Social media is the go-to tool to confirm who you want to do business with, and many are finding an iPhone and outstretched arm simply won’t do.

In an era where social media has given everyone a public persona, many are starting to take their online-image management a step further and sparing no expense to treat themselves to portrait sessions that produce “comment-worthy” profile shots.

A business client recently shared how he used one of these personal branding portrait sessions as a long overdue act of self-reinvention. For years, he had been relying on a “conservative” 15-year-old studio portrait, but in an era of a social media photo being the first impression you make to the world, the photo just no longer sufficed.

A photographer drove the point home further by sharing how this year, her business received a tremendous boost with a lucrative parallel career thanks to personal branding photography needs. She both verified and elaborated about how sophisticated headshots are stiff while the social-media-friendly “impact photos” are generating the most benefits.

Now it’s your turn. Which of these three trends happened to resonate with your own social media practices, both professionally and personally? Or, do you have different trends to share?