In 2021, Social Media Marketing is shaping up to be more important than ever. As social platforms introduce new features and change their algorithms, social media trends likewise undergo an evolution. The lockdowns and COVID mitigation efforts forcing people to find alternate ways to socialize, shop, and work. Consequently, these rapid changes present a whole new challenge for brands and social media marketers as they have to constantly review their existing strategies and pivot to add new types of content to their repertoire.
Here are 7 of the latest Social Media Marketing trends 2021 has in the store for you:
1. Stories become more and more popular
That’s right, this trend began to make itself noticed last year, but now it seems to have grown even bigger. As we know, Snapchat was the first social platform to introduce ephemeral content, which is a type of content that will disappear within a short period of time, but Instagram Stories are now the most used feature of social media. Over 500 million users interact with Instagram Stories every day (according to Sproutsocial.com), and there is no wonder why, according to a recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers have already incorporated Instagram Stories into their Social Media Strategies or plan to do it.
2. Influencer and user-generated content increase
Consumers have come to rely on influencers support for product recommendations, recipes, virtual workouts, and really any source of entertainment. As we start to recover from a year that saw a massive drop in in-store shopping and real-life events, online influences are highly effective content creators that continue to play an essential role in brands’ digital marketing strategies. The online personalities, considered experts in their niche, have established relationships and patterns that will continue to crave human-generated content as a reliable source of information. Keeping in mind that 84% of consumers shopped online since the pandemic began (Chainstoreage.com), promoting a product with a simple Swipe Up to purchase within the post seems to be the way of the future. Moreover, user-generated content coming from everyday people will continue to thrive in 2021, as online users keep trying to get rid of their boredom by finding their voice on social media.
One next step the brands need to take is to understand how online influencers fit in their marketing goals and then identify the right influencers for your organization. This you can do on your own, or you can turn to a digital marketing agency that already has a portfolio of online figures, and can select people most relevant for your online strategy.
3. Reels for Organic Instagram Exposure
Speaking of Instagram, things seem to be moving fast towards video content – especially short-form videos. Instagram Reels rolled out in August 2020, can be 15 or 30 seconds long, and it’s very similar to a TikTok video. What makes it so engaging is that it includes a wider range of video editing tools, effects, and speed controls than Instagram Stories. According to a recent report, 75% of Instagram users take action, like visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at an Instagram ad.
4. Social listening will drive content and message development
2021 will be the year of Social Listening, with time and investment put into tools that will help brand managers follow online conversations to determine if a brand’s voice is needed, or wanted, in the conversations. Beyond tracking relevant topics, you should take your time and listen and identify what matters the most to audiences, and then adjust the message to align. Social media listening is more complex than social media monitoring and refers to using data from individuals interactions to draw broader conclusions. Social listening can give you an extraordinary amount of critical insight into customer sentiment, industry trends, and brand awareness. Socialbakers’ report has shown that 51% of brands utilized social listening at least once, and are likely to keep using it in the future.
5. Social commerce expansion
The social media industry is now constantly adapting to enhance the users’ experience, and we are beginning to see more features and tools that support quick and easy shopping. For example, Instagram allows you to add product tags, and enable easy checkout without even leaving the platform. On Facebook, you can set up a Shop that people can browse and buy right on the platform. This seems to be the perfect 2021 tool for marketers given that 54% of social media users research products using social media. By simply adding a buy button you can increase the likelihood of purchase and help your transaction move forward on social.
6. Live Streaming will become the new norm
In 2020 we witnessed huge changes in business and retail models. Suddenly everybody has had to carry out everyday business online, and people who may never use their video cameras before now have to participate in Zoom meetings. Even if the pandemic situation improves in 2021, live streaming is bound to stay, as people are now used to interacting with brands in real-time online. There are multiple benefits of live streaming like a more personal public-facing. It also does not require a sophisticated kit and you can answer questions in real-time. It can benefit your business given that 82% of audiences prefer live video to social media posts, according to Livestream.
7. Local targeting will become more prevalent
Like local SEO helps local brands to get more organic traffic, local targeting is the counterpart for social media. Many brands use location-based targeting to reach out to and attract people from a specific geographic location. One way most brands attract a local audience is by geo-tagging their posts and stories. Social platforms like Instagram provide the option to search for posts from a specific location. Geo-targeting works especially well for promoted posts as these platforms help you target the right audiences.
This year is all about image, quick adjustment and lots of challenges for marketers and brands. Businesses need to be in constant transition and adapt their strategies and tactics, in order to satisfy people’s needs, which are continuously evolving.
Now that you know what to expect from Social Media in 2021, go set your objectives, take some risks and create original content for your audience!