As the world still reels from the pandemic & the political upheavals it brought traditional methods of marketing are becoming less effective.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though, as I predict these social media trends for 2021 will help you optimise your digital marketing strategy, leading to more conversions and brand super-fans.
The top social media trends for 2021 include:
- Diversification Of People & Platforms
- Live Posting
- Organic Marketing
- Sharing Your Values
- Social selling
So let’s get into the nitty-gritty:
Diversification Of People & Platform
You may think you have your social media strategy set in stone – especially if it is part of a longterm plan. However, with the incredible growth of platforms like TikTok, it may be time to reconsider. Especially if you are targeting younger consumers (16-24 year-olds make up 41% of TikTok users!)
Do an audit of your current customers – or ideal customers – and work out if they are still using the social media platforms that you are using.
The Lockdowns of the previous year mean that 43% of people are spending more time online, and using a wider variety of apps – so now is the perfect time to schedule a strategy review.
Once you’ve diversified your platforms, think about the type of content you are posting.
Given the rising interest in social and racial issues last year, customers want to see more diversity in the content posted by brands. Think about gender, age, race, abilities and more!
Brands that fail to advocate for diversity could see themselves left behind, with customers choosing to support more inclusive organisations.
In the US alone, the streaming of Live content increased by 73% last year and similar figures are likely for the UK. Meanwhile, Social Sport reports that 40% of consumers want to see move live posts from brands.
In-personal events are unlikely to go ahead until at least the summer – and even then, their popularity may have dwindled with the rise of home working – so many are going virtual instead.
Facebook & Instagram both allow collaboration between users, meaning that you can still host interviews or Q&As.
Posting live also gives customers the chance to engage there and then – both with your business & each other, knowing that a reply will be imminent.
It can be scary to hold your first live event but calm your nerves by trying a few practise sessions where you can record the footage and watch it back to ensure you are happy with the angle/background etc.
In the age of disinformation, customers are becoming less trusting of paid ads. This is especially true of younger generations who are more likely to trust recommendations from friends (and influencers.)
So much so in fact that 70% of consumers believe customer opinions, which is almost double the amount that trust advertisements.
Organic marketing may seem harder than simply adding a budget to your Facebook post but in the long-term, it is a great way to force yourself into learning what works for your business and what doesn’t.
Sharing Your Values
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking everything you post has to be directly related to your business. Instead, use tactics such as Instagram stories to share your company’s values or support a cause.
By doing this, it will help to humanise your brand and set it apart from competitors. It will also give potential customers a reason to align themselves with your brand, as you both display similar values.
This could be vital for your business as in Merkle’s Q4 2020 Media Insights Report it was found that 56% of consumers said they had no respect for businesses that remained silent on important issues.
It’s been known for a long time that social media can influence purchasing decisions and introduce potential customers to your brand. But social selling in its true sense is set to increase this year.
You may have noticed a while back that Instagram changed its layout to make it easier for users to shop on the app, whilst Pinterest introduced its catalogues – and this is only the start.
Allowing users to shop from social media channels makes the process simpler for them, which in turn creates a better customer experience.
By making purchasing as simple as possible, you will likely see more conversions and better customer advocacy.
More than 500 million people interact with Instagram stories every day, and this trend has no sign of slowing down.
If you don’t already use stories, or if you don’t plan your posts carefully you could be missing out as data suggests Stories have a 5.65% higher tap-forward rate than videos – the tap-forward rate is basically the number of people who viewed the post, before moving onto your next post.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Stories that include photos have a higher drop-ff rate than Stories that include videos.
I guess if were to summerise these social media trends for 2021 in a statement it would be this: Consumers want brands to get real.
They want to feel that your posts are authentic, and not just glossing over a hard-sell agenda.
This said I’d love to know your thoughts on this. Will be you be engaging with any of these trends?