Over the past decade, social media has inched its way towards the centre of our lives, routines, and the workplace. Not only have popular social media services like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok changed the way we interact with each other, they’ve also changed the way we interact with businesses and products. And it’s only going to continue down that path.
Because of that, social media is now also an integral part of any company’s marketing plan. But it can be tricky to stand out when the landscape is oversaturated with content. As the industry evolves, trends for reaching an audience have changed with it. If you’re a social media manager or content creator, to help you get your year started with a bang we’ve rounded up the social media trends for 2021.
1. Short, Bite-Sized Videos
For a while there, it looked like longer videos were the way that companies would employ to engage their audience. But with Tik Tok exploding in popularity, and Instagram recently introducing their Reels function, it looks like shorter videos are becoming more and more popular. A trend that’s set to continue throughout 2021.
Some big brands have used the short-form video services to engage their customers throughout 2020, a period when more people than ever were stranded at home. Tik Tok is worth jumping on board to reach a newer generation of customers, while those looking to capture the ages between 24-35 should stick with Instagram. The good news is that Instagram is pushing Reels more and more, so for businesses that use Instagram, creating videos on the platform will easily drive up your engagement.
2. Diversification in Social Media
Speaking about the rise of Tik Tok in 2020, next year many businesses might have to reassess where they direct their social media efforts. With more platforms than ever before, and different audiences using each, having a comprehensive online presence for your business has never been more important.
In 2021, social media use is only going to keep increasing. That means businesses will have to diversify their social media channels, spreading out to other platforms they had previously avoided. So, if you’ve only been pushing out content on one or two platforms, chances are high that you’re missing a whole lot of customers. 2021 is going to be the year where businesses expand their social media presence.
3. Social Media Shops
One of the biggest growing trends at the end of 2020 has been the introduction of e-commerce marketplaces integrated into social media platforms. The biggest has been the growing popularity of Instagram Shops, easily used by customers thanks to recent upgrades late in 2020. Over half the world uses social media, so it was an obvious move for e-commerce to start selling on the platform. There’s nothing like browsing your feed, seeing something you like, and buying it with a few easy clicks.
As a business, setting up an Instagram shop can be a great way to easily reach your target market and continue to grow throughout 2021. The research is in, and a whopping 55% of consumers have purchased through a social media shop – a trend that’s only set to continue growing. Jump on board now.
4. Interaction Through Augmented Reality
As technology has continued to improve, augmented reality has enjoyed increasing popularity across social media platforms. This is the technology that projects computer-generated images into the real world – usually seen through a camera filter on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
As a marketing tool, augmented reality provides businesses a unique opportunity to engage their audience. By crafting specialty augmented reality filters that get picked up and used, a brand can get users interacting with each other in a way that engages them with the brand on a much deeper level than your standard content. It might sound tricky, but brands have had great success using this strategy.
5. Personalised Marketing
In a world saturated by social media and savvy marketing campaigns, it can be hard for businesses to stand out. As an answer, more are choosing to pursue what’s known as personalised marketing. Personalised marketing is essentially burrowing down into your target audience, figuring out what they want, and gearing your marketing efforts towards what you find. It’s not a new concept, but pair it with the analytics available about audiences in social media, and you’ve got a powerful tool.
For businesses, it’s a great step towards engaging their audience on a deeper level. Gathering the data about how they interact with your social media channels is easy, and all you need to start building a personalised advertisement campaign today.
6. Live Content
With the Coronavirus racing around the world, 2020 was a year that saw hundreds of thousands of people confined to their homes, isolated from family, and unable to interact with each other. But it also saw the rise of live content – cooking demonstrations, live music, and even makeup tutorials have all been streamed through social media by thousands of customers.
You might not think it, but live content has the highest level of content engagement out of all the types. When an audience can interact live with their favourite band, brand, or businesses, it’s a quick and effective way to capture their attention and engage them. The success has cemented the feature as a permanent fixture of comprehensive social media marketing strategies, so 2021 might just be the year where your business tries it out.
7. Social Responsibility Through Social Media
Finally, one of the biggest social media trends set to continue through 2021 is that of social responsibility. 2020 saw an increased focus on issues across the globe, from the Black Lives Matter movement to Climate Change activism. In response, businesses and brands have begun to use their social media channels to show their support for the causes they believe in as well. Even Instagram itself took big steps towards keeping people informed with the right information about the COVID-19 pandemic as it raced around the world.
Committing to an issue that aligns with your company mission will leave a lasting impression on customers and generate plenty of value through your channels. But remember, actions speak louder than words, so make sure your business backs up what it posts.
Guest post courtesy of Rebecca Lee