Top Trends in Social Media in 2021
Given the extent to which use of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels skyrocketed in 2020, social media will undoubtedly continue to play a significant role in digital marketing in 2021. In the last year alone, the social media landscape has necessarily adapted to accommodate the disruptions and social movements of 2020.
In order to best leverage your investment in digital marketing, we have compiled nine social media trends to watch over 2021 and incorporate into your strategy to grow your business.
The Rise of Video Content
With the rapid growth we have seen in short video platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok, companies have been able to leverage their content to reach new audiences in a more engaging way. Cisco estimated that 82% of all online content will be video content by 2022, in line with a shift of user preferences towards richer and less polished content that gives brands a greater sense of personality. In the B2B market, interviews, podcasts and thought sessions have been successful in creating additional assets for businesses, which can be used to establish companies as thought leaders across multiple platforms.
Diversification of Platforms
With more time to spend on social media during the pandemic, the popularity of niche social media platforms has grown significantly. According to App Annie, over the course of 2020, the TikTok user base grew by 210%. With impressive growth and a new audience, brands will continue to push into these less saturated social media platforms in 2021, that allow for more active engagement with their audiences and the diversification of their social media strategy. As the most successful accounts on these burgeoning platforms often adopt styles of content creation that differ noticeably from traditional social media subject matter, companies will certainly need to get more innovative.
People first brands who focus on social listening will be more important than ever in 2021. Nine out of ten consumers believe it is important for brands to be authentic, according to SocialMediaToday, and utilising social media platforms to increase transparency and spark open conversations will only continue to proliferate into the future. In 2021, it is not only pretty pictures or well written captions that are important, but rather a focus on brand voices and using the power of your platform for good.
Influencers and User Generated Content
Influencers and user generated content (UCG) are still on the rise and show no sign of slowing down over 2021. The reliability and trustworthiness of UCG and influencer content is more aligned with the needs of customers as it is often based on real life experiences for information about a specific product or service. Micro- and Macro-Influencers will continue to grow in popularity on YouTube and Instagram, so incorporating the utilisation of influencer marketing into your strategy will be hugely beneficial in 2021.
Instagram for Shopping (and Shopping Around)
With 90% of Instagram accounts following at least one business account, the power of Instagram marketing for product sales is yet to be fully unleashed. With over 1 billion monthly users, the platform has a significant impact on many of the decisions made by consumers. According to a 2019 Facebook survey, 83% of Instagram users discover new products or services on the platform and 87% said they took action after seeing product information on Instagram.
Social Media for Customer Service
The convenience and speed of social media is a major strength when it comes to facilitating communication between customers and businesses. According to Drift, three out of ten customers use social media to interact with companies and this figure is expected to grow as brands grow their social media presence. By providing an easy-to-use touch point with customers, social media has the power to revolutionise customer support, which for years has been a slow, frustrating pain point for consumers.
Growth in Social Media Communities
There has been a high level of success for businesses utilising social media to build communities around their brand. By establishing a strong following, companies have been able to leverage social media to nurture a loyal customer base who believe in the product and brand. These communities have been empowered through social media challenges and hashtags; for instance, trending TikTok challenges or Instagram reels which showcase the brands’ personality and, more importantly, the customer base behind them comprising the backbone of their success.
Greater Focus on Social SEO
With more and more people turning to social media to conduct their product research, social search engine optimization (SEO) has become a new priority. We have seen brands optimising the visibility of their accounts by filling out vital information and utilising key words across their profile, making their account more easily searchable. The added benefit of social SEO is that, unlike typical google searches, potential customers can easily keep up to date with a brand they are interested in by following and joining a community.
Brick and Mortar Taking Advantage of Social
While e-commerce and Instagram shopping weren’t typically the priority of many brick and mortar stores, the pandemic caused a massive shift towards online selling for many businesses. Lockdown laws meant that businesses had to get creative, with restaurants incorporating online and Instagram shopping capabilities to encourage sales even without people dining in. Over 2021, it is likely that we will continue to see pre-ordering options and the capability of ordering in-store using mobile devices as contactless payments continue to increase in popularity.
Following the crazy year that was 2020, there is no doubt that we will continue to see changes in social media and digital marketing over 2021. Keeping abreast of these trends and the additional tools that businesses have leveraged for success will help bolster the growth of your business in the New Year and recoup losses that may have occurred due to restrictions and resultant lower consumer sentiment.
Make sure you stay updated with all of the latest social media trends by following Marketing Eye on our social media platforms and be sure to get into contact with us if you’re interested in a social media strategy that takes advantage of the latest in digital marketing.