As we close the door on 2020, it is impossible to look back on the year without conceding the power of social media. As our opportunities for physical connection were minimized with the world facing a pandemic, many turned to social media, and data shows that usage is clearly increasing. We are more connected than ever before, which has proven to be a great thing for brands and organizations alike. Companies will be (and already are) investing into social media platforms they stayed away from previously, be it the new sensation TikTok, Facebook, or any other previously unexplored platform.
At the beginning of a new year, it is always good to review your social media strategy and clarify how well it can be optimized. I have made a list of 5 social media trends that I believe brands must leverage in the upcoming year.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
#1. Direct Sales
E-commerce is a huge trend and born out of the necessities brought on by year 2020. Many social media apps prioritize direct sales methods to minimize the amounts of clicks a user must go through to get to a purchase. Facebook is getting a great jump on this and has developed special features that help brands convert users, sometimes even buy products straight from the platform. This seamless experience of buying or converting will have a strong say in a brand’s approach to social media marketing in 2021.
#2: Social Messaging
Another trend to pay close attention to is social messaging. The fact that brands are communicating with consumers through private messages (via What’s App, Facebook Messenger etc) is not new but 2021 will likely see an increase in the use of AI technology. Users expect to communicate with their brands 24/7, anywhere, and social messaging can really make a difference and allow your company to stay competitive.
#3. Conversations and Connections
Connecting will be key in 2021. The pandemic has brought this to the forefront. It will be all about conversations and connections—having conversations with consumers to build relationships, and create sales. Reveal the human side of your brand: being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021. People connect with people. This means your brand should be personified: create more video, show more faces and talk about what matters to your audience.
#4. Micro influencers
2021 will also see the growth of the social media micro-influencer. Micro influencers (5 000 to 50 000 followers) are considered as experts in their niche communities. They offer very targeted content and high conversion rates (their followers are very engaged). It is always interesting for smaller businesses to build strong relationships with micro-influencers as they are cost-effective, authentic and are more responsive than big influencer names.
TIP: Working with the right micro-influencers is very important, so do not hesitate to conduct research on social media channels, Google and through your followers.
With the introduction of LinkedIn and Twitter story features in 2020, stories are definitely not going anywhere! A quarter of Millennials and Gen Z users are looking to stories for information about brands and products. 2021 will be all about story optimization. They are short, fun, engaging and addictive in a way that people can spend hours scrolling through one story after another.They also represent a fantastic way to interact with your followers in real time, get their attention and understand them better. You can ask your audience questions, utilize polls and link to content. In 2021, marketers will continue to incorporate stories into their social media strategies.
These are some of the trends that will dominate the social media landscape in 2021 and beyond. Don’t be afraid to leverage these trends to your advantage and stay ahead of your competitors!