Social media has proven itself to be a valuable channel for marketers to reach and convert customers. Renowned for an agile approach, social media marketing requires channel managers to keep up to date with the latest social media trends in technical and social developments to make sure they are exploiting all the opportunities available.
It’s no surprise that this year has seen unprecedented change in social media usage, alongside a whole host of other customer behavioral factors. Highlights from Datareportal’s July 2020 Digital snapshot confirm that nearly half of respondents spent more time on social media due to Covid 19
Within this opportunity, there are challenges: How do I keep my social media audience engaged? What content is appropriate for today’s environment? You’re not alone in asking these questions, and it’s more important than ever to get it right!
That’s why, alongside each of our curated social media trends, I am really pleased to be able to share a recommended module from our brand new suite of Learning Paths for Business Members. Designed for members, Learning Paths optimize your marketing performance to drive your results and achieve your goals.
From rising platforms to worthy causes, utilizing social media for shopping, live events, or forming relationships, it’s time to dive into the 2021 social media trends.
Social media trend: The organic social media relationship funnel
Who do your customers trust the most? With rising concerns over privacy and fake-news, forming a trust relationship with your customers in 2021 is going to be harder than ever.
With studies showing that 75 percent of people don’t accept advertisements as truth there is a lot to be said for a relationship marketing approach to building trust with your social media audience. These stats speak for themselves:
- 63% of social media users feel consumer ratings are #1
- 70% of consumers believe customer opinions (more than double those who trust advertisements)To cut through in 2021, social media marketers must invest in their relationships with employees, customers, and influencers, to ensure our key brand messages are backed up by the voices our customers value the most.
- Social media expert:
Social media expert:
“The new normal requires every company to put extreme importance on all things digital marketing. While search and email are two major components of digital marketing that can be done in-house, social media is both the most popular activity people do online as well as the most challenging for businesses.
This is because companies still look at social media as a promotional and advertising channel rather than as a grand arena to collaborate with social media users, primarily customers and influencers, and work them through a relationship funnel to incite word of mouth marketing for your brand in social media.”
Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social
Neal Schaffer is an authority on helping innovative businesses digitally transform their marketing. Neal’s latest book, The Age of Influence (HarperCollins Leadership), is a ground-breaking work redefining digital influence.
Social media trend: Diversification
We can’t talk about 2021 social media trends without acknowledging the huge shake-up of social platforms we’ve witnessed this year. Tiktok peaking in March 2020 with 76 million downloads has pioneered a new approach to social engagement.
Tiktok is a popular short-form video sharing social platform where celebrity and amateur creators alike share user generated content from dance, cooking demos and makeovers to animal videos and social media challenges! This content is proving extremely popular with the audience base of Tiktok of which 41 percent are aged 16-24
Social media trend:
“COVID has impacted the lives of every audience, every age group, and users spend more time than ever online, on social media specifically. There are limited ways to reach users in the real world, so, in order to catch up, every channel has to be utilized.
Companies will be (and already are) investing into social media platforms they stayed away from previously, be it the new sensation TikTok, somewhat stale Facebook, or any other previously unexplored platform.”
Social media trend: Social content for good
A growing focus on political, environmental, and social issues throughout the year means increased social media conversations about the issues close to your customers’ hearts.
Reaching the tipping point, Merkle’s Q4 2020 Media Insights Report found that 56 percent of consumers say they have no respect for businesses that remain silent on important issues So now’s the time to leverage your social platform to inform and reassure your customers.
Social media expert:
“In 2021, consumers will be looking for more meaningful content that they can share to educate others. Brands that have a defined opinion on equality or feminism, but don’t do anything about it, will be criticized for their lack of action. Consumers will be expecting a more human approach from brands.
Brand giants such as Nike, Disney and Ben & Jerry’s have already shared educational content around the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and the Covid-19 pandemic. Many brands are actively talking about sustainability and how we can do our bit.
Brands are using their incredible reach to inform and educate users, spreading positive messages whilst welcoming interaction and engagement with customers.”
Social media trend: Social commerce
87 percent of e-commerce shoppers believes social media helps them make a shopping decision and with half the world’s population on social media, social commerce is the next logical step for online shopping.
Data from the US Department of Commerce, shared by Sprout Social, demonstrates social media’s share of total US retail sales rocketing up in 2020, and this trend is set to continue.
Infiltrating social media, where consumers spend a large chunk of their day, improves the shopping experience, and shortens the process. As humans we’re always looking for simpler ways to get what we want.
Brands want to convert customers as soon as possible, therefore why waste time sending
them to your website, for them potentially leave because of user experience issues. Reduce drop-offs by selling directly from your social media post. Marketers will want to focus more on their social media reach, engagement and the effectiveness; evolution is necessary if you want to survive in 2021.”
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