Social media has become a new and incredible marketing tool for businesses and brands in recent years. Trends will change every year, so we dig into some of the most prominent social media trends we expect to see in 2021.
Live Streams and Live Videos
Thanks to the global pandemic of 2020, many businesses and individuals have been turning to the digital space for meetings, concerts, and even get-togethers. Naturally, there’s an uptick in using live streaming services on social media. Facebook saw a rise in messaging and live streaming during 2020 and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
People have gotten used to being able to interact with brands without ever having to leave their homes. Because of this, live streaming will continue to gain popularity. The popularity of live videos has even surpassed the demand for video content. We can broadcast live videos on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr.
Impromptu live chats are a great way to gain your audience’s attention and make announcements. Celebrities and other personalities have taken to doing live chats for a chance for people to bond with their favorite celebrities.
Virtual reality (VR) is a trend that can provide consumers with meaningful interactions, virtually. Again, thanks to COVID-19, many consumers are seeking these kinds of interactions during periods of lockdown or social distancing. VR gives you a sense of being together, even if the players are halfway across the world. This is an exceptional experience that people want during times of social distancing.
Augmented reality (AR) is a relatively newer adoption, similar to VR, that doesn’t require additional hardware beyond a smartphone. This allows the user to become interactive and the world around them, thanks to digital manipulation. You may have seen it in the interactive filters that are often used to promote products or encourage interaction.
With limited brick and mortar shopping in 2020, AR can help drive purchases. Filter options now let you “try on” products virtually or see them in your home. This helps customers make purchase decisions without leaving their chairs. This is likely to continue to drive sales in 2021 and on.
Influencer marketing started dominating in 2019 and will continue to dominate the field. However, how brands and influencers collaborate is likely to change in the coming times. Likely, brands will soon collaborate with influencers over a series of social media posts, rather than just one post. Brands must be cautious when choosing influencers, mostly in part to crackdown on imposters with fake followers.
When it comes to influencers endorsing products or services, influencers can no longer get away with just posting pictures of themselves with the product. Long-form content, how-to videos, and photo stories are more engaging for the customer.
Authenticity and Transparency Are Vital
Consumers want brands to get real. During COVID-19, consumers paid more attention to where their money was going. They want to give their money to authentic operations. Transparency and engagement with the audience are the top two factors that make a brand successful in social media.
This means that if you make a mistake, own it. Allow your customers to reach out to you in case of any problems or questions that may arise. Instead of deleting negative comments, openly address them and help solve the customer’s problem. Audiences are more social savvy than ever, so don’t expect to get away with attempts to sweep any mistakes under the rug.
Purpose Driven Campaigns
The global pandemic shined a huge spotlight on causes. People want to help more than ever. 77% of respondents in a Twitter survey feel more positively about brands that try to support society during this crisis. 86% of respondents want brands to support vulnerable members of the community.
Knowing when to engage, and when to back off from an issue is essential. Audiences expect brands to show leadership and action on social issues rather than exploiting them for marketing opportunities. For example, a Black Lives Matter news piece (or jury decision like the one we recently saw in Minneapolis) may not be the best day or time to post a humorous article or meme.
Inclusivity will matter more than ever in 2021. Brands can no longer be silent about issues their target audience cares about. Audiences know that they have plenty of options and businesses to patronize. This leads them to put their money behind companies that show commitment to issues they are passionate about. To build deeper connections with customers, focus on inclusivity. If you don’t reflect your audience, you miss out on chances to connect with them.
Stories Will Become More Popular
Over 500 million users interact with Instagram and Facebook stories every day. They were already popular in 2020, and don’t look to be going anywhere soon. Brands need to take an organized approach and plan content for stories. Stories are fun, engaging, and keep people watching. The story feature gives a chance to let consumers see the behind-the-scenes part of the company.
The use of videos outperforms photos on the Stories feature, as well. Images in Instagram stories have more drop-offs than videos, which shows that people spend more time viewing videos in stories. Plan fun story content to keep your customers engaged.
Facebook and Instagram have recently allowed features that support quick and easy shopping through the platform. Facebook has a Shop option that consumers can purchase directly from. Keep in mind that 54% of social media users research products using social media. These shop features allow customers to purchase products with excellent resources on their social media because it simplifies the customer journey.
Having a buy button increases the likelihood of purchase and helps move transactions forward on social media. Making your posts shoppable is among one of the best practices for social media in 2021.
Local targeting has become more prevalent in 2021 and will continue to be so in the coming years. Local brands are connecting with their customers through geo-tagging in their posts and stories. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all allow businesses to target audiences from a specific location based on their IP address. Reaching out to local people will build your brand awareness and help your business gain popularity.
We hope this post has given you and your brand some insight into how to increase popularity and awareness. For more, call us at (314) 537-7974 to talk about how Razor Sharp Digital can help your business grow.