How these Social Media Trends Will Impact You in 2021
In 2021, social media, as you know, it is going to shift materially again! The below list of social media trends will shape 2021, and beyond.
Many experts see 2021 as the fulfilment of the Internet as the world's commercial backbone. There has never been a time in our collective history where connecting digitally has been more critical.
If anything was made evident in 2020, none of us knows what the future can bring. Still, the ability to continue to connect in any environment has never been more critical to your business's sustainability.
For those brands embracing all things, digital and social, the acceleration and gap they create are evident compared with their peers.
Think, Amazon, Apple, Samsung, Dominos, Adidas as a small subset of the market leaders.
Social Media Trend 1 - ROI
As marketers, we will be under increasing pressure to deliver results. In some cases, this needs to supplement falling sales at bricks and mortar outlets. Or a hole in the run-rate as a result of 2020. In other cases, this will merely be discovering new social and digital ways to acquire, engage and convert leads into sales without ever having met them face to face.
Fortunately, social and digital media marketing is as close to accurate attribution as possible. It is not perfect but compared with other mediums it is.
It may interest you to note that:
Ad exposure on LinkedIn increases purchase intent by 33%
Brands can reach approximately 2.14 billion users on Facebook
81% of the 1 billion users on Instagram use it to research products and services
90% of shoppers have discovered a product or brand on YouTube
40% of Twitter users reported purchasing a product after seeing it on the platform
Having suitable attribution models in place in running continuous testing against assumptions is a must.
Social Media Trend 2 - Social Commerce
In 2020 we saw a staged rollout of social commerce on both Facebook and Instagram. Brands in Australia have the opportunity to create shopfronts directly on the platforms.
These shopfronts are more than just windows into a brands inventory, but now offer consumers the ability to purchase directly on the platform. Interestingly Facebook and Instagram are using Artificial Intelligence as part of the product discovery process. And the featured product you may see will most certainly be different from the product I discover on the same brand page.
Currently, 3 out of every 10 businesses plan to set up social commerce or already have this in place (source Hootsuite, 2019).
As eMarketer reports in the US alone, 55% of Gen Z say their most recent purchase was inspired by social media content.
If you are in a B2C business, this believe us when we say this is not optional, and the sooner you set up a shopfront and learn how to drive sales on social, the better!
Social Media Trend 3 - Social Video
It would seem every year video is growing, with no signs of slowing down soon. I mean, who wouldn't have wanted to buy Zoom shares in December of 2019?
But this is only a small piece of the puzzle. Video streaming as a market is expected to grow by 20.4% between 2020 and 2027 (Grand View Research, 2020). From everything on video on social to marketing automation.
According to VidYard, in 2020, 92% of marketers say that video is an integral part of their marketing strategy.
With another 88% saying that video is providing them with a positive ROI (Smart Insights).
And should the above not be enough to convince you Cisco predicts that online video will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022.
Social Media Trend 4 - Authenticity
As consumers, business leaders, and brand managers, authenticity and transparency are more important than ever. According to a Stackia 2019 study, nine out of 10 consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support.
Now while most brands are confident they are producing authentic content, consumers would disagree. Some 51% of all consumers think fewer than half of all brands create genuinely original content (Source: Orbelo).
Now if you are curious enough to ask the question, what is authentic content? It can be best defined as content created that educates, informs, and adds value to the consumer, or business leader without manipulating that sale!
This does not have to be dry content, but can also educate in a fun way, think Blendtec's famous YouTube Channel, "Will it Blend?" If you have not seen it take a look, you will not be disappointed.
Social Media Trend 5 - 360% Customer Acquisiton
From a B2B or B2C perspective, your potential client uses at least two or more social media platforms. Just because you are searching for corporate clients does not mean they only use LinkedIn.
You will discover your ideal audience, lead or customer on every platform. Being able to build out an audience sharing and tracking capability that accounts for this will not only increase your potential audience size, but it will also increase your lead flow.
A business problem is a business problem no matter the platform I am on. And if I am searching for information about a new product, I don't mind if I discover it on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google or YouTube.
When you share audiences between platforms, it is a compounding effect! In 2021 brands will need to become far more strategic in their approach to advertising and client acquisition.
As an example, you can share audiences between Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Instagram. You are targetting your ideal customer, regardless of the platform.
Social Media Trend 6 - Stories
The need to tell a story through marketing is an age-old marketing requirement. As marketers, we now can do this across every social media channel.
Snapchat first introduced us to tell social media stories back in 2013, with Instagram not following until 2016. But now Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Spotify have all released this capability. With the last three doing so in 2020.
Instagram is, by far the most dominant platform for social media stories, with over 500 million users every day. So if you can nail it on this platform and then roll out your ideas across the social networks, you increase your ability to use this medium effectively and unilaterally.
Social Media Trend 7 - Live Video
Facebook Live, Instagram Live, IGTV, YouTube, and LinkedIn Live 2021 will see the adoption of live video for brands across their platform of choice or media.
While this sounds daunting, there are many ways you can make this work as a brand.
For example, a Cafe may explain two different dishes and what goes into each as they make them.
A service business might discuss how they analyse clients requirements and what models they use to identify gaps and needs.
A car dealership might show the first Tesla Y arriving in Australia.
The ideas are endless and present an enormous opportunity for brands to reach millions of views, sometimes for no more than the production cost.
Social Media Trend 8 - Educational Content
To be a thought leader in any field, we must be prepared to educate our audience at no cost. This demonstrates our expertise and provides a meaningful way for our audience to engage in our content.
There has been a strong growth of educational based narratives on the Instagram platform, with the save becoming the new like for brand/profile growth.
Many influencers and forward-thinking brands are using Instagram carousels or the latest Instagram guides to achieve this.
In 2017 only 3 - 4% of Instagram content was carousel posts, but as of 2020, that number has grown to 19.44%.
Simple how-to, or how we, or how I am are great starters for these guides.
Social Media Trend 9 - Performance Metrics
Many brands adopted social media with metrics that do not or have never mattered. We keep checking our bank account, but it still appears as though a number of likes we get on a post does not generate revenue.
That said each stage of a typical marketing funnel will become increasingly crucial in justifying resource and spend.
Increasingly ROAS (return on ad spend) and ROI (return on investment) will become the paramount performance measures.
In 2021 it is unlikely any business leader will say we got a 1k likes on that post well done! The obvious question will be how many sales did it generate, and or leads?
Social allows us as marketers to measure each stage of the typical funnel, AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action) and present diverse content at each stage.
In 2021 it will be more critical than ever that all brands understand how to use these channels for conversion.
When we spend $1, are we achieving a $10 return? The above social media trends are the pathway in 2021, and beyond. Understanding and adapting to these changes will enable you to outplay your competition.
Since 2013 we've been helping brands grow through social media advertising and inbound marketing.
We are headquartered in Sydney but run campaigns both nationally and globally. If you are interested in a no-obligation free consultation to see if we may be a fit for you, then we will be happy to hear from you. You can contact us here
If not, please download the free white paper below and hopefully, and we can connect at the right point in time.
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