8 Social Media Marketing Trends For 2021
As more consumers, entrepreneurs, and companies of every size and type begin to populate social media in response to global lockdowns, the trends we see on these various platforms are beginning to shift.
There’s a new need for less crowded but more focused social media platforms that will provide different and diverse opportunities. This, in turn, could force the existing social giants to improve their services and features (we’re looking at you, Facebook). We think social media marketing trends for 2021 will be determined primarily by these shifting dynamics of online needs and behavior.
Our Predictions for the Top 8 Social Marketing Trends in 2021
Social Media Platforms as ‘Discovery Engines’
In 2021, social media platforms will have more relevance as discovery engines. This year, more than three billion people are expected to be on social media, each one for several hours per day. According to one study, people in the US spend an average of at least two hours on social media every day. Added up, that’s already a lot of time over the course of a year…730 hours of time per person, to be exact.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the amount of time we spend on social media is expected to dramatically rise. This is because people are using social media platforms not only for casual socialization, but also for work, micro-entrepreneurship, and worthy causes. This means that more people are likely to discover whatever product you’re selling through social media, giving you the opportunity to make use of these platforms as discovery engines.
Increased Video Traffic (again!)
Video has been driving an increasing amount of traffic every year for the last few years and is expected to increase four times by 2022. Compared to other types of content, like blogs and articles, videos are easier to digest and have a higher potential to become viral. A good strategy is to create entertaining and informative videos that are related to the products you’re selling. This is a soft selling strategy that will allow you to build your audience and earn their trust.
You can also use the marketing funnel model to produce video content that drives conversions. For example, the topics of your videos should cater to audiences at different stages of the funnel: if they’re at the beginning of their buyer’s journey with you, consider making how-to videos about your product that educate your leads on what problems or needs your product solves and what value it will bring.
If a lead is towards the end of their buyer’s journey, it means they’re already interested and will thus be more receptive to your messaging – so think about using video content that will nurture their interest and drive them to convert. This kind of video content can include testimonials or product videos, or even a company culture short.
The Instagram SEO Boost
Instagram announced last year that it would be more search-friendly on search engines like Google. As a photo-centric platform, Instagram content was previously difficult to search online because of the lack of crawlable keywords, meta-tags, categories, and other SEO-related features.
However, the platform has decided to make content easier to search both on the platform and on search engines. For instance, you can now search for relevant videos, photos, and profiles on Instagram without the need for hashtags.
This change in searchability is a good opportunity for online marketers to use the platform to reach a wider audience. Just make sure your posts include all the relevant keywords. For instance, if your business is about drone services, you should specify what types or brands/models of drones you used for a particular cinematic video.
If you want to narrow down your niche, be as specific as possible in using keywords. Going back to the drone example, you can use DJI Mavic Mini2 as a specific keyword – if you’re using this model, of course! You can also include keywords in your bio information to help the Instagram algorithm easily categorize your account and posts.
More Dynamic Ads
Static ads on social media will soon become a thing of the past. Dynamic ads will not only become a trend – they will eventually become the standard. For instance, animated GIFs will replace static images on banner ads. This is beneficial for a few reasons: GIFs don’t need as much memory space as, for example, videos, and they’re also relatively easy to produce. They’re also great for sharing.
And More User-generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) often has a greater power of persuasion than any company-produced content. This is because UGC is perceived to be more sincere and relatable since it’s made by the consumers themselves.
User-generated content can include product reviews, ratings, hashtag viral challenges, testimonials, and so on. Some examples of companies that achieved success with the help of UGC include Netflix, Adobe, Apple, and Starbucks.
Get a Virtual Workplace with LinkedIn
Linkedin is the formal social networking platform for professionals, as well as companies looking for candidates for their job openings. We expect this platform to be a game-changer in 2021 for small and medium enterprises.
As the pandemic continues to force many employers and businesses to rely more on online platforms, Linkedin could eventually mimic office workplaces and marketing events. This will be a good opportunity for companies to recruit and manage employees remotely.
Growth in Messaging Apps
Skype, Facebook messenger, Google Meet, Zoom, Snapchat, Viber, and other messaging apps, both the desktop and the mobile versions, will have a deluge of new users in 2021. Messaging apps are expected to expand like this because of the unprecedented need for people to connect with each other amid the pandemic, and they’re expected to accommodate more than 3.12 billion users worldwide.
This can put your business in contact with a much larger audience,as you’ll be able to use targeted ad placements on these messaging apps to reach out to potential customers.
The Growth of TikTok
TikTok experienced massive growth in 2019 – in fact, the time spent on TikTok grew by 210% year-on-year. About 41% of the more than 800 million active users of the platform are between the age of 16 and 24 years old, so you’re much more likely to reach a younger demographic if you use TikTok in your online marketing.
When doing this, your focus should be on short, entertaining videos. One of the best ways to plan these is to jump on the platform and look at what your competitors are doing.
Social media marketing trends for 2021 could significantly change the way companies reach out to their target customers. Depending on the audience and product, some businesses will benefit more than others if they follow certain trends – like TikTok, for example, or making use of Instagram as a discovery engine.
Not all trends, however, will be beneficial. Some will be very challenging for businesses and marketers. If you have a startup, a small or medium-size business, you should carefully choose which trends you should follow so that you don’t waste any effort or budget on the ones that probably won’t benefit you.
Want to find out how to take advantage of this year’s social media marketing trends? Let’s talk.