The events of the past year have had a huge effect on our lives, altering how we work, shop, socialise and interact with the world around us. As we begin to emerge into the ‘new normal’, we predict that many of the changes and social media trends of the past year, such as the huge popularity of video content and social e-commerce, are here to stay.
But which of the latest trends in social media should you be incorporating into your social media marketing strategy? We’ve put together a list of the top 5 social media trends of 2021 that you shouldn’t be ignoring.
1) Video Content is Essential
Video content has been an important element of social media marketing for a while now, but its popularity reached new heights due to the rise of social video app TikTok, which reached 76 million downloads last year. In 2021, one survey found that people are watching an average of 2.5 hours of video content a day, up from 1.5 hours in 2018.
As well as being entertaining, video is also an extremely effective tool for social media marketing; for example, ice cream brand ‘Little Moons’ went viral on TikTok, which prompted a buying frenzy that led to a 700% increase in sales at one retailer.
It isn’t just startup brands that have integrated video in their social media marketing strategy, many established companies have too, with brands such as Gymshark, Netflix and even Crocs winning many new fans through TikTok.
Even on more ‘traditional’ social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, video content is a must, with the introduction of Instagram ‘reels’ and Facebook ‘stories’. In a recent survey, it was found that 84% of people had been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a video about it.
Video should be an important part of your social media marketing strategy also because it is the preferred medium for many social media users; 69% of people would rather watch a video about a product or service compared to other options such as a text based article or infographic.
2) Use of Social e-commerce
If you’re not selling your products or services through social media in 2021, you’re probably missing out on a big potential audience. In the past year, online shopping has become more popular than ever and e-commerce has allowed brands to thrive when many brick and mortar stores have been forced to close.
Looking up a product on social media before buying it has become an essential part of the shopping process, so it makes sense that social media platforms are now integrating e-commerce, with both Facebook and Instagram allowing you to search for products, select and buy a product without ever leaving the platform. Plus, making the process of shopping as seamless as possible for your customers is important; 59% of shoppers surveyed say that being able to shop on mobile is important when deciding which brand or retailer to buy from.
3) Value > Quantity of Content
In a world where we spend more and more time on social media, it could be tempting to focus on creating lots of content in the hopes that it is spotted by your intended audience.
However, social media algorithms favour content that users engage with, such as ‘liking’ and commenting, so it is better to focus your social media marketing strategy on creating quality content rather than focusing on quantity. Although there are many social media trends that come and go, it is always important to nail down the essentials: knowing your audience and understanding what content they engage with and aiming to create content that is helpful, entertaining or informative. Some examples of ‘valuable’ content include:
- Instagram/Facebook live events or podcasts sharing knowledge and advice..
- Videos explaining your products/services or testimonials from customers.
- Spotlighting content around frequently asked questions about your product/service. For example, a make-up brand could share tips on correct application or how to use products to create a desired look.
4) Authentic Engagement
Although we know that social media can be a filtered world, ‘authentic engagement’ is becoming a hot buzzword in the world of social media marketing. 90% of consumers say that authenticity is important when choosing brands to support.
Over the past year, social media users have been quick to criticise and even distance themselves from brands or influencers who were seen to be ‘inauthentic’. But what does ‘authentic’ mean when it comes to social media for business?
Ultimately, being authentic means engaging with your audience in a way that feels ‘real’ and true to your brand. This can mean taking time to do Q&As via social media, where your audience can ask questions and give feedback, and also have the opportunity to meet the people behind the brand. Your audience wants to know your story. Things to consider when judging whether your social content is authentic include:
- What does our brand stand for?
- Do our social posts represent our brand’s values?
- What are the stories that our brand would like to tell that we are not currently telling?
Authenticity on social media also means apologising when you get it wrong; as many brands have learnt this year, their audience will hold them to account for unethical practices or bad behaviour.
5) Creating Communities
Social media for business in 2021 isn’t just about driving sales, it’s about building a community of individuals who gain value from engaging with your brand.
In a year when we have all been separated from friends, colleagues and loved ones, the power of social media has never been more important. Many brands used their social media channels to bring people together, and we did everything from online art classes to bake alongs and raising money for charity. Many brands used the tool of ‘going live’ and giving their audience an opportunity to come together for a shared live experience such as an event with special guests.
Although we are transitioning back to ‘normal’ life, we predict that audiences will still want to feel part of a community online, and feel a connection with the brands they chose to support. Some ideas for creating a community online could be:
- Hosting events with guests that you feel represent your brand and give your audience an opportunity to interact with each other.
- Encourage users to post about your products using hashtags, and then share their content.
- Look for opportunities for your audience to be involved with your brand.
How we can help you at Social Chameleon
At Social Chameleon, we have been trusted by countless businesses with their social media marketing strategy for 7 years and counting. We are a London based digital marketing agency with a team of experts on hand to help you to get the most out of social media for business.