A new year means a new social media landscape. Perhaps no sector of marketing changes quite as quickly as social media. Rules change, rates fluctuate, channels rise and fall in popularity, the demographics of each network shift—social media moves fast, and the only way to capitalize on it is to stay ahead. It’s not enough to merely keep up.
So how do you stay ahead? By analyzing the trends that are starting to emerge in the social media world and taking advantage of them. Here are some key social media marketing tips for 2021.
1. Embrace eCommerce. Facebook and Instagram are expected to roll out new shopping features in 2021, allowing for more seamless purchasing and interactions between brands and consumers. Given the huge jump in eCommerce in 2020 due to worldwide stay-at-home orders, many consumers have embraced online shopping as their new normal, and will be looking to make that behavior a bigger part of their daily lives.
If you haven’t already, start thinking of ways to leverage your product or service in an online or eCommerce environment. Not sure where to start? Consider asking your audience what they’d like to see, and experiment with different types of content, such as Instagram Reels or Facebook Live broadcasts.
Speaking of eCommerce, TikTok will likely try to cash in on its popularity this year in an effort to generate revenue and pay the creators who draw in users. This will open up new marketing channels and a chance to advertise to a new social media demographic, as TikTok users skew considerably younger than Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter users.
2. Know that augmented reality (AR) is coming (for real). Facebook’s AR glasses are expected some time in 2021, and the social media giant has spent a lot of time building immersive AR worlds complete with information, social media integration and, of course, new marketing opportunities. Augmented reality is more likely to take hold in a year that still promises plenty of social distancing. Consider whether this space makes sense for your business and brainstorm ways you might show up to an audience in this high-tech realm. AR will likely come with a slow start, so there will be plenty of room on the stage for those who want to take advantage.
3. Find ephemeral appeal with Twitter’s Fleets. Twitter rolled out “Fleets” this year, a new tool aimed at fans of Instagram and Facebook’s “Stories” and other bite-sized content pieces. These are for quick thoughts or conversation starters, and they disappear after 24 hours. It may not seem like much, but it’s one more thing that social media marketers can add to their toolboxes in 2021.
4. Get more search-friendly on Instagram. Instagram announced in late 2020 that users would be able to use the app’s search bar for general keywords, in addition to the longstanding options of users, places, and hashtags. What does this mean for you? Make sure that your Instagram captions use keywords you’d like to show up for—think of it as SEO for your Instagram profile.
5. Shift your marketing tone. If 2020 taught us one thing, it was empathy. People are paying more attention to what really matters these days, so your marketing should feel genuine and project something other than a “buy this thing” message. User-generated content is one great way to achieve this, as it puts the emphasis on real people and stories that your consumers can relate to. If you’re going to use content such as testimonials from your followers, make sure you have their permission first. You might also consider creating more “how-to” and educational content for users who may not be ready to buy, but are open to building a relationship with a brand.
Also, after 2020 made some social issues more prominent than ever, consumers have started shopping with their consciences. According to Merkle, a customer experience management company, 56% of consumers say they have no respect for businesses that remain silent on important issues. It may seem daunting to be both a marketer and an activist, but we encourage extensive research on issues that you do decide to address. Be forewarned that some consumers don’t want to see any “virtue signaling” in their social media content, but they are increasingly in the minority.
6. Create marketing that moves. You probably hear it every year: video is more popular than ever. The trend carries on into 2021, with marketers using everything from long-form video to GIFs to catch users’ increasingly divided attention. Aside from being more engaging and scroll-stopping, movement in ads allows for more creative content and can be simpler than you might think to create. If you haven’t taken a step in this direction yet, we encourage trying it out in 2021.
7. Above all, stay nimble. In 2020 we learned the importance of staying flexible and being able to adapt to the speed at which things change—because they will change. While it’s impossible to predict how and when change will come, keeping this in the back of your mind could save you time and ROI. Stay up to date on trends, tune in to your competitors’ channels, and keep abreast of global news for the next big game-changer and how you might address it.
We hope these social media marketing tips for 2021 have put you in a position to succeed in the new year. If you would like to speak more about digital marketing, contact the experts at Get Savvy Digital today.
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