The year 2020 was a rollercoaster ride. A ride that shook up every industry and significantly changed how one worked, lived, and interacted with the world around. These changes accelerated many trends in the digital space and offered marketers innovative opportunities to pursue. Most particularly, e-commerce sales went through the roof, people spent a lot more time on social media, and video conferencing became the normal. This has led to a major shift in the way brands connect with their customers.
There is a positive outlook for 2021/2022 with the potential for life to return to some sense of normality. But this normality is sure to produce new and exciting opportunities and one must jump on trends. In this article, SPARK Services has explored 16 social media trends for 2021 and beyond.
1. Live Streaming is the weapon to engage
In 2020, many businesses have had to turn on its head. Suddenly, everyone has to conduct regular business online. In-person meetings turned into Zoom meetings, and live concerts turned into live streams of performers playing from their homes. Social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have seen massive growth in messaging and live streams. Even if the situation is going to get better after 2021, live streaming is going to stay. People have gotten used to networking with brands in real-time without leaving the comfort of their couch. This empowered live streaming has continued to gain popularity, and thus it should be a part of your social media marketing strategy.
2. Social Commerce is going to expand
With the social media industry steadily familiarizing to advance the user experience, we are seeing more features that support easy and quick shopping. Instagram, for example, enables you to add product tags and allow easy checkout without ever leaving the platform. This feature could be the perfect tool for marketers to capitalize on in 2021, especially considering the role of social media in purchase decisions. When a customer sees a product they like on social media, they no longer have to go to the website and search for it. They can buy straight from the media platform. Setting up social media storefronts and making your posts shop-able are among the top social media trends for 2021.
3. Local Targeting is good
Much like local SEO for local brands, local targeting is like social media. Several brands use geo-targeting to reach out to people from a specific geographic location. Social giants like Facebook and Instagram offer this option to look for posts from nearby locations or particular regions. If you add a location to your content, it will be visible in such search results, helping local users to search for your brand and content easily.
4. Campaigns with purpose attract more audience
While social media has always created content engagement with purposes, the global pandemic has shined an even brighter spotlight on these. People want to be of help more than ever, and they expect brands to contribute. So even for 2021, we are likely to see brands helping out however they can through social media campaigns that have a purpose. Purpose-driven campaigns help to show leadership and meaningful action.
5. Social Media Communities make it easy
The growth of social media communities is on the rise, as brands try to cater to customer needs and live up to their expectations. Social communities are very useful in getting customer suggestions and feedback, resolve grievances, carry out discussions, and share personalized content.
6. Podcasting is evergreen
Without a doubt, podcasts are all set to find their way to integrate into present social media platforms. Podcasts are the simplest and the best way to engage with your customers. There is a great revolution and growth in Siri voice, Google, and Alexa that are making podcasts accessible faster and easier.
7. Customers like snack content
Instagram stories are an ideal example of this sort of content. Today, with a limited user attention span, the approach of creating content has been revolutionized. Today’s content is short, engaging, and compelling in such a way that the audience can spend hours scrolling through one story after another. Marketing experts have taken notice of such trends and carry on to leverage them to their advantage.
8. SMS Marketing is not dead yet
It is a fact that society reflects by reflex when their text message notification chimes. We pull out our phones and see who is messaging and possibly even take a look at the preview before opening. That’s what makes SMS marketing so powerful. SMS marketing is a quick way of connecting with your customers. You can contact groups, get responses, and personalized messages to connect with customers effectively.
9. Future of AR/VR
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are relatively new technologies that have already started to impact social media. Have you used those filters on Snapchat/Instagram? Those are a form of AR that has already caught the attention of many customers. AR enables you to offer clients an interactive experience with your content, building on the interactivity that social media is most famous for. This enables consumers to interact with your brand on a deeper level while offering content that is fun and interactive.
10. Videos will continue to be on the center stage
Video is the most commonly used marketing content technique, and one of the most engaging content types on social media. As major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter increasingly amp up their video capabilities, marketers can expect high video consumption to continue and grow in the coming years.
11. Online B2B eCommerce is on the rise
Now sales are happening over a video call. Businesses have to adapt to customers’ preferences. The e-commerce trend on the B2B side is transforming. Automating orders through e-commerce platforms frees up a lot of time from administrative tasks. Businesses now have the time to focus on customers by offering excellent engagement, support, and stronger client relationships.
12. Voice Search is easier
In this busy world, voice search is something that makes work easy. Just ask Google a specific command and he’ll do it for you. Voice search is growing in popularity. Research has shown that half of all smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology. This is a sign of why you must optimize your web resources for voice search.
13. Introduce Chatbots
With the chatbot trends making headway, more and more businesses are innovating applications to automate their business processes. Chatbots are becoming more conversational to communicate effectively and help improve user experience.
14. AI turns into a personal shopper
With the massive growth in e-commerce, AI has become more important than ever on automated and personalized shopping experiences. AI collects huge amounts of data from clients: like how customer shops, how often do they shop, and what do they value in a product. As AI continues to evolve, businesses can get to an ultra-digital world where an online shop knows a lot more about your preferences than any other retail store.
15. Refreshing old content
One of the best things about SEO is that your well-crafted content can continue to pay dividends for you for many years after. But, even if it is offering you SEO benefits, that doesn’t mean you can’t refresh it a bit to make it more powerful.
16. Authenticity is always a priority
The audience wants brands to get real. This means balancing authenticity and transparency about your operations and products. If you want clients to trust you, you need to be honest with them. Allow your customers to freely reach out to you in case of any difficulties. And instead of deleting negative comments, openly address them and show you connect with them. This goes a long way.
Many businesses try too hard, and it’s clear – users are savvier than ever, and they clearly know when you’re not being honest. Rather than trying to sell to your audience, engage with them instead. Why not humanize your brand by creating posts on a more personal level?
Social media marketing is entering a new era, which, is gradually being driven by technological advancement. To adjust these new technologies, brands need to create a cohesive marketing strategy. We at SPARK services can help with that.
Contact us today if you’re ready to take your social media marketing to the next level!