After a challenging year affected by the pandemic, what are the trends that will shape the social media marketing sphere in 2021?
In order to help your brand improve its online presence and be in front of your competitors, we are going to talk about 6 social media trends you need to be aware of this year.
Social commerce is on the rise
Selling products on social media will become more and more relevant for e-commerce businesses in 2021. As we saw last year, most of the major social media platforms started introducing e-commerce features. Without going further, Facebook released Shops for both Facebook and Instagram (allowing retailers to create a storefront in their pages), and TikTok partnered with Shopify. Not to mention Pinterest Catalogs and Shopping Ads.
What helps social commerce increase its popularity is the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly due to the increased reliance on e-commerce and the time spent on social media. Studies suggest that 43% of consumers research products through social media and 70% of shoppers use Instagram for product discovery.
Here are four essential tips to start your e-commerce venture:
- Create your product catalogue on Facebook.
- Tag your products in every post.
- Use high-quality images.
- Use stories to show your products in action.
Another trend that can even complement social commerce is the use of chatbots. A chatbot is an artificial intelligence that interacts with users via text, and it will take an essential role in selling on social media.
Chatbots are emerging and, particularly Facebook, is implementing their use. 64% of users declared they would use Facebook Messenger to contact a business instead of calling or emailing. Besides, 40 million businesses currently utilise it to communicate with consumers.
Chatbots are very useful because they offer an answer to a custom query quicker than human beings, and they’re available 24/7. Bear in mind that if there’s no one to reply to customers’ doubts, they will most likely abandon their purchase intention.
Stories (content that is only available for a short duration) will keep gaining popularity throughout 2021. Moreover, they have experienced a substantial rise over the years in terms of daily active users, and they have also been proven to be highly-effective to interact with users, showcase products, and maintain the profile active.
Such was their popularity that, last year, platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn joined the party by adding their story-like feature. On the other hand, 64% of marketers either already have incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to.
Nowadays, consumer’s attention spans are short and limited, so that’s why ephemeral content (in this case, stories) must be taken into account when it comes to creating content for your social media channels.
If video content has been trending for the three last years, short-form video content has completely dominated the social media marketing spectrum in 2020, and it’s likely to keep growing in 2021. Just in 2020, TikTok has experienced a growth of up to 75%.
Boosted by the pandemic, this kind of content has become one of the most influential forms of marketing today, being TikTok the maximum exponent (expected to surpass 1 billion users in 2021), and whose format has been replicated by other social media platforms such as Instagram with Reels and YouTube with YouTube Shorts.
One reason to explain short-form video content success is that they’re short enough to keep the user’s attention, making it easier to entertain and engage him.
Keep also an eye on live-streams – As many people had to stay at home last year, live-stream events have become in a massive format. On Facebook (the platform actually encourages users to post videos at least 3 minutes long), live viewings surged by 50% during lockdown periods, and viewings on Instagram rose by 70%.
Give voice to your brand
The use of voice content must definitely be included in our list of social media trends. With the growing popularity of podcasts and the presence of innovations such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa, voice content is likely to keep rising in 2021. According to SEMrush, 55% of households will own a smart speaker by 2022, which will surely increase the use of voice search.
In the social media marketing field, we saw in 2020 that Twitter has jumped into this new trend by releasing voice Tweets, a feature that allows users to record voice clips to publish as tweets – allowing users to post 140 seconds worth of audio.
2 tips for your voice tweets: select one or two people to be the voice of your business, this way users will recognize your brand easily. Plus, try always to create threads under the voice tweet with transcriptions to avoid trouble-hearing people miss your content.
Another trend that will make noise in 2021 is augmented reality (AR), becoming more present in social media. Without going any further, platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok are currently making the most of this technology. For instance, Facebook’s Spark AR Studios allow businesses to create their branded filters, making them easier to stand out.
The perfect integration between AR and social media has made it accessible for businesses of all sizes and types. Moreover, AR has proven to be a useful tool especially for e-commerce companies – They can now offer the user immersive experiences typically available in-store.
Four ways AR can benefit your business:
- It can make it to stand out in front of your competitors.
- Your customers can try before buying.
- It provides authenticity to your brand.
- It makes it easier to encourage shoppers to make impulse purchases.
Now you know how the social media landscape will look like in 2021, but remember not to overlook other aspects that are equally important. When showcasing your business on your social media platforms, try also to follow these essential rules:
- Combine a consistent branding with awesome content.
- Don’t be too promotional and talk about topics that matter to your audience.
- In terms of frequency, keep a constant presence across your social media channels.
- Ensure branding recognition by having a defined tone of voice (the way a company communicates with its audience).
If you have any questions, or need any support, do get in touch! We’d be happy to help!