What Are The Social Media Trends For 2021?
2020 saw a huge spike in social media usage. And it was not just about being in touch with family and friends. Businesses suddenly found themselves operating online. Social media holds immense opportunities for marketing and customer engagement. Those businesses who recognised and adopted this earlier, stayed a step ahead of their competitors.
What are the social media trends for 2021? Our social media experts list them out here. Every trend on the list is about bringing a human touch, authenticity and personalisation to the way interactions happen on social platforms. That is how social platforms can stay relevant and will look to evolve.
Social Commerce set for continuous growth
Social media commerce is just not about product information posts anymore. It is turning into a retail sales channel, and brands are rushing to embrace the medium. You can allow customers to shop, with shoppable posts. Storefront is another trend catching on fast. Social platforms are evolving to incorporate retail channels. This is an especially great development for businesses who find making and maintaining an e-commerce store costly and difficult.
Ephemeral Content continues to be popular
Ephemeral Content is available for a short period of time (usually a 24-hr period) and then disappears. ‘Stories’ is the best example of this type of content. It helps to generate interest and engage more with the customer. Stories have an addictive element and users can spend hours on Stories at a time.
Live Streaming will become more popular
Videos are already the most popular type of content. Consider this – YouTube has about 300 videos uploaded every minute! The COVID-19 lockdown saw the rise of live video streaming, as people connected live not just with their families, friends and colleagues but also to see product and other business releases. Brands are now also taking customer service to the live streaming platform. Customers are more likely to view live streaming as authentic than other forms of content.
Influencer marketing is here to stay
Though influencer marketing is not new, it is a strong trend and will continue to grow, though in a more evolved way. Brands are now more into collaborating with influencers with niche and a smaller audience. It is not about the number of followers anymore. Brands now look for influencers who share the same values and sentiments and are respected even if by a small follower base. Businesses now prefer to work with multiple small influencers than one big celebrity.
Social Listening will become more important
Social media can provide valuable insights into customer behaviour that can help shape your social strategies. It is not enough to just have active profiles or to respond to direct comments. You need to ‘listen’ to what people are talking about you on multiple platforms. What are the people saying about your brand? Are they happy with your products or services? Are they recommending you to their friends and groups? What are the problems they face with your services? Social listening tools help you monitor what is happening around your keywords and brand mentions across platforms.
Social communities will bring in more referrals
Social communities are not new. But they have moved on from being just support groups. Now, with social groups and communities mushrooming, they can prove to be good marketing support. When a member recommends your brand or business, it has more authenticity than being recommended by strangers or in general media.
You can also create social communities for your brand, where you can have a more streamlined interaction with your customers. Brand social communities are very useful when it comes to product launches, asking for and responding to customer feedback, and understanding customer behaviour.
More businesses will adopt Augmented Reality (AR)
Virtual reality has limited mobility, and has a long way to go before becoming a mainstream application. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, is now being used on major platforms. AR is now more than just adding photo filters or funny ears on faces in cute videos. Companies now use this technology to allow customers to ‘try on’ their products before actually purchasing them. For example, makeup products can be tried on a picture of a face, before a customer buys them.
While most brands make this feature available on their e-commerce stores, social media platforms are taking advantage of this trend and providing AR functionalities to attract more users.
Now that you have seen what are the social media trends for 2021, which trend are you going to adopt? You do not need to apply all of them. Remember that every trend may not suit your business. For example, if you are a service provider to a professional community, say, healthcare, you may want to pay good attention to social communities. Augmented Reality may not be very useful for you.
Augmented Reality – It is a technology where digital elements enhance our reality, or our way of looking at things. Photo filters where you can add elements, like sunglasses or hats, are the most common example.
Influencer marketing – A type of social media marketing that uses endorsements from people who have a social following (called influencers). It doesn’t have to be celebrities.
Live streaming – A video is live-streamed when it is broadcasted in real-time without recording it first.