Let’s face it; the world has changed, and so have your customers. Everything from how they shop to what they look for in a brand has shifted. So as we look ahead to 2021, how will these new changes affect the way you capture your target audience’s attention?
Here are the social media marketing trends for 2021 that you need to know:
#1 Shopping Experience
The global pandemic forced us to experience the brands we shop for in a new way – through their social media platforms. Yoga studios offer virtual classes, Real Estate Agents are booking digital consultations, and brick-and-mortar stores are upping their e-commerce game, all through social media accounts. We predict that this trend is here to stay, which means it’s even more important than ever to ensure that the online versions of your products or services uphold the same quality standards as they would in-person.
Social media platforms like Instagram have created a new shopping experience, thanks to in-app purchasing. Shopping through a social media platform feels more personal than going to a store and is even faster than traditional online shopping. To take advantage of this, your brand will need to…
- Get creative in finding ways to bring your products or services online.
- Create a user-friendly online shopping experience by designing your website to be easy to navigate, optimized for mobile, and have a smooth checkout process.
- Set up Instagram and Facebook shopping
- Create retargeting ads
#2 Bite-Size Content
Whether it’s because it’s on your nightly news or because it’s all your teenager wants to do, by now, you might have heard of the app TikTok. TikTok is the fastest growing social media channel of all time, which means it is a big opportunity for businesses to reach a new audience. The growing success of TikTok is partly because of consumer’s declining attention span. We are drawn to content that is quick and entertaining, and the way we absorb it has changed accordingly.
TikTok is not the only platform to incorporate bite-sized content. Instagram also introduced a feature similar to the format of TikTok called Instagram ‘Reels’. Now more than ever, we have a shorter period to capture our audience’s attention. With so much competition online and with our consumer’s ability to instantly swipe to the next entertaining post, your brand must find a way to stand out against the noise.
Snackable video-based content seems to be the future of social media. To get ahead of the game, your business needs to…
- Incorporate an Instagram Story strategy
- Experiment with Instagram Reels and TikTok
- Research competitors and trends on TikTok
- Move away from highly produced videos and create organic, fun, and playful 15-30 second videos.
#3 Social Media As A Discovery Engine
Before making a purchase, people are referring to social media more and more to research the product. According to GlobalWebIndex ‘19, 43% of consumers research products on social media before making a purchase. They are not only looking to find out more information about your product or service, but they are also searching to see if your brand is trustworthy.
Sharing user-generated content and testimonials are critical to your growth and success online as potential customers look to authenticate your brand. Think of your social media feed as a window-display for your brand. What would you want to showcase? What are the first impressions you want to give? Make sure everything feels true to your brand and your content is engaging, so when someone goes searching for you or a product similar to yours, they get a sense of your brand’s personality, and they are interested to learn more!
As consumers turn to social media as a search engine, how is your brand taking advantage of this shift? Try these tips…
- Share user-generated content and testimonials.
- Fully optimize your bio and page name to make your profile easy to find
- Create content that highlights the features of your product or service
- Utilize Instagram Stories and create IG highlights featuring Q&A’s about your product or service
How you handle a crisis matters. In 2020, businesses had to ask themselves hard questions like… should I even be posting right now? Does my audience want to hear from me? There’s a time and place for everything. This year has forced brands to be thoughtful and cautious about what they post. Don’t underestimate your target audience; they can see right through false and corporate statements. Consumers choose to purchase from brands that aren’t just posting messages but are making a positive impact in ways that can be quantified in the real world. You should approach content with transparency and values that are true to your brand. Even if this means posting less and creating well-thought-out content.
Going forward, your business should…
- Create content that humanizes your brand
- If you feel it is appropriate, share your stance on the issues of the day, speak out against, or support social and political issues as long as they are in keeping with your brand’s values.
- Favor quality over quantity when it comes to posting on social media
#5 Customer Service
Social media allows for open communication between customers and brands. Instead of sending an email or filling out a contact form, social media enables the customer-to-brand interaction to happen directly and personally. Consumers turn to social media as their first stop in trying to reach a brand, whether it’s to answer a question, leave a review, or make a complaint. How you respond to your customers needs to uphold the same quality as if they were talking to you in-person. Having strong customer service, especially on social media, will establish the best kind of brand loyalty – the kind you share about!
Social media is an excellent opportunity for businesses to connect with their audiences on a personal level. It allows for a more organic conversation since it’s happening in an informal way. Customer service on social goes beyond just replying quickly to messages. A few other ways you can strengthen your customer relationships on social are…
- Engage in actual conversation with your followers. For example: If you see that they have tagged you in a photo, ask them how their experience was.
- Reward followers who are continually engaging with you. If you notice someone who is always liking and commenting positive feedback on your post, reward them with a gift such as a discount or a gift card. This will strengthen your relationship with them, and it will encourage others to do the same.
- On Instagram, make sure you check your “message requests” at the top right corner of your inbox. Messages can get lost there and go a while without answers.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that every brand needs to learn how to pivot. Our new way of shopping seems to be here to stay. As 2021 approaches, try and implement these trends into your social media strategy. It will significantly benefit your business and create a better experience for your customers in the long run. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us!