Social media has proven itself to be a valuable channel for marketers to reach and convert customers. Renowned for an agile approach, social media marketing requires channel managers to keep up to date with the latest social media trends in technical and social developments to make sure they are exploiting all the opportunities available.
It’s no surprise that this year has seen unprecedented change in social media usage, alongside a whole host of other customer behavioral factors. Planning for 2021, we already knew from Datareportal’s July 2020 Digital snapshot that nearly half of respondents have spent more time on social media due to COVID-19, evidenced by a 10% YOY increase in usage resulting in 3.96 billion active users in July 2020. An impressive number.
Now, as of April 2021, the total number of active social media users has grown again, to 4.33 billion. That’s an increase of 9.6% in 9 months. So, we’re well on track to beat YOY growth by July, again. And as the social community increases, so do the opportunities to reach, interact with, convert and engage your target audience.
Coming into 2021, we asked ourselves – how do I keep my social media audience engaged? What content is appropriate for today’s environment? These questions are still the pinnacle of marketers looking to social media trends to improve their performance. Plus, it’s more important than ever to get it right. That’s why we’re here to help!
Alongside each of our curated social media trends, I am really pleased to be able to share a recommended module from our brand new suite of Learning Paths for Business Members. Designed for members, Learning Paths optimize your marketing performance to drive your results and achieve your goals.
From rising platforms to worthy causes, utilizing social media for shopping, live events, or forming relationships, it’s time to dive into the 2021 social media trends.
Who do your customers trust the most? With rising concerns over privacy and fake news, Neal Schaffer warned us that forming a trust relationship with your customers in 2021 is harder than ever.
With studies showing that 75% of people don’t accept advertisements as truth, there is a lot to be said for a relationship marketing approach to building trust with your social media audience. These stats speak for themselves:
[View the entire social media referrals infographic by Hubspot ]
Now, cutting through in 2021, social media marketers are investing in their relationships with employees, customers, and influencers, to ensure our key brand messages are backed up by the voices our customers value the most.
Insights from Iterable’s 2021 consumer psychology poll, May 2021, highlight the increasing importance of customer experience for attracting (or losing) new customers through online and in-person word of mouth.
“The new normal requires every company to put extreme importance on all things digital marketing. While search and email are two major components of digital marketing that can be done in-house, social media is both the most popular activity people do online as well as the most challenging for businesses.
This is because companies still look at social media as a promotional and advertising channel rather than as a grand arena to collaborate with social media users, primarily customers and influencers, and work them through a relationship funnel to incite word of mouth marketing for your brand in social media.”
Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social
Neal Schaffer is an authority on helping innovative businesses digitally transform their marketing. Neal’s latest book, The Age of Influence (HarperCollins Leadership), is a ground-breaking work redefining digital influence.
Learn how to improve the impact of your organic social media activities with the Optimizing your organic social media module in our Social Media Marketing Learning Path.
Two-way communication is the ticket to boosting your organic posts to the top of your audiences’ social feeds. As we know, ‘the function of an algorithm is to deliver relevant content to users‘, alongside targeted paid ads.
So, an engaged online community who engage with your content through likes (good), comments (even better), and shares (super!) can help you out by amplifying your content, through a channel which your customers trust.
Now, in May 2021, this trend is more important than ever, with both Apple and Google making changes to cookies processes with huge implications for retargeting and lookalike paid advertising. The future of paid advertising is uncertain, but, the future of customer engagement and organic reach is certain for marketers with great content.
“The social media algorithms will always favor people. It’s time to wake up to this fact and be the first in your industry to craft a radically different people-first social media strategy that is driven by the voice of your employees, customers, and influencers.
Influencer marketing often has a negative connotation associated with it, but as I wrote in The Age of Influence, influencer marketing is about embracing the nano influencers and above who already have brand affinity for you, and finding ways to collaborate and include people who love your company as an essential component of your digital marketing.”
Neal Schaffer, President, PDCA Social
Learn about strategic influencer relationship management with the Influencer marketing module in our Social Media Marketing Learning Path.
We can’t talk about 2021 social media trends without acknowledging the huge shake-up of social platforms we’ve witnessed this year. TikTok, peaking in March 2020 with almost 76 million downloads, has pioneered a new approach to social engagement.
Tiktok is a popular short-form video sharing social platform where celebrity and amateur creators alike share user-generated content from dance, cooking demos and makeovers to animal videos and social media challenges! This content is proving extremely popular with the audience base of Tiktok, of which 41% are aged 16-24.
Later, in August, Instagram rolled out its Reels, offering influencers, brands and fans alike the opportunity to create short 15 second videos. We took a look at our favourites.
Unlike TikTok, Instagram already has a huge following, with over a billion users. The platform’s largest demograpic group is aged 25-34, making up nearly 34% of Instagram users, but undeniably Instagram’s presence can be felt amongst many age groups.
Dmitrii was right to highlight diversification as a trend for 2021. In fact, new research published in February 2021 highlights 11 online platforms and apps used by more than 10% of US adults. Interestingly TikTok, now #9, is used by more than a fifth of responders.
But what does this mean for your marketing strategy? This year, the goalposts have moved, which means you need to reconsider your social media platform content strategy in the second half of 2021.
“COVID has impacted the lives of every audience, every age group, and users spend more time than ever online, on social media specifically. There are limited ways to reach users in the real world, so, in order to catch up, every channel has to be utilized.
Companies will be (and already are) investing into social media platforms they stayed away from previously, be it the new sensation TikTok, somewhat stale Facebook, or any other previously unexplored platform.”