Guest article by Darrel Rios
It’s 2021, and people use social media platforms for most online activities. So if you run any business, it’s immensely beneficial to make your brand visible on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Here are the top marketing trends that help you do that.
7 Top Trends in Social Media Marketing Right Now
Consumers love using social media networks for pretty much all online activities, from interacting with each other to finding live events nearby to shopping.
So every business can benefit from having a presence on the most popular platforms. Whether they provide software tools or sell bed linen, it enables brands to reach clients in a fun, engaging, and efficient way.
But the widespread use of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., also means that there will be lots of similar companies competing for the prospects’ attention.
How do you stand out and ensure your social media marketing (SMM) is at the level of innovation and creativity your audience in 2021 expects? It all starts from following the latest and most popular trends.
Here’s our list of the top seven 2021 Social Media Marketing trends to put you on the right track to getting your campaigns noticed. Here we go.
1. Social commerce is on the rise
Social media campaigns in 2021 are doing everything to improve the user experience with new engaging tools and features. These enhancements also make shopping easier and quicker.
Facebook, for example, enables you to open a Shop on your business page. So now, your clients can browse new products and make purchases without leaving the platform.
And Instagram has a similar feature. Prospects can add product tags and then buy the items via the platform’s own checkout page.
Setting up these types of social media storefronts can work for any brand because Facebook and Instagram have become popular sites to research products.
So why not make the buying process as convenient as possible to people already reading about your items? If prospects need to go to your webpage and start searching for the desired product, the inconvenience can make them abandon their purchasing intentions.
The cool thing is that following this social media trend doesn’t require any special knowledge or coding skills. You can install a buy button on your page and posts to make them shoppable. Try it out because your audience most likely already expects to see this option.
2. Maintaining transparency in your social media campaigns
Consumers want brands these days to stay transparent about how they run their business and manufacture products. And you can’t get away with half-truths. If you want potential clients to trust your enterprise, you need to be completely honest with them.
Luckily, social media content is perfect for authentic communication. You can send out sincere apology messages in case you made an error or allow your clients to express their problems.
Social media posts also allow anyone to comment on your news and updates. And some comments will be highly critical. That’s okay, don’t delete them.
You should see the reactions as an opportunity to discuss issues that trouble your clients. It shows that you care about the people who buy from you.
By the way, trying to remove the missteps without talking about them wouldn’t help you. Audiences in 2021 are both social and tech-savvy. They’ve likely shared your blunders way before you attempt to sweep them under the rug.
3. Social media is all about inclusivity
Inclusion in marketing is something all brands should strive for if they want to stay relevant. Modern audiences are more willing to give their money to businesses that demonstrate investment in the same communities they care about.
It’s a great way to build a deeper connection with your audience. And brands that remain passive and ignore their target consumers’ passion for different issues will lose the clients quickly to competitors.
So keep up with the times and make at least some of your social media messages promoting diversity and inclusivity. However, keep in mind that your efforts need to be heartfelt.
People can spot fake activism easily and don’t appreciate vital social issues turned into a mere marketing act. To add inclusivity to your social media marketing strategy, you need to make sure your contribution is well-informed and meaningful.
Here are some examples that got it right:
Guilette’s advert shows a father helping his trans teen son to shave his face. It’s a genuine mini-story that shows the first shaving experience of a potential buyer other brands have largely ignored.
Curology has an ad showing one of its customers using its products. But the customer is not a young woman, as you might expect from a beauty brand. It’s a male. The video turns our attention to the fact that men can have as much trouble with their skincare as women.
Urban Decay, a cosmetics brand, features Grace Key, an entrepreneur, and an artist, in one of its Instagram posts. Grace was born with Down Syndrome and is known for her support for others with the condition. The post is a loving acknowledgment of this community that the mainstream media often disregards.
4. Find a purpose to support
Closely connected to our previous advice and among social media best practices for 2021 is getting behind a cause to support. And there’s no better time to do it than now.
The pandemic has reminded us of the vulnerability of our planet and also created plenty of new problems. The world needs everyone’s help, and businesses should get ready to allocate some of their resources for worthy causes.
And the good news is that demonstrating acts of kindness will not go unrewarded. Consumers love brands that lend a helping hand during adversity. And that love translates directly to increased revenue.
So if you’re in the middle of devising your next social media campaign, make it purpose-driven. For example, you can share some of your profits with community members most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Or, you can provide frontline workers in your community with additional protective products. You can also support voices from minority groups you think should need more exposure.
But whichever purpose you choose to pursue, again, authenticity and sincerity should be the backbone of your efforts. You shouldn’t engage with sensitive issues that have nothing to do with your business and what you stand for.
You don’t want to make your actions look like you’re exploiting social issues for monetary gains.
5. Augmented reality makes your posts more engaging
The social media industry is leading the online world with innovations. So it’s no wonder they’re among the first ones to use Augmented Reality (AR) in their features.
And unlike Virtual Reality (VR) functions that need additional hardware to experience, you only need a smartphone to enjoy AR. Plus, AR is nothing new to people using social media, and brands don’t need to make an extra effort to introduce it.
Dynamic photo filters have been around for years, offering a very similar experience.
But what makes AR such a popular trend that even big corporations like McDonald’s and Ikea are using it to promote their offers? Firstly, the augmented reality features engage the audience by making them interact with the ad.
Image source: lvivity.com
It’s an excellent way to introduce new products because it’s entertaining, and above all, memorable. Secondly, because of the pandemic, many brick-and-mortar shops are closed indefinitely.
That hinders the sales because shoppers don’t get the much-needed opportunity to touch, see, and try out the products. Thankfully, AR provides a virtual alternative. People can now see how different products fit in their homes via a smartphone camera.
6. The best content is a story
If you’ve been active on Instagram, you may have noticed its Stories that get an immense level of engagement from the audience. These Stories became the number one content format already in 2020, and in 2021 the trend continues.
So why do social media and brands love using them? Because they enable a company to show its fun side. The Stories don’t need to be polished and perfect-looking. A simple image showing the backstage of your business is more than enough to generate consumers’ interest.
But as you might have heard, the future of social media tends to move towards preferring video content to photos. That’s what the average customers like to consume, and it makes them tap forward (move from one story to another). So stitch together your Stories from simple smartphone-filmed video clips rather than pictures.
7. Live streams are here to stay
Social management faced a global crisis in 2020 when lockdowns suddenly became an everyday reality. Live concerts and face-to-face meetings became cancelled overnight to maintain social distancing and.
But again, social media helped to ease the situation with its live-streaming features. People could make video calls via Facebook, and musicians perform through Instagram Live.
And although we’ve managed to curb the spread of the virus, and more public events are allowed, live-streaming remains popular. People enjoy interacting with their favorite brands conveniently via computer screens from their homes. So how could you include this option into your overall marketing strategy?
One of the best ways is to start sharing industry-specific tips on an issue. For example, if you build websites, you can go live talking about the best practices increasing the click-through rate. Or, if you sell motorcycle parts, you can stream a repair tutorial.
Here are the vital steps to follow for a successful online event:
- Make a thorough plan of what you’re going to discuss and in what order.
- Pick a platform. You can choose between YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok Live. You probably have different audiences on each of these platforms, so think about who would be most interested in your content.
- Get your camera (a smartphone camera will do) out and attach it to a phone tripod.
- Promote your upcoming event on all social media channels where you have followers.
- Follow up the live stream with a message thanking the participants for their time and letting them know about the next event.
The benefits of social media are evident to most businesses these days. The platforms give you a direct communication channel with your audience and promise high levels of engagement.
So if you haven’t already prioritized this online phenomenon in your marketing efforts, it’s time to start doing it. Use the trends from this article, and you’ll be able to catch up in no time. It’s your business, and it deserves the best chances to succeed.
Which social media platforms work best for your business and why? Share your insights in the comments.
Darrell is a blogger and a content marketer who loves writing on topics around content creation. He believes every company, regardless of the industry, should post regular engaging content for their fans. As a marketer, Darrell works primarily with agencies looking to boost their online presence.