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Social Media Trends for 2021

I know it is only September, but for marketing purposes, 2021 is already here. Hence, we need to prepare for upcoming changes besides what we already know. Here are 2020 social media trends that will likely continue in 2021.

Video and Live Streaming

Tik Tok is likely here to stay despite rumors, pressure, and competition (Reels). Although the platform is a mess for some marketing firms, customers love the platform. Such growing engagement drives businesses to consider short video ads to maximize marketing dollars. Marketers need to weight these social media trends when making decisions on brand impact in the short term rather than sales conversions. 

Live video content will continue to grow. Live videos receive 6x the engagement compared to pre-recorded. Posts that spark the greatest amount of discussion among users — especially when shared by those in their networks — are expected to rank better.

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Responsive Layout

Mobile has replaced the desktop as the user’s favorite searching device and entertainment. This trend is expected to keep growing, pushing businesses to design apps for direct marketing and contact with their customers.

Messaging apps

I found it interesting how social media trends in messaging apps will become critical for ads. Facebook is already using messenger for ads as a response to a decline in social media engagement for business. Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp will compete for ad space, also you can already see an increase in the use of chatbots, customer service AI and FAQ dialogue boxes. I wonder how 2021 will look for opt-ins in messaging apps.

Search Intent

Something worth noticing is the search intent on 2020, especially during the lockdown, it shifted from Google search to user-generated content. Social media recommendations and referrals grew 25% overall, ranking second after Google, of course. However, for young female audiences (18 -30), social media platforms are the number one option on search patterns.

Social searches are evolving as a strong competitor to internet searches. They work differently—use of generic, brand-related, and specific hashtags when posting. IG allows 30; I would recommend making a good blend between what the audience is searching for and what you want to convey. Use the first comment to include hashtags if you don’t want to compromise your copyright post. 

Use Social Media for events and specific products, Google My Business, for locating the brick n mortar.

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Monetization and Client Acquisition

Incredibly, users have 8.8 platforms in their mobile device on average, not necessarily active in all of them. As marketers, we have lots of options, however, we don’t have the resources to target all of them; that is why having an ideal client profile matters, target platforms that are more appropriate with your audience. You want to target organic growth platforms for your core marketing budget and use some of your marketing dollars to target new platforms to test client’s engagement. 

Forget about Millennials. Generation Z is taking over the internet, changing the way marketing showcases a product: innovation, creativity, personalization, brand purpose, and transparency. Gen-Z listens and watches more than they read extended information (unless it is required). Short visual stories have more impact on their buying decision than scrolling 1,456 reviews. According to HubSpot and Talkwalker, 87% of Millennials (and I would include Gen-Z here) do not trust traditional advertising.

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Influencer marketing shifts to small influencers, brands, and companies are looking to build relationships with authentic community influencers. Big companies are ditching powerful influencers and investing in 100 micro-influencers for a similar cost but with more significant results for loyalty, referrals, and engagement. Privacy policies and Ads policies are stricter now, and they will likely get even tighter for 2021. Social networks are under scrutiny from users and legislators alike. Data breach and misinformation campaigns are a high priority for all social networks. In terms of marketing, companies and small businesses must balance monetization efforts and privacy.

In Summary

Social Media marketing will lead the way to 2021; we can see a rise in tools for measuring data, consumer acquisition, sales, and lately, data privacy. Know your target audience to make the most out of your marketing dollars.

Generic information searches will likely become less common than location-based and buying-intent searches. Use balanced hashtag content on your posts targeting generic, location, and specific keywords.

The mobile layout will undoubtedly dominate 2021. Make sure your website, emails, and newsletters templates have a responsive layout for a better mobile experience.

Use inspiring stories connecting your brand, products and services to day-to-day situations, solve a problem, meet your client’s need. You have about 120 days until 2021, let’s get this marketing campaign going!

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