- Social media presents companies an opportunity to build relationships that feel similar to friendships and less like transactions.
Technology and behavior are changing faster than ever. These 8 social media trends will define marketing programs in 2021. They may give you insight into how you can optimize your performance and what you can leave behind entirely. Let’s dive in!
1. Facebook Leads
While It’s true that the younger Gen Z crowd has somewhat eschewed Facebook in favor of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is still king and queen of social.
Facebook is still the leading social media platform, with around 79% of Americans using Facebook. This means that regardless of the industry you’re in, your target will most likely be engaged using this platform. Keep Facebook at the forefront of your strategy, but don’t neglect to target the younger crowds.
2. Video Content Grows Fast
The upwards trend in content and engagement growth has steadily been increasing over time. From 2015 to 2016, video on social networks grew 43%, while video growth increased 103% overall and 166% on Facebook. It’s projected that video content will be responsible for 82 percent of the entirety of internet traffic.
As shown by Marketing Smart, it’s forecasted that 80% of global internet traffic will be from video by 2020. Additionally, in terms of reaching and instilling impact on customers, 95% of messages are retained by watching the video as opposed to only 10% of messages retained with text.
Video Takes the Stage in Social Media
Additionally, the uptake of live streaming video has is highly valued by customers, as 80% of customers opt to watch live brand videos as opposed to reading a post. Building on that point, research shows that Facebook Live videos are consumed 3X longer than regular videos. Video streaming is fresh, current, unedited, and thereby genuine, and what customers seek.
Expansion of Social Media Live Streaming
Whether you’re sharing a hilarious viral video or creating your own content (preferably the latter), video needs to take a front seat in your content sharing and development. Through it, you’ll gain more engagement, more followers, and more visibility online.
3. Algorithms Get Personal
It’s been obvious for a few years now that consumers value personal, one-on-one engagement. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 2016 statistic showing that over 60 billion messages per day are sent via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
Especially in the B2C realm, this presents a unique opportunity for you to deal personally with customers and prospects, creating valuable customer experiences that give a festive feel to your brand. Social media offers companies a chance to build relationships that feel similar to friendships and less like transactions. Ensure that your business uses readily available media messaging platforms and is giving personalized responses to messages and concerns.
This makes sense, as social media is a way for companies to interact within the community instead of pitching products. As such, buyers consult with their social media communities to purchase advice and recommendations.
Since over 80% of buyers perform their online research before purchasing (Retailing Today), brands must capitalize on building relationships with their audience to engage and hook buyers and keep loyally coming back. Influencers and brand ambassadors personalize a brand’s message and resonate within specific social media groups. And their credibility is undoubtedly worthy – as influencers bring, on average, a 10xrise in conversion rates.
Personalization tactics among social media platforms continue to increase to meet demand: Twitter’s usage of #Stickers and Moments, Snapchat’s acquisition of 3D photo app, Seene, Facebook’s Canvas usage, and Slideshow, and Pinterest’s interactive shopping feature.
The rise of personalization, personal communication, and people-based targeting, which essentially started to become the mainframe strategy for social marketers in 2016, relies on good data collection and robust customer profiles.
4. Paid Social Media
Many small-to-medium businesses neglect paid social marketing in favor of organic. However, nearly 60 percent of social media marketers believe that paid social tactics are more effective than organic methods.
Interestingly, most (66%) of those investing in paid social media choose to use Facebook. Why is that? Well, to start, according to data from WordStream, the average Facebook ad conversion rate shows a high 9.2 percent average, as compared to Google AdWords, with only 2.7 percent. Although this doesn’t represent the full ROI picture, it clearly shows Facebook’s paid ads have a competitive advantage.
As compared to other social media platforms, Facebook has rich audience data and targeting capability that results in highly effective ads. Targeting options include such components as webpage views, interests, articles read, apps used, posts liked, ads clicked, places checked into, and posts.
When serving a particular audience, the ad feels more customized and personal, increasing the chance of catching consumers a moment when they are willing to purchase, subscribe, or somehow interact. In that micro-moment, when your ad meets a need or interest of the consumer at the right time.
Another note about Facebook’s rich and timely data paid platform – they continue to test innovative ways of increasing performance. For example, they recently started including more predictive intelligence, where local search results display in anticipation of what the user needs before they indicate intent.
Here’s a stunning stat that may upend your paradigm: According to Hootsuite, 75 percent of Instagram users take action after visiting a post. It means that whether you’re angling for leads or trying to gain interest in your newest product, Instagram is the place to advertise for specific industries.
It’s common, though, that Facebook’s paid ad success should trickle over to Instagram, as they have access to the same social data and targeting abilities. However, a recent CivicScience survey indicated that Instagram’s ads, although much effective than others, do not come close to Facebook’s conversion performance.
And why is that? Well, Instagram itself has a narrower audience. Instagram’s visual approach works better with specific industries and brands, such as food, beauty, and fashion.
6. Snapchat Is A Big Deal
Getting back to Generation Z’s discussion, these youngsters are huge Snapchat users, which has some big implications for marketers.
Not only do 88 percent of the Gen Z audience use Snapchat, but 25% also say it’s a critical part of their relationships. If teens and 20-somethings are your primary target demographic, then Snapchat is the place to meet this group, both with ads and engagement campaigns.
7. Twitter May Be Falling Behind
If Facebook is still the top dog in the social media realm, then Twitter is the opposite side of the spectrum, with the main social outlets’ lowest growth rate.
Growing at a rate of 23 million users per month instead of Facebook’s 461 million, Twitter’s popularity is clearly waning.
However, it’s not time to phase Twitter out entirely. Eighty-one percent of millennials still check Twitter regularly, so there are still plenty of active users. And what’s more, they love to interact personally with brands via tweets. Keep this in your mix for 2021, but think about funneling your spending to more burgeoning platforms.
8. Mobile Users And Live Streaming
Since nearly 80 percent of social media use happens on a mobile device, your ads and content need to be both optimized for mobile and use geotargeting, so you’re continually meeting your demographic where they are.
Expansion of Live Streaming
As the number of Smartphone users continues to increase worldwide, naturally, the time spend on social networks via a mobile device has also increased. Interestingly, not all social media channels are made equally when it comes to mobile usage. Instagram, for example, boats 98% of its users on mobile, Twitter with 86% and Facebook with 68%. However, LinkedIn’s more professional network defies the trend with only 26% accessing via mobile.
Craft Strong Social Strategies in 2021
Social media isn’t just an advertising and marketing platform — it’s designed for users to connect and form relationships. So remember that, despite all the statistics and «best practices,» the main goal is developing lasting relationships with valuable customers who will engage with your brand for years to come. Build up your social media presence through thoughtful messages, unique storytelling and customer-oriented content, and you build up your business as well.
However, remember to keep these statistics and pointers in mind as you craft your marketing strategy for the coming year. In doing so, you’ll more effectively reach your target demographic and ensure you’re making the best use of your marketing spend.