Social Media has been an important part of a business’ marketing strategy; but in 2020 we saw just how useful a marketing and communications tool it could be as we turned to social media for news, to stay in contact with family and friends and to keep connected with businesses.
More than half of the world’s population have access to social media; according to Hootsuite and We Are Social the number of people using social media globally was 4.57billion in July 2020.
As we look forward to the New Year, let’s consider the role of social media in 2021.
If we have learned anything from 2020 it is surely the need for accurate, real-time and relevant communication. In a time of “always-on”, many people turned to social media to find out what was happening in the news, we watched our politicians broadcast live on social media telling us the latest developments in COVID-19 and restrictions. And we checked social media to discover what shops and cafes were open, if we could order take-away food and what the latest opening hours were.
As marketers, it is our responsibility to ensure the information we are publishing is accurate, relevant and of use to our followers. The challenge remains how to effectively use social media as part of customer experience and to make better use of automated messaging.
2021 will see many businesses putting systems in place to be better at reactive communications from live updates, to using infographics and automated messages to keep customers informed.
With a return to the high street uncertain, consumers turned to online shopping for groceries, clothes, garden furniture, makeup and loungewear. In response to improving customer experience, and let's be honest to keep users on their platform that little bit longer, Facebook and Instagram improved the online shopping experience.
Instagram shopping evolved to include shoppable tags in Stories, Reels and IGTV and with integrations such as Shopify and WooCommerce making the purchasing experience all the easier for the consumer. We reckon that 2021 will see the social media shopping experience accelerate and social media will become integral to that sales process.
Video has been listed as a social media trend for the last number of years now; but 2020 saw the rise in authentic video - Instagram Reels, Live on Facebook and LinkedIn, TikTok and Zoom!
2020 saw us become content creators from our own homes and our audience responded positively to the raw, unedited and often unscripted selves. More businesses embraced IGTV, Instagram Reels, LinkedIn Live, Facebook Live and used online video technology such as Zoom to stay connected, keep our audience engaged and still do business.
No longer could we go to in-person events, and so many utilised online video to run training sessions, yoga classes and art classes took place online and many DJ’s and musicians broadcast live sessions for us to enjoy from our homes.
2021 will see the rise in this content type and businesses need to embrace the opportunity video can offer.
4. Return on Investment
I’ve saved the best to last. As a marketer I’m always looking for value and return on investment. With a rise in paid social, and use of social media marketing in general, businesses need to consider their return on investment.
Marketers will be considering insights and data that offer results from paid social media campaigns, and creative content such as video. And using this data to drive future marketing campaigns.
Social Media Trends 2021 has been written by Ashleigh Watson, Social Media Consultant Copper Square.
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