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8 social media trends for 2021 that you can ignore, but you really shouldn’t

2020 was a difficult year for everybody, and it doesn’t take an expert to say that. Last year was all about the clarity and the transparency of communicating all the ways to stay safe. Many businesses did everything so that they could survive.

But this year should be about growth and development. So, if you want to take advantage of the online world to better connect with your customers and sell more, check out these social media trends. You can ignore them, but at your own risk!

1. Video content continues to grow on all platforms, indiferent de platformă sau format

Instagram Reels, Stories, TikTok, or YouTube are just some of the channels you can use to reach new audiences this year. The key to creating amazing video content is having a strategic analysis of your audience and communicating where they feel the most comfortable. For instance, if your business targets youngsters between 13 and 23 years old, you should consider TikTok, IGTV, and Instagram Reels as means to communicate efficiently with them.

Reels, for instance, are a pretty new feature of Instagram that pushes video content to all Instagram users, not only to those who are following you. Reels are available in the updated version of the Instagram menu, in the newsfeed, and the Explore Page in the dedicated reels tab on every Instagram profile.

Linkedin and Youtube added Story functionalities on their platforms as well, so story format has become relevant for audiences from very different environments. So if you haven’t started experimenting with Stories, this year is the time to start thinking in vertical!

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2. E-commerce moves to social media

Lately, almost all social media platforms have developed e-commerce functions. Facebook and Instagram shoppable posts that are simplifying the buying process and bring the products to people, straight from in the newsfeed.

You can now tag products in your Instagram posts and stories, add them to Facebook Shop or in the Marketplace; even TikTok has a developing partnership with Shopify. So it’s pretty clear that shopping is slowly moving into social media. If your goal is to sell more in 2021, you should consider these new alternatives.

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3. Memes are still huge in 2021

emes are a great entertainment channel that relaxes and amuses us while we are constantly doom-scrolling our social media feed. Even if many brands avoid using them because they feel superior, we have to be aware of their potential to spark engagement with customers. Last year, memes gave the mood of many online debates, so we will probably see them often in 2021 as well.

If they are well done, smart, or based on real-time events that are relevant for your target audience, memes create buzz, generate comments or they can even become viral.

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4. Humanizing content: in 2021, more brands get human voices

Transparency, authenticity, or even vulnerability are vital aspects that make up the communication this year. Now, more than ever, people are focused on creating connections with other people, so brands will start looking and sounding more human, they will talk more about emotions, personality, values, and beliefs. If brands manage to humanize their product or service, can better integrate into their consumer’s context with a strategic narrative.

One example of brands sounding more like people is branded podcasts. Learn more about humanizing your brand and how you can measure results from a podcast, here.

5. Live broadcasts grow in popularity

2020 was a year without precedent, that pressured businesses to find workaround solutions and focus all of their energy on the online environment, to keep selling. From presentations and Zoom meetings to one-on-one bank meetings that help you set up your account, classes, concerts, conferences, and webinars – live broadcasts have become the new normal. Online platforms have become better at live streaming by day, which offers a lot of flexibility for people and brands alike. For instance, Instagram recently extended the length limit for Instagram live broadcasts and added a live-stream archive.

As live interactions between brands and consumers were not possible face-to-face, live transmissions replaced them for a while and now people got used to interacting with brands online. This is only one of the reasons why live streaming will grow as a trend in 2021, and many services like customer service and loyalty programs will move online, maybe permanently.

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6. Social media becomes more important for customer service in 2021

If social media was initially a place where people connected and shared content, now it is so much more than that. In 2021, social media work as e-commerce platforms, a place where people discover products and services, so naturally it becomes a key platform for customer service.

According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020, millennials and Gen Z prefer communication channels that have an instant reply when it comes to customer support: social media and direct messaging. Sending messages is how customers prefer to start a conversation, and the majority expect an answer within an hour or less.

Switching from the more traditional channels like phone or email was natural because people started to expect brands to be active on the chat if they are active in the newsfeed or shop. Brands started to answer to messages and orders through social media, and will most probably see a rise in this trend this year.

If you want to discover how your team can use social media to enhance the customer experience, we recommend you read this article as well.

7. The value of content beats the quality of production

f 2020 was marked by the “work from home” craze, businesses and content creators had to manage with what they had at home. When consumers were just as happy to see videos filmed with a phone, like broadcasts and other kinds of social media content that were hand made at home, people started to realize that the value and quality of the content beat the quality of production. This idea was pretty intuitive, but last year proved it and validated it a million times. 🙂

So, it’s not so important that you don’t have a budget to make a kick-ass advertisement, with an art director and production team. If your content offers value, it’s interesting, entertaining, or useful for consumers, film yourself with the phone, and the result will be similar. This trend is also connected to the idea discussed earlier, that brands are humanized and are expressed in imperfect and vulnerable contexts.

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8. Voice search will grow in popularity

Voice search will become even bigger in 2021 because consumers will be increasingly attracted by comfort when they are searching for something. Optimizing for voice search will be a growing trend for brands and the reason is simple: users are getting lazier and they prefer to say the word and get the result instantly. According to a study developed by Google, 27% of the online population is already using voice search on mobile.

The first steps for optimizing content for voice search are:

  • Focus on a conversational tone in your content, even in the written one;

  • Develop a frequently asked question page;

  • Write content that includes questions;

  • Use simple words;

  • DLook for insights about your customers’ behavior to discover more relevant keywords.

If you want to learn more about the subject, you will find this article to be very helpful.

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To sum up…

2021 will be a year for humanizing brands, embracing authenticity, and creating connections between people and brands on social media. Interactive content, videos, digital bites, and stories will be some of the channels that will bring great results.

Keep in mind that if you want to be successful in social media, you always have to keep an eye open and be ready to embrace opportunities and be available online, when and where your customers need you.

hich of these trends would you like to implement this year? If you want to talk more about the opportunities your brand could seize on social media, hit us up, and let’s talk about it!