It’s no secret that many businesses are still struggling to regain their footing and bounce back from the losses they have suffered in the wake of the pandemic. 2020 has been tumultuous for everyone, especially the entrepreneurs. But if there’s one thing that the previous year has made us realize, it’s how social media has evolved into an essential business tool for commercial success.
Why Brands Should Engage in Social Media Marketing
Every business must have a social media presence. That’s a fact.
Whether you’re running a multi-million-dollar corporation or a local shop, social media engagement is an essential piece to your business marketing strategy.
With almost the entire world tuned in on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at any given time of the day, social platforms are the best and most convenient way to increase brand awareness and boost leads and sales.
With the right social media marketing strategies in place, 2021 might just be the game-changing opportunity your brand has been waiting for!
Do you want to tap into the latest and the hottest online marketing trends of the year? Let us help you set your marketing insights on the right track!
Top Social Media Marketing Trends to Pay Attention to in 2021
Facebook Continues to Dominate
Facebook takes the crown as the social media marketing platform of choice for 2020 and, without a doubt, it will continue to do so in 2021. While Facebook has dominated the social media realm for years, it asserted its dominance in social media marketing during the pandemic.
Social shopping has become the norm in 2020, and brands are investing in Facebook now more than ever. Any business, regardless of industry, that has not tapped the marketing potential of this social media giant yet is clearly missing out on a lot of opportunities.
But while Facebook is obviously ‘king,’ your marketing strategy shouldn’t solely focus on a single platform if you wish to reach as many target audiences as possible. Instagram and Twitter aren’t too far behind in terms of popularity and influence. Even emerging social channels like TikTok can be worth the attention and investment, depending on your market.
The Rise of Instagram Reels
Instagram launched a new feature in the summer of 2020, called “Reels.” Like Stories, Instagram Reels also allow users to create short form videos that are 15 seconds or less. Unlike Stories, however, Reels do not disappear after 24 hours and are not exclusive to your followers. You can choose to share them with anyone on the platform with just a few simple tweaks of your privacy settings.
From a marketing perspective, Reels provide an efficient way for brands to reach out to a global audience on Instagram. They’re perfect for sharing tutorial videos, promoting new products or services, and reposting user-generated content. Use Reels to create informative and engaging content that will make your brand noticed.
Live Streaming is The New Normal
Live videos have been around for a while now, but their popularity peaked in 2020, when people were forced to stay at home because of COVID-19 and almost everybody had to carry their businesses online.
Users of top social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram went crazy over live streaming – even LinkedIn users joined the bandwagon! In fact, Instagram reported a 70% increase in live streaming during the first few months of the pandemic.
Currently, companies and organizations are using the live feature of social media channels to introduce new products, hold tutorials, host Q and As, or share experiences with their followers. Live streaming provides brands with the opportunity to connect with their target audiences and make shopping more interactive at a time where in-person engagements are not yet possible.
Even if the COVID situation drastically improves in the coming months, live streaming has already made its mark in the modern-day shopping experience. It’s here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger in time.
Videos, Videos, and More Videos
From seconds-long clips to full length YouTube content, there’s no doubt that videos have captured the attention of online users more than any other medium this year. Statistics show that more than a third of all online activities are spent watching videos.
Videos are clearly dominating the Internet these days that the biggest names in social media and video streaming – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube – have upgraded their video features and capabilities. Thus, any brand that wishes to nail social media marketing ought to capitalize on their video marketing strategy, as well.
Why are video contents such a hit? Because they are not only visually appealing, they’re also a lot easier to digest than written text. When it comes to social media videos, though, shorter is better as people tend to lose interest after the first two minutes. But above all else, make sure to produce quality, eye-catching, and engaging videos that your audiences couldn’t help but watch!
Facebook Ads Remain Relevant
With it’s almost 3 billion users worldwide, Facebook remains to be the most effective and efficient channel for brands to widen their reach and interact with their consumers. That is why, for most businesses, investing in Facebook Ads is money well spent.
The great thing about running ads on Facebook is that businesses are not only able to track their click through rates and engagements, but also gather detailed data that can help them create better retargeted ads.
With Facebook’s dynamic ads feature, brands can leverage machine learning to create and deliver ads based on a user’s past actions and browsing history. For example, if a user has been searching for bags on your website, you can use dynamic ads and retargeting to display an ad of the same bags while they scroll their Facebook feeds. Many times, it’s the nudge a consumer needs to finally check those carted items out!
Driving Sales with Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for a while, but it’s not going anywhere as evidenced by the ever-growing number of social media influencers.
Paying influencers to promote your products may not come cheap (especially if they already have a strong and solid following), but for many brands it’s a much cheaper investment than running ad campaigns — and one that yields a way better ROI, at that. In addition, people feel that they can better relate to and connect with influencers, and so they trust them more than celebrities when it comes to product reviews and recommendations.
Influencer marketing is a sound marketing move, even more so for small businesses and start-ups. It’s an excellent way to get your name out there but without spending a fortune. If you have a limited budget, you’d be better off working with a network of small but relevant niche influencers.
Authenticity is Key
We all know how important it is for brands to connect and engage with their followers. However, given how socially conscious millennials and their succeeding generations are, mere lip service won’t be enough to sway them to patronize your products or services.
The new breed of shoppers gravitates towards businesses that share their vision and want to make a difference in society. They want to put their money on brands that walk the talk and truly support the causes they believe in.
Now, more than ever, businesses have to initiate two-way conversations with their audiences. They need to take a stand and effect positive change on issues that resonate with their followers.
Suffice it to say, humanizing your brand is of the smartest marketing moves you can make in 2021. It’s got to be genuine, though. Modern-day consumers are savvy enough to smell a sales pitch from a mile away. A whiff of inauthenticity will send them running towards the opposite direction.
Your Brand Needs Social Media
As social media continues to weave itself into the patterns of modern-day living, it’s influence on the purchasing decisions of consumers will only grow year after year. A strong social media presence can usher your business to new heights, while the lack of it could be the deal-breaker that plunges your brand to oblivion.
Social Media Marketing FAQs
● Which social media platforms should my brand be on?
The decision ultimately depends on what products or services you’re providing, as well as your target audience. At the bare minimum, your brand should at least have an account on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or LinkedIn.
● How often should I post on my social media accounts?
Again, this depends on your audience. Remember your target demographics and why they’re following you.
Ideally, you should update your Facebook and Instagram accounts at least twice a week, while you can post more frequently (even a few times daily) on outlets like Twitter and Pinterest. If you really want to stay on top of your audiences’ mind, you can utilize the stories feature on Facebook and Instagram, but refrain from oversharing so as not to annoy your followers.
● How do I get my audiences/followers involved and engaged?
To get people interacting with your brand on social media, try to make your posts as interesting as possible. You can also try the following suggestions:
Host a live Q and A
Share behind the scenes snaps or footages
Run a contest or sponsor a giveaway
● Do I need a Social Media Marketing Manager?
A lot of businesses are torn between hiring an SMM Manager and not wanting to pay someone just to manage their Facebook and Instagram accounts. While it’s possible to handle your social media marketing yourself with the help of some tools, an experienced SMM Manager can help you optimize your posts, better target audiences, and maximize the reach of your social media campaigns.
Gabby Klesser is the Outreach Manager for LA Website Design, a digital marketing agency that has assembled a team of expert web designers and digital marketing strategists. She often writes about web design, UX, social media, technology, marketing, and starting a non-profit.