• Eileen Meyer

Social Media Marketing Trends Shaping 2021


Congratulations are in order! We've made it through one of the most challenging parts of the year, and sunnier days are ahead! We're nearly through the first quarter of 2021. It's an optimistic and reflective time, as we near the anniversary of a year spent in quarantine, and we look, with hope, at the spring and summer ahead.


With more people getting their vaccines and the prospect of more pleasant weather returning, it's an ideal time to contemplate our plans and goals for the future; among those are our communication and marketing goals. One of the fun and unique things about social media marketing is that it's fluid and flexible. The pandemic has changed how we interact with our employees, clients, and customers, which has fast-tracked some emerging social media marketing trends and solidified others' prominence. Here's what you need to know.


Insta-story

Storytelling is a fun, engaging, multimedia event on Instagram, which is why more than 400 million daily users are employing this device. If you have not yet hopped on board, start experimenting. It's an easy way to shape the content and share and circulate your company's narrative and brand.


Instagram stories have a Snapchat shelf life, which means they come and go quickly. Social Media pro, Brent Barnhart explains: "This creates a sense of urgency and scarcity around your Stories, making them a sort of must-see, for-your-eyes-only content that's exclusive for followers in the know."


Instagram stories are a fresh way to keep your friends and followers engaged and involved with content that evolves and changes regularly. It's a go-to tool for social media marketers. Barnhart explains: "Stories are no longer seen as a novelty. At this point, they're a staple of Instagram itself."


Expanded social commerce

Social networks are increasing their capability and expanding direct social media commerce. This means that customers will have a greater capacity to shop directly from platforms and posts. Influencer Marketing Hub describes: "From shoppable posts to Instagram Storefronts, social networks are continuously evolving to become retail platforms. Brands and marketers will leverage these and incorporate social commerce in their sales strategies."


This is a powerful new face of the social media marketing evolution: social media posts as sharable mini-stores. This enables exciting opportunities for shoppers and businesses alike.


Don't say it; stream it

Live streams continue to pop up everywhere: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. It's a great way to jump into your user's feed and grab their attention in real-time. It can feel intimidating to take on the risk that a live broadcast invites but living through the pandemic has made us feel a bit more daring when it comes to communicating on screen.


If you haven't tried live streaming an event on social media yet, make it a goal for 2021. It's a great way to channel professional expertise. If your team is hosting a speaker, a well-known expert in your field, that can be excellent streaming content. Likewise, if one of your employees is presenting material that you know will command an audience, like the costs associated with home care or current interest rates related to refinancing a mortgage, those can be compelling events to stream to your audiences.


Video is king on social media

We love social media. We spend a lot of time interacting with friends and followers on various platforms, and we also spend plenty of time shaping content for them. A study conducted by Cisco reveals that by next year 80 percent of all online content will be video, which is different from stories or streaming because it is pre-recorded and doesn't disappear after a day. Make video part of your content strategy. Yes, your audiences enjoy pictures, posts, and blog posts. But if you haven't moved into video content yet, make that part of your strategy this year. Study the impact and see how the introduction of a video strategy impacts your audience engagement.


Be yourself

While social media can sound tech-sophisticated, the goal is simple - to authentically connect with your audience. We've all been in each other's living rooms this year. We've heard news commentators' dogs barking. We've seen sports caster's kids wander in during broadcasts. Social media has connected us during this challenging year. That connection is a good thing. Let's keep it going!


The people who follow you on social media are just like you. They are worried about taking care of the seniors in their families. They are nervous about buying a new home during the pandemic. We are, truly, in this experience together. Social media connects us; make authenticity a core part of your strategy for 2021.

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