With social media platforms developing their algorithms and introducing new features by the minute, social media trends are ever-evolving too. A few years ago, only Tiktok let users collab with other artists and create videos. Today, Instagram has introduced Reels, and over 500 million people create fun and entertaining reels daily on Instagram.
Considering how quickly social media trends change and how fast users adapt to them, it sure becomes challenging for social media marketers to keep up. What worked yesterday may not work today. Gen Z makes up most of the user base of any social media platform, and they are the most challenging lot to impress! Therefore, you must review your existing strategies constantly while keeping an eye out for the latest trends.
If the uncertainty of 2021 has rocked your peace of mind, I have brought you the latest social media trends for 2021. Here are some of the top trends to consider to make the best use of social media for a brand.
- Live streams will remain popular
The 2020 pandemic compelled most businesses to go the digital way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As social distancing became the new normal, live streams replaced live concerts, and conference room meetings switched to Google Meet, Zoom and Skype. What followed next?
- This nudged the importance of live streaming on social media, with the number of views on Facebook and Instagram Live doubling in just a week.
- As per Sprout Social Index, almost 40% of users like being a part of brands’ live sessions.
- Moreover, since 2021 isn’t out of the fatal clutches of the Covid virus yet, people will continue to interact with brands and artists using the Live feature from the comfort of their homes.
So, make sure to make live streaming a part of the social media marketing strategy.
- Stories will reign as a favourite content format
Most often, Instagram users tend to go through Instagram Stories with no particular motive in mind when they have nothing to do. So, Instagram Stories are the ultimate shortcut to slip into viewer’s notice without being too in the face.
- A study found out that videos in Instagram Stories have a better chance of being clicked than videos.
- Photos in Instagram Stories were met with more drop-offs than videos, indicating how users like videos over images.
So, this is your cue to incorporate short and aesthetic videos to promote your brand. Also, make sure to organise the content that you publish on Stories. Create a content template as well as a publishing calendar to make it easier to manage.
- VR will help bring back the personal touch
With the pressing need for social distancing, people are thriving on virtual interactions to find meaning amid the chaos. No wonder why virtual reality ranks as one of the most relevant technological trends at present.
- While Skype calls with your office bestie and FaceTime for your family work for us, we surely miss the personal touch that a cube on the screen cannot compensate for.
- But when you put VR in the mix, you get the sense of being together with your friends, family and pets – even when they are miles across the world.
- With social distancing limiting us within the four walls of our home, we need such experiences to feel loved and a part of the community.
So, brands can use virtual reality on social media to make the online experience of customers as life-like as possible. Use VR to allow your customers to explore your offerings, connect with others, and more.
- Augmented reality will make things more interactive
The best thing about augmented reality is its flexibility when it comes to additional hardware. All your customers need is their smartphone to try our brand-tailored photo filters, reels, etc.
So, what makes AR a better territory to step on than VR?
- AR-driven experiences are highly interactive, thus capable of engaging many users at a time.
- You can create AR filters to promote your products while encouraging customer interaction.
- This will not only let you entertain your audience but also help you attract more leads if you promote your offerings right.
- You can use AR to let users try out AR shopping options to check how products look on them using their phone camera.
- This AR utility also shows you how a product, say a dreamcatcher, will look in your home when you point your phone camera towards a spot.
2021 will be all about how creatively and seamlessly you can integrate AR into your social media marketing strategy. Create entertaining content using AR to make your brand’s social presence stand out.
- You can surely bet on social commerce
As the social media industry constantly works to enhance UX/UI, 2021 will witness more features for quick and easy shopping. Considering how 54% of social media users use their social media accounts to research products and find reviews, adding social commerce to the equation will help you influence the purchase decisions of 71% of users.
- For example, in 2019, Instagram was upgraded to show product tags and details, offering direct links to shop products or book services. And there’s more to it!
- Today, you no longer have to leave the platform and still shop your favourite items with easy checkout.
- Brands can now set up a ‘Shop’ on Facebook, a feature that almost mirrors your website. Interested people can browse in the Shop and buy products right on Facebook.
“As the attention span of people reduces from minutes to seconds, having a social commerce option for your brand will let you simplify the customer journey by shortening the checkout process. This is why it is best that you have a buy button in your social media posts to turn your social media followers to buyers”, says Emilia Eckhart, the social media manager of Assignment Help, an online academic portal.
- The focus should be on authenticity and transparency
Today’s consumers can call out pretentious facades, especially since the majority are Gen Z and millennials. They want to know the brands they are interested in up and real close. That means authenticity and transparency are as important as is product quality. So, if you want to build trust, use social media to show the real face of your brand.
- According to the Sprout Social Index of 2020, engagement and transparency were the two factors that gained brand exposure on social media.
- So, use social media to give your customers a channel to freely reach out to you with their feedback or disappointments.
- Encourage customers to leave comments below your posts about their buying experience with your brand.
- Even if the comments are negative, do not delete them. Instead, address them openly and take the criticism constructively.
To simplify the process of poring through feedback and addressing issues, you can use online algebra calculator tools like Revoo, Sprinklr and Loop to save reply templates, pin positive comments, study negative ones and more.
Are you ready to hop onto the bandwagon of social media trends?
When you have an idea of the latest social media trends, you will know what to watch out for and how to rev your brand’s social media strategy to build a stronger brand presence.
The social media trends discussed in the post are here to stay. So, you might as well draw up a revised social media strategy to prioritise each one of them.
Here’s to the hope that your efforts see the deserved light in 2021.