The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing in 2021

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing in 2021

  • On : December 21, 2020

Where eCommerce and Social Media Collide

We’ve already witnessed the introduction of eCommerce into social media most notably with Facebook Marketplace. This year, Instagram also launched its in-app shopping feature. Predictions for 2021 argue that this merger will become less of a trend and more of a permanent feature of online platforms as social media giants make it increasingly more accessible for all of their users to go from discovery to purchase without even leaving the platform. To keep afloat in the coming year, businesses will certainly have to adapt to platforms as they evolve and adopt new methods of driving sales.

The Necessity of Virtuality

This year, businesses turned to virtual events in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic out of necessity. Yet life post pandemic will likely continue to orient itself around the convenience and accessibility of online events. Companies across the board have found that the benefits of virtual events include access to an entirely new audience that isn’t confined to travel logistics or health concerns and instead allows for higher event attendance and participation. As such, social media will continue to be leveraged for online event promotion to a wider range of customers at a low cost with a higher return on investment.

From Personalization to Personal Commerce

Brands must have a personality, and what better way to communicate that than via social media platforms, where businesses can constantly reaffirm to their followers their ethos, image and relevancy. Moreover, there is an expectation of customers that brands will have developed an understanding of their personal preferences given the reality of first-party shopper data. Without necessarily being aware of it themselves, customers anticipate that a brand will have at least some idea of what they are interested in purchasing based on their previous interactions, and as such desire more intimate shopping experiences. The maintenance of relationships with repeat buyers is of the utmost importance when it comes to customer retention, and social media platforms increasingly offer brands more opportunities to track their engagement as a means of developing accurate customer profiles.

Culling in the Name of Prioritization

The social media renaissance has seen with it the birth of a multitude of different platforms on which companies strive to retain relevancy on. However, in doing so, many have risked spreading themselves too thin and compromising their reach. To circumvent this and reallocate resources appropriately, brands are opting to reduce the number of social media channels they manage based on those which are most engaged with. The benefit of this lies in that allows brands to prioritize creating more consistent content of greater quality on the channels they choose to stick with.

Don’t Fix it Unless it’s Broken

Pre-existing trends that will continue to perform well include ephemeral content, reliance on traditional platforms, and influencer marketing. Given the constantly shortening attention span of consumers, stories are the perfect kind of bite-sized advertising in their short, engaging and accessible format. As such, stories and other kinds of ephemeral content will continually be utilized by individuals and businesses alike. On the same note, ‘traditional’ platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will continue to hold precedence over younger platforms. TikTok, for example, has seen significant growth in 2020, however, this same growth is beginning to plateau with the rise in popularity of Instagram’s Reels feature. As with Facebook and Instagram, influencer marketing will continue to reign supreme. Not only is it more affordable for brands to invest in partnerships with prominent individuals as opposed to running exorbitant ad campaigns, but influencer marketing is also highly useful in helping brands achieve multiple goals at once, i.e., re-enforcing brand image at the same time as generating new leads.

What Will Marketing Look Like In 2021

What Will Marketing Look Like In 2021

  • On : December 14, 2020

Any experienced marketer will understand the value of staying on top of digital marketing trends as it pertains to staying afloat in the contemporary marketing landscape. To help your business pivot with the times, we’ve put together a list of the marketing trends likely to take precedence in 2021.

Planning ahead

Marketers have increasingly realized the value of carving out a designated time to brainstorm ideas and implementations for future marketing strategies. At present, 41% of marketing executives say they lack the time and energy to actualize their marketing goals and hope to improve on this in 2021. Not only does planning ahead mean your business gets a head start against your competitors, but it also helps bring to fruition your invaluable ideas. Remember, while many ideas hold potential, they are nothing without proper execution.

Oversharing will be a thing of the past

57% of the customers following brands on social media do so in order to stay up-to-date with new products and services. With this in mind, businesses are growing to realize that no release or restock isn’t worth sharing, no matter how big or small their followings may be. In addition to keeping your following informed about when they can expect new releases, it’s a good idea to look into what content is already most engaged with on your social media accounts. Depending on your type of business, some followers may interact most with infographics, while others may be more inclined towards your humorous posts.

Customer service will take the cake

Social media is still largely an untapped resource when it comes to real-time engagement with your brand’s customer base. This year, 49% of customers were found to be inclined to unfollow a brand in response to their poor customer service. As such, a top priority for marketers in 2021 will be improving the handling of customer inquiries. Whether this is replying to followers in the comments section of your posts, or responding promptly via your website’s ‘Contact Us’ page, a little goes a long way in ensuring your customers feel well looked after.

Faster turnarounds

In addition to optimizing your engagement with customers across all social media platforms, it is important to note that 79% of customers have an expectation of brands to respond to their queries within 24 hours of first reaching out. In the coming year, the sooner you can get back to people, the better. Not only does a quick response time ensure that you’re resolving issues faster, but it also contributes to customer loyalty. Customers are far more likely to remain committed to a brand if they feel their service expectations are met.

Prepare to embrace overlap

Instagram introduced its shopping feature this year, which has led to an increase in its users turning to the app in order to help them find brands whose products and services are similar to others they already follow. This puts newfound emphasis on the discovery page as a means of developing new leads out of customers who engage with brands similar in some way or another to your own. In fact, 45% of customers rely on suggestions by way of their Instagram feed or discovery tools as a way of finding new accounts that align with their interests. To ensure your business is doing everything it can to expand its customer base in 2021, think about what industries overlap with your own and tap into their followings.

The medium is the message

According to Sprout Social, 68% of customers prefer image content while 50% prefer video content. Keep that in mind as you plan your social media content for the coming year in order to enhance the likelihood of captivating your online audience. When attempting to reach future leads and retain their intrigue, consider what kinds of media are most likely to be engaged with. A good way to start is by looking back at all your posts from 2020 and taking note of those that received the highest engagement. What topics were they covering? And what medium were they delivered in?

Get with the times

On the same note, the mediums employed by social media users have evolved throughout 2020 in response to a general increase in the time spent online throughout the pandemic. Many have seen the rise of TikTok and subsequently Instagram’s appropriation of this phenomenon in the form of Reels. In the last quarter of 2020 alone, TikTok has seen a global increase in usage of 72% outside of China. Some marketers have been quick to jump on this opportunity, particularly those brands that target younger audiences. It is also important to keep in mind that Instagram is likely to reward those who try out their newest features first by increasing their visibility on the app. If you’ve yet to utilize TikTok or Reels, 2021 is better late than never.