Social media guide

The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing in 2021

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.