Everything You Need to Know About the Best Social Media Marketing Trends Today!
The social world has exploded with activity, and social media trends of 2021 have shifted since the COVID pandemic onslaught. Sure, it’s exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. You need to know how these shifts affect your brand—and how to capitalize on them to improve your social marketing strategy.
So, we’re making a foray into the digital world to help you understand the new social content trends and opportunities for 2021. Let’s get at it!
1. Short-Form Video — The Content King of Kings
Short-form video content (3 minutes or less) has become the primary focus for all platforms—and it’s taking over on every possible platform. Instagram is definitely pushing that feature and would like to push it further. Their algorithm is progressively shifting to promote video content in efforts to keep up with TikTok. (In fact, they recently tested making changes to the platform to be more like TikTok but received backlash from their users and are currently pausing the changeover to create a new strategy.)
Video is the easiest way to engage your fans and followers—and it’s the top and ever-growing way to build your online social presence, attract a community, and encourage loyalty with video content. And before you say, “Really? Isn’t the video market saturated?”, think again.
YouTube, as the big daddy of video, has grown exponentially from its early days and remains the top source for video content. However, the doors are wide open for branding through a personality-driven program on other social media platforms. Your unique personality—how you communicate with your audience—differentiates you and helps you stand out. So, be authentic, be you, be social, and also have fun! Use videos to find and grow your tribe!
So, don’t stop with YouTube. Carve out your niche on other social video channels. Here’s a list to get you started!
- Instagram Stories & Reels
- Facebook Stories
P.S. Don’t forget to add captions to your video content for further engagement and storytelling. And you can poll your audience or ask them specific questions as well as a learning tool about what your customers really like and want.
2. Social Media Commerce — It’s Here Now & It’s the Future
69% of Gen Zers used Instagram to find information about products and services, while 46% use TikTok.
Social media platforms have become increasingly more influential in consumer shopping choices — and it will continue to grow bigger by allowing consumers to purchase right on the social media platform, rather than being redirected to a website or other purchase/shopping page. Some platforms have capitalized on this new social media trend by introducing shopping carts. This feature is projected to become the norm. After all, why would you put any barriers (i.e., extra steps) between your customer and the opportunity to purchase?
And the next extension of online shopping has already begun; AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are becoming more popular by the day. You’ve already seen them advertised on television… filters that alter the way you look and websites that allow you to “try on” the product before making a purchase (e.g., eyeglasses, hair styles, makeup, and more). Again, social media platforms want users to stay on them for as long as possible. Feel free to take advantage of the generated tools they offer. It’s a win-win for you and the platform.
3. Seek Micro-influencers to Grow Your Brand
Influencer marketing is another hot way to get attention for your brand. In many cases, micro influencing marketing can be a better and more cost-effective strategy to reach your potential customers.
Simply find someone who has a large enough audience online with shared interests that would be interested in spotlighting your product or service. Influencer marketing can get expensive, so you may want to get a few micro-influencers first, until your budget grows. And you may want to try hanging out on Clubhouse to learn about influencers in your industry.
Also falling under this category is the growing value of User-Generated Content (UGC). Today, UGC is soaring and brands are paying attention. This type of content, which consists of sharing customer’s own posts and videos to a company’s platforms, allows brands to feature their products and services used by real people—in their own words and in their own experiences.
4. Make a Social Connection with Live Streaming
Humans need to stay connected for personal and business reasons. When they can’t do that face-to-face, technology is more than happy to step in and bridge the gap. Luckily, social media new trends have come to the rescue during this pandemic. Live streaming, a popular medium that only grew stronger in 2020, will continue to play a significant social role in 2021.
Users have become used to learning and exploring in live streams as they reach out to satisfy their need for social contact and engagement. So, one of our top tips based on social media targeting for enterprises in 2021. . .
P.S. Go live on social media at least once a week! And be sure to include a call to action that sells your audience something valuable at the end.
5. Give Away Something for FREE
Knowledge is power, and social media platforms today are used as search engines. Most platforms have the option to save content which helps your page’s reach and engagement. Plus, one of the most valuable outcomes of maintaining a social media presence besides nurturing relationships is list building. When you post on social media, you can use your call to action to build your list. Whether your market is local, regional or national, free offers help facilitate this process. Selling something valuable doesn’t always mean a money exchange. Your social list is gold—your treasure chest of potential new customers and sales.
People will exchange their contact information to obtain something they value from marketers. For instance, some folks don’t have the time to read every word of your blog posts. A good blog article summary, or access to a hidden page on your site that provides summaries for your most significant blog posts, could appeal to some of your prospects.
Other free offer examples could also include the following:
- Access to slides from a conference
- In-depth guides and tutorials
- Behind-the-scenes glimpses
- Free reports
- And more
6. Stand Out on LinkedIn & Instagram with Carousels
75% of B2B buyers use social media to make decisions.
Let’s continue to roll on into 2021 social media communication in marketing with engaging, movement-focused content ideas! Why settle for static LinkedIn posts when you can jazz things up with carousels? That’s right! You can create and publish entertaining slide shows! These allow marketers to stand out in the sea of text-based LinkedIn posts and build awareness for your company page.
Not to be confused with LinkedIn carousel ads, you publish carousel posts for free. These posts draw attention and generate interest in eye-catching, dynamic visual displays that take up more real estate in a feed. So be sure to include a clear call to action at the end!
Also, Instagram users get a huge benefit by using carousels in their feed. If a user doesn’t like the lead image and scrolls past it, the second image displays on their feed. That gives you a second chance to gain engagement. (Canva is just one option for a free and easy tool to design simple, catchy graphics.)
Best Ideas for Content to Share in LinkedIn Carousel Posts
- Statistics, infographics, and numbers
- Frameworks and step-by-step, how-to instructions
- Actionable business communication tips and lessons
- Conference slides and event content
- Snippets from your blog post / listicle post
7. Emails & E-news Are Still Tried-and-True Methods
On average, companies make $42 today for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Let your community know when you post something new: “This blog is going viral right now!” Yes, emails and e-news are still some of the best ways to grab attention for your articles and blog posts. So, keep growing that list! Then use social media platforms to highlight the content your community craves.
To gain permission-based subscriber list opt-ins, use creative calls to action (CTAs) that encourage your prospect to trade their contact information for the tips, how-to instructions, and entertainment they value.
P.S. It’s important to own your contact list and be sure that each person has given you permission to send your e-newsletter, as you don’t want to be seen as a spam sender. While social media platforms can change or go away completely, you’ll always need your email list. So, you don’t want to rely on a platform that you don’t have control over.
New Tips for Making the Most of Social Community Marketing Trends 2021
With so many new social influencer trends, it can be tricky figuring out how to maximize their impact. Knowing that these social brand trends for enterprises exist and knowing how to source them to augment your strategy are two distinct concepts!
Let’s go over some of the popular ways you can use social media marketing for your brand!
8. Pay to Play
Paid ads are essential if you are seeking high reach, engagement, or conversions. While all social platforms began as a free way to reach all of your customers and potential customers, that is no longer the case. Social media algorithms trend toward showing people the brands they most interact with first. So, if people aren’t regularly engaging with your brand—even if they have liked and followed your page—they are less likely to see your content. So, it’s important today to have a fixed social media advertising budget for both boosted/sponsored posts and advertising campaigns. Both of these features allow you to fine-tune your audience according to age, location, key interests, and more. Bottom line… social media advertising is no longer an extra or after thought. It’s a must.
9. Engage with Your Tribe through Social Media Comments & Direct Messages
60% of customers increased brand loyalty when companies gave them cutting-edge experiences.
Do a little social listening. Reply to comments on your social media content—as well as through direct messaging—in a timely fashion. This is a trend that has become increasingly popular, and it helps brands connect with their followers. If users take the time to engage with you on social media, Doesn’t it make sense to—well—keep them engaged? That is the point, after all!
Don’t allow comments on your posts to sit unattended. Set an example by ensuring that you connect with every commenter. When you leave your prospects languishing, you risk losing their attention altogether. If you engage with them, this encourages future engagements which lead to relationships, trust, and also sales!
BONUS: Reply to comments as a video on TikTok and Instagram stories gives you the ability to highlight customer reviews and feedback as a way to boost engagement and a true sense of community.
10. It’s All About the Timing
Traffic for your social media post depends on the first 10 minutes of the hour you post the content. Tag people and get the word out to increase traffic flow, especially if it’s a live-streaming event. If you conduct a live stream every week, do it on the same day at the same time every week. That way, your community can schedule it into their activities.
Are you presenting a one-off live stream? Get the word out multiple times in advance via multiple social channels. Post your event details ahead of time via emails, e-newsletters, and posts. If you have connections with people who support your efforts, maximize those relationships and also ask them to spread the word. (Need help staying on top of social media posting? You can try a scheduling program such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, or Kontentino.)
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11. The Power of Social Media Comments & Bookmarks
One of your responsibilities to your users is to curate helpful social content. Whatever your industry, your community looks to you for guidance, expertise, and resources. You can’t create it all, so you need to find reputable sources for content to share. Social bookmarking sites provide the means to do just that!
And as social media platforms toy with the idea of doing away with likes (e.g., Facebook, Instagram), people need to find other ways to indicate their approval of the posts they enjoyed or found helpful.
Arguably, Instagram is one of the most popular visual-centric social media trends for business and has become increasingly influential in marketing. To build brand awareness, encourage people to save your Instagram posts (instead of merely “liking” them). Use a call to action in your image and text. A simple “Bookmark this!” could be the ticket.
How else can your business benefit from these saves?
7 New Benefits of Social Media Bookmarks
- Save and organize resources you want to focus on at a later time.
- Share resources with your team or audience.
- Tag (label) content for easier referencing and searchability.
- Build backlinks from social media bookmarks to your website.
- Drive traffic to your website. (People find and click on content others have saved to their bookmarking sites.)
- Promote mentions you receive from others (bookmark articles that mention you and your content).
- Take advantage of SEO. (Search engines often bring up bookmarks in their search results.)
12. Ask Questions to Encourage Engagement on Social Media Posts
Want to encourage discussions and also engagement on social media platforms? Try social listening. To open the door for communication, remember the power of the question. Make it interesting. It would help if you posed a provocative question that leads users to want to share their thoughts. Then be sure to reply. A vague “yes/no” question like “Agree?” doesn’t spark discussion.
Examples of the Best Discussion-Encouraging Questions
- I’m curious. Do you have a story to share about your experiences with _____? (Fill in the blank.)
- How have you benefited from ________? (Fill in the blank.)
- When was the last time you _________? (Fill in the blank.)
- What’s your favorite memory of ________? (Fill in the blank.)
- Do you think there’s a chance that _______? What leads you to that conclusion? (Fill in the blank.)
13. Social Ego Bait
I know. . .that’s a pretty loaded term. But think about it. Social influencers and industry leaders enjoy the spotlight. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be influencers. Tag one or more influencers in your post and ask them to share. Instagram and Facebook offer great opportunities to tag in their stories functions. For example, you can post on Small Business Saturday, Women’s Day, and Black-Owned Business Month on your stories and tag businesses as a way to support them. It will easily increase your engagement and help build relationships. Plus, it’s a great way to “network” on social media.
BONUS #14: Humanized Brands — The Power of Authenticity
86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
And, finally, you may have noticed this growing social trend. People value transparency and authenticity in their relationships—and that ideal is spreading to how they feel about the brands they support. Creating authentic content is essential; always has been and always will. And while it can be a great strategy to pay attention to, respond to, and jump in on trending topics, songs, sounds, etc., it is even more important to mix in content that is authentic to your brand and your followers.
The social marketing predictions for 2022 from the pros indicate that your community wants to know who you are and what you stand for. And brands that align themselves with socially conscious themes are viewed more favorably by their customers.
Lean into yourself and let your light shine. Tell your stories. Offer up some education. You are who you are, and there’s a tribe out there waiting to meet and support you and your business!
More Resources on Social Media Marketing Trends for Business
Want to explore more education on social media trends, tips, and how-to instructions? Check out these popular resources.
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