Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. Successfully marketing your brand via social media involves publishing strong content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging with your followers, and analyzing your results.
As we jump into this fresh new year, I would like to share with you some exciting trends, tricks, and tips you can use in an effort to continue to build your brand and market your business to the highest standard possible.
Ephemeral content is something that is available only for a short duration and disappears afterward.
Instagram and Snapchat Stories are perfect examples of this type of content. Today, people's attention spans are shorter, and the way they like to consume content has also changed. This is why content formats like Stories have become popular. They are short, engaging, and addictive in a way that people can spend hours scrolling through one Story after another. It can take many forms, including photos, live-stream videos, product demos, narrative stories, and more.
The Traditional Social Platforms Will Continue to Perform Well:
Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media as the largest and most popular platforms and continued to be popular with their users through now.
Hootsuite surveyed businesses about where they intended to increase their social budgets in 2021. 60% stated that they intend to increase their Instagram budget in 2021, and 46% plan to increase their Facebook budget. YouTube (45%) and LinkedIn are also popular. Dentists can follow our 8-step Instagram marketing tips.
User-Generated Content Will Continue to Be Popular:
Brands leveraging user-generated content is not a new trend but is a trend that is still going strong and will continue to do so. The only thing that has changed is the rate of adoption, with more and more marketers utilizing UGC.
Some brands motivate their customers to create content and tag the brand for a chance to get featured on their page. Other companies run relevant marketing campaigns that encourage people to submit their entries to be a part of the campaign.
Video Content Will Dominate:
Video content is one of the most engaging forms of content and will soon dominate social media. Whether it is short-form videos like those popular on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, videos are the future of social media content.
According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start utilizing video content to stay relevant in the social media domain.
Higher Adaptation of Augmented Reality:
Augmented reality enhances our reality by adding digital elements to it and changing the way things actually look. Social media platforms have found interesting use cases for this technology and have started leveraging it in recent years.
Instagram, for example, uses augmented reality for its numerous photo filters. This trend, though heavily popularized by Instagram and Snapchat, will be adopted by other social media platforms in the coming years. Facebook, for example, launched AR filters before Instagram, but they got popular later. Facebook is also experimenting with other AR and VR functionalities and will develop more applications of these technologies in the future.
The applications of AR on social media are not limited to just photo filters to post fun posts and stories. Brands can also leverage augmented reality to provide better shopping experiences to their customers.
Local Targeting Will Become More Prevalent:
Just like local SEO is for local brands who want to get more organic traffic, local targeting is the counterpart for social media. Many brands use location-based targeting to reach out to and attract people from a specific geographic location.
One common way in which brands attract a local audience is by geo-tagging their posts and stories. If you add a location to your social media content, it will automatically draw-in a local audience.
Social platforms like Instagram provide the option to search for posts from nearby places or specific locations. If you add locations to your content, it will show up in these search results, helping local people find your brand and content.
Geo-targeting works especially well for promoted posts or tweets as these platforms help you target the right audiences.
More Brands Will Incorporate Social Listening Into Their Strategies:
Social media is a goldmine for data and insights that businesses can use to refine their social strategies. And, with the launch of so many social listening tools, it has become very easy for anyone to access these insights.
Given the ease with which you can tap into social conversations to draw meaningful insights, social listening has made its way into every marketer's strategy. Brands and marketers are using it for a variety of use cases.
Increase in the Use of Social Media for Customer Service:
Social media has traditionally been a place for people to connect with their social networks and share photos and videos. However, those days are long gone, and social media is now so much more than just that.
It has become a retail platform, a product discovery platform, and now, even a customer service channel. A lot of brands have started recognizing social media networks as platforms for delivering customer service.
This transition happened gradually as brands started noticing that many customers try to reach out to them on social media. This may be because of a lack of response on other channels or just because it was a more direct way to reach the brands.
Fee-based Fan Communities Will Grow:
2020 saw a big move in the direct-to-consumer space, both in terms of e-commerce (as evidenced by Instagram shopping), and content (look at the explosive growth of OnlyFans and similar).
In 2021, we’ll see these trends converge, and brands will begin to adopt fee-based communities that give superfans exclusive access to content, exclusive products, and more. It’s like a virtual version of a Membership Club, and will give smart brands the ability to build advocacy and word-of-mouth among core customers who are willing to pay a small monthly fee to interact with one another, and the business itself.
Brands Must Humanize:
Being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021.
Consumers need more than just great deals to trust, identify with, and invest in a brand. It is important to remember that people connect with people. This means the brand should be personified in a way that reveals who they stand for and what they stand for. Get more faces out there, create more video, and talk about what matters to your core tribe.
This can help brands gain trust from their audiences while boosting awareness as a company that cares about people.
Brands Will Continue To Take a "Less Is More" Posting Approach.
In 2020, many brands spent less time churning out social media posts and more time producing only content that felt thoughtful, valuable, and in-touch with the world around them.
The trend of "less is more" is likely to continue this year in 2021.
Consumers Will Crave More “Snackable Content”:
These come in the form of Quote Graphics, Memes, Infographics, Gifs
In 2020, we saw the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, continued engagement on Stories content from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and brands creating other short-form or "snackable" pieces content to educate consumers about their brand.
As social media attention spans continue to shrink and more people scroll endlessly through feeds while bored at home, don't expect snackable content to lose steam anytime soon.
Ready to dive in but don’t know where to get started? Here is a little jump-start cheat sheet to make the most of your upcoming content strategies:
Do less of this:
- Posts that are too wordy: Keep it short and simple..but not plain.
- Stock images of people: Try adding the client’s actual logo to see if that will boost engagement.
Graphics that contain only words: No images.
Do more of this:
- Informational posts: You will often have a higher engagement for posts that offer educational tips/tricks/or hacks
- Graphics from the clients: Staff & team members, clients, patients, etc.
- Highlights - Focused Projects, Community Highlights, Services
- Company/Business Reviews
- Before and after images of projects