Six trends which will shape social media in 2021
A guest post by Robert Smith.
2020 has been a crazy year. While the global pandemic forced us to limit our interactions with other people, there was a lot going on with the economy of the world.
Since the governments in most countries had implemented stay-at-home orders to minimise the spread of COVID-19, the monthly stats which shape social media usage had reportedly increased by 21%.
It is quite evident the pandemic has impacted how we use social media. In fact businesses have used this opportunity to boost their services and operations by using social media platforms to their advantage.
But how can 2021 shape social media for the world’s 3.6 billion users? These trends suggest a number of things:
1. Fleeting content will continue to be popular
Fleeting content, or ephemeral content, is available only for a short duration and disappears afterwards. Snapchat Stories were a pioneer of this format. Now Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and even YouTube give their users the option to create ephemeral content.
The popularity of this social format is because attention spans are getting shorter. How content is consumed has changed significantly. Short and engaging content fits the requirements of this generation of social media users. And this is why they spend hours scrolling through one story after the other.
2. Social commerce will continue to grow
Brands will continue to use social media platforms to promote their products and services. And this trend will gain momentum as we move further into 2021.
Social commerce is becoming a popular channel for mainstream retail, on par with other channels such as websites and offline stores. This trend will only get stronger as more social networks introduce pro-selling features, such as the shoppable posts, Instagram Storefronts, and more.
A Hootsuite study shows 73% of the businesses are using social media to increase their acquisition of new customers. While 64% shape social media to increase brand awareness. This increasing popularity of social commerce means more brands and marketers will be including it within their sales strategies.
3. Video content will remain popular
Video content will continue to be one of the most engaging forms of content in 2021 and beyond. This includes long-form content on YouTube or the more popular, short-form videos on TikTok or InstaReels. A study suggests that 82% of all online content will be video content by 2022.
If you are planning to promote your brand on social media, it’s worth considering video creation in your content strategy. Use different types of video formats for your social media content as well as advertising. However, be aware that all the major social media platforms are now becoming flooded with videos.
4. Influencer marketing will continue to trend
Influencer marketing as a popular strategy for brands will continue into 2021 as well. The main reason for its popularity is it is beneficial for both brand and influencer. The influencer will be paid well by the brand for the promotion. And the brand is able to leverage the influencer’s reach to boost their conversion rate.
Investing in influencer marketing is a cheaper option than running paid ad campaigns. Also influencer marketing often produces better results. Brands can collaborate with influencers to generate leads and achieve a variety of marketing goals.
And marketers prefer to work with a whole network of small, relevant and niche influencers. They provide much higher engagement and cost a lot less. So it is safe to assume we will see more influencer marketing in 2021.
5. More regulatory control and legal scrutiny
Amidst the positive things which shape social media, certain negative areas have also come to light. Issues with data privacy and security have raised concerns regarding how social networks function. Social media can be used very easily to collect information about its users and use it for various purposes.
This year we will see stricter norms and policies from social networks and regulatory bodies. As people are beginning to believe social media is unsafe, businesses are taking necessary measures to change this. As a result we will see more regulations and restrictions on all platforms.
Towards the end of 2020, TikTok was banned in several markets (including India) over privacy concerns. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are also under the radar and working on tighter regulations.
6. A rise in social media usage for customer support
While brands use social media platforms for retail, they are also using social media for customer support. Customers reach out to brands on social media as they were unable find a proper response from other channels. Also communicating with brands on social media has proven to be a more direct method of getting solutions to their problems.
All brands need start treating social media platforms as an effective channel to serve customer support. Most brands don’t understand how easy it is to handle customer queries and requests on social media. Failing to do so will earn them a bad name, as other users can see how the brand is treating their customers.
Ready to shape social media in 2021?
Even though some of these trends have been shaping social media and its landscape for quite some time, I don’t see any loss in popularity. If you want to build a successful business in 2021 and beyond, you need to use these trends to your advantage and stay on top of the competition.
About the author
Robert Smith is a digital educator, and academic counsellor working on behalf of a reputable firm in Australia. He has earned his PhD in English Literature in Australia. Robert is also part of the team of dissertation experts at MyAssignmenthelp.com, where he offers assignment help to students on request. He also loves to spend time in his kitchen garden.
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