In almost no time, social media has become an integral part of our personal and professional lives. From sharing our latest hangout pictures to writing reviews for our favorite food joint, we use social media in many possible ways. A medium that was once used for online fun and frolic turned into an integral tool for brands and businesses to connect with their target audience and potential buyers.
Major social media conglomerates Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have changed the way we communicated and engaged both on personal and business fronts. The emergence of social media as an inevitable marketing tool forced marketers to build tailor-made social media marketing strategies.
Over the years, we have seen several social media trends emerged and evolved. The success of a social media marketing strategy solely depends on how a marketer adopts these upcoming changes and aligns them to its existing social marketing strategy.
Major Social Media Marketing Trends for 2021
Through this article, we are looking into existing and upcoming social media trends predictions. Marketers should follow these social media marketing trends to boost engagement and improve brand reach.
Short Form Videos
Short-form videos are the most engaging form of video content. The duration of these videos may be anything between 25 seconds to a minute. TikTok, Facebook Stories, and Instagram Reels are some of the stunning examples of Short form videos.
Short-form videos, also called ephemeral content, were introduced in 2020. Gradually they picked up the pace and by 2021 their popularity grew manifold. Now short and snackable video content is an integral part of our social media feeds.
Brands like Nike, Gucci, and Zomato (among others) are caching upon this fun-filled and engaging video format to give their customers a sneak peek into their products and services. The content that brands present through short-form videos are more personal and informal. Brands across the world are showcasing polls, quizzes, behind the scene moments, and DIY videos through short-form videos to help customers understand the brand better.
Chatbot based Customer Support
For brands, customer support has always been a concern. Manual query resolution is hectic, resource-intensive, and error-prone. Chatbots were introduced to mitigate these hassles. These Chatbots are fully automated and free from any manual intervention. Now, chatbots are being used widely by brands to offer quicker query resolution to customers.
There are two types of chatbots available right now in the market. They are NLP (Natural Language Processing) Chatbots and Structured Chatbots. These tools are AI-powered and capable of understanding customer queries and offer the best solutions.
It’s very expensive to hire teams to provide customer support 24x7. Moreover, an urgent customer query may go unattended for longer if it’s escalated in off-hours. In this case, Chatbots go handy. They can take care of customer queries at any time of the day.
Brands can integrate Chatbots both on their websites, mobile apps, and social media brand pages. This way it becomes possible for the brands to answer customer queries without delay.
AR and VR Adaptation
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will continue to rise in 2021. These technologies are adopted and being used for elevating user experience at scale. Ecommerce giants Amazon, Flipkart, and eBay etc. have integrated AR-powered shopping into their portals.
It enables buyers to try products before purchasing them. Similarly, VR is adding to the user experience on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. With the help of VR, users can try different filters for images and videos. VR gears on other hand are offering an immersive gaming experience to gamers.
Influencer Outreach and Marketing
Lately, brands have started relying on influencers for promoting their products and services. Over the years this trend grew at scale and will continue to do for the next few years. However, the influencer marketing methodology and collaboration terms have evolved.
Instead of promoting select posts and feeds, influencers will now be hired for an entire marketing campaign. They will take complete responsibility for the content creation (how-to videos, demos, and infographics), promotion, and tracking. In 2021 Influencer marketing will become the reckoning force behind brand communication strategies.
Micro-influencers with a huge follower base are an asset for the brands. They can easily influence customer’s buying decisions and grow brand revenue with product placements and endorsements. The influencer marketing space is more power-packed now with new tools and features onboard. These tools will allow influencers to sell products from their profile without hassles.
Local Audience Targeting
In 2021 and beyond local brands will continue to connect and engage with their target customers using geo-tagging and social media platforms. Facebook-owned Instagram already has a feature that allows users to explore posts and stories related to their locality. Social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram already have features enabling brands and businesses to target their audiences from a specific locality.
It’s tough for small businesses and startups with relatively fewer resources to compete with big brands. They can instead focus on their local customers. It will help you to build your brand awareness and increase online visibility. To serve their local audience better, brands can create hyper-personalized content for them. This is the finest way to engage the audience and improve ROI.