2020 has been a heck of a year. Everything we knew about digital marketing has been accelerated. We have seen so many businesses struggling to keep up with the new ways of doing business, or even worse, they had to shut down their businesses and start over – online. The focus on digital communication pushed forward maybe even 20 years ahead in terms of digitalization. Now schools are having online classes like a new norm, the businesses work from home naturally, not like a job perk. Everything has changed, including the attention on Social Media as the main channel to stay in touch with friends and family (besides Zoon, of course) but also to find entertainments and ways to spend the lockdowns and quarantines…
So, what the future brings in 2021 regarding Social Media for businesses?
I have compiled a list of the hottest trends, after comprehensive research on industry reports, white papers and what the biggest players in Social Media are forecasting. Here are the main takeaways:
1. The Race To ROI
Everyone is looking at how to invest smartly in Social Media in 2021, especially after the big hit on budgets after COVID-19.
- Diversify your digital channels to create more streams for ROI;
- Bring creativity and inspiration into the sales process;
- Use influencers to increase your revenue;
- As a marketing team, put the social media team at the core of your strategy, they will know how to interact with your customers.
2. Silence Is Golden
People want to connect with people, but not with brands in 2020. Therefore, brands are now sitting back and listen to what the consumers are talking about. Brands now need to get creative to slide back into conversations, without being pushy and salesy. People these days what to learn, to have fun and smile.
- Consider that your content might be consumed in a passive way. Therefore create your content for later read or for saves;
- Implement social listening across all social platforms, it can bring light into your future strategy only by listening to what is happening with other brands or businesses;
- Use User-Generated Content (UGC) to create more content that is not that costly as creating it from scratch!
3. Way More Than OK
This trend is related to Baby boomers, usually a disregarded segment of the audience on Social Media. But what happened in 2020, has created a tipping point for them joining Social Media platform to connect with their family and friends According to Hootsuite Survey on Digital 2020 data, “70% of internet users aged 55-64 say they’ve bought something online in the past month, and 37% are planning to continue doing so more frequently when it’s over”. That means we as businesses need to drill don more to understand their behaviour, ways of interacting and talking to them so they will understand our language and products & services. Do not neglect this segment, they are becoming more and more visible online and they have purchase power as well.
- Target baby boomers not only on age but in interests and hobbies;
- Include baby boomers into your creative without stereotypes;
- Use online reviews to boost their confidence in your product or service
4. Do I Know You?
Tying engagement data to identity gives advanced marketers new momentum. “85% of organizations that integrate social data into other systems have confidence in their organization’s ability to accurately quantify the ROI of social media.” (Hootsuite). You do not have to have a CRM in place to be able to dig in into your customers’ profile. You might have Facebook (Insights) or even you have your Google Analytics installed on your website! It is a great place to start understanding your customers’ behaviour. Or you can even start with an Excel list you have made when you did that contest or webinar.
- Start in small steps to gather quantifiable data from social engagements;
- Set up manual workflows in the absence of perfect technological solutions;
- Hold Social Media accountable for more than just reactive engagement
5. The Perils (And Promise) Of Purpose
Bold brands start in the boardroom, not the front lines of social. “Purpose-driven companies will certainly be on the right side of history in the years to come—but becoming one isn’t something you can fake or simply mimic on social media.” (Hootsuite). 2020 has been a year of chaos for most of the marketers, trying to re-shuffle and reorganize their response to social media pressure. Social Media managers have been able to gather all the information they needed to create a quick response to this new online behaviour (well. Most of them).
- Create or revisit your Social Media Policies. If you don’t have one, make one!
- Set up a social media crisis communications workflow -Who is doing what;
- Use social listening for intelligence, not interrupting. Understand the impact of the lockdown, track the overall sentiment, and use all the information to create a strong social media strategy in 2021!
More Trends To Keep Eyes On
- The 4Cs of COVID-19 (Cleanliness, Contactless, Community, Compassion) influencing your content
- Memetic media. Create your content like you are meme it
- Nostalgia marketing. Time to get brand nostalgic
- Social gaming = gaming social. Gamification of social media Isi here to stay
- Old-school marketing for a new market. Email is old school, but it works. Nurturing your audience is the new sexy. Try to get yourself into a podcast. Again, use influencers
- Go big on social media. Do not get lost in the Hype! Monitor your ad spend, and find the right mix channel for your content and audience
- The rise of digital disinformation – or fake news. Be careful with what you share, and with you are associating your brand to, reputation these days is a hard work to keep it clean!
- Add the conscious to your brand social. Apparently, the conscious consumer now has arisen in all industries and they become more and more powerful voices. Align your marketing with your PR, avoid social media crises and connect your brand with your audience. (Talkwalker and HubSpot 2020 Research).
With all these trends, you are in the know, now is the perfect time to create your Social Media strategy and content planning for 2021!
Get Social in 2021!