Last year, digital technology was the glue that held us together: According to Forbes, global online content consumption doubled in 2020: With WFH orders in place, video conferencing became the new norm. eCommerce sales soared. Live video streams took the place of in-person events. And people spent a lot more time on social media
What does that mean for 2021? Digital connectivity has become even more ingrained in our everyday lives—and that shows no sign of slowing.
As such, social media will remain a best practice for making meaningful, engaging connections with your audience and driving brand awareness.
The 2021 Hootsuite Social Trends report concurs: “The smartest brands will understand where they fit into customers’ lives on social media, and they’ll find creative ways of fitting into the conversation.” To get it right, here are the latest trends to consider.
Diversify your social channels.
Multichannel social media campaigns tend to have a higher ROI than single media campaigns. In fact, for every channel you add, you can improve your ROI and effectiveness by up to 35%, according to Analytic Partners. But that doesn’t mean you should scatter the same content across all social channels: Be strategic about the channels you use and the messages you send. Use customer personas to identify your target audience and then use those channels that best reach them.
Prioritize the organic social media relationship funnel.
We know that consumers today are leery of advertising. The latest data shows that 70% of consumers believe customer opinions and reviews (more than double those who trust advertisements). To build trust in your brand, start by building relationships with your employees, influencers and customers. Then, allow their voices to be heard on your social channels. While creating your own brand content messaging is still important, amplifying the opinions and influence of others goes a long way toward growing your brand engagement and loyalty.
Take a people-first approach.
Two-way communication is essential for boosting your organic posts. So, create an engaged and energized online brand community by answering their questions and responding to comments, using hashtags, reposting or sharing their stories, etc. Remember that being genuine and transparent with your followers goes a long way. If you make a mistake, owe up to it. Doing the right thing speaks volumes about your brand—and your audience is always listening.
Last year with stay-at-home orders in place, we collectively tuned in to live video. On Facebook, live viewings spiked by 50% during lockdown periods, while on Instagram viewings surged 70%. Whether it was a livestream event, a live video from an influencer or celebrity, or an online class or workshop, live connectivity made us all feel a little less isolated. That personal connection is what we all crave. And that’s exactly what live video delivers, which is why we’ll continue to see livestreams as an essential part of social strategies moving forward. To delight and engage your audience, check out Buffer’s top 5 ideas for livestream video: https://buffer.com/library/instagram-live-video/
Social for a cause.
Last year, we saw an increase in brand conversations surrounding social, environmental and human rights issues. Expect that purpose-driven social trend to continue: Merkle’s Q4 2020 Media Insights Report found that 56% of consumers say they have no respect for businesses that remain silent on important issues. To do it right, develop meaningful content that you can share on your social channels to educate, inspire or encourage others. Consumers expect brands to show leadership and meaningful action on social issues—not exploit them for marketing opportunities.
Based on research, these are a few of the social trends that we’re incorporating as part of our social media strategy. Hope you find the insight helpful for your brand marketing.