Want to tap into the latest social media marketing changes? Looking for expert insight to help you get your marketing plans on the right track?
In this article, we will put you through on the 7 top social media marketing trends.
#1: SEO Drives Organic Instagram Visibility
When it comes to gearing up for 2021, especially with Instagram marketing, there are two things that all marketers should take advantage of: SEO and Reels.
In November 2020, it was officially announced that Instagram would become more search-friendly. Now, without the use of hashtags, if you search for a keyword in the search bar, relevant videos, profiles, and posts should populate.
This will be game-changing for marketers as we should expect increased opportunities for more reach on posts. My recommendation to take early advantage of this update is to make sure your captions include relevant keywords that will help Instagram identify what’s being shown or talked about in your post.
To further help Instagram categorize your account, you want to consistently post content that’s relevant to your niche. To illustrate, if you run an Instagram account for your dog training business, you’ll want to focus on posting content about dog training and avoid content that strays into an unrelated category. Other ways to help you show up in search within your category include following other similar accounts and adding a relevant keyword to your name in your bio
To compete with the rise in popularity of TikTok, Instagram launched Reels, a new form of video content delivered in 15–30 seconds to create quick, attention-grabbing moments in a creative and entertaining way. Instagram’s new UI update, which put IG Reels front and center, should hint to marketers that Instagram Reels will be here to stay in 2021.
By taking advantage of these two big Instagram updates, marketers should expect to get more visibility and attract followers who could be ideal customers for your business. Remember, the most important thing is to stay consistent with your Instagram strategy as results happen over time, not overnight.
#2: Brick & Mortar Stores Embrace the Shift to Online Shopping on Instagram
As we become accustomed to the “new normal,” businesses need to pivot to ensure sales keep coming in and numbers exceed previous years. But with new mandates and measures in place to keep consumers safe, what does that look like?
While eCommerce has been a popular monetization method for many brands over the last few years, it typically isn’t utilized by brick-and-mortar stores.
In 2021, your local gym and yoga studio will offer classes online in a range of formats—from free Instagram Lives, Zoom calls, or their own integrated and propriety platforms.
Any traditional operation that can be turned into an online process will do so, and all in-person contact will be limited. This makes it even more important that the online version of your product or service is delivered at its highest quality and standard.
This shift toward contactless shopping will allow eCommerce stores to thrive even further in 2021. With social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook already beginning to integrate in-app purchasing, the steps traditionally required to convert a user to a customer will be reduced and the gap between ‘scrolling’ and ‘shopping’ will be significantly blurred.
To take advantage of these changes, your local business will need to:
- Survey your audience to determine their true wants and needs from an online offering
- Research and test multiple video platforms to find one that supports your new offerings
- Collect contact information from customers to ensure you can be in touch at any time
- Sign up for Instagram and Facebook shopping to link products to your social posts
And all brands should consider the following:
- Set up retargeting ads. A majority of your traffic won’t purchase on their first visit to your site. Implementing a retargeting strategy will ensure you capture them later and increase your overall revenue.
- Focus on user experience. If your website is slow, not optimized for mobile, has a clunky checkout process, or lacks shipping and return policies, now is the time to fix it. Any inconvenience can significantly reduce your conversion rate.
#3: Brands Must Humanize
Smart businesses will understand that being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021. 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.
#4: Facebook Advertising Success Is Tied to the Customer Lifecycle
Our advice for 2021 is two-fold. As the online marketplace continues to become more saturated and Facebook advertising costs continue to rise, returning to the foundational aspects of running ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram will be critical to success.
Central to that success will be accurately assessing the customer life cycle and the average customer value so you know how much you can pay for a lead and still remain profitable. Review the records of your past customers to get a solid sense of how leads join your list, the length of time between someone joining your list and becoming a paying customer, and how much your average customer spends with you.
Use that information to build out your projections and a Facebook advertising strategy that reflects your true customer data.
For example, because Facebook is giving more prominence to Reels on Instagram, we predict that video ads will convert better than images. we recently tested ads that featured an image with audio, a static image, a moving image, and a video and found that the ad with video converted at as much as half the cost of the others.
#5: Personality Becomes Key to YouTube Growth
Online business is exploding and YouTube is no exception. Many channels—even newer channels—are seeing exponential growth right now.
In the midst of this growth, differentiation will be key to standing out and reaching your ideal customer. As YouTube becomes more saturated with topical niches it’s also becoming more personality-centric. This means your most valuable differentiator is your unique personality—the way you speak, the way you explain concepts, etc.
Leaning into what makes you different and injecting that into your channel from day one will make it easier to attract and build loyalty with a new audience on YouTube.
#6: LinkedIn Culture Shifts Toward Conversational Transparency
2020 was a massive year for LinkedIn. The platform rolled out LinkedIn Live, Events, Polls, and Stories. In the coming year, marketers need to embrace not only these new features and content formats but also the shift in culture created by the rise in remote working from home.
Professionals working remotely are engaging with conversational content because it mimics the team environment they’re missing.
On the personal brand side of LinkedIn, you’ll want create polls that your audience will want to vote on, ask irresistible open-ended questions in updates, share candid photos from your workday in stories, or post about celebrating career milestones.
On the LinkedIn page side of things (for businesses), 2021 will be a game-changer for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who are hyper-focused on their LinkedIn pages. The LinkedIn team is looking for ways to appeal to SMBs like never before with the rollout of upcoming features that will help SMBs build a community of raving fans around products or services. Many businesses are already taking full advantage of the interactive new features available.
Here’s where it gets interesting on both the personal and corporate brand sides of things. Conversations on LinkedIn, typically a place where conversation centers around business, have been focused on public, political, social, and economic issues. Why does this matter? Because this shift is forcing professionals and brands alike to speak up and share their values.
If you want to be successful on LinkedIn in 2021, be prepared to adopt transparency into your marketing efforts.
#7: LinkedIn Networking
LinkedIn is currently plagued by mass-outreach spam, which is making people more hesitant and skeptical about connecting and more easily offended by a sales pitch. Outreach spam ruins relationships and reputations but real relationships build them.
In 2021, marketers will want to focus on building relationships rather than collecting connections whose sole purpose is to drop a sales pitch after two interactions. Real 1:1 connections begin when the connection request is customized for the recipient, making them feel valued.
The sophisticated social media marketer will put effort into building meaningful, long-term relationships on LinkedIn that aren’t perceived as transactional.
The effect will be not only stronger relationships. A more sizable cohort of one’s ideal target audience will see and interact with your posts and those relationships will continue to add value to your career for far longer than a current campaign.