Social media trends to bring into your marketing plan in 2021

There have been few years like this one. Most small businesses – toilet paper manufacturers and sweat pant designers excepted – are eager to bid 2020 a hearty adieu. But as you look to the future, you’d be wise to use what you’ve learned from this debacle to plan your strategy for 2021. 

One of the things we all learned, or maybe, more accurately, confirmed, is that when the going gets tough, the tough get going – to social media. 

With COVID-19 forcing most businesses to shut down their physical locations, at least for a while, many businesses turned to the Internet. And many discovered a world of new opportunities to reach new customers through social media.  

Social media should already be part of your marketing strategy. If it’s not, or if you want to build on your efforts to gain new customers through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et. al, here are a few things to consider as you plan for 2021 (and hope – nay, pray – for a much better year).

Seamless shopping

While the advent of e-commerce created an almost instant shopping experience for customers, it’s no longer instant enough. Used to be that providing a link to your online store in a social media post would drive customers to your website. Today people have better things to do than leave Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or whatever platform they’re languishing on. Many platforms, including those three, now allow e-commerce stores to create posts that let shoppers shop without navigating away from the platform. 

Give customers a role to play

Social media has long served as a virtual soapbox where users can share their ideas, interests and, oh yes, their opinions. Encourage customers to get interactive on your social media by offering quizzes, asking them to participate in a survey or inviting them to review your product or service. An added bonus: you can collect information to add to your contact database. 

Don’t tell it, show it

If people don’t have time to leave their current platform, they certainly don’t have time read, so video content should always be a part of any social marketing strategy. It’s been the hallmark of the Internet (think of the magical draw of cat videos and baby goats in pajamas). Live-streaming is especially on trend, with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn currently the best platforms on which to go live. 

Use influencers

Yes, they can be annoying, at least to some of us. But to a large majority of consumers, influencers are the most trusted go-to for advice on what to purchase. With the increase in YouTube celebrities and now TikTok icons, old-school advertising, hard-sell sales pitches and insincere celebrity endorsements are going by the wayside. To many consumers, especially younger ones, Internet influencers are relatable, approachable and trustworthy. Just ask Cole Spouse, who has 38.2 million followers on Instagram.

Be strategic

Simply posting on social media does not guarantee an increase in sales or attention to your business. It’s an incredible battle for people’s attention in a time when people are known to lose focus after only eight seconds. So if you’re posting, it better be something people want to see. 

Variety is not just the spice of life, it’s the ingredient that will keep eyeballs on your content. Some experts suggest a formula: 5:3:2 – for every 10 posts, five should come from other sources, three should relate to your brand and two should be more fun. It’s a recipe to prevent boredom and keep consumers’ attention on you.

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