It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through 2021. As some semblance of normalcy is returning, it feels like many of the unknowns of 2020 are in the rearview mirror.
In the past 18 months, we saw the world through a lens we never thought possible. Social media engagement surged as people desperately sought human connection during a time when isolation was the norm. As our desire for human connection grew, social media adapted to meet it. The result? The entire way we view social media has changed, and these four trends are here to stay.
1. Standing for something
If 2020 taught marketers anything, it’s the importance of being intentional and inclusive with your marketing. A recent study from AList found that over 50% of Americans expect a brand to take a stand against racism. Moreover, consumers are demanding transparency from brands and creators, and aren’t afraid to call them out. Taking a stance is the first step. The second? Your company and culture should reflect diversity and inclusion (D&I). As consumers expect higher levels of transparency, that means following through with the stances you take—especially internally. Consumers are watching and taking notes of these shifts. Being genuine in your D&I initiatives helps drive consumer Participation.
2. Expanding of social commerce
Social commerce is an $89 billion market that is projected to grow to $605 billion in the next seven years. It is a powerful tool—allowing a customer to buy a product directly from their social feeds, without having to open a browser. If your brand has an online store, it is important your customers can find you on multiple channels. Facebook and Instagram, for example, both have storefronts and shoppable posts that brands can use to easily track conversions.
3. Growing use of live audio
Clubhouse anyone? Think of the new-in-2020 live audio streaming app as live podcasting. Clubhouse is not open to advertisers yet, but there is a breadth of opportunity for business and executives. With an estimated 10 million active users each week, there is no shortage of people tuning in to learn and be inspired. The invite-only platform relies on networking and clout. The app is a series of “rooms” that stream live audio from one or many speakers. The more connections you have in the app, the more ears you have in your room. To learn more about the app and how you can leverage it, Forbes
has you covered.
4. Making a TikTok for everything
With massive growth since the start of COVID-19, it’s clear that TikTok is here to stay. Beyond learning the newest dance or perfecting the feta pasta
(I’ve made it and it is DELICIOUS), TikTok is consistently the most downloaded app month over month. Yes, even outperforming Instagram! TikTok is a place to be unapologetically yourself. Brands are free to create less polished content, and consumers respond well to the casual space. Additionally, the viral nature of the app allows brands and products to blow up very quickly—Ocean Spray skateboarder anyone? Our own client, Bissell, saw huge success
on TikTok with their little green giant vacuum surging in use during quarantine. It’s clear that no matter how you use TikTok, one thing is certain: it drives sales.
Understanding where we are today
Social media is ever evolving. Long gone are the days of just a few, simple social media apps that connect us to our old high school friends. We have entered a new age of social media—one where valuable CX and transactions are integrated alongside the newest dance trend. Understanding the newest social media trends and knowing how to use them will enable brands to generate Participation
and loyalty, launch exciting campaigns, and drive sales.