The Corona pandemic has forced many areas of life into a kind of slowdown, and on yet other areas it has acted like a catalyst - especially when it comes to digitization and the use of social networks. Across all ages, people are posting, commenting and sharing more. The study "Social MediaTrends 2021" shows that more than half of the world's population now uses social media - that's around 4.41 billion active users. During the Corona pandemic, that number increased by a whopping 453 million. This makes it all the more important for companies/marketers to position themselves well for the coming year.
These social media trends will dominate in 2021:
1. Brands must learn to listen again
Let's start with a simple but unpalatable truth for marketers: 68 percent of all social media users find the content of companies and brands uninteresting. This is particularly because many marketers ignore the original reason for social media platforms: personal connections, relevant content and entertainment.
Time and again, we see brands using social media channels as a traditional advertising channel, only to be met with indifference from their customers.
In 2021, smart companies are listening to their target audience and are developing content that picks up on them and their needs. The trick is not to lead the dialog on social media, but to be a part of it and interact at eye level with the right balance of creativity and personality.
2. Social commerce is the future of e-commerce
With the introduction of shoppable posts on Instagram, it has become much easier for retailers to reach their customers and simplify their purchase decision or the buying process. In any case, 71 percent of consumers already use social media platforms to get inspired by goods and products. For this reason alone, it makes sense for retailers to expand store options and integrate them on Instagram or Pinterest. Instagram offers a good opportunity to link professional images of the online store with reposts from customers, which underlines the diversity and authenticity of a brand. Currently, Pinterest holds the most promising features for the German market due to its catalogue function, very good conversion analysis and dynamic bidding strategies for advertisers.
3. Authenticity and courage are rewarded
Brands that stand by their mistakes, are transparent and put social responsibility above profit will be the trailblazers in 2021. Because no trend is as clear as the one that topics such as inclusion, sustainability and social justice are becoming increasingly decisive for customers and their purchasing decisions. For brands, this means not just peddling simple lip service, but honestly integrating these issues into their corporate mission for the longterm.
Read more about this topic in our article "The role of social responsibility and sustainability in brand communication".
4. Stories stay popular
Due to the flood of social media content and the possibility of endless scrolling, the attention span of users is steadily decreasing. With the increasing popularity of Instagram Stories, Snapchat and TikTok or the introduction of Reels on Instagram, a new (on-the-go) generation has been conditioned to be entertained within a very short time or to get information on a certain topic. 90 percent of users watch content without sound on Facebook.With Instagram Stories, the figure is 40 percent. This is a trend to which brands must respond and rethink their content, storytelling and ads. The B2B platform LinkedIn has also launched the Story function for German users. This opens up new opportunities for business networking. It is probably only a matter of time before XING also introduces the story format.
5. Baby boomers boom on social networks
Since the pandemic, one generation has made particularly strong gains on the Internet and social networks. According to a 2020 Hootsuite Data study, 70 percent of Internet users between 55 to 64 shop online, and 37 percent plan to do so again regularly, even after the pandemic. In terms of social platforms, this generation spends a lot of time on Facebook and is particularly active there. But they can also be found on Instagram at a much higher rate than before – catching up with the three other age cohorts: The photo app grew by almost 60 percent among older people within a year.
In 2021, marketers can't afford to overlook older generations on social media. Through smart segmentation and thoughtful display, marketers who include Baby Boomers in their digital strategies and capitalize on their growing enthusiasm for technology.
Uhura develops social media strategies and tactics that work and are driven by data and factual analysis. In doing so, we not only achieve outstanding efficiency gains in brand and product communications via social media, but have also won multiple awards for our campaigns and work. What's your experience like? Give us a call, follow us on LinkedIn, or drop us an email.