Top 5 Social Media Trends of 2021Vanda Williams
With Covid-19, budget cuts and global economic decline, it’s no surprise that customer acquisition is every marketers’ top goal. Indeed, the race to generate new revenue is both understandable and necessary. However, due to the pandemic’s devastating effects on customer experience efforts, businesses need to find ways of growing without leaving CX, or the customer, behind.
In this sense, the problem marketers now face is to lessen the transactional nature of online experiences. Because these online experiences were meant to supplement the in-person experiences offered by visiting a brand, and not replace them, companies in 2021 are looking for creative ways to boost their CX offering. Wise marketers will be working toward delivering innovative experiences that fit together with fundamental buying behaviours while maintaining quick bursts of ROI. Here are some other social media trends to follow in 2021:
1. Social bridges the CX gap to boost ROI
While many marketers will continue to drive rapid ROI through lower-funnel ads for sustenance, customer needs should be met with inventive strategies and a gripping customer experience. Social platforms and social media marketing are now driving CX in a mid-pandemic world, wherein live streaming events offer new ways for brands, experts, customers and influencers to connect.
In fact, social media will be used to replace or recreate missing customer experiences in order to differentiate the brand’s products and services from a highly saturated space. Here’s what you can do:
- Increase ROI by adding multiple social channels: Single media campaigns tend to have a lower ROI than multichannel campaigns. Begin by bringing in user-generated content from social into email marketing campaigns, or by uniting your social and search ads.
- Make shopping a social event: Have your employees host product Q&A sessions to give customers a better feel of your offering, or simply share content that can bring an informative yet social component back into the buying process.
- Use social to unify loyal customers: Social platforms can help you connect with your most loyal customer base, who all have valuable customer feedback to offer. Use these platforms to unite your customer experiences and help prevent customer churn.
2. An uptick in social listening
Brands this year will have to recognise the importance of (social) listening before they speak. This is because brands often don’t know what type of content people want to see from them on social media, and how much people want to interact with them, to begin with.
In 2021, the smartest brands will understand where they fit into customers’ lives on social media. These brands will also find creative ways of fitting into the conversation instead of leading it, and create content that breaks through the wall of general apathy. Here’s what you can do:
- Embrace passive content consumption: The vast amount of online content is consumed passively, not actively. Know when to aim for engagement and participation in your campaigns and when to aim for reach and reaction.
- Bolster social listening data with other insightful sources: Monitoring conversations across platforms like TikTok, Instagram Stories, LinkedIn, or private messaging isn’t as easy as it is on Facebook or Twitter, which can skew the insights you’re pulling. Use a combination of search analysis with social listening to uncover not only what people are publically willing to share but also what they’re privately thinking.
3. Baby Boomers boom
As a whole, baby boomers have come into the Covid-19 crisis with healthier finances than younger generations and less financial fragility. According to eMarketer, roughly 6 in 10 baby boomers are now digital buyers.
In 2021, digital marketers won’t be overlooking this increasingly digitally savvy and lucrative demographic. By using smart segmentation and thoughtful representation, marketers that include baby boomers in their digital strategies will move way beyond those who don’t. Here’s what you can do:
- Don’t only target baby boomers by age: Use segmenting to target this demographic based on their passions and hobbies. Social media segmentation can offer relevant and more emotional foundations for defining audiences beyond simple demographics.
- Use online reviews to strengthen trust: Online reviews influence boomers’ purchasing decisions more than any other online source.
4. Emphasis on data integration
Marketers will need to have a better sense of if they’re engaging in the right ways with the right people over social media. That’s where data integration comes in. Marketers should develop mature practices around integrating social data into enterprise systems to gain a more comprehensive customer outlook.
In 2021, make sure you’re taking steps toward quantifiably proving you’re reaching the right customers, engaging with key suppliers or partners, and boosting loyalty. Here’s what you can do:
- Hold social accountable: Use your social platforms for more than just reactive engagement. Set clear objectives (KPIs) that are aligned with broader marketing measurement frameworks so as to not get swept up with vanity metrics.
- Start gathering data from social engagements: Track all the data from both your organic and paid campaigns to help you understand which channels and content pieces are driving action.
5. Shift toward purpose-driven capitalism
Due to recent events, marketers were under notable pressure to publicly address issues that their organisations had never focused on or were only beginning to align with. More diverse generational cohorts like Generation Z are changing modern brand building by influencing organisations to adopt their socially conscious mindsets and
In 2021, CMOs must be the voice of the customer in the C suite, helping other executives feel the customer and cultural changes that frontline social media every day. Thriving CMOs will use intelligence gathered by
social media teams to help the organisation adapt to new buyer beliefs and new ways of doing commerce. Here’s what you can do:
- Create/Revisit social media policies: A good social media policy will provide guidelines for your entire organisation, giving everyone the ability to act and quickly and confidently. Your policy should cover how your brand and employees are expected to use social media whether in a time of crisis or not.
- Set up a social media crisis communications workflow: Create a cross-functional plan in place to help save valuable company time and keep everyone focused when a crisis bubbles up on social media.