Along with the time as all social media platforms are changing their features, interface, algorithms, and regulatory policies, the way people use to interact with them is changing dramatically as well. Social media networks are not merely used to connect and interact with people only but also to increase the awareness of a product/service, spreading informative and educational content too. Social media marketing has become an extremely important ingredient of an overall Digital Marketing Strategy for an organization. Since the Covid19 pandemic has hit the ground, the ways to interact with social media networks have entirely changed.
If you want to get familiar with the latest trends of social media marketing, you are perhaps reading an appropriate Blog right now. Further I will be explaining some of the most favorable social media marketing trends in 2021.
Video Conferencing Will Remain On Surge
The health crisis caused by Covid19 pandemic globally, it is believed that the offices are far away to be operational in some fashion as it was before and the employees have to wait for an extended period of time before they will see their co-workers back in office once again.
In addition to this, even the extended families which are staying locally, nationally or internationally cannot travel, visit or meet their loved ones due to the strict restrictions imposed by the Governments such as lockdown, curfew, travel bans, social distancing, contact tracing etc. In such scenarios, video calling, video conferencing or virtual meetings are the only better ways left over to stay connected with your friends, family members and colleagues worldwide.
Apart from the VC apps such as Zoom, Google Meet , Skype, Microsoft Teams etc., social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, WhatsApp lets you engage and interact with people online and people of all age groups are getting more and more familiar with these platforms.
Online Shopping With Social Media Networks
The demand for shopping online has risen in recent times more than ever before. It is considered that covid 19 pandemic, technological evolution with internet access and availability of smart devices has contributed immensely in terms of changing the shopping style amongst the people. As ecommerce is on rise and so as the development and launch of ecommerce applications, more and more people have started using social media networks for various reasons before completing their online purchases. Big social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram are just not known as a medium to connect with people nowadays but a lot of times, business/commerce transactions are happening there as well. Facebook marketplace is a platform where people can post their various types of advertisements right form renting out a property, selling clothes, furniture, electronic devices, gadgets, gym equipment, vehicles, apparels, books, softwares, food supplements, plants & garden equipment and the list goes on.
Similarly Instagram, a platform which is more known for pictures and short videos, people can just take multiple pictures of their articles and advertise them as a story. Moreover, advertisements are also possible to be published as a gallery and collection format as well, once you sign-up on Instagram with a business account.
In addition to this, customizing the advertisements as per your target audiences with demographic and geographic classification is another possibility which can be explored on social media networks.
Furthermore, businesses can purchase paid advertisements as well in order to get some quick results and analysis for their specific campaigns. Paid advertisements are linked to the allocated budgets for overall marketing, social media marketing and particular campaigns.
Potential buyers mostly prefer to check the reviews or a product/service related comments before completing their purchase. Social listening has become extremely popular nowadays and has added enormous value to the businesses in terms receiving the feedback about their product/service which gives them a window to make the necessary improvements.
Increase Of Small Businesses On Social Media
With an exponential spike in the usage of social media networks, more and more small businesses such as pharmacy, bakery, motor mechanic shop, electrician, hairdresser, gym & spa center, restaurant, grocery store, dry cleaner etc. are making their presence online rapidly. It becomes for a potential consumer to find them on social media networks and check the reviews of their products/services before visiting them or ordering online.
In addition to this, small business owners can list their businesses on Google My Business for free of charge by fulfilling the certain documentary requirements for authentication and can sign-up for Google Local Services Ads as well in order to be visible for their users, whenever someone searches for a related service in a nearby area of his/her residence. This in turn increases the online presence for small scale businesses which are typically operating on a small budget and cannot afford to spend on online marketing and paid advertisement campaigns etc.
Furthermore, by advertising a small business online, one can explore the horizons of either online trading by itself or can tie up with ecommerce giants such as Amazon for selling the products online. For example, a small bakery owner can sign-up with Amazon to sell the birthday cakes and a furniture manufacturer can sell home, garden or office furniture online as well. Social media networks can act as a one common place to find a business online anywhere.
Use of Infographics, Podcasts, Videos Will Increase
As the use of social media networks have skyrocketed from the past 4-5 years so the ways of consuming the content have been changing dramatically as well. People prefer to view the content more as a snapshot of a larger event rather than watching or reading the entire story of an event. For example, rather than witnessing an entire forum of 5-6 hours in a conference hall or online, viewers choose to be the part of a particular session of 45-60 minutes which makes the maximum sense for them.
Moreover, in terms of style of consuming the content, working professionals favour to absorb the information in forms of podcasts or short videos rather than being the part of 60-90 minutes of webinar or discussion forum. Infographics and informational images are other well accepted means of content consumption which have received a wider acceptance across the industries. For example, a well structured infographics can convey the message in a compelling and self explanatory manner in which you may not require someone to address the audiences in terms of walking them though each of the steps/processes as compared to a lengthier piece of content with multiple pictures which may confuse the consumer and eventually will fail to convey its message. In another example, Health Service Executive (HSE) which is responsible for the provision of health and personal social services for everyone living in Ireland, with public funds, educated the people about the safety guidelines for Covid-19 and conveyed its message through various Infographics successfully.
In addition to this, by creating short videos either on YouTube or Vimeo, one can circulate the message in a much faster and effective way as compared to the large video recordings or webinars for which the majority of the potential customers would not even have time to watch. Due to the busy lifestyle and hectic work schedules, people prefer to consume the information in a simpler, faster and the most effective way and gain maximum out of it.
Technology Adoption Will Be On The Rise
In each segment of our life be it personal, professional or social, the adoption of technology will keep increasing in the upcoming year. As the technological advancements have been significantly changing our ways of learning, teaching, working, socially interacting, shopping and so on, technology will keep dominating the aspects which play critical roles in human lives. Further developments in the fields of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will play a huge role in terms of providing a more engaging experience to the users. Ecommerce businesses such as Myntra has opened its first VR store in Bangalore, India in 2017 (NDTV News).
Technology can help to reach & connect with much wider audiences in a quickest & easiest way and eventually will gain more impressions with the help of different social media networks. For example, it has been recently published on Social Media Today that people prefer brands to have social media handles such as Twitter to listen to their issues/complaints and resolve those in a quickest succession. Consumers want their sellers/suppliers to be proactive on social media networks in terms of just not promoting the products/services or sharing informational content but also to resolve post purchase escalations as well.
Furthermore, a lot of corporate training programs, either those run by corporate training agencies, institutes, event management companies or by the organizations themselves, are happening online with the use of various training platforms such as Docebo, Absorb, 360Learning etc. Technology is paving the way for the organizations to quickly adopt the change management in terms of upskilling or reskilling the employees and sharing their valuable feedback in order to improve the processes. Employees feel a lot more connected and engaged with each other even at the remote location which results in an improved organizational productivity and better collaborative work culture.
Influencer Marketing Will Keep Growing Rapidly
Over the last few years a number of brands around the globe have joined hands with the influencers to spread the word of mouth, create brand awareness and market their products and services online. Such marketing is used to target people from a specific age group for instance, 18-24, 25-34 the most on popular social media networks such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok etc. Some of the influencers get paid heavily for promoting and endorsing certain brands or products. As the number of influencers on social media networks are increasing significantly so as the budget for influencer marketing as well. Influencer marketing has gained enormous traction in the past five years and it is expected that such form of marketing would be worth $15 billion by 2022 which is roughly twice of the value of 2019 $8 billion (Takumi).
Businesses have figured out that an investment on influencer marketing delivers better results than running the paid ad or pay per click campaigns due to its acceptability amongst the audiences. In addition to this, influencer marketing can help to establish a brand loyalty and a loyal customer base rather than just generating leads which is way more essential for a brand to sustain for a longer period of time.
Moreover, working with multiple influencers which are small in size but are relevant to the industry and target the niche audiences is the optimum tactic used by the marketers these days rather than just working with a big celebrity. The tangible advantages of such a strategy are firstly it will help to maximize the reach of a brand to their wider targeted audiences and secondly it can boost the overall brand engagement. These positive signs do indicate that influencer marketing will keep stretching its arms on social media networks.
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