Here is an overview on what's hot right now in Social Media, so get ready--it has all the information that one could need about Changes now and to come.
In today's digital world, social media plays an integral role in people's lives. Marketers and businesses flock to these platforms hoping that their target customers will be there waiting for them with open arms.
However, this is far from the case - content overload plagues most of our feeds on a daily basis! In order to stand out amongst all the noise you'll need some strategy behind your posts or else risk getting lost among everything else happening.
Here is an overview on what's hot for right now, so get ready--it has all the information that one could need about this topic. The social media trends of 2021 and beyond can help you stand out in the crowd by giving your strategy a boost. Keep up with these must-know innovations to make sure that you're not left behind!
1. Live Streaming
Live Streaming is the New Norm - Even with the COVID situation improving, live streaming is here to stay. The idea of being able to interact with brands in real-time online has led people to abandon physical stores. Online, they can examine a product without leaving their home and get the information necessary for making an informed purchase decision before buying it from another store or website.
The popularity of social media platforms like Facebook Live have enabled companies that are open about how their products are made; this transparency is helping consumers make better choices when shopping because they know exactly what kind of company is behind each item on display at any given moment. Streaming major shopping events is becoming more popular and in many ways, this is taking the familiar home shopping channel and updating it for the current age. We are also seeing more and more customer service carried out by live streaming. This includes activities, such as setting up bank accounts, that would have been unthinkable in the past.
2. Best Avenue To Sell Products
Best avenue to sell products - As of today, social media is still one of the best avenues for brands to sell their products. With Instagram and Pinterest as two examples, this trend will only increase in popularity into the future because people are constantly on their phones scrolling through these platforms. Social commerce is a new trend that will only continue to grow in popularity and is well on its way to becoming a mainstream retail channel on par with other mediums like websites and offline stores.
Social networks are rapidly evolving to become the new retail platforms. From shoppable posts on Facebook, Instagram Storefronts with Snapchat Geofilters, it is clear that brands need a strategy for incorporating this type of marketing into their current operations as well as designing products strategically so they can be sold through various channels such as Pinterest or Twitter Shop. “Hootsuite recently asked their clients what they were trying to achieve with social media. By far the most popular reason for businesses using social media was for increased acquisition of new customers (73%). This was followed by increasing brand awareness (64%). Driving conversions (leads, purchases, and product inquiries) came in third with 45%.”
3. Video Content
One of the most engaging forms of content and will soon dominate social media, clear winner over all other types. Whether it is short-form videos like those popular on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, we're seeing a shift towards video as this generation's preferred form of entertainment!
According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video-based. This clearly shows how important it has become for companies and organizations to start using video content as soon as possible so that they can stay relevant within their respective industries. If you're not currently creating videos, it is time that you include them in your content strategy. In the near future, videos will dominate social media and anyone who doesn't realize that will have a tough time.
4. User-Generated Content
User-generated content has been around for a while now, but it's still going strong. The only difference is the rate at which marketers are adopting UGC because as of lately there have been more and more brands utilizing their users' creations.No matter how you want to leverage UGC, you should have a place for it in your content mix. User-generated content is free and more authentic than branded content. It can help your brand seem trustworthy, which can do wonders for the company's image.
5. Regulatory Control and Legal Scrutiny
Social media has a lot of benefits, but it's not all good. Data privacy and security are just two examples of the downside to social networks like Facebook that have been making headlines recently. Social media can be very easily used to gather information about anyone and misuse it. In light of this, social networks and regulatory bodies will tighten their norms and put more policies in place. Social media is considered unsafe by many people, and it would be in everyone's best interest to change that. So, be ready for more regulations and restrictions on all platforms.
6. Social Media for Customer Service
Social Media is now more than just connecting with your friends. It's also a way to find and purchase products, as well as interact in customer service! Social sites like Facebook have become powerful tools for retailers that allow them the ability to reach millions of customers all over the world without spending any money on advertising campaigns.
These same channels often act as conduits between shoppers who need assistance from brands they already use and started recognizing social media networks as platforms for delivering customer service. This transition has happened gradually as brands started noticing that many customers try to reach out to them on social media, but fast-forward a few years, and imagine the number of such interactions growing multifold. It's not just some one-off cases where customers post their questions or complaints on social media and brands respond. Now, it has become a significant enough customer service channel for brands to recognize it as one.
7. The Story Format on Social Media
This is what people want to see these days. Instagram and Snapchat are two perfect examples of this type of content, which disappears after a short time. Today's attention spans are much shorter than before, so it makes sense that they prefer the quick-fix style with stories like these!
8. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality filters are now being used on several major social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. These were introduced to enhance the visual content shared on these sites, making them more entertaining for viewers. The applications of AR on social media are not limited to just photo filters to post fun posts and stories.
Brands can and should be using augmented reality to provide better shopping experiences to their customers. Sephora is a beauty brand that has long used AR to allow their customers to try on makeup before buying. While this capability has been on their mobile app for a long time, they recently also launched it for Facebook. Now, users can try on Sephora products via Facebook Messenger, using augmented reality filters. This helps people make better purchase decisions while also having a unique shopping experience. Augmented Reality has been a trending topic in the media industry for more than five years. AR is becoming increasingly popular among brands, with new opportunities arising everyday thanks to developments from huge social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. The idea of hyperlinking products or adding interactive objects into posts should have marketers salivating at this point!
9. Re-evaluate The Metrics You Consider Important
Too many brands have engaged in social media without really setting goals and comparing their performance against valuable metrics. Indeed many brands simply look to vanity metrics, such as numbers of followers, when trying to judge the success of their efforts.
However, social media marketing is now maturing, and 2021 will likely see brands make more intelligent use of metrics. You need to focus on data that can prove that your social media marketing can positively impact the bottom line of your business. Ideally, you should use a wide range of metrics, covering the key parts of the social funnel: awareness, engagement, conversion, and consumer.
These are some of the trends that will dominate the social media landscape in 2021 and beyond. Leverage these trends to your advantage and stay ahead of your competitors. Social media is a dynamic and competitive space, and these trends can help you ace your social media game. So, keep abreast of the latest developments around these themes and use these for your social media initiatives.
Social media has been changing the way we communicate for years and it will keep doing so but the way has taken a hard turn. How do we prepare and stay ahead of the market?
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