As we see things slowly shifting back to normal in the world, it is still apparent that people have adapted to living many aspects of life virtually. Consequently, 2021 social media trends so far are something to stay on top of. We’re keeping up with the most effective and impactful ways to utilize social media to keep consumers engaged and connected with your business.
Leverage Video Content
If video content is not a current element of your social media strategy, it’s undoubtedly time to make it a main component. Despite the ever-changing nature of social media trends in today’s world, video content is continuing to prove that it is here to stay.
Video content has been on the rise for the past few years, but its growth has been accelerated by the virtual nature that society has had to adapt to due to the past year’s events. Recent studies have shown that by 2022, roughly 82% of all social media content will be video content. So, whether you share video content through Stories features, as individual posts, or as advertisements, using video content to help your business connect with consumers is more important than ever to include in your strategy. In 2021, successful companies are expanding their social media presence to TikTok. It has been an excellent platform for many trying to do business, whether small creators, small businesses, or developed companies. Small businesses like rollerskate retailer, Feel Your Soul began documenting their production process, product in action, and other activities surrounding their business on TikTok in 2020. By having a presence on this platform and sharing elements of authenticity through video content, Feel Your Soul has experienced incredible growth in brand awareness, engagement, and overall sales.
Short-Form Informational Content
Similar to the importance of video content, including informational content with visually appealing design aspects into your strategy effectively responds to consumers shrinking social media attention spans. As the amount of time people spend on social media increases, the likelihood of engaging with content that provides them with little to no value decreases. It’s essential to not only create content that is visually appealing enough for consumers to engage with but to gain something from. Some ways to include short-form informational content in your business’s social media include:
- Branded Quotes
- How-To & Tutorial Videos
- Product Highlight Images & Videos
- Unboxing Videos
By creating easily digestible short-form informational content that your consumers can quickly gain from, it’s more likely for them to engage, share with others, and remember your company, increasing your brand awareness. A great example of this is SET Active’s recent campaign where they utilize design elements to showcase different ways consumers can wear their products. Not only is it eye-catching, but it also allows consumers to quickly summarize the information and feel connected to the products in a creative way.
Use a Conversational Tone
A common theme in 2021 social media trends so far surrounds brand authenticity driving consumer connection. There are multiple ways to create a sense of connection with your consumers while still sticking to your brand voice. One way to do this is by creating post captions that sound like you’re talking to a friend rather than selling a product or service. By doing this, you help make your business easier to relate to.
Consider asking your followers questions or sharing stories about your business. Create content that highlights certain employees or video content showcasing a day in the life of an employee. Overall, keep in mind ways to highlight elements of your business that goes beyond just products and services that you offer. This increases meaningful engagements that will be memorable for your consumers and make you stand out from competitors.
Popular water bottle brand, SmartWater, has recently rolled out a new campaign featuring comedian Pete Davidson. They’ve found a way to make conversation with their audience genuinely through humor. The way that you approach your consumers in a conversational tone should fit with your unique brand voice.
Utilize Platform Specific Features
With the capacity and speed that social media platforms are rolling out new updates and features, being aware of what they are and what types of content work best for each is essential in 2021. Instagram, for example, has become highly popular for businesses to incorporate social commerce on their pages by offering the feature of direct buying from social media posts. Consumers in 2021 appreciate the convenience, and this feature specifically provides a quick way for consumers to purchase products from you while not being bombarded with advertisements.
Though the features and tools of social media platforms are constantly evolving, social commerce is here to stay. Home furniture and decor brand Ikea demonstrates how Instagram’s shopping feature allows consumers to make purchases from photos with products that they might be interested in without ever having to leave the app.
Authenticity & Brand Values Matter
It’s no secret that the past year has presented both consumers and businesses with a number of significant events with heavy impacts. Following these impacts, consumers are looking for more than just deals and promotions when choosing one company over another. In response to the growing demand for brands to be authentic in their online presence, many have begun sharing content that showcases their ‘human side’ and embracing their authentic brand values on social media.
While some businesses have shared their thoughts directly concerning the past year’s significant events, others have utilized user-generated content, customer testimonials, and employee recognitions to voice their authenticity and social awareness to their audience. Implementing elements of either strategy to your social media aids in the development of trust from your audience that will boost your brand awareness. Social media content that promotes a sense of authenticity and realness is more likely to help you gain trust from consumers than product-focused content will. As 2021 continues, successful businesses continue to increase consumer trust by showcasing their values that benefit humanity.
For instance, the month of June is widely recognized as LGBT Pride Month to honor and shine a light on the history and current struggles that the LGBT community faces. This June, Starbucks dedicated the month to share content that recognized many of its employees who are a part of the community and tell their stories. This content across their social media demonstrated a sense of realness and compassion that consumers don’t receive from the general product-based posts.
Quality Over Quantity
Following the 2021 social media trend theme of authenticity, it’s essential to produce your audience with content that provides a value of some sort. As we’ve discussed in the previous sections, the impacts of recent global events have changed the relationship that consumers are seeking when connecting with and purchasing from a company.
When building out your social media content for the rest of the year, aim to share content that shows your audience your business’s true identity in a genuine manner, rather than seeking to post super frequently. Now more than ever, it’s more important to provide your audience with valuable content rather than high-quality content or a large quantity of it.
These factors of quality over quantity even work for advertisements. For instance, home rental platform Airbnb dedicates a significant portion of its YouTube video and ad content to highlight the ‘Hosts’ of rental properties and their unique stories. Stepping away from the glitz and glam of high production videos allows its audience to feel more connected to the stories and provides them with the value of having something to relate to beyond the service that Airbnb provides.
Today, the world is constantly changing and at a faster pace than ever before. These handful of 2021 social media trends are already dominating the competitive landscape of social media, and it has never been more important to at least be aware of them. Leveraging these trends to your business’s advantage will not only help you stay ahead of your competitors but also help strengthen and grow your connection and awareness with your consumers.