2020 was a strange year, we’ve been living in unprecedented times and the closure of many brick and mortar stores due to lockdowns has placed greater emphasis on digital. There were lots of social media updates last year, our team have put together a list of the top 5 as well as 5 trends to watch out for in 2021.
5 key social media updates
- Instagram reels launched in August 2020 in a bid to rival viral video platform Tik Tok and capture a younger audience. Users can share short video clicks with their followers, publicly or privately. Reels have also created a new way for brands to reach and engage with their customers, often showing a more playful and fun side to a brands.
- LinkedIn stories – this feature was launched with the aim of users sharing the ‘behind the scenes’ and ‘in the moment’ video and images with their network. Twitter swiftly followed launching ‘fleets’. Utilising stories on any platform is a great way to share charity events, team days and new starter stories.
- Facebook Business Suite – the new business suite is an update of Facebook’s business manager, launched to make life easier for businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It allows businesses to manage Facebook, Instagram and a couple of other platforms all in one place. The features currently include posting, messaging and insights.
- The Tik Tok takeover – the sites popularity began in 2019 but a combination of lockdowns and people spending more time at home has led to an increase in the popularity of Tik Tok. It captures the younger audience and users share fun or trending videos that can go viral. If you are a fun, young brand Tik Tok is the place to be!
- Facebook shop discount feature – for many small businesses Facebook Shop provided a way to sell to their customers without the need for a website. Previously Facebook Shops didn’t have the option to add a discount or offer to products but now you can. Facebook have also announced that soon product tagging will be available for Live streams.
5 trends to look out for in 2021
- The rise of live social media – 2020 saw an increase in live streaming to fill the void of physical interaction. Audiences love to communicate with influencers and brands through live streaming as they can ask questions in real time and feel like part of the conversation (see conversational marketing). This trend isn’t going anywhere so it’s time get in front of the camera and engage with your audience, live!
- Don’t forget the Baby Boomers – a generation often neglected by digital marketers who are underestimating these tech savvy silver surfers. As long as you use great segmentation and ensure your visual content is representative of the baby boomers, you can get ahead of the competition still locked in stereotypes.
- Increase in conversational marketing – as a digital marketer, you can no longer just shout a brand’s message and hope for the best. Consumers want to be involved in the conversation and make a connection with a brand. Customers want to be given information, engaged with and to hear brand’s views on social issues. Ask your audience questions and listen to their opinions, it is likely to boost your sales (an added bonus!).
- Brands switch back to old-school marketing – all the uncertainty of last year has seen marketers return to some of the traditional methods that definitely still work today. We’re talking old school direct mail, attending trade shows and fairs in person to sell to customer’s (crazy right?!) and utilising broadcast media. Combing traditional marketing methods with digital is likely to become the format for most brands marketing strategy.
- Engaging a socially conscious audience – Has there ever been a more socially conscious generation then Gen-Z? The answer is, no, there hasn’t but with Gen-Z holding the key to unlocking increased sales and website traffic, you need to talk about what they what to hear. This group of socially conscious individuals want to hear about your brand’s views on mental health, inclusivity and sustainability. Discuss these topics and engage with them to win this hard to please generation over.