We’ve been spending time on social media platforms more than ever. In recent years, there has been tremendous growth of online activities, including social media usage.
Social media marketing is becoming an essential marketing strategy for more companies in this digital era. Since the social media landscape keeps changing rapidly, it’s vital to regularly review your social media strategy to gain the most out of them. And here are the top social media marketing trends you need to know in 2021!
Video is King
Video has long been an effective format of social media marketing. In 2021, people averagely watch as long as 2.5 hours of online video every day. Moreover, people prefer understanding a product or service through videos. A survey showed that most people:
- Watch videos to learn more about a product or service.
- Prefer short videos to learn more about a product or service
- Have been convinced to purchase items or services by online videos
On the other hand, videos bring a significant impact to the business. Many video marketers have mentioned:
- Their website traffic has increased after they start video marketing.
- Website visitors spend a longer time after they start video marketing.
- Videos directly helped increase sales.
- Videos have received higher engagement (shares, likes, comments, etc.)
Video marketing has been used by 86% of companies around the world already. This trend will continue to grow, as 69% of the remaining non-video marketers plan to start video marketing in 2021.
You can start video marketing on all major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. And don’t forget YouTube – the largest video search engine globally, which can bring you tremendous reach and exposure. Many free YouTube SEO tools can help you identify the right target keywords and rank higher on the YouTube search result page.
Stories are Underrated
Initiated by Snapchat, stories are becoming more popular, especially on Instagram. Different from posts, stories enable more interaction with followers. Stories also allow a higher engagement level because many interactive functions can be used: voting, question box, countdown stickers, product stickers, etc. It may surprise you that:
- 400 million people use Instagram Stories every day
- Instagram stories take up user’s time for more than 28 minutes
- 1/3 Instagram users have become interested in products through stories
Currently, over 1/3 stories are created by business accounts. Many take advantage of the stories function to post short video ads and behind-the-scenes to engage the audience. If you don’t have anyone in your team who can make short video ads, consider hiring a freelancer.
Stories can increase interaction between brands and social media users through various story functions. If you haven’t started using the Stories function, you should give it a try!
The Rise of Social Commerce
Social commerce is also on its rise. Users find it familiar to shop on social media platforms and are more engaged because they can like, comment, and share content.
Social commerce has become an essential part of the customer shopping experience, as statistics showed that:
- 84% of online buyers take a look at company’s social media account before purchasing
- 30% of online buyers purchase directly from social media platforms
- More than 50% of Millennials shop through social media
The global social commerce market is expected to increase by almost one-third by 2021, making it one of the fastest-growing social marketing strategies that worth your attention.
One popular platform for social media shopping is Instagram. It introduced a shopping function in 2020, allowing users to visit a shop from a business’s Instagram profile, feed, and Stories. Visitors can browse products and directly checkout on the app, providing a seamless shopping experience.
Another one to note is Facebook. It has a Marketplace function that lets users list and sell products. For small businesses, it introduced Facebook Shops, which is similar to Instagram Shop. Visitors can access Facebook Shops via the business Facebook page, Instagram profile, Stories, and ads.
Chatbots to Take Over Customer Service
Chatbots are the game-changer of the online customer service landscape.
Chatbot is an online conversation system that assists customers and visitors using artificial intelligence(AI). It can provide 24/7 service and can solve more straightforward queries without human intervention at all! Statistics showed that:
- Chatbot can save up to 30% of customer service’s operation cost.
- There are already 300,000 chatbots on Facebook now, and it is expected to increase in the coming years.
On top of the chatbot’s many advantages, its functionality will probably expand rapidly in line with AI technology development.
You can deploy chatbots on major social media channels like Instagram and Facebook to assist customers. Even if you haven’t set up a social commerce store, some businesses deploy chatbots to answer questions like opening hours and other frequently asked questions to provide a better customer experience.
Many chatbot builders help you create a chatbot without coding, and you can deploy the chatbot across multiple platforms like website, WhatsApp, and social media platforms.
Influencer Marketing will Continue to Grow
Not surprisingly, influencer marketing has been and will continue to be a major marketing strategy. Reports have shown that 63% of marketers plan to invest more in their influencer marketing in 2021. Here are a few trends you should know in 2021:
First, despite fewer followers, micro-influencers with fewer than 25,000 followers have the highest engagement rate of 7%. This is because followers tend to treat them as friends, and word of mouth from micro-influencer is more valued.
Second, consumer-based content will dominate the field in 2021. As users seek more customized content nowadays, addressing users’ real concerns will bring more effective marketing impacts. A good example is using the Q&A function in Instagram stories to help influencers know their followers’ concerns. By such, users can get to know much more about the products, thus encouraged to purchase.
Third, companies and influencers are moving to long-term relationships. Companies want to ensure their contracts with influencers that have long been popular. Moreover, repeated promotion of products and services is more appealing to followers, as it seems like an indicator of its reliability.
The Bloom of Live Streaming
When talking about live streaming, most might think of gaming. In 2020, Twitch reached 1,116 billion minutes watched and 6.9 million monthly streamers, recording a 69% and 90% yearly growth respectively compared to 2019.
But live streaming is quickly expanding to other niches, especially “live shopping.” Live shopping is the latest online shopping trend to combine social commerce with live streaming. It may surprise you that live shopping generated $ 60 billion in global sales in 2019, and it’s likely to continue rising.
Instagram Live Shopping is currently available for brands and creators to sell products during a live broadcast. Many brands are taking advantage of this feature to collaborate with influencers and creators to drive sales.
Amazon also introduced “Amazon Live” which allows sellers to promote their products by hosting live streams on Amazon.
The social media landscape is everchanging, so it’s essential to watch out for new trends and act accordingly. Start video marketing, use stories to interact with your followers, and take advantage of social commerce and chatbot! Collaborate with influencers and use live streaming to increase brand awareness and sales. Test and try different strategies to see what works best for your business. It’s never too late to start!