2020 completely opened the world’s eyes to the importance of social media, as well as the importance of personal wellbeing and staying safe from viral threats. We’ve become much less social in the real world, which has driven our social activities online – to places like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, et al. The colossal disruption to humanity that was COVID-19 has set us on a different trajectory, forcing people to rethink traditionally held beliefs and best-practices. So, what should you be focusing on in terms of your social media marketing in 2021? Let’s take a look:
We’ve seen much debate around privacy and monopolies in the big-tech sectors in the first few weeks of 2021, with platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp being scrutinised for their less-than-transparent privacy policies. Consumers are waking up to the phenomenal power they have at their fingertips, and social media users will be demanding greater accountability and transparency from their preferred social media platforms in the new decade.
Social media selling is finally becoming a reality, as platforms negotiate integrations with financial institutions in an attempt to make online selling and buying even easier than it already is. Tools like Instagram’s Reel Shopping allows users to tag images with product links, which viewers can follow and facilitate purchases without having to leave the platform to do so. We’ll see more and more social media platforms incorporate social commerce in varying forms throughout 2021.
What sorts of experiences do your social media followers enjoy when interacting with your brand online? Platforms like Tiktok have embraced the virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) trends, much to the pleasure of home-stuck social users. As we slowly start to inch back to normal life, where people will rediscover public spaces, brands should be looking at ways to connect virtual experiences to real-world customer experiences.
We thought we knew what drove consumer decision-making, and then the pandemic hit and sent everything into a mad spiral. Marketers now have to rethink the motivations behind their target audiences’ actions. In some cases, they have to completely rethink who their target audiences are in the first place! For many brands, the first half of 2021 will be dedicated to getting to know their “new” customers better, before committing one again to costly, lengthy advertising and marketing campaigns.
Understanding social media, and the mechanics that drive them are important in becoming an effective social media marketer. Our industry is changing at break-neck speed, so we need to keep our fingers on the pulse and ensure that what we’re taking in is globally applicable and current.
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