As the disaster of a year known as “2020” came to a humble end, there was definitely something we all found ourselves having in common, we were all spending so much more time on our devices. Whether it was scrolling through social media laughing at a dumb dog, reading the news to keep up with COVID-19 or binging your favourite Netflix show, our lives have become more digital than ever before.

What does this mean for digital marketers? Well, it means easy business. So today, let’s look into the 9 social media trends that digital marketers should hop on right now.

#1 The “Less is more” approach to marketing.

“The minimalist trend isn’t rising, it’s here, it’s everywhere around us. We are living in a society that ultimately wants less. We’re condensing our wants to meet our needs – and in a world in which we are absolutely inundated and bombarded with information – we value simple and effective over flash and glamour…” – Matt Cheuvront, influential Gen Y blogger. Far too commonly, we see clients spending money at every marketing opportunity they can afford in hopes of reaching their target audience, as frequently as possible. But in reality, marketing is an investment towards your ultimate goal. However, sometimes your target demographic is only a small fraction of the audiences that you can reach. If your posts or your weekly news report has a diminutive open rate or an underwhelming amount of involvement from your audience, then it may be time for you to take a breather, step back and evaluate the quality of your content as well as the frequency and consistency of your distribution.

#2 Consumers LOVE snackable content!

In recent years, there was a hyper growth in popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, increased engagement from media users on “stories” from Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and other brands creating short or “snackable” content to inform consumers about their brand. The core of creating snackable content is to offer instantaneous entertainment and, as a result, attract new leads and customers/clients. As the attention span of people on social media continue to shrink and more people are scrolling endlessly through their feeds out of boredom, do not expect the hype for snackable content to disappear anytime soon. Snackable content is its own game with different rules and its potential payoffs can be more immediate than long form content.

#3 Videos will continue to take the spotlight.

Is video marketing really the way to go for your brand? Recently, it has seemed like video, especially live video, is becoming a part of every social media site. And it looks like social media users are responding positively. Facebook reports show that they get more than 8 billion views daily and the uprising star, TikTok, got an average of 1 million views daily in its first year. Video content gets a lot of attention; that’s for sure. Some marketers believe that videos are too time-consuming and complicated to produce. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There are many video editing tools that make creating video content super easy. Plus, consumers want chatty, informal and relatability, remember? You don’t have to be the best writer or director to produce an engaging video that will capture and thrill your target audience.

#4 Social media are embracing game and VR.

In recent years, the number of social media users who identified themselves as a “gamer” increased by more than 10 million (or 32%). Social media trend reports revealed that the biggest increase in people identifying themselves as “gamers” happened in the heaviest months of lockdown during the COVID-19 panic. Currently, with Facebooks’ company, Oculus, launching new virtual reality products, twitch continuing to expand as an online game-streaming company and platforms like Snapchat launching mini-game apps, it’s clear that gaming and social media will clash with each other in 2021.

#5 Inclusivity matters!

Now-a-days, brands are constantly under more and more pressure to make more thoughtful steps for inclusivity in their business operations and campaigns. Audiences are becoming more aware of the fact that they have tons of different options, this leads them to invest their money into companies that show compassion in society and the social issues that they are passionate about. Inclusivity will be an even bigger focus for brands that want to create a deeper connection with their audience. If the social presence of your brand doesn’t reverberate your audience’s views on identity and diversity, you’ll start missing out on vital opportunities to connect with them.

#6 Authenticity and transparency is important!

More and more consumers want brands to be real. That means keeping a authentic and transparent work ethic. If you want your customers to trust you, you need to be “down-to-earth” with them. Audiences are more social-savvy than ever, so you can’t get away with attempts to avoid, delete or otherwise ignore mistakes that you have made.

#7 Chatbots are a rising star!

Facebook Messenger recently announced that there are now more than 30,000 chatbots currently active, gathering information, giving product information and taking orders. Chatbots are efficient and effective. They provide quick response times for customer success, easier services for reservations and cheap bill paying at scale. And this is all without completely getting rid of that human touch – Facebook reported that roughly 56% of users would much rather message a chatbot than actually call customer service.

#8 Ephemeral content

Ephemeral content goes across the internet for a second, maybe about a day and then it’s just gone. But when produced well, it leaves a buzzing trace across people’s memories, and that can bring lasting benefits to your company. These blips of content are the base of Instagram and Snapchat stories, where million of users are becoming seduced by rapid-fire content. One positive is releasing content without polishing it. People can easily upload a photo or video in its rawest form without having to worry about the whole editing process of it. It’s spontaneous and authentic. And it gives an opportunity for marketers to test strategies and concepts quickly.

#9 Conversational marketing will change its tone

Conversational marketing isn’t a new thing. In fact, a lot of the big brands that we know and love today allow you to connect with them using social media messaging channels at any time. However, in 2021, with more messaging channels than ever before – and consumers needing more information to make a worthy investment – the tone of digital conversations may change. So, how exactly will brands deal with higher demand for thoughtful conversational marketing? A healthy combination of Artificial Intelligence could allow brands to run on social media very efficiently while still giving the consumers the authenticity they need to see to trust a brand and make a picture.

And that concludes the 9 social media trends for digital marketers to get a hold of. As the world is a rapidly changing place, we are definitely expecting more and more trends to arise because of new apps, real world events and maybe even your favourite celebrity starting a new trend.

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Haithem Bayati
Haithem Bayati

Haithem is a work experience student currently working his week at Digital Marketing Adelaide in hopes of getting the experience he needs to continue studying marketing in university!

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