Grow your social media audience, create more conversions to your site, and increase your ROI with the top 2021 social media trends from HubSpot.
It will be harder than ever for marketers to get noticed on social media in 2021. According to Smart Insights, only 48 percent of businesses using social campaigns claim to receive any results from their investments. We recommend taking some time to learn more about the latest trends to keep campaigns engaging for your customers. Stay ahead of the competition and increase your conversions with Parallel Interactive’s curated list of 2021 social media trends from HubSpot.
1. Rebuilding Trust
People distrust traditional media and celebrity endorsements now more than ever because of pressure to increase security and transparency from major social media platforms. In fact, a recent study showed 75 percent of respondents don’t consider advertisements to be the truth, while 70 percent trust other consumers more than ads. Marketers should focus more time on their relationships with customers and relevant niche influencers. Selecting the right influencers for your audience is critical to building trust on social media.
Recommendation: We recommend using micro-influencers with proven engagement rates to promote your brand. Search top posts within your company’s popular hashtags to find influencers who are loyal to your business and are willing to promote with little persuasion. Vet your influencers carefully to distance your brand from potentially harmful publicity. Generate additional trust by creating Twitter chats, Facebook groups, and branded hashtags around demos within your audience.
Direct messaging on social media are clever ways to streamline your customer support by managing multiple questions at once. According to recent research from Hootsuite, 63 percent of people say messaging apps are where they feel most comfortable sharing and talking about content. Most people prefer to directly message a company prior to completing a sale in order to build consumer trust before pulling the trigger.
Recommendation: We recommend enabling Facebook Messenger for your Business Page and setting up a simple instant reply. Provide a short greeting, general information, and additional contact information to encourage trust between you and your customers while they wait for your response. Repost screenshots of positive interactions to answer common questions in one post and create additional trust in your brand.
3. Live Video
Live videos take the lead as the most viewed video content on social media. Many brands are using Facebook and Instagram to live stream events, Q&As, tutorials, and more. Even LinkedIn hopped on the bandwagon last year by introducing ‘LinkedIn Live’, which generates 23 times more comments and 6 times more reactions per post than native video.
Recommendation: Keep your followers engaged by introducing live video content to your social media channels. Going live also allows you to be more personable and open up conversations with your audience. To learn more about going live online, check out this guide to live streaming from HubSpot.
4. Social Stories
Gen Z is taking over the consumer landscape turning traditional social media on its axis. Social stories (vertical videos that disappear within 24 hours) are one of our top 2021 social media trends because of their visual appeal and quick nature. According to Instagram, 58 percent of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in their Stories.
Recommendation: Start experimenting with stories to learn what content works best for your brand. Stories appear at the top of social feeds, making them more likely to be seen, so popular accounts like McDonalds post news and special offers to increase visibility. Publish at varying times throughout the week then review every seven days to see when your audience is most active. We recommend making your content look raw, unedited, and live action – these tested significantly better with audiences.
Cross-posting is publishing the same copy and imagery across multiple social platforms under the same brand. Why do we do it? It saves time, keeps accounts active, and makes it easy to share content with a wider audience. The issue? Repeated content doesn’t receive the same level of interactions. Optimization requirements and demographics vary by platform, and don’t transition well between each other. Simple differentiations between posts can mean the difference between success and failure.
Recommendation: Instead of repeating content word-for-word, customize your content to each platform. Parallel Interactive follows an 80 percent rule. We leave 80 percent of the content the same but change it enough that the post still appears unique to the platform. This shows our audience we care about our brand and how it is represented on all feeds. A little extra effort can go a long way.
6. Social Commerce
It is easier than ever to make social sales from young buyers with new in-app selling technologies. More than 800 million people around the world use Facebook’s Marketplace to buy from brands, and Instagram’s shoppable posts allow users to go from post discovery to checkout without ever leaving the app. We recommend implementing social shopping into your standard campaign processes as soon as possible in order to put your business ahead of competitors.
Here’s how Best Buy uses shoppable Instagram posts during the holidays to generate additional sales for their products:
Recommendation: Start simple in 2021. Set up a few shoppable Instagram posts with your Business Profile. Optimize your posts by tagging multiple products per image to show how your products interact together. Then, promote them with contests across your platforms to gain awareness. Review your sales metrics monthly to note which categories of products sell best for future promotions.
7. Gaming & VR
The number of social media users who identify as “gamers” increased by more than 10 million in the last year. It’s clear that gamification on social media will continue to with Facebook’s company, Oculus, launching new VR products, Twitch continuing to expand online game-streaming capabilities, and Snapchat launching mini-game apps.
Recommendation: Brands should keep an eye out for more in-game advertising opportunities in 2021. While gaming promotions may not be accessible for small businesses now, marketers can still get ideas from bigger companies so they can hit the ground running when gamified promotions become more scalable in the future.
8. Personalized Ad Content
Top performing brands are changing the way you pay for ad space. Rising costs and fleeting attention spans are limiting ROI for advertisers. Paid social teams are now focusing on creative, organic social ads, boosting only their best performing content to save money. Personalized content creates consumer discussion and engagement instead of bombarding your audience with consistent ads.
Many brands are spending less time churning out social media posts and more time producing content that feels authentic and in-touch with the world. This trend of “less is more” will likely continue in 2021, and it is important to be more thoughtful with your ad buys and partnerships to ensure audiences receive value from your brand.
Recommendation: Focus on targeting a specific audience and create ads based on your chosen demographics. Define your target goals and metrics so you can better determine if your ads performed well enough to boost. After analyzing the data, repurpose old, top performing concepts for new campaigns to continue building on your successes.
Read our article on programmatic advertising for an in-depth look at how artificial intelligence can maximize your business’s personalized ad potential.
9. Engagement Rates
Marketers’ know gaining followers on social media is no easy chore. Time, patience and plenty of ad spend are necessary to achieve quarterly follower goals, but influencers have shown us a more significant – and more importantly, inexpensive – metric: engagements. Studies show that micro- and nano-influencers have higher engagement rates than other brands with increased ROI’s. Businesses are seeing up to a 65 percent ROI using influencer marketing alone, making it a valuable asset to any marketing campaign.
Recommendation: Research influencers that already exist in your target demographics using free influencer marketing tools like HypeAuditor. Focus on influencers who have large engagement rates and reach out to them with exclusive offers to encourage partnership. We recommend beginning with simple promotions such as “Reduced price when you use promo code: XXX” to track how well your influencer campaigns perform.