Social Media Marketing Trends in 2021

11 January 2021
by Archie Williamson
5 mins
Social Media Marketing Trends in 2021

Social media marketing provides every business with the opportunity to cost-effectively reach and engage with millions of customers worldwide, strengthen their brand identity, and enhance their SEO rankings.

2021 is a year when everybody is expecting change. It will be a fresh start for many parts of society, and that includes business. As we look ahead to identify new opportunities, what are some of the top social media marketing trends that should be guiding your social media strategy?

Social gaming

Gamification has been a hot topic for some 10 years now, but while it began with workplace management, health and lifestyle goals, it has recently expanded into other areas of life. What lies behind this is a recognition that humans have an intrinsic attraction to games – puzzles, competitions and ways of collecting points, even if those points can’t be translated into anything more meaningful.

On social media, gaming is huge. Facebook alone has over 800 million people playing socially connected games each month, and carefully targeted social media engagement encourages engagement and helps to create and grow a particular community. Streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube provide a natural home for gamers and have helped to develop communities around them. They benefited massively from people seeking new ways to entertain themselves and connect with friends during the 2020 lockdowns, with Twitch being watched 62.7% more just in the first quarter of the year.

Brand sponsorships, in-game ads, partnerships and advertising or even developing your own mini-games to promote in your social media posts are all great ways to garner engagement. If your company has the scope and target userbase to do so, it’s easy to start a Twitch and begin integrating your brand into the community, using the chat to get to know users. A good example of partnering with a gaming company is provided by Louis Vuitton, who last year designed two custom skins for champions Qiyana and Senna in League of Legends.

TikTok and remixing

Remixing became huge in 2020, mostly thanks to TikTok. It’s a fantastic place for launching memes – Instagram alone has over 85 million posts with the #TikTok hashtag – so if you have a simple idea that you think has the potential to go viral, it’s a platform you can’t afford to ignore.

“What TikTok has really proven is that ‘remixing’ is the future of creation” GoMeta CEO Dmitry Shapiro told Forbes, adding that he thinks we’re just at the beginning of exploring its potential. Older platforms have adapted to suit it, with Instagram Reels, Twitter Fleets and Facebook Stories suggesting ideal ways to use remixing alongside your existing content strategy.

Users relate well to remixed content because it humanises your brand and brings you closer to your audience. You’re able to turn long-form content into 15 or 60-second long videos with popular music to help relate to your existing audience and potentially develop a new one.

Socially conscious marketing

Today’s consumers are more concerned than ever about social issues and more likely to buy from companies that make a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Making this a part of your social media strategy enables you to move away from the hard sell to focus on aspects of brand building. In October 2019, Certus Insights, a public opinion firm, found that 70 per cent of consumers want to know what the brands they support are doing to address social and environmental issues, and 46 percent pay close attention to a brand’s social responsibility efforts when they buy a product

Socially conscious marketing will engage your core market and make your customers feel that you’re on their side. It’s best to choose something that you and your team personally believe in, since sincerity, passion and your willingness to speak up will help build customer loyalty.

For example, a clothing company’s marketing team may launch a campaign whereby they match a consumer’s purchase of socks or underwear with an equal donation to an appropriate cause. Using this model, the company could, for instance, donate to military personnel overseas or to local shelters for the homeless. This will result in the company being seen as socially responsible and charitable, which ultimately attracts customers who are motivated by socially responsible commitments and who want to support the welfare of the community.

A return to old school marketing

Not everything that works is new, and sometimes looking back at what has worked in the past is the best way forwards. In 2021, you can expect to see audio formats such as podcasts, audiobooks and radio moving to the fore as consumers look for forms of entertainment and sources of information that they can connect with while they’re doing other things. According to Statista, over 15 million people in the UK listen to podcasts and that number is continuing to rise, so sponsorship arrangements with popular podcasts that appeal to your target market are well worth pursuing.

Alongside podcasting, you can expect to see email marketing retaining its importance, especially in B2B marketing. Newsletters continue to have a strong track record in lead generation, and they’re easy to link into other forms of social media engagement. You can even embed videos in them to showcase your latest products or provide useful demonstrations.

With all these things to focus on, it’s going to be a busy year. A time of change is always a time of opportunity, and getting to grips with these trends now could give your brand the edge it needs.

Atlas SEO has a fantastic social media marketing department that can help to boost your online presence. For more information, contact us today

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