Even prior to the pandemic, social media had grown to become an invaluable asset that companies could leverage to engage with their shoppers and create new business opportunities. Upon the arrival of the pandemic and ensuing global lockdown, however, millions found themselves in search of an avenue through which they could rekindle that lost connection to the outside world.
Per HootSuite, a whopping 1.3 million new users joined social media daily in 2020. While many sought to connect with friends and family, a vast amount of users also looked to social media to engage with brands and make purchase decisions, presenting a clear opportunity for savvy businesses to embrace social media and make themselves more readily accessible to consumers.
It comes as no surprise that social media in business is here to stay. With that said, getting your company on the social media map requires you to be more than just a follower; it requires you to be a trailblazer.
Below, see a hand-selected list of tips and trends relevant to social media in 2021 that your company can capitalize on.
Be on the lookout for the next big platform
By now, we are all familiar with the trinity of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which have cemented their place atop the social media hierarchy. As the longest-established platforms with the largest userbases, it is obvious your company will want to maintain a presence on each platform. However, this trinity has recently become more of a quartet due to the meteoritic rise of Gen-Z video content platform Tik Tok.
Tik Tok’s userbase grew astronomically as users flocked to the platform offering a fresh take on short-form video content, and companies who were quick to spot the growing popularity of Tik Tok enjoyed success when they became early adopters of the platform.
Similarly, Clubhouse saw itself rise to astounding levels of popularity after its launch in the early stages of the pandemic. The invite-only, audio-based communication platform quickly became the social media flavor-of-the-month; although it did not reach the level of impact Tik Tok has, it did prove to be a novel concept which resonated with users and provided a new way for companies and consumers to interact.
New social media platforms are constantly being conceptualized and released, and while a majority end up being dead on arrival, it’s always a good idea to keep your ear to the ground and be ready to pounce when one of these upstart platforms begins gaining traction.
Push the boundaries with your content and how you present it
The content we consume and the way we consume it is constantly evolving, and in 2021 your company would do well to experiment with different ways of producing content. As platforms like Facebook and Instagram have proven, livestream content is an increasingly popular medium through which consumers engage with brands and learn more about what their products have to offer. This real-time interaction between company and user remains authentic and genuine, helping give your company increased credibility in the eyes of potential customers.
Beyond livestreaming, the increasing adoption of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) content presents a more futuristic avenue through which companies can innovate and find new ways of delivering their value proposition to consumers. While VR requires dedicated hardware and is more experimental, AR is available on almost all smartphones and has already seen more widespread adoption via interactive content such as dynamic filters, interactive content, and more. Your company’s creativity is the only limit when using these new content mediums.
Embrace social commerce
Social media continues to become a one-stop solution for users and businesses alike, thanks in part to the continued adoption of convenient and integrated shopping solutions that make operating a social media storefront a no-brainer decision. Take, for example, Instagram, which has over the past year rolled out update after update that has slowly shifted the platform from merely a place to share photos to a versatile visual-based platform with a multitude of features and tools like product tags and in-app checkout that create a seamless, frustration-free shopping experience.
Create an open channel of communication for your followers
Social media is more than just a one-way channel of communication. Consumers want and expect to be able to reach out to companies with any questions or concerns they may have without having to leave social media, and that sentiment will only grow in 2021 and beyond. It is mission-critical that your company maintain an open channel of communication that can offer advice, customer service, troubleshooting, and more to consumers who seek it. Doing so is not only for the benefit of your consumers but also for the benefit of your company. Take the opportunity to see what customers are saying about
your company and its products, and learn more about what works and what doesn’t. This feedback is an indispensable source of information that can mold your company’s direction and products for the better.
Remain true to your company
Above all else, one of the most prominent trends in 2021 will be an increased demand for brands to maintain a more authentic presence online. Shoppers want to know the brands they are shopping, and in a time when brand loyalty is crucial, it is essential that you present your company genuinely and sincerely. Take your company’s values and build your online presence around them. Don’t lift from other companies’ social media pages without first making sure it makes sense in your context, and once you have your brand identity in place, keep it there. Consumer trust in your company is built slowly, and by remaining consistent and true to your company, you will see your hard work bear fruit.