6 Key Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch Out

We have seen how social media has facilitated the digital transition of various industries to cope with the challenges 2020 has given us. Major platforms have rapidly evolved to meet the rising demand and new platforms also emerged, which was a huge surprise because of everything that’s been going on.

The rapid changes in social media, and digital marketing as a whole, will continue to rock the marketing industry even post-COVID. Tapping into the latest social media marketing trends will provide you with the expert insight you need to establish a successful business and get your marketing on the right track.

Before we do so, it is important to look back to how the various platforms performed in the last 12 months, including the major changes in social media and how these relate to your own business ideas.

A Review of Social Media in 2020

Surprisingly, Hootsuite’s 2020 Social Media Report reveals that 60% of businesses are going to increase their spending on Instagram. You read that right. Facebook and YouTube come second and third, respectively, with 46% and  45%. Despite the hype around TikTok, businesses are not placing importance on this platform in terms of investment stack. 

Even though market spending was focused on Instagram, businesses still feel that Facebook is the platform that provides the highest ROI.

Social media usage around the world has ballooned to 4.14 billion in October 2020, which initially sat at 3.8 billion when the year started.

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Instagram recorded the greatest number of new users from July to September, boasting even stronger growth figures than Facebook. As a result, its advertising audience has increased by more than 76 million over the same period, reaching a total of 1.16 billion users. This growth leaves Facebook’s 45 million global advertising audience in the dust.

Trends in Social Media That Would Impact Your Business Ideas

Trend #1: Social media is the new customer experience.

As businesses race to acquire new customers and generate new customers, the difference between online shopping and in-person shopping experience will be obvious. Nothing can replace the warmth of trying out the clothes you want to buy while enjoying soothing lighting and music.

Free tastes at the department store will be something that shoppers are going to miss as the switch to digital marketing goes underway. Small business ideas for men that used to work before will find it hard to compete with bigger brands that already have a solid online presence.

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Most online experiences offered by businesses are highly transactional, since they were originally meant to supplement in-person experiences. Due to the pandemic, businesses were forced to go digital all the way, with business ideas having to rapidly embrace all things virtual.

To fill in the gap in the customer experience, marketers will turn to social media since this platform is the closest to their audience.

Trend #2: Videos will continue to rule.

Live streaming will play an important role in connecting the brand and the business ideas it’s generating with influencers, and customers. We’ve seen the power of live stream videos in humanizing the brand, and now we’ll see how effective it will be in bridging the gap in customer experience.

Aside from living streams, short-form videos in product pages will also provide users with something closer to an in-person experience.

To boost your reach, you can take advantage of video translation to explore new markets. If your video is in French or German, you can use English subtitles to make it accessible to other users. Netflix is a great testimony to the power of video translation.

Trend #3: Diversification is the key.

It is important to acknowledge the huge shake-up of social media platforms we’ve experienced this year. Some social networks experienced bursts in usage increase while others remained stagnant. But it doesn’t mean that you should ditch the old for the new.

The trick here is diversification. The goalposts have moved so you need to reconsider your social media platform content strategy, along with some of your fundamental business ideas.

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It is time to explore other channels and experiment with new content formats. This way, you’ll be able to maximize each social platform.

Trend #4: Say hello to people-first social media.

Getting organic reach through social media is almost impossible these days.

But here’s a tip: two-way communication can be the key to boosting your posts to the top of your target market’s social feeds. Algorithms work by aiming to deliver the most relevant content to the user. So if your audience interacts with your content, whether through comments or likes, then it must mean that your users find it relevant and useful. Hence, the platform will show more of your content to your audience.

What does this mean for you? Engagement should be one of your main marketing goals. Create content that would elicit likes, shares, comments, and reactions.

Trend #5: Invest in socially conscious social content.

Social media is a hubbub of conversations about almost everything, from the latest social business ideas to political rants. But with the pandemic and environmental disasters that plague the world one after another, users have developed a growing focus on political, health, environmental, and social issues.

According to Merkle’s Q4 2020 Media Insights Report, more than half (56%) of consumers say that they do not respect businesses that keep silent on important issues. So, no matter how much you want to remain unbiased and detached from these issues, you’re going to have to make a stand now. You can leverage your social media platforms to express your thoughts and opinions on issues that are close to your audience’s hearts.

Trend #6: Baby boomers are booming on social media.

For such a long time, marketers were so focused on the younger generations, particularly the millennials (Gen Y) and Gen Z, since these are the most digitally savvy generations. However, the baby boomers have caught up and are also becoming active in social media.

If marketers are able to overcome stereotypes and ageism, baby boomers can be your new gold mine. Using smart segmentation will enable marketers to incorporate baby boomers in their digital strategies and surpass those that are still stuck in stereotypes.

What’s Next?

Social media marketing can be tricky to navigate, even for seasoned marketers. The best way to get the results you want is to keep on improving your strategy and adjusting it according to your developing business ideas and the wider economic circumstances. The pandemic has taught us, in a painful way, how having a flexible strategy can help businesses survive unexpected situations. The social media trends discussed above should help businesses achieve their goals.

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