The five social media megatrends for 2021

CAREERS


As traditional media strategies faltered, 2020 highlighted the growing relevance of social media marketing and the need for businesses to relook customer engagement.

Social media usage soared – both in number of users and amount of time spent on social media platforms.

In July 2020, social media users surpassed 4.75 billion, which is more than half the global population, with 346 million new users joining in the 12 months prior.

We look at the social media megatrends for 2021, and what brands need to do to flourish in this space.

1. Offer up valuable content for free

Social media users have always been spoilt for choice when it comes to online content and brands to follow. However, quantity doesn’t always means quality.

To stay relevant, brands need to bump up the amount of value offered. A stale social media calendar populated with #MotivationMondays and #ThrowBackThursdays is not going to cut it.

As a brand, you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, and this deep industry knowledge is valuable to your ideal customer. Anyone can find anything online, at the cost of their time, so brands need to provide information in easy, snackable formats.

It doesn’t mean giving away trade secrets, but rather about providing enough value so that your brand stays top of mind. If someone has a question or is looking for more detailed information, why not provide articles or white papers to aid their search?

There are several ways to provide value; free information, collaboration with users, product insights, industry knowledge and tips, tools such as useful calculators and downloadables.

The fierce competition to add more value has inspired brand owners to create online learning, webinars and long-form videos where users engage more deeply with a brand. If you’re not adding value right now, weave in this critical ingredient into your 2021 social media plans.

2. Be an authentic brand, with integrity

Users crave authenticity and real, genuine engagement and interactions with brands. As the digital world becomes more pervasive, we demand the “human touch” in our online experience.

Although cancel culture – where people boycott users, brands and even social platforms – is thriving, many people still turn to social media for solace, community and connection. This is where brands can step in and be the hero.

Read: Build your personal brand and stand out in the job market

Don’t be afraid to humanise your brand. For example, show what happens behind the scenes. Selling a product? Share stories about how you make it, where the inspiration came from. Don’t forget to talk about the people behind the brand. Respond to user queries in a warm, human tone.

Being authentic means staying true to the purpose of being a brand and a business, not hiding behind insincere and irrelevant content. If you are selling, which you should be doing, sell authentically. Authentic selling means effectively communicating the value…


Read More: The five social media megatrends for 2021

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