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Five Social Media Trends You Need To Follow In 2021

By Nikki Carlson, co-founder/co-president of ChicExecs Retail and Strategy Firm. She has over 21 years experience in PR/marketing.

Social media isn’t a new strategy in the world of PR, but it’s constantly changing. After the firestorm of 2020, many brands quickly learned that social media can be a lifeline between you and your customers.

With a 10% surge in social media use during the pandemic, your business has more opportunities than ever before to connect with your audience. Whether it’s through Instagram, TikTok or even up-and-comer Clubhouse, your brand stands to gain a lot in 2021 on social media.

Not sure where to dedicate your focus this year? We predict these five trends will play a big role in social media success for 2021.

Act On Your Values

There was rarely a dull moment in 2020. What we’ve learned from last year is that going forward, brands have to quickly and transparently communicate their values.

The global tumult didn’t end with 2020. In 2021, consumers expect brands to show their true colors, standing up for what’s right and taking real action on it. For example, Airbnb endeared itself to customers by providing short-term housing during the pandemic.

Communicating what you stand for is good, but taking action is even better. And, of course, you can share your action plan on social media to spread the word.

Quality Is Better Than Quantity

Chances are your brand posts a certain number of times every day or week. In 2021, social media platforms and followers care less about how much you post. At the end of the day, it comes down to quality.

Instead of cranking out nonspecific, generalized content to fill your buffer slots, dedicate your energy to in-depth posts. That might mean doing one of the following:

• Sharing behind-the-scenes content.

• Filming videos or podcasts instead of writing text posts.

• Sharing customers’ reviews, videos or images in a compilation post.

This sounds like more work, but in reality, you’re just refocusing your time and resources on a smaller number of better posts. This will improve follower engagement and increase your chances of going viral.

Shorter, Helpful Content

The verdict is in: Customers prefer shorter, digestible content. But that sounds like a catch-22: how can you make higher quality content while keeping it short?

In 2021, your goal shouldn’t be trimming the word count. You should focus on streamlining the message of your social posts, focusing on quick, actionable tips that people can use. TikTok is famous for that very reason!

Tap into this trend to improve your content’s shareability and engagement rates. That might mean breaking a large post into multiple, snackable posts or converting text posts into quick videos.

Social Commerce

Did you know that social commerce generated $22 billion in 2019 in the United States alone? With more people browsing social media, your business needs to be selling its goods on social media, too.

Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping your landing pages load quickly, use Instagram or Facebook’s social commerce features. Create your Facebook Shop or create a shoppable post on Instagram to take advantage of this trend. With built-in payment processing and a slick customer experience, social commerce removes a lot of friction in the e-commerce sales process, which means boosting your sales with fewer headaches.

Interactive, Real-Time Content

Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live and more are great avenues to share your brand in front of a live audience in 2021. But what’s different about going live in 2021?

One huge change is the jump to online events. In-person events are still too risky in most areas, so brands had to pivot their webinars, conferences and other events online. Instead of investing in pricey event software, many brands moved their events entirely to social media.

If you’re marketing your business on a shoestring budget, use interactive, real-time features like live social media video to reach your audience. Since social media isn’t bound to one location, you’ll be able to reach a global audience of customers who are ready to engage with your content.

The Bottom Line

It’s not easy navigating your business through a social media landscape that changes almost weekly. While 2020 was a dark time, it brought so much innovation to the world of PR. When consumers are relying on social media for connection during the pandemic, your business needs to be in their feeds. Follow these five trends to take advantage of this surge in social activity so you can continue growing well beyond 2021.

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