World Social Media Day on 30 June highlighted how social media platforms are evolving at an astounding rate to reflect the rapid change in consumer buying behaviour and how people share information. So what are the latest social media trends during 2021 that are increasingly a key part of the strategy calendar?
Platforms where content disappears after 24 hours along with live streaming that allows users to interact with brands online via live video are increasingly popular. More than 500 million users watch Instagram Stories daily, with 50% of people visiting a website to make a purchase after seeing a product or service on Stories. LinkedIn has introduced 'LinkedIn Stories', Intstagram Reels allows 30-second long videos with fun effects like TikTok and is set to monetise the platform and include ads, while Twitter's recently launched Fleets is also expanding to allow for ads. This ephemeral content is great for snapshots of new products or brand updates without being attached to your company's profile for ever.
The buy button
Whether it's Facebook or Instagram, social commerce is all about having a social meda shopfront and making your posts shoppable. The trend for faster, easier shopping with consumers able to browse and buy on the platform after looking for a product is only going to get stronger. Just including a buy button has also shown a sizeable increase in users' purchasing habits.
AR, VR and AI
Augmented and Virtual Reality are the future of digital marketing as consumers demand more immersive interaction with services and want to 'try out' products without having to leave home. New functionalities being added to social media platforms, eg Facebook is putting ads into Oculus VR games for the first time, offers brands exciting ways to engage with users. AI is set to be a big game changer, meeting the demand for more personalised content, with AI ad-tracking taking ad optimisation to a whole new level.
Social media marketing is all about building relationships and trust from audiences, and consumers have become used to having a more relatable connection with brands over the past 18 months along with thoughtful, compelling content. The steady shift away from using mainstream celebrities for influencer marketing continues, especially as economic concerns bring more scrutiny about their value in terms of cost. Instead, it's about working with networks of micro-influencers with authentic interests. They might be more niche, but they're more targeted.