Marketers have had to rethink tried-and-true strategies this year, a creative pivot that has resulted in some new trends. With the pandemic still in full swing and recovery a way off yet, you’ll need to prepare yourself for a still-stagnant economy with a strong marketing strategy in 2021.
Based on data and consumer trends in 2020, experts believe the following social media trends will have the most impact in the coming year. By focusing your marketing strategy on these areas, you should be well-positioned for success in 2021.
- Social consciousness. Millennials, and even more so Generation Z, are far more socially aware than past generations. They like to do business with companies whose social values closely align with theirs; hot-button topics include climate change, race, gender equality, mental health and education. Successful brands don’t just pay lip service to these issues; they strive to make them a part of their core values. With COVID-19 and race issues dominating the headlines in 2020, social causes are more important than ever—and that won’t change in the new year. It’s important for companies to engage in conversations surrounding the topics that matter most to consumers while simultaneously trying to create a positive social impact that will resonate with their target audience.
- Building trust to combat “fake news.” Digital misinformation has been a problem for several years, but in 2020 “fake news” became even more prominent thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Jittery consumers looking for answers were bombarded with a wealth of COVID-19-related information, but much of it was incorrect. The implications are so serious, Singapore passed legislation called the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act in order to stop the spread of misinformation. It is imperative that social media platforms make a concerted effort to prevent fake news by identifying content that is inaccurate or misleading. Consumers are tired of misinformation and will seek out trusted media brands in 2021, making it imperative that companies strive for transparency in order to prevent their brand from becoming tainted.
Conversational marketing. The idea behind conversational marketing is to engage with consumers through targeted, personalized content. It’s no longer enough to simply create a message and hope that it finds an audience; today, brands must create two-way conversations with their audience and connect with them on the issues that matter most. It’s got to be genuine, too; consumers are savvy enough to see right through a naked sales pitch and will seek out brands whose focus is on relationship-building. Tools such as chatbots, live-streaming video and social channels can help you establish those authentic connections and will help humanize your company in 2021.