Social Media Trends 2021: 4 Ways to Overcome the Everchanging Landscape

social media trends 2021

4 Ways to Overcome the Everchanging Landscape Amid Covid-19 Shutdowns and the Change of the Buyer Experience

One thing is for sure; social media will never become obsolete. Some platforms may come and go, but sharing content and advertising to the world utilizing social networks is the way of the future.

The most prominent question marketers have, however, is, “How do I stand out amongst the over 3 Billion pieces of content that are shared to socials every day?”

The digital marketing landscape is continually evolving and with Covid-19 shutdowns still in place in many cities and states across the country, forging into 2021 with the most effective social media marketing strategy is more important than ever.

Here are the four things that can take your social media to the next level in 2021, while keeping in mind the social landscape that has developed over the course of the pandemic.

Bringing the Fun Back to the Customer Experience

There is one distinct smell that everyone can recognize the minute they walk into a mall: Cinnabon. The customer experience revolves around the lingering smell of delicious cinnamon rolls. Marketers crave this sort of brand recognition when it comes to marketing strategies, but when social media is your only means of reaching new clients, how is customer experience attained?

2021 brings marketers so many new avenues to engage customers despite being entirely virtual in the social space. With AR (augmented reality), the possibilities are endless, and brands will be thriving off these new opportunities.

Augmented reality gives the ability to overlay and share physical objects, spaces, and images on a user’s view of the real world, revolutionizing the customer experience.

With the use of apps and mobile technology, AR has emerged as an opportunity for companies to enhance the relationship between consumer and brand through three-dimensional immersive visual interactive experiences.

Some of the top brands that have used AR to their advantage include:

  • Home Depot has created a virtual paint color app where you can test the color on your walls at home before committing to the change physically.
  • Sephora has put together the ability to try makeup on virtually to see what color lipsticks look best and what foundation color suits the customer.
  • Adidas has implemented the ability for customers to try on shoes virtually through the capabilities of AR.

With technology constantly improving, AR will change the digital marketing game for the better.

User-Generated Content

social media trends 2021 - user generated content

Want to cut through the noise? User-generated content is one of the best ways to do so, and businesses are going to be remixing UGC into their social media strategy in 2021.

User-generated content is precisely what it sounds like: content created by your customers and posted to socials.

There are so many advantages to using UGC, and these are some of our favorites:

  • Increased engagement and time spent on your site or social media platforms
  • Reach to a broader audience
  • Marketing messages come from individuals instead of the brand
  • Increased trust from consumers
  • Memorable and one-of-a-kind content that cannot be replicated by competing brands

One of the biggest advantages is increased click-through-rate (CTR) with the use of UGC. Ads based on user-generated content receive four times higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click (CPC) compared to average ads, according to data pulled from Shopify.

Whether your customers find themselves using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, ads are constantly being thrown at them and they tend to develop “banner-blindness”- in short, many people learn to block out the ads.

With UGC, companies can not only promote trust in their products, provide social proof and begin a conversation with their audience, but UGC can also re-engage their audience through means of a less “salesy” visual approach.

Don’t get lost in the social landscape by improving your social feeds with help from your very own customers!

Advertising to an Older Demographic #OkayBoomer

Whether or not we realize it, we as social media marketers practice ageism almost every day. It makes sense, as the vast majority of digital marketers are under the age of 40. Still, it is primarily because we have always looked at the older generation as incapable of using social media and technology.

Although we grew up with it and they didn’t, they want and need to be heard.

Baby Boomers carry the economy, and throughout the pandemic, they solidified their place in the social media space across Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok and have begun utilizing food delivery services and e-commerce more so than ever before.

Brands are beginning to recognize that Baby Boomers could be the future of their businesses, and advertising to this older demographic will be essential to succeed in 2021.

So how do you reach Baby Boomers through digital marketing?

  • Facebook – This is going to be your primary focus to target Baby Boomers as 68% of the generation is on the platform, according to Statistica
  • Content is crucial – Baby Boomers prefer to read high-quality blog articles, reviews, eBooks, and comments. To target this lucrative market, produce, publish and plan high-quality text content associated with your brand
  • Slow videos are always better – Videos that are slow in pace and contain detailed information are an excellent way to target this generation as the content is more easily digestible
  • Email Marketing – Baby Boomers are avid users of Email, so running email content campaigns will be critical for your brand’s digital strategy; remember, Email was the first form of social networking in a sense

Baby Boomers hold 70% of the nation’s disposable income, so this is definitely not an audience that you want to miss out or fall behind on because brands are going to be targeting the Boomers now more than ever before.

Making Way for a Better Future

social media trends 2021

2020 brought many social issues to the forefront of homepages across all social networking sites, and social media users are not going to let the momentum slow in 2021.

With that, this year, digital marketing strategies will have to be inclusive, customer forward, eco-friendly, and community first.

Now we aren’t saying scream from the rooftops about social justice issues from your brand’s page. Over-voicing opinions can come across as disingenuous but implementing a strategy that uplifts your consumers, as well as working with non-profits for specific campaigns, will significantly impact your future customer’s perception of your brand.

Keep in mind that being superficial will be recognized, and it would be more impactful to stay silent than stand behind something solely to get recognized.

Taking little steps in the right direction on social issues will impact the world in a more significant way than could ever be imagined:

  • Be proactive – According to Sprout Social, half of consumers say they want brands to use social media to share the specific details of their social justice commitments, including proactive updates on the progress they’re making.
  • Take Accountability – Use your social influence to promote internal decision-making that aligns with your brand’s values, whether that’s influencers you work with or even curating third-party content on social that supports change for the better.
  • Sustainability is essential – Whether you limit the amount of plastic in your online orders or switch from polyester blends to organic cotton, focusing on sustainability and being open about the switch is crucial.
  • The voice of your customers – Listening is one of the most critical traits to building a socially conscious social media strategy. Read comments, analyze direct messages, and consider what your followers want to see and what is important to them.
  • Community means everything – Ask your followers questions, invite speakers to live stream on your brand’s Instagram and Facebook pages, start the conversation and create a community that uplifts the people who support you while simultaneously enhancing your brand.

Concluding Thoughts

There is no doubt that 2021 is going to be another year for the books. Digital marketers will have to stay quick on their feet to evolve their marketing strategies and adapt to the everchanging digital landscape.

Use these ideas and tips to enhance your brand’s social media strategy and success in the new year!


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Natalie-Tasha Thompson
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