“The smartest brands will understand where they fit into customers’ lives on social media, and they’ll find creative ways of fitting into the conversation.”
-Hootsuite Social Trends Report 2021
Social media has taken the world by storm and in 2020 it exploded even further. With a global pandemic, a US election, and other unprecedented events all occurring within one year, social media caught it all. And between the big headlines, consumers and marketers alike used social to connect in a way they really hadn't before. Stores were closed and online sales skyrocketed for many big retailers, and nonprofits took to social to promote newly virtual events. So, what can we expect going into 2021? Read on for the social media trends you can expect in the next year.
Marketers Set Their Sites on Instagram
Instagram has historically been a relatively underused platform for marketers, but in 2020 Instagram saw a huge amount of user growth, showing even stronger growth figures than Facebook. So it's no secret that as marketers we should be following users wherever they are online. Instagram is a visual social media platform but they introduced video reels in 2020 to compete with TikTok's video capabilities. This didn't go unnoticed by consumers which can be seen in Instagram's growth numbers late in the year. In order to be seen by your audiences on Instagram, you have to have consistent, engaging, and relevant posts that both offer something and promote your brand. Using a mix of images, gifs, videos, and other visuals while staying true to brand makes for the most successful professional profiles on the platform.
Social Goals Shift: New Customer Acquisition
As a digital marketer, I know that there are many pieces to the puzzle. But 2021 will place even more pressure on social media to be a sole provider of new customers. This is because of the immense budget cuts and the race for new revenue that nearly all brands are facing. While social media is a great tool for brand awareness and engagement, marketers will be using these platforms to not only get new potential customers but to get social to be a consistent source of new customers.
Utilizing Multiple Channels Will Be Key
Social media marketing will certainly have a lot on its plate this year. But it's not going to be effective alone. Multichannel campaigns are key to meeting ROI goals and marketing goals. Use email marketing alongside your social media promotion to get conversions on big pieces of gated content. Then utilize those new contacts in an email campaign to drive new customers to attend virtual events or purchase your product or service. Putting all eggs into one social basket is a thing of that past. Make sure you're cross-utilizing every channel that is available to you, to see the biggest ROI in 2021.
The reality is that social media and digital marketing on the whole is an integral part of promoting your nonprofit campaigns, and the "best practices" of both are ever-changing. Start with these tips when starting your social media marketing strategy and don't be afraid tweak things!