Top 6 Creative Trends for Social Media Marketing in 2021

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2020 was a challenging year, but chaos and uncertainty often go hand in hand with creativity and innovation.

2021 is all about devoting yourself to the creative process, about listening and caring. You have to put in extra energy to stay curious and proactive, but we’re here to help!

We have compiled a list of six creative social media trends in 2021.

Social media trend #1: Make your social media approach more human

Users spend more time on social media than ever before, engaging in conversations and forming connections. Your brand should be there, transparent, and responsive to customer interaction.

It’s essential to find meaningful ways to show social responsibility. Take your interactions to a more profound social level and build relationships with your audiences.

Coca Cola has a brilliant creative campaign that moves and inspires:

Coca Cola’s ad captures a segment of a cinematic poem performed by George the Poet, a game-changing voice of his generation.

Vanity metrics, like follower counts and likes, bear little significance in 2021. Instagram getting rid of the “like” button is just the beginning of the trend. Twitter’s head of consumer product, Jack Coleman, said the platform is considering removing its “like” button “to make communication between users a bit friendlier.”

That being said, focus on the rate and quality of user engagement and your actual sales counts.

Social media is the ideal canvas for communicating your brand’s values, but make sure that your website resonates with your audience in the same way. Words may not always be sufficient to tell your story, so consider using a custom website design that conveys your brand’s personality.

Social media trend #2: Include video in your social media strategy

Video remains one of the most influential trends in social media. It is a highly engaging form of content and, at this pace, will soon dominate social media.

In 2021, the focus will be on creative, engaging storytelling — the type of storytelling that captures the reader or watcher’s attention in seconds.

Apple plays it by the book in one of their latest ad campaigns that portrays people finding new ways to share ingenuity, humanity, and hope:

Videos can help you showcase your brand and products like no other marketing approach. Videos bring your products to life and show real people interacting with them.

If you’re not currently creating videos, it’s time that you include them in your content strategy. 69% of people said they would actually prefer to watch a video about a product instead of reading about it.

Depending on your line of business, you can experiment with unboxing videos, reviews, tutorials, Q&A sessions, launches and announcements, behind the scenes videos, or interviews. Test the waters to see what works and what doesn’t for your target audience.

YouTube videos appear in Google search results, so optimizing your video content is crucial. Your website is 53 times more likely to rank on the first page on Google if it includes video. For that to happen, it’s best to hire professionals — top SEO agencies.

Social media trend #3: Involve your community

Your brand should have a Facebook group in 2021. Groups are a powerful networking platform for your customers and your prospects. They will enable you to launch new products, seek customer feedback, and gain valuable customer insights.

Instant Pot did a fantastic job of creating a community around their product. Their Facebook page has a great follower count of 358,094. However, the company-sanctioned Facebook group Instant Pot Community has an extraordinary 3 million members.

growing community
Instant Pot’s Facebook group has a whopping 3 million members

And considering that 10,000+ members join the group each and every week, they’re going to keep this momentum of growth.

Engaging your community can also grant you access to fantastic custom materials submitted by your customers. This user-generated content can then be used in your own marketing content.

Calvin Klein’s “I ________ in #MyCalvins.” campaign shines here. It gives customers a chance to show what role Calvin Klein plays in their lives. Customers can submit photos wearing Calvin Klein products — jeans, underwear, etc. — through the #MyCalvins hashtag on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

generating user content through hashtag
The #mycalvins hashtag currently has 866,192 posts on Instagram alone

Calvin Klein shows the image galleries on their website. Clicking on a picture gives additional information about the featured products. Not only that, but you’ll get links to the product pages so that you can buy the product for yourself.

User-generated content has even become a buzz word in email marketing. It’s easy to understand why: a photo of a happy customer is more likely to generate an emotional response than a stock image.

Employee-generated content is another exciting trend for 2021. Your employees need to understand your vision and be inspired. Employees can create videos, images, or blog posts, crafting new ways of communicating your company’s mission and values on social media.

Warby Parker presents their employees’ favorite frames, with some catchy transitions, we should say:

Warby Parker taps into the power of employee-generated content with an entertaining video of their employees showing off their favorite frames; source: Warby Parker’s Instagram

The possibilities are endless. Remember, social media algorithms will always favor people. User and employee-generated content is a cheap and effective way to build engagement and trust.

Social media trend #4: Expand your reach

Facebook is no longer the do-it-all social network, the one-stop-shop.

Younger audiences tend to favor Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Twitch and Discord have also gained a lot of popularity in the gaming community. Figure out where your target audience spends the most time, and create a thoughtful presence on that platform.

TikTok became major in determining pop culture trends in 2020, and it’s revolutionary in 2021. It has about 1 billion active users monthly.

On TikTok, you’ll likely come across social media challenges, dance and food videos, lip-syncing and tutorial videos. None of these convey the over-curated feel you get from Facebook and Instagram videos.

Guess nailed it from the start, in 2018, becoming the first U.S. brand to release a campaign as an official TikTok partner. Their first post promoted their #InMyDenim campaign, where creators quickly changed from old clothes into stylish Guess outfits.

Today, Guess is one of the most active brands on TikTok, and they’re just as engaging to young audiences. Here’s one of their latest videos:

In the typical TikTok style, Guess leverages dancing and acting, with performers wearing Guess clothing as the main feature; source: Guess

Later to the game, Chipotle set out to engage young audiences in 2019. A smart move, considering that almost half of its consumers are Gen Z or Millennials.

Chipotle’s TikTok page is arguably the best example of Gen-Z marketing, judging from the impact of their videos and campaigns. Here’s one of their latest TikTok videos:

A TikTok user performing a Chipotle challenge; source: Chipotle

The freedom that TikTok gives users when editing their videos has made TikTok the go-to platform for challenges.

TikTok users love the app, and they spend an average of 52 minutes per day on it. They find the much-needed moments of relaxation, joy, and connection, which is why people turn to social media after all.

Long story short, if your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the age of 16 and 24, you should definitely be on TikTok.

Social media trend #5: Tell your story with stories

The average attention span is down to eight seconds. So, stories are the perfect way to get the attention in those valuable few seconds. The popularity of stories, also called ephemeral content — social media content that is only available for a limited amount of time and then disappears — will continue to increase in 2021.

Instagram introduced stories in 2016 an 150 million people used the feature. Now, over 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day!

Chipotle’s latest Instagram Stories are mesmerizing:

Chipotle’s Instagram story features a young boy rhetorically asking if a burrito can change the world

Chipotle uses Instagram stories to convey powerful messages about reducing carbon emissions, saving water, and supporting local growers.

The campaign enhances the idea that the global pandemic has shifted consumer behavior towards a community-focused society, where people make purchasing decisions that make a difference in the world.

Chipotle highlights the impact that their “Food with Integrity” standards could have on the world

You can also use Instagram stories for advertisements. Forever 21 has a creative approach on this:

Instagram stories for advertisements
Forever 21’s Instagram stories promote their apparel in a way that catches the consumer’s eye, creating more chances to drive sales

Brands need to pay attention to how video stories engage their audiences. 62% of people become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a story. It’s easy to understand why the format has gained massive popularity among marketers.

Social media trend #6: Collaborate with micro-influencers

Today, brands hire influencers on an ongoing basis to increase their reach and brand loyalty. An influencer is an online authority followed by people who listen and believe in what they have to say.

Influencer marketing is a modern, online version of celebrity endorsements, and has become increasingly important in the eCommerce landscape. The most profitable influencer marketing niches are beauty, fashion, health and fitness, tech, travel, and business.

In 2021, you should partner with influencers who have smaller, well-defined audiences (1,000 — 10,000 followers). They are also called micro-influencers, and they are more effective because nowadays people want to interact with influencers who are real, genuine, and relatable.

Lady Redd is a great example of a micro-influencer. She provides excellent, detailed advice, and her makeup tutorials are very entertaining.

Lady Redd’s brand of choice is MAC Cosmetics and she currently has 1.37K subscribers.

Finding micro-influencers can be tricky, but, depending on your line of business, you may be able to find them at industry events. If those don’t yield the expected results, turn to the proven method of social media searches.

Just make sure to check their social media accounts, blogs, and websites to evaluate their value potential.

Conclusion

The global pandemic brought many changes in the development of social media trends, and brands should use the trends listed above to their advantage.

Average log times, browse times, and interactions are higher than ever before, so your brand should focus on expanding its user-base, engagement, and overall marketing performance, all while working with more innovative technologies.

Now, more than ever, social media bridges the gap to a new customer experience. Understanding that and staying up to date with the latest social media trends will put you one step ahead of the competition.

So be real, natural, and unique. Use your creative potential to the maximum. And even though we think we comprehend what to expect with social media in 2021, this list is not all-encompassing, and social media trends are constantly evolving.

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