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I get asked “What’s next?” a lot when it comes to social media in 2021. It’s such a subjective answer because I can’t see the future of course, but I can see trends! With that in mind, I wanted to share my top 5 trends in social media that I think are most relevant to small businesses. 

Some of these are things you may use in your personal social media, but as in most cases, businesses are stepping into those realms more and more. Here we go:

5. Stories 

Facebook introduced stories in 2017, Instagram in 2016. When they first came out it was in reaction to the rise of Snapchat and many thought it was basically a knockoff. Since then we’ve seen it rise to where: 

With our clients, we have recommended this use as a way to generate immediate content. Ideas include events, around the office, etc. You’ll see us using it to run trivia, polls, or just be silly because 24 hours later it goes away. 

4 . User Generated Content

User-generated content has become more readily available with many influencers looking for ways to generate income and brands looking for ways to advertise without “advertising”. Many times the content isn’t even generated via a formal arrangement but more out of a user’s passion towards a brand. The big thing is how will you use this content? 

Planning and use of hashtags are central as is developing a plan. Just because it’s user-generated doesn’t mean that it’s always 100% organic in how it came about. Nurturing leads, social listening (listening for sentiment and interactions on social media) is key and takes time.

Some brands have even worked up ways to offer an incentive to key influencers to get their campaigns going. Even boosting their posts to be seen by wider audiences. 

Either way, it generates generally positive sentiment and can help to expand your brand into new markets. 

3. Interactive Content

Interactive content is a must-have in your social media plans in 2021. It’s what makes your social media “social”. If all you are doing is advertising your next event or favorite products, you’re missing out on the opportunity to see more customers.

Finding ways to interact with your customers via quizzes, polls, or just asking a question are a growing trend. Setting up a chat bot to answer some of your most frequently asked questions will help too! 

In the end, engaging your customer and offering them something beyond the easy promotions will result in better results for your business. This is one of the trends in social media that is here to stay.

2. Live Streams

After this past year in 2020, streaming is more popular than ever. TikTok itself rewards those who meet minimum follower requirements the ability to stream leading to the addition of even more followers. 

Facebook and Instagram have added in-video shopping capabilities so that stores can show you products and you can purchase them immediately. This is leading more and more towards live streaming becoming a marketplace or even a modern mall where you can shop, ask questions, and make your next purchase. 

Webinars are another way to use live streaming. It helps to position yourself as the expert on the subject matter that is important to your business. 

1. Video Marketing

Beyond just live streams, video as a whole is one of the most important trends in social media for 2021. Here are some statistics that show why you should incorporate video marketing to your strategy:

  • 85% of people would like to see more videos from brands in 2021.
  • The number of businesses using video as a marketing tool, overall, has increased from 61% to 86% since 2016.
  • The videos with the most success are explainer videos (73%), followed by social media videos (67%).

We’ve loved working with clients to produce regular video content that enables them to tell their stories. These can be employee interviews, client testimonials, or just an explainer video about what to expect from your business. 

Some of the information I shared today was gleaned from an article from our friends at Check out their full Top 50 Digital Marketing Trends for 2021 article too.

As always, we stand ready to help. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients ahead of the curve on utilizing trends in social media. If we aren’t working with you already, give us the opportunity to put together a plan that can help your business grow in 2021. 

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