As we close to the top of 2020, one factor is for certain: We have spent a whole lot of time on social media this 12 months.

However, our elevated connection to social media is not in any respect stunning.

In March, as nations carried out stay-at-home orders because of the world pandemic, Statista reported a 21% uptick in month-to-month social media utilization.

All year long, shoppers haven’t solely continued to make use of social channels to meet up with family members, however they’ve additionally embraced them for product analysis, the most recent information protection, and hours of senseless leisure. 

Now, because the world hits 3.6 billion social media users and continues to take care of the pandemic, manufacturers aren’t simply questioning how they will interact big social media audiences subsequent 12 months. They’re additionally asking, “What social media developments ought to I count on on this continually altering panorama?”

To study extra about what manufacturers can count on subsequent 12 months, I spoke with HubSpot’s Social Media Supervisor Kelly Hendrickson and dug by means of analysis together with HubSpot and Talkwalker’s Social Media Developments Report.

Under, I’ve compiled 9 skilled or research-backed developments social media entrepreneurs ought to watch or leverage in 2021.

Download Now: Social Media Trends in 2021 [Free Report]

1. Manufacturers will proceed to take a “much less is extra” posting method.

This 12 months, many manufacturers spent much less time churning out social media posts and extra time producing solely content material that felt considerate, helpful, and in-touch with the world round them.

Based on Hendrickson, the development of “much less is extra” is prone to proceed in 2021. 

“COVID-19 had manufacturers beginning to ask a query they might have by no means requested themselves earlier than: ‘Does my viewers even need to hear from me proper now?’,” Hendrickson says.

“I count on we’ll see manufacturers being extra considerate about after they submit. This may occasionally even imply posting much less — no matter algorithms — as a result of it is the suitable factor to do,” Hendrickson explains. “There can even be extra considerate advert buys and partnerships.”

“By no means earlier than has making certain your viewers obtains true worth out of your model meant a lot,” Hendrickson provides.

2. Content material worth will beat manufacturing high quality.

When many companies have been compelled to go fully distant in 2020, social media and video advertising and marketing groups wanted develop scalable production processes that could be done from home

When shoppers nonetheless continued to interact with movies, stay streams, and different social media content material that was clearly created from dwelling workplaces, entrepreneurs realized that content material with decrease manufacturing high quality can nonetheless be partaking — if it offers worth. 

“COVID19 compelled many manufacturers to get scrappy when it got here to producing content material, particularly video work,” Hendrickson explains. “With out a manufacturing studio or tons of apparatus obtainable, manufacturing worth turned a bit extra lo-fi and ultimately, but in addition a bit extra human.”

“The thrilling factor for manufacturers is that — usually — audiences cherished it. If something, they noticed themselves extra within the work,” Hendrickson provides. “They too have been on Zoom, filming issues with their telephones, or caught of their properties.”

Hendricks predicts that “we’ll see naked bones productions in 2021. However, audiences will proceed to understand it.”

3. Conversational advertising and marketing will change its tone.

Conversational advertising and marketing is not new. In actual fact, a lot of the large manufacturers we all know and love will let you join with them through social media messaging channels at any time. 

However, in 2021, with extra messaging channels than ever — and shoppers needing extra data to make a worthy funding —  the tone of digital conversations may change. 

For instance, whereas previous conversational advertising and marketing ways centered round promotions and making gross sales as rapidly as potential, 2021’s conversational marketers is likely to be extra targeted on serving to a consumer with one thing, educating them a couple of product, and nurturing them to conversion with a extra considerate or empathic tone.

“Manufacturers must be extra human on social media, inviting the world to your dinner desk for a significant and fascinating dialog,” says Aaron Kaufman, Director of Social Media at Sq. Enix in our Social Media Trends Report. “You might be your fan’s best followers and must embody that it doesn’t matter what social media channel you reside on. Emote, reply, acknowledge, relate, be partaking. We’re not robots.

So, how will manufacturers take care of extra demand for considerate conversational advertising and marketing? A mixture of AI tools and human interaction might assist. 

A wholesome mixture of AI and human interplay might allow manufacturers to run effectively on social media whereas nonetheless giving shoppers the authenticity they should see to belief a model and make a purchase order. For instance, a bot might deal with fast message queries, whereas gross sales, service, or group administration reps might reply to extra advanced questions and issues. 

To study extra about scaling up your conversational advertising and marketing technique, take a look at this information to building a chatbot or learn how HubSpot increased qualified leads with by mixing human and bots in our conversational advertising and marketing.

4. Customers will crave snackable content material.

In 2020, we noticed the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, continued engagement on Tales content material from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and types creating different short-form or “snackable” pieces content to coach shoppers about their model. 

As social media attention spans continue to shrink and extra folks scroll endlessly by means of feeds whereas bored at dwelling, do not count on snackable content material to lose steam anytime quickly. 

To study extra about four types of snackable content your model ought to leverage subsequent 12 months, take a look at this useful submit. 

4. Video will proceed to take heart stage. 

Early in 2020, HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report discovered that video was essentially the most generally used advertising and marketing content material — and the second most partaking content material kind on social media. 

Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 2.59.58 PMImage Source

As main platforms, like Fb, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn more and more amp up their video capabilities, entrepreneurs can count on excessive video consumption to proceed and develop in coming years. 

5. Extra manufacturers will go stay.

In 2019, one in five Facebook videos were live. In Could of that 12 months, YouTube customers cumulatively spent 284 hours watching live video.

In 2020, as many manufacturers have been compelled to take conferences, occasions, and different advertising and marketing experiences on-line, it isn’t stunning to suppose that 2020 stay stream numbers may very well be increased. 

In the intervening time, many manufacturers are utilizing Fb, Instagram, Twitch, and Twitter to stay stream occasions, Q&As, tutorials and different kinds of content material. A lot of these content material hold your followers engaged together with your model by bringing an occasion they in any other case may not have the ability to attend on to their screens.

For instance, every year, INBOUND interviews a few of its noteworthy audio system and visitors in stay INBOUND Studio episodes on Fb. This permits followers who cannot be a part of us to get stay suggestions from consultants. It additionally permits followers of interviewed consultants to study extra about INBOUND and HubSpot.

To study extra about going stay on-line, check out this guide to live streaming, in addition to the following pointers for marketing your next virtual event

6. Social media platforms might double as procuring channels.

As many manufacturers realized methods to do enterprise fully on-line, platforms like Fb, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok raced to develop extra on-line enterprise advertising and marketing options.

Whereas TikTok and Snapchat expanded enterprise advertising and marketing choices in 2020, Fb and Instagram truly introduced procuring capabilities on to their apps. 

With Facebook Shops, Instagram Shoppable posts, shoppers should buy a product seen in a submit with out even leaving the app they’re on.

For shoppers, this provides comfort. For manufacturers that could not construct their very own ecommerce retailer, the web procuring instruments famous above are offering new alternatives to successfully promote merchandise on-line. 

8. Social media customers will embrace gaming and VR.

Within the final 12 months, the variety of social media customers who determine as “avid gamers” elevated by more than 10 million — or 32%. Our Social Media Trends Report reveals that the very best uptick in gamer identification occurred in COVID-19’s heaviest lockdown months.

Now, with Fb’s firm, Oculus, launching new VR products, Twitch continuing to expand on-line game-streaming capabilities, and platforms like Snapchat launching mini-game apps, it is clear that gamification and social media will proceed to go hand in hand in 2021. 

As a small to medium-business marketer, gaming-related promotions is likely to be inaccessible now, however with Fb and different main platforms persevering with to launch model instruments round their latest options — it isn’t stunning to suppose that extra social media in-game promoting alternatives may very well be potential sooner or later. 

Manufacturers ought to hold an eye fixed out for game-related promotions in 2021.

Even when advertorial game content turns into obtainable to large manufacturers however not smaller firms, entrepreneurs can nonetheless watch what greater firms are doing and hit the bottom working with contemporary concepts if gamified promotion change into extra scalable.

9. Authenticity might be very important.

This 12 months, shoppers and types confronted a world pandemic, unsure monetary instances, and a lot of main occasions that paused nations in entrance of reports channels.

Now, shoppers want extra than simply nice offers to belief, determine with, and put money into a model. At this level, many manufacturers have taken discover by embracing authenticity and their human facet on social media.

Whereas some manufacturers have spoken straight about their ideas associated to COVID-19 or different information gadgets, others have proven authenticity by zoning on their clients by means of user-generated content material or buyer testimonials. 

When executed authentically, each methods might help manufacturers acquire belief from their audiences whereas boosting consciousness as an organization that cares about folks.

“We are going to proceed to see the expansion in creators in
the social media house. Influencers will proceed
to be current, however accountability, authenticity,
and transparency would be the areas manufacturers and
firms will use to find out who to associate
with, and who to go on,” says Karen Freberg in our Social Media Trends Report. “Empathy and advocacy might be components that might be built-in inside messages and functions for creator campaigns. The times of ‘faking it until you make it’ with none expertise aside from having a number of followers are over.”

In 2021, count on authenticity to take heart stage on social media as profitable manufacturers proceed to construct belief from their audiences.

Navigating Social Media in 2021

At the moment, the world round us is consistently altering. And, though we expect we all know what to anticipate with social media, this record of developments is probably going not exhaustive of what we’ll see in 2021.

As a social media marketer, the very best factor you are able to do is to proceed to analysis developments, on-line client behaviors, and your crew’s social media information to find out which developments or methods to lean into or methods to navigate unprecedented on-line eventualities. 

One good spot to start out doing this analysis may very well be our HubSpot and Talkwalker’s current Social Media Developments Report.

Together with insights and quotes from social media consultants, our Social Media Developments Report walks by means of all the most important 2021 development predictions to find out about and information on how COVID-19 might affect social media advertising and marketing. to see the free report, click here or the banner under.

New call-to-action