As we approach the end of a year like no other, Hootsuite has published its fifth annual global social media trends report, highlighting a series of creative approaches, useful strategies and tactical tasks to help you move forwards with confidence into 2021.

Here are four of the key findings from the report to consider as you develop your own social media strategy for the 12 months ahead.

Trend 1: Social to play a key role in winning new business

73% of marketers will heavily rely on social media as a channel for new customer acquisition in 2021, a marked increase on the 46% who had the same primary objective in 2020. There will also be a focus on using social activity to build and sustain brand awareness, while 45% also expect to use social media to drive conversions in the form of leads, product queries and purchases.

Hootsuite counsels that it could well be a mistake however to make ROI the main focus, noting that offering engaging experiences via social channels could go some way towards replacing the in-person experiences and events which have been missing in 2020. Activities such as livestreaming, real-time question and answer sessions and short videos are good places to start.

Trend 2:  Creative conversations

It might be that your social media activity over the next 12 months revolves more around listening that directing conversations, says Hootsuite. With 68% of social media users finding brand content on social uninteresting, creative content which aligns with what consumers actually want to see and hear will triumph.

To help you plan your content strategy and spark genuine conversations, you’ll need to use social media listening. Look for trends and opinions being shared to gauge consumer sentiment and use that as your starting point for creative conversations.

Trend 3: Reconsider your demographic

The pandemic has meant increased time online for almost every demographic, most especially baby boomers. Research shows that 70% of those aged 55-64 ordered online in the last four weeks and more than two thirds say they’ll increase their online purchases in the future. 66% more baby boomers have turned to social media in the last four years to discover new products and, with more financial stability than other generations post-pandemic.

Hootsuite says this is one demographic not too write off, advising, “In 2021, marketers cannot afford to overlook older generations on social media. By using smart segmentation and thoughtful representation, marketers that include baby boomers in their digital strategies can leapfrog those still stuck in stereotypes and capitalize on this growing technological enthusiasm.”

Trend 4: Social data integration

2021 could be the year that social media becomes a fully integrated part of the marketing and sales process, with data from social media looking to be increasingly fed into CRM systems such as Salesforce.

Use of data attribution makes it easier to measure ROI, which can in turn lead to greater social activity, more targeted advertising and boosted consumer loyalty.

Hootsuite’s research confirms that 6 in 10 businesses will increase their Instagram budget for 2021, with half of businesses also planning to allocate greater spend to Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn so the competition to stand out will be fierce. The Adrac team is here to help. Contact us to find out more about our social media services.

Author Rebecca

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