[vc_row full_screen_section_height=”no”][vc_column][vc_column_text]By now it’s clear that businesses need to have a social media presence. One-third of Australians look at your social media accounts before they visit your website. They do this because social media can give a better insight into you and your business than your website does, thanks to the social chat on your page.

Given the importance of social media to your potential customers, it’s critical to stay up to date with social media trends.

Which are the most important platforms to use?

This will vary depending on the nature of your business but it’s wise to spend your time on the platform which is most used by your target market. Many businesses are increasing their online presence on the platforms which have shown the most growth over the last year, which according to Hootsuite are Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

We’ve read the reports and have picked the five top trends to be aware of this year.

  1. The use of short-form and short-term content.

Life is busy and people expect fast information and look for something new and for answers to their needs when they login to their social media platforms.

In 2021 you’ll see in increase is media posts that are short and concise, and which often disappear quickly to be replaced by a new post. Think along the lines of Instagram’s stories and messaging apps which offer the option of sending messages which only last 24 hours.

Short bursts of information are easily read and if they disappear quickly, there’s a sense of excitement and urgency behind them. This is very tempting to prospective customers.

  1. The continued rise of Instagram

Instagram has grown in popularity so much over the last year that it’s rivalling Facebook. In November 2020, Facebook had 16,500,000 monthly active users, YouTube had 16,000,000 and Instagram – 9,000,000.

Why is Instagram becoming so popular?

Well, first it’s visual, which people love. It’s fast and easy to consume. However, Instagram has an eye on the future and after introducing Stories, it attracted more visitors. Now it has introduced Reels which are videos of up to 30 seconds in length. It combines people’s enjoyment of video with fast-paced information and fun. It’s also a great way to answer customer questions and share information.

In addition to this, as of November 2020, Instagram has become more SEO friendly. Related businesses and posts will be more easily found just by entering a keyword in the search bar. Adding keywords to your posts will boost your search results.

  1. Increased social listening.

The pandemic reminded businesses of the need to listen to their users. Many had been too busy trying to lead the conversation to become noticed.

This year it’s time to change your strategy and listen instead of talking. After all, if you don’t know your customers and what’s going on in their world, how can you make yourself relevant to them? That’s right. You can’t.

  1. A rise in user-generated content

People want to see more of what other customers have to say about you and your products or services. Businesses can run competitions that need people to submit stories or photos of their product use. They can encourage them to share the posts and tag the business in each.

It’s becoming more important to engage customers this way both for relationship building and for social proof.

  1. The need for purpose and humanity to shine through

The mood has shifted, and customers want to see the human side of the business, especially in the way it operates according to its values. It’s brand purpose and personality expressed in a human way. Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2021 report says, “Data from Brandwatch shows that consumers are much more con­cerned about whether a brand operates according to its values and proactively makes the world a better place than they are about its performative actions around those values (like shar­ing statements about it on social media, for example).”

What social good does your business offer?

No business has time to be a slave to the trends on every social media platform, but these five trends are important. Pay attention to them and plan your social media strategy to incorporate them.

Putting a cohesive social media strategy together isn’t easy. If you need some expert advice or guidance, contact us to enquire about a strategy session. Make this the year where social media becomes your most effective marketing tool.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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