Each new year, it’s important for businesses to reevaluate and rejuvenate their social media engagement strategies. In 2021, it will be as important as ever to have an engaging strategy on social media that incorporates creative, visual storytelling, influencer marketing and social customer care. Make sure your business is using these social media trends in 2021 to stay ahead of the game and top-of-mind with your customers.
Social media engagements in 2021
Today I will be sharing these 4 social media trends you should use in 2021.
- Create purposeful, engaging content
- Use in-the-moment visual storytelling
- Practice social media customer care
- Team up with local advocates and influencers
1. Create purposeful, engaging content
I’m kicking off my list of social media trends in 2021 with trend numero uno — create engaging content on your social media pages that encourages audience participation. Storytelling has long been a trend on social, and we’ve all heard that “content is king.” But in 2021, you’ll want to post content on Facebook, Instagram, MeWe, Reddit, and Twitter that not only tells a story, but also encourages audience participation, starts conversations and build relationships.
Think about content you’ve posted, (or content from other brands you love). Now, think about the interaction those posts get. What worked? What flopped? What can you do more of or do better on your social media pages that will get your audience engaging with you across platforms? We have some ideas for you.
On Facebook, post about your newest offerings, deals and developments. It will keep your audience in the loop and will keep them coming back to your page to see what’s new in 2021.
Here, Washington, D.C. restaurant, Compass Rose, posts a new menu item on Facebook. They posted an excellent photo paired with an engaging caption, and as a comment, someone asked, “Are you guys participating in D.C. Restaurant Week?” That comment gives the restaurant an opportunity to respond and invite that potential customer in to try their items during Restaurant Week — and all year long.
On Instagram, use these social media trends in 2021.
Encourage your audience to use a branded hashtag of yours, letting them know if they use it, they could be featured on your profile. In this example, Atlanta brewery Terrapin Beer Company says it’s “#TakeTerrapin Tuesday” on their Instagram post. Then, they call for their followers to get involved by saying, “Show us where you Take Terrapin using the hashtag and we might feature you on our profile.”
This tactic is an effective way to get people talking about a brand on their personal Instagram feeds. Instagram users posting about your products and integrating your branded hashtag into their posts spreads the word about you to their friends and followers. This helps build brand awareness for your business to an audience you wouldn’t have been able to reach otherwise.
Instagram is also a fantastic place to utilize user-generated content to create interaction and start conversations. In this example, Timber Pizza Company uses a photo from fan, @baumkitty, and makes sure to tag her in their fun, on-brand caption. You can see that the first comment is @baumkitty using the clapping hands emoji (?) to show that she loves how Timber Pizza used her post.
This post started with a conversation (between the restaurant and the fan), and then created more conversations in the comments of the post. This kind of fan interaction also has the potential to create more user-generated content. Now, other fans will feel compelled to share their photos while visiting Timber Pizza knowing that the restaurant might share them on their feed.
On Twitter, decide to dive into social media trends in 2021 with a Twitter Chat. The key to success with Twitter is to be more than a spectator and be a participator. Add value to conversations on the platform, and that will differentiate your business from your competition.
“Twitter chats (or Tweet chats) are public conversations organized around a specific topic on Twitter. These moderated discussions take place at a predetermined time, with a predetermined hashtag. They’re a great way to build community around your brand.” —Hootsuite
Hosting a Twitter chat is an engaging way to bring people together, talk directly to current and potential customers and create community around your brand. You can host a live Q&A, start an AMA (Ask Me Anything), ask trivia questions, or provide tips and tricks that can help your customers. Just make sure to do some promo tweets ahead of time, encourage users to participate in the chat by using your unique, branded hashtag and send a recap at the end.
2. Practice social media customer care
Next on my list of our social media trends in 2021 is practicing excellent social media customer care. More and more consumers are turning to social media to review businesses and to get their issues resolved quickly. Your customers are reaching out to you across social media platforms, so be responsive and be there for them.
“Social customer care is differentiated from [customer] service in that it starts before a customer reaches out to you about a product or service. It means that you not only respond to complaints but you also reward compliments. You recognize who your recurring customers are and keep them hooked.” —Sprout Social
Every mention, comment and wall post that comes in for your business on social media has the power to influence customer opinions of your brand and their likelihood to come by for a visit. In this example, Gessner Heating and Air Conditioning makes sure to respond to a fan comment. This keeps the conversation going that their post started.
Many reach outs from your current and potential customers on social media will be requests for business information, questions about your products and services, real-time notifications of their visit to your business and descriptions of previous experiences.
Skillfully handling customer questions and requests on social media by implementing social media customer care can be the difference between impressing a customer or losing their business.
Respond to all recommendations on Facebook, public comments, timeline posts, tweets and private DMs to make sure you’re providing the best social customer care possible. In this example, Mi Tierra San Jose Mexican Restaurant responds to a customer recommendation on Facebook with a personalized, professional and succinct response showing gratitude and customer appreciation.
And, you never know, one customer comment, idea or piece of feedback could have a big impact on your business. Take this example on Easy Tiger’s Instagram post. One customer commented that a special they offer should be added to their permanent menu.
The business responds that they will take this feedback to their kitchen team. This interaction shows anyone who sees this post that their customers are important to them and that customer feedback matters.
3. Use in-the-moment visual storytelling
Next up for social media engagements in 2021: in-the-moment visual storytelling content! Using Facebook Live and Instagram Stories triggers immediate reaction and can help your brand boost engagement.
Let’s start with broadcasting on Facebook Live.
Fun fact: Last year, 78% of online audiences were watching video on Facebook Live.
“Why are marketers getting so excited about Facebook Live? Because it’s a fun and fairly simple way for them to use the power of video to communicate their brand stories, and build authentic relationships with fans and followers — in real time.” —HubSpot
So, what can your business share in real-time to start building relationships with your Facebook audience? In this example, the Cheeky Peach, a clothing boutique in Athens, GA, uses Facebook Live to show off their newest items. Below, you can see the engagement that is possible with a video like this.
Customers are putting in orders in real-time while watching the video — increasing both sales and interaction with their brand on Facebook.
Businesses should also be sharing engaging content on Instagram Stories in 2021.
Fun fact: 1 in 5 Instagram Stories shared by a brand receives a direct reply on the platform from a user, according to TechCrunch.
64% of marketers have either already implemented Instagram Stories into their social media strategy or are planning to in the next year. —Hootsuite
Jump in! Start sharing what’s happening at your business and all the elements that make your business unique on Instagram Stories. Post shots of new products, events and specials, behind-the-scenes content, sneak peeks and how-tos. To really get conversations going, add user-generated content into your Instagram Stories strategy. Here’s how you can do it.
- If a user mentions your business in her Story, a notification will appear in your DMs. (The icon looks like a paper airplane in the top right corner of your feed.)
- Open your notifications, find that mention, then, click, “Add this to your Story.”
- In the Story creation screen, resize the content, add fun elements and share!
Here’s Kriser’s Natural Pet using a cute, post-grooming post from user, @ericadhess. Kriser’s was tagged in her post, so they added her post to their Story. They also added a heart graphic to make it their own. Now, instead of posting this shot directly from their account, they have incorporated a mini customer testimonial. This lets their followers know that consumers love having their pets groomed at their store.
4. Team up with local advocates and influencers
Ive come to my final trend to add to your social media trends in 2021 to-do list. You can team up with local advocates and influencers to further your marketing goals and connect with more real people in your community.
Too much promotional content can come across as sales-y and disingenuous, especially to millennials. But, consumers love endorsements from real people. They want to see that consumers like them are enjoying your product and services before giving you a try.
22% of millennials online purchase products after seeing influencers endorse them. —SocialMediaToday
So, how do you pick local advocates and influencers that are right for your business? Your local advocates can be local media or publications. The best influencers can be your very own customers and brand ambassadors a.k.a the biggest fans of your brand. What you need to look for are people or publications with good reach, an authentic following and genuine engagement (consistent likes and comments.)
Here is an example of successful, local influencer marketing. User @minneats posts a photo of Punch Bowl Social’s mac-and-cheese. Her Instagram account has a fair amount of followers, and it’s full of photos of her favorite eats. So, she might be a perfect influencer for this restaurant to team up with to spread the word about their brand.
To complete the circle of sharing and appreciation, Punch Bowl Social then shares @minneats’ post on their own feed and credits her by reposting her original caption. All of these actions help Punch Bowl Social spread the word that consumers in their community are posting about them and like their products.
It’s easy to see how connecting with an influencer or brand ambassador can take your marketing further. Utilizing the following of local influencers and community advocates can help build brand awareness with users that might not have ever seen your content or your brand. Once a new fan sees a post about your business, they might navigate to your social pages, check out your website or walk right in your doors to see what you’re all about.
Key takeaways: Whatever you decide to do with social media trends in 2021, make sure that you are posting content that is getting genuine engagement. Then, interact with that engagement.
Don’t just post! Start conversations, join existing conversations and build relationships across platforms to further your marketing goals and grow your brand.
Don’t have the time to create and respond to your social media content? That’s where I come in. Let me help you create, build, and influence your followers to not just engage with you, but buy from you. After all, that is why you are in business, right? Contact me for your free Evaluation. We can put together a plan that meets your business goals.
Engage your customers like never before with JTS Social. We help businesses elevate their online presence on the platforms that matter most. Get started with me here.