The year 2020 has been a crazy year of extreme ups-and-downs for people with online businesses. This also counts for people who are working as marketeers. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed the offline landscape but also the online landscape in terms of consumer behavior, change of online content approach, and brand messaging.

As Hubspot mentioned in its recent study, the year 2021 will be shaped by the so-called 4 c’s of COVID-19 content: Community, Contactless, Cleanliness, and Compassion. This also means that brands all over the world will need to adapt their communication and marketing plans for 2021. As I have done in previous years I once again try to predict possible Social Media Trends that might be booming for the coming year. Here are some trends which I think will make great development for 2021.

The power of Conversation marketing

Online conversations, chatbots, social media messages, phone calls, and more. All of these items are called conversation marketing and have become a very effective method of engaging with customers. The focus is more on building a relationship with the customers through personalized, one-to-one content.

In these difficult times, people need simple and clear communication. Of course, as a company, it is impossible to answer everything, but right now good communication is everything. By creating a good relationship with customers you automatically create more leads to sales. During this pandemic, sales are no longer a top priority for customers. What they want is easy information, engagement, and answers to give them a personalized customer experience.

A great and simple example of conversation marketing.

The end of Digital disinformation also called  ‘fake news’?

Starting from February 2020 this year, the COVID-19 pandemic created an explosion of “fake news” in the shape of conspiracy theories, the number of deaths, how the virus originated, and much more. People all over the world wanted to know more about the virus, but it was hard to find authoritative sources they could trust. This led to consumers filling in the gaps themselves with “fake news” fueling all sorts of conspiracy theories and anger against other countries and races.

Social media have actually blurred the lines between fact and fable, and therefore have the moral duty to do better from this year on. In 2021, the focus for businesses and Social Media channels must be on creating consumer confidence and trying to minimize “fake news”

An example of fake corona news that was trending in social media this year.

Social gaming growth to continue

During this year’s COVID-19 lockdown many people turned to their PC and game consoles to play video games as their form of distraction. Gamers forums and groups have grown explosively in members, creating entire new communities online. Next year brands need to stop the stigmatism associated with gaming as the communities are too big to be stigmatized. In the past 13 months, the number of people identifying as games has increased from 31.3 million to 41.2 million. This also resulted in the growth of online gaming platforms such as Twitch, Roblox, and Youtube. Gaming is also much more positive as people are now building up connections in the “safe” digital world during the pandemic. It is to be expected that these online gaming communities will only grow bigger in 2021 and beyond.

The rise of Social Selling

As people all around the world are leaning on how to deal with this pandemic, you can see the way and where consumers shop are changing. Safe shopping is paramount, online shopping is becoming increasingly important, and social media is becoming an even larger part of it.

This can be seen by the huge increase in mobile use and visits on websites, and the use of social media worldwide. The time spend on Social Media is increasing, where before this pandemic it was declining on some. People are also becoming more familiar with the shopping functions within social media. The threshold to buy via these platforms is getting lower.

Facebook and Instagram shops couldn’t come at a better time. With these new features, companies can build an online store where they can showcase the products to their audience. With this introduction and even the tests in America with payment within the app, we see that social selling and social commerce are really on the rise. It is the next step in online shopping.

An example of social selling on Instagram.

Will Nostalgia marketing be booming?

In times of uncertainty, people like to hold on to reliable methods and products we know work well. People love to be reminded of the good old times because they make us forget the current problems we are facing.

During this year’s pandemic, many trends from the past made their come back; People used shuffleboard, Played board games, took out their Pokémon cards and Dragonball Z games, or even played Mario Kart. Brands and companies can use these times to make a new reference to the past. By doing this they will become more human and even create a sense of belonging when thinking about the past. Eventually, this can lead to more brand value and engagement of your potential customers. Nostalgia marketing was used more during the 1920’s depression, the late 2000’s Great Recession, and therefore should be big in the economic downturn over the coming years.

I think that these 5 points will be key in the social media landscape this 2021. Please do let me know what you think and if you share a different opinion do tell in the comments below.

Marco de Groen

Marco de Groen

A flying Dutchman who is Graphic Designer  Multimedia Designer | Webdesigner | Blogger | Illustrator | Infographics | Social Media | Brand Manager | Branding | Owner/Founder Asian Customs and The Daily Roar and Blackstone Design

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.