It goes without saying that 2020 has been a tumultuous year with its fair share of uncertainty. But if one thing is for sure, it’s that social media has proven itself to not only be a vital personal resource to stay connected, but also as an essential business tool. In fact, 93% of IT decision-makers report using social for business purposes! And while so much has changed this year, something we can all agree on is that staying up-to-date with the latest social media marketing trends is critical to any successful marketing strategy. To help you continue to make an impact in tech communities and with potential customers through social media, we’ve compiled 4 trends that hit big in 2020 and are sure to last in 2021.
- Brand Accountability: A blog from Sprout Social calls out the increasing expectation among consumers that brands take part in activism for the issues that matter to us all. While taking a stand for what’s right has always been important, consumers now more than ever want to see that the brands they support hold similar values so they can feel good about where they do business. Sharing your organization’s commitment to and action around social and political issues via social media is an effective way to open channels of communication, remain transparent with your community, and share progress on issues that consumers truly care about. Make your social media presence really count by incorporating brand accountability into your marketing strategy, not only for potential and existing customers, but to display pride in what your organization is all about.
- Online Communities: More than ever before, people are using social media as a means to stay connected. While online communities have existed in the past – with 28% of IT executives saying they rely on online communities/social for purchase decisions – 2020 heightened the desire for individuals to feel a sense of togetherness while remaining at home. The lack of connection to typical, in-person communities due to COVID-19 truly elevated the importance of forging strong connections elsewhere, causing these online communities to become pivotal to social media environments. IDG’s MarketingFit Social Media 101 guide discusses how tech marketers can utilize these strong communities to get to know their audience, better understand buyers want, and learn other tactics that can boost social strategies. In short, strengthened online communities are one of the great things to come out of 2020, and a welcome trend that we see carrying on into 2021 and beyond.
- Influencer Marketing: Similar to other trends, of course influencer marketing existed prior to this year. However, this approach has really taken off and is incorporated into more and more marketing strategies as a mainstream tactic rather than an occasional social media play. This blog by Neal Schaffer breaks down how to create an influencer program that delivers marketing ROI. When strategizing on an influencer marketing campaign, keep in mind the influential players in online communities that you know and trust to help spread your message to relevant audiences through social!
- Taking a ‘Less is More’ Approach: Everyone has felt the impact of COVID-19 in some way, big or small. For many people, a common struggle is the feeling of reaching a saturation limit due to the quantity of emails we send or receive, more meeting invitations, increased screen time and other factors that, when paired with the pandemic and lack of a “normal” life, can all contribute to burnout. That’s why HubSpot’s blog on a ‘less is more’ approach perfectly describes the way marketers’ strategies have been trending as of late to focus on the balance of staying top of mind without overdoing it. If your team hasn’t jumped on this trend, there is still time to incorporate it into your social media – or broader – approach so that the campaigns you do focus time and energy on are truly seen rather than overlooked.
As we all know, social media provides a unique opportunity for businesses to show personality, engage with users and, with the right strategy, stand apart from the pack. With these trends in mind, we hope your marketing teams feel empowered to try something new on social media. And as always, be sure to keep your eyes open for even more strategies that are sure to make a big impact in 2021.
Download our MarketingFit Guide to Social Media 101 to learn more about enhancing your social strategy.