Social media: what to expect in 2021

Global advertising investments continued their meteoric rise in the fourth quarter, with an overall increase of 50.3% compared to 2019

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that big disruptions can happen overnight across all industries and customer communication responsibilities, from marketing to customer success, often rest with the social media team. Some of the trends we’ve seen take shape this year – from increasing the use of messaging apps to recruiting niche influencers to help expand social reach – are likely to grow in the next year as more and more customer interactions happen online.

By 2021, we should see upward swings in a number of areas, including social commerce, advertising investment and the use of micro influencers. Furthermore, with so many consumers continuing to turn to digital channels, social media will increasingly become a crucial component of the customer experience.

The pandemic had a big impact on how consumers relate to brands. An obvious example is the increased use of messaging apps. Conversations with customers are moving away from traditional call centers and emails as companies shift to serving them through their preferred channels. What is happening is that consumers are online and expect companies to be where they are, answering their questions and providing real-time feedback.

As such, we will continue to see an increase in the number of companies adopting a hybrid model of attendants and virtual assistants, with AI technology used to flag customer inquiries, answer repetitive and frequently asked questions, and escalate critical issues to service agents – regardless the volume of queries, time of day or language.

Social commerce is not something new, but it is not being used as it should by brands. We know that today’s consumer is predominantly digital and users shop online like never before. Since social media platforms today provide the tools to coordinate everything from product discovery to post-purchase customer service and community management, it’s obvious that companies should leverage their infrastructure. At a time when more and more shopping is happening online, by investing in the social commerce component of the customer journey smartly today, businesses will protect tomorrow’s revenue.

We can see a big change in the behavior of brands in a study carried out at the beginning of last year. The data revealed that they are betting on influencers with fewer followers and more niches that can offer greater value to companies with tighter budgets. Nano and micro influencers emerged as high-value resources, bringing high impact without the high price charged by macro and mega influencers. In addition, more than 60% of brand/influencer collaborations with less than 50,000 followers continued to take place during the year. I believe that in 2021 we will see that number increase as companies understand the powers of targeting specific and personalized groups of nano and micro influencers.

Another highlight last year was an influencer marketing report from Econsultancy, supported by Socialbakers, which found that nearly 61% of young people aged 18 to 34 said that influencers had influenced them at some point to make decisions. The data even showed that over 60% of brand influencer collaborations on social media in 2020 were happening with influencers who had less than 50,000 followers.

Global investments in social media ads continued their meteoric rise in the fourth quarter, with an overall increase of 50.3% compared to the same period in 2019, with investments in e-commerce ads widening the gap by 24.8% with the previous quarter, a number that represents twice the investment with ads in the first quarter of 2020. These developments were accompanied by an increase in overall cost-per-click as well. Over 2020, CPC for brands on Instagram and Facebook grew 35.6%, starting at $0.104 and ending at $0.14.

When we go back to how much brands are investing in social media advertising, we can see that despite the disruptions and turbulent events caused by the pandemic in 2020, they increased sharply in the fourth quarter of 2020, being 50.3% higher compared to the same period of 2019. Around the world, brands have invested in social media ads like never before. Cost-per-clicks (CPC) also increased, growing 24.8% in the fourth quarter compared to the months of July, August and September, a number that represents double the ad investment in the first quarter of 2020. Over 2020, CPC for brands on Instagram and Facebook grew 35.6%, starting at $0.104 and ending at $0.14. The pandemic was largely responsible for accelerating online shopping, which in turn will continue to drive ads on social media this year and even post-pandemic.

In light of increased election cycle-related disinformation campaigns over the past year and false news about the coronavirus, social platforms will continue to devote their time and efforts to reducing the spread of disinformation in order to maintain consumer confidence in the networks. social. But the question going forward is: what new efforts will take shape to help reduce the widespread misinformation campaigns plaguing social media?

Keeping platforms clean and safe will require a shared responsibility between them, governments, regulators and users. I believe that, for this to happen, governments will need to collaborate so that a middle ground is found. We work with some of the biggest brands in the world and understand the value of social media advertising in terms of finding new audiences and engaging existing ones. Social media marketing has a positive impact on business in a number of ways, but no company wants that involvement at the expense of brand reputation or customer loyalty.

Companies want to make sure they are investing their advertising budgets in safe and reliable platforms, free from harm and toxicity. If social networks cannot guarantee safe environments for their users, the responsibility will fall to external forces that can implement policies aimed at eliminating toxic environments infested with misinformation.

source: Medium & Message

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