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Social Media Marketing Predictions 2021

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Sophie Henderson,
Marketing Assistant at Shaw

The year 2020 has been unusual year to say the least, but that does not mean marketing has seen a decline. In fact, spending more time stuck at home, glued to our phone screens, has most definitely been beneficial to digital marketers. With the unpredictability of 2020, determining 2021’s social media marketing trends can be a challenge, but here’s my predictions.


Social Media – The New Storefront?

As the global pandemic has taken its toll on most business owners, the high street has equally suffered, with the likes of Arcadia, Debenhams and Oasis having all gone into administration. Online shopping, however, has instead seen a rise throughout 2020, so it goes without question that brick and mortar retailers will embrace digital operations in 2021 (UNCTAD 2020).


Instagram has redesigned their site, encouraging users to browse collections and shop products but it does not stop there – in 2021, expect Instagram to launch AR try-on tools and seamless one-click purchasing (Social Media Examiner 2020). Tagging products is already a key feature of Instagram shopping, which allows users to discover item description, price, additional images, as well as a direct link to the retailer site where they can make a purchase.


Like Instagram, Facebook shopping is expected to be the preferred shopping platform in 2021 (Cotswold Web 2020). Facebook will be working with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce to offer ‘Facebook Shops’, an in-app, user-friendly shopping experience (Facebook 2020). In Facebook Shops, customers can conveniently enquire through messenger (or even WhatsApp), shop directly via ‘live’ video, and browse products through a ‘shop’ tab on the app (BBC 2020).


With social media shopping being free of transaction fees for the customer, it is expected to offer competition to existing shopping platforms like Etsy and Depop, where shoppers are required to pay a small charge per purchase (BBC 2020). With the ongoing convenience of social media shopping, is it time to say goodbye to less technologically advanced e-commerce sites?


Socially Conscious Content

At Shaw, we are constantly brainstorming and researching to ensure our client’s marketing content is relevant, engaging and up to date. Whether we are discussing sustainability in fishing or interviewing a local charity spokesperson, the topic is always chosen in light of the consumer’s best interests.

Over recent years, we’ve noticed that social media content has seen a growing focus on current issues, whether that be environmental, political, or social. Awareness of such societal issues is said to have a close association with Generation Z, who are increasingly conscious of topics like feminism and the environment (Smart Insights 2020).
Over half of consumers say they do not respect businesses that fail to discuss important issues (Merkle 2020) so, over 2021, we can definitely expect more brands to take a stand on ongoing concerns and tailoring content to be more meaningful to customers.


Facebook and Instagram Advertising

As always, advertising on the world’s largest social media sites is bound to be beneficial, but only if you choose the correct advertisement type for your desired campaign goal. In 2021, the year of digitisation, we need to be extra conscientious. Often clients ask us which is the most effective social media advertising method, and we can answer. One basic example being if you want to boost your website conversions, why not launch a collection ad on Facebook? This allows users to view up to five different products whilst scrolling their homepage.


If increased engagement is the goal, then it is recommended to avoid carousel ads, for users can get lost in the masses of product information. Instead, opt for an imaginative Instagram story, where viewers can interact through a creative poll, question, animation or company story. There are endless opportunities suited to any brand strategy, and our innovative marketing team are always delighted to advise.


Increased Use of Video

Although simple, businesses find video to be an increasingly effective marketing method (Pamela Bump 2020). Video on Instagram drives more engagement than other posts, with the average engagement rate being 1.87%, while for photo posts it is 1.11% (AdEspresso 2020). Facebook videos also receive a staggering 135% more organic traffic than images (The Last Hurdle 2019).


Going ‘Live’ on Facebook and Instagram is an effective method for influencers and brands to communicate with customers regarding product and business development. For instance, during China’s 2020 shopping festival, a Tommy Hilfiger livestream event reached 14 million viewers, resulting 1,300 hoodies being sold out in two minutes (WARC 2020). Over 100 million Instagrammers watch or share on ‘Live’ everyday, so it will definitely continue to be an area of focus for 2021 (Shareable 2020).


Whilst it is easy to get carried away with new digital developments, remember that these methods do not guarantee success for every business. It is equally as important to not forget about your customer base, focusing on what works well for your brand. If you would like some assistance preparing your social media marketing strategy for 2021, please do not hesitate to get in touch at edinburgh@shaw-online.com.