What will be the social media trends of 2021?
Social media has become such an integral part of life, that it is hard to believe it is still in its relative infancy. Facebook, the behemoth of the social media landscape turns just 17 in 2021. Not even old enough to drink yet. Twitter is turning 15 this year, so can at least have certificate 15 films to look forward to. Whilst Instagram will become 11 and is off to big boy school now.
Social media is the place were friends and family interact, it is a preferred source of news and information and brands and businesses’ main communication channels to their target markets. Few businesses can operate successfully without some degree of social media reach and engagement. Yet, with an ever-widening breadth of options and an ever-changing landscape, it is important to stay right on top of your social media strategy.
In the last two years, TikTok has soared in prominence. The Chinese platform has risen from around 20m global downloads in the second quarter of 2016 to 220m in the third quarter of 2019. An estimated 60% of users are Generation Z, ie, born after 1996. Its rise has coincided with the decline in useage of SnapChat, once a preferred domain of Millennials and Generation Z, but with Instagram stories taking a bite from SnapChat’s unique feature, it has slipped in popularity.
Facebook and Instagram remain the UK’s most popular social media platforms.
Yet, such is the volatility of social media, assume nothing. Facebook’s strategic moves towards centralising the leading platforms, with Instagram and WhatsApp both now under the Facebook umbrella, does not find favour in US Politics. Recently elected President Joe Biden said of the American company and its owner: “I’ve never been a fan of Facebook, as you probably know. I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem.”
It’s not unthinkable that the platform could face a reckoning. It has long denied that it is a publisher and has avoided the accountability more traditional media platforms must adhere too. Such is its role in societal discourse, that is looking an increasingly untenable position.
Meanwhile, another Chinese giant WeChat has yet to make a concerted move on Western markets. WeChat combines the functionality of Facebook, WhatsApp, with music app Spotify, dating app Tinder and ApplePay. It is a one stop shop for more than 500m Chinese users. Could it one day play the same role in our lives?
Other platforms are not searching for world domination, but with their distinct personalities, Pinterest and LinkedIn have attracted tens of millions of users. The former as a visual discovery platform for those seeking lifestyle inspiration for recipes, crafting, home and fashion. The latter as a way of connecting professionals and recruitment.
It can be an overwhelming proposition to get social media right and many companies make the mistake of going scattergun. Instead, it’s important to take a thorough, considered review of your approach. Understand who your market is, which platforms do they inhabit, develop content that they respond to and consistently review and refine.
Social media has such a huge presence in our lives. You are probably reading this article after seeing it on social media first! For businesses, it can seem overwhelming and it is easy to fall into a scattergun approach. Instead, it requires a clear content strategy, on the most appropriate platforms. A sound strategy will support your business objectives, by reaching your target market, channelling them into a pipeline of prospects and ultimately, towards conversion. To help you decipher what platform and approach will work for your business, here’s a quick overview of the big players in social media in the UK today.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 45m
MAIN DEMOGRAPHIC: 25-34 year olds (26%)
CONTENT: Videos are the best performing content on the platform. Content that is either inspirational, funny or practical consistently performs well.
NOTES: Keep up to date with the ever-evolving functionality. With video a key driver of engagement, the “Facebook Live” function and the ability to generate captions on pre-recorded videos are great features to lift engagement.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 27m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 25-34year olds
CONTENT: High quality images. BUT, make them authentic, take people into your world. Don’t just share stock images. The audience is savvy. Tell visual stories, make use of the story option to multiply engagement.
NOTES: Go crazy with hashtags to get discovered by people looking for the content you serve, ie. content relevant to prospects!
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 9m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 35-54 year olds (an estimated 23% of the UK workforce are on LinkedIn)
CONTENT: Blog pieces of up to 2000 words that demonstrate thought leadership perform well. So too do quick tips
NOTES: Proving that every platform has a personality of its own, videos perform poorly on LinkedIn in stark contrast to almost all other social media platforms.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 18m
DEMORAPHICS: Female 18-24
CONTENT: Images led content that inspires lifestyle decisions, such as recipes or home-making, even DIY
NOTES: It’s a platform remarkably devoid of negativity in relation to its social media cousins. It’s an opportunity for businesses working in lifestyle to bring their skills and expertise to a receptive audience.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 3.7m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 18-24 year olds (42% of users)
CONTENT: All video, popular content includes music or dance re-enacting and viral challenges:
NOTES: A major new player, but limited scope for brands yet.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 15.2m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 18-29 year olds
CONTENT: Images outperform videos on Twitter. “How to” content works well. It can be a very confrontational platform, but there’s room for irreverence.
NOTES: Twitter needs time and commitment as content is fleeting with a short shelf life.
NUMBER OF UK USERS: 35m
DEMOGRAPHICS: 15-25 year olds
CONTENT: Vlogs from influencers are popular, so too are gaming videos, best-of videos and educational videos (how-to videos).
NOTES: YouTube is also a great depository to host videos that you can easily and embed on websites. Try not to hyperlink from other social platforms to YouTube. Upload videos direct to other social platforms where they will autoplay and save the user the torturous agony of another click and a visit to another site. Yes, we are that lazy!
If you want to talk to Fruit Marketing over your social media strategy and delivery, please get in contact today.