Female business owner researching business social media strategies and trends on her phone to include in 2021.

5 Business Social Media Trends


Bring business social media to the next level by incorporating these 5 social media trends to your marketing strategy.

Social media continues to evolve and grow, as each year more people than ever scroll through, share and create content. In 2020, more than 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, according to Statista. The number grew even faster due to pandemic lockdowns. As of July 2020, 346 million new users had come online within the last 12 months.

As a small business, you may wonder how you can ride the social media wave to help drive your success in 2021. This guide will round up some of the hottest trends to help small businesses make the most of their social media efforts.

Let’s take a look at five of the biggest 2021 social media trends:

1. Using Video

It comes as no surprise that video continues to be a social media trend in 2021. Video content is second only to photos as the most engaging type of content. And it's more accessible than ever: anyone can now create videos with ease with just their smartphones.

One of the biggest social media developments in 2020 was the rise of TikTok, which allows users to post short-form videos from three seconds to one minute in length. Users of the app have nearly tripled since 2018 and are projected to surpass the 1 billion monthly active user mark this year.

While TikTok is popular, data security concerns have caused some companies to shy away. For example, in July, Wells Fargo banned its workforce from using TikTok on company devices.

Beyond the popularity of TikTok, video also continues to draw more views on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn, as these platforms focus on making it easier to share video content through innovative tools like stories and Twitter's new "Fleets."

Watch for live streaming to be part of this overall trend too. As more brands need to move events online due to the cancellation of in-person gatherings, live streaming is increasingly popular to engage attendees.

2. Make Use of Social Commerce

Both Facebook and Instagram now enable their audiences to shop online, in a practice known as social commerce. Using Facebook Shops and Instagram Shoppable posts, consumers can purchase products featured in a post without leaving the app, making it even more convenient to buy online.

Three out of 10 businesses now either have a social commerce plan or have one in the works. If you have a presence on one of these platforms, you may want to consider how you can allow your followers to buy directly from there. These online shopping tools can be handy for merchants who aren't able to build their own e-commerce stores.

3. Snackable Content

Attention spans are decreasing. A study by Microsoft in 2000 revealed that the average person’s attention span was 12 seconds. A later study showed it had decreased to eight seconds. Why? Research conducted in 2019 says it's continuing to shrink because of the sheer amount of content and information out there.

This means that as people do more scrolling, the need to capture their attention has never been more important. Some of the best ways to do that include short videos, brief text blurbs (such as tweets), photos and infographics—anything that can be scanned quickly.

One strategy is to develop a lengthier piece of content, then atomize it into snackable bits.

4. Practice Customer Service via Social Media

As more customers use social media to communicate with companies, it’s become imperative to make sure someone is minding those messages. A delayed response can turn a prospect or loyal customer away.

76% of people who message a business do so for customer service or support. 83% of people expect companies to respond to a social media question or complaint within a day.

The tone also matters. Be sure that the person handling social media customer service for your business understands how to talk to customers. Develop guidelines to help. For example, Zappos has adopted guidelines for a friendly, casual tone of voice.

5. Humanize Your Social Presence

2020 taught us that people want to do business with brands that feel human. They value transparency. And emotion can help drive a message home. Many are looking for companies that share authentic real-life experiences over marketing developed by the brand itself.

How can you humanize your social media efforts? By featuring content generated by customers. User-generated content has become one of the best ways to appeal to your audience while also promoting your brand. As an example, see how Ocean Spray leveraged a video shared by a customer that went viral.

Also, involve your employees. By allowing them the chance to show their creativity, you can appeal to even more potential customers.

Engage with Your Followers

Remember that one of the most important parts of managing social media for your small business is not taking on so much that you become overwhelmed.

Do your research to decide which channels to focus on (usually the ones your audience is paying attention to), then do your best to be consistently present on those. Engaging with your followers is as important as posting.

And, social media is never a set-it-and-forget type of initiative. Be sure to monitor the landscape and make changes as needed.

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