It’s safe to say we all have been caught off guard by the year 2020. It was full of challenges and uncertainties, but it brought many incredible online moments – from Tiger King to Generation Z on TikTok. Certainly, a lot of businesses and marketers had to readjust a rethink their social strategies multiple times during the last year. And now, the COVID pandemic left us all wondering what trends and changes will follow in 2021. Here are some of the predictions.
Merging of Messaging Platforms
In 2019 Facebook indicated the vision to combine its largest players Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp, into one messenger app. In short, this means that each new feature that is introduced in any of these apps will eventually be available in the other two as well. This will create great potential for creating campaigns that can reach new audiences, as well as offering new ad formats (eg. for users of WhatsApp and Instagram).
In 2020, Facebook has been testing full in-app shopping in some countries such as the United States. This year we will likely see a spike in full in-app shopping without having to leave Instagram or Facebook, meaning that users worldwide will be able to complete their purchases through the integrated payment gateway directly in the app. This new function can serve as a great tool especially for small businesses that don’t have perfect e-commerce or online store at all. Businesses can this way transfer their conversions from e-commerce to Facebook and Instagram Shopping platform while providing a perfect UI (User Experience) to their customers.
We have seen many new features that Instagram has brought in recent years. It’s not that long ago when Instagram released Reels. Instagram Reels are short, up to 30-second long videos, with noticeably similar characteristics as TikTok videos. The trend for 2021 is clearly moving towards video content especially using the Instagram Reels feature.
Whenever there is a new feature released, the engagement and organic reach of the other formats (Feed, Stories) is decreased. When Instagram first released Insta Stories, the reach of posts published in the Feed decreased by 5 times on average. We can see a similar trend after the arrival of Reels. Organic reach seems to be almost up to 10 times higher than the number of views you would expect from your Stories or posts in the Newsfeed.
Therefore, if brands want to continue to be successful in 2021, they should transform their content into 15 or 30-second videos.
Memes have been recently experiencing a better comeback than the 90’s trend. In recent years, the meme phenomenon has spread from 9GAG to social networks at the speed of light. “Memes” profiles with millions of followers are now collaborating with big brands. One of the biggest profiles that create memes is @funnyhoodvidz, which has an incredible 17 million followers and is currently working with the fashion brand @fashionnova.
There is hardly a day when somebody doesn’t tag us or send us at least one meme image to Instagram Direct. The trend of meme images and videos will continue in 2021 and we’re very likely going to see large brands communicating current events in a humorous way.
Although we all expect the coronavirus pandemic to disappear in 2021, the consequences of the pandemic will remain and affect social networks as well. Therefore, brands and companies should apply in their communication on social networks so-called model 4C.
4C will be seen in several forms. Whether it is various beneficial live streams on Instagram and Youtube or different forms of customer support transferred to social networks.
Even though the last year showed us that we shouldn’t rely on anything and everything can change from day to day, at least one thing will remain certain. Social networks will continue to be a necessity for both large and small businesses now probably more than ever before.