In 2020, social media was an essential focus for many businesses looking for a real-time way to communicate updates and alerts to customers throughout the pandemic – especially when people were spending more time on social media in general.
In 2021, we’re going to see many trends from 2020 continue, but it’s important to understand what will be big for both consumers and businesses this year to make your social media marketing a success.
In this post, we’re sharing the latest and greatest:
- Facebook marketing trends.
- Instagram marketing trends.
- LinkedIn trends.
- Takeaways to set your small business up for social media marketing success in 2021.
With that, let’s dive in!
Small Business Facebook Trends for 2021
This year, we expect that consumers will continue to spend time on Facebook and use the platform as a way to get valuable information about local businesses – including updated hours, promotions, or sales. Take a look at some of these 2021 Facebook trends your small business can incorporate into your marketing plan.
Facebook Trend #1: Make Your Business’s Facebook Page a Resource for Customers
Small businesses have an opportunity to become a resource for their communities on Facebook by sharing regular relevant, educational, and helpful content. We saw last year that many small businesses were using video content on their Facebook pages to provide helpful information to their audiences.
While video on Facebook isn’t a new trend, sharing content that is helpful and serves as a resource was something that helped small business owners see success and a more engaged audience.
Speaking of which…
Facebook Trend #2: Build a Community to Engage Your Audience
In 2020, most people were social distancing and working from home, making it difficult to connect with family, friends, and coworkers. Many people turned to social media sites like Facebook to stay connected.
Small businesses can help foster this connection by building a community on Facebook through Facebook Groups or by using your business’s Facebook page to start conversations.
Facebook Groups give you an easy way to create a community specifically for customers or those interested in a particular topic. You could choose to invite customers to a group that is based around your business or something related to your industry.
By building this community, you can not only create a place that connects your customers or people in your area, but you can build loyal brand evangelists who will spread the word about your business to others – and who doesn’t love some good referrals?
Facebook Trend #3: Adjust Your Messaging to the Right Demographic
The demographics of the typical Facebook user have shifted over the last 5-10 years. Facebook, of course, started as a social network just for college students and has since grown to encompass users of all ages.
But, over the last few years, the age of the average Facebook user has increased – seniors are now the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook, and nearly 50% of Americans 65 and older use the platform.
If your Facebook marketing strategy is geared toward a younger audience, 2021 is the year to adjust your strategy so you’re speaking to the correct demographic.
This also brings up an important reminder: Your small business’s social media marketing strategy should be geared to your specific target audience. Thankfully, social media platforms like Facebook allow you to see valuable information about your specific audience so you can tailor your posts and your messaging to the people most likely to engage with your page.
On Facebook, navigate to the Insights tab, click People, and check out the demographics of your audience.
You can see information like age, gender, location, and more, so you can take this data into account when determining your Facebook marketing strategy for 2021.
Small Business Instagram Trends for 2021
Instagram is my personal favorite social media site and where I spent a lot of time scrolling in 2020. As a photo and video-based platform, it’s important to determine whether or not Instagram is a good fit for your business or will be worth your focus in 2021.
If you do find that Instagram could or does work for you, then here are some 2021 Instagram trends to consider testing out.
Instagram Trend #1: Instagram Reels
Instagram launched Reels in 2020 as their “answer” to TikTok. Reels are short videos typically set to music and follow a very similar formula to TikTok – but, they’re found directly in the Instagram app so it’s very easy to switch between Instagram posts and Reels as a user.
Like TikTok, many businesses have yet to jump on the Reels bandwagon, but in 2021, this could be a key part of your Instagram marketing strategy.
Instagram Reels can help you humanize your brand, reach a new audience, and speak to a younger demographic.
Instagram Trend #2: Instagram Shops
Instagram was busy in 2020. Not only did they launch Reels, but they also launched Instagram Shops, a way for users to buy products directly from businesses on Instagram.
As someone who has purchased many products from Instagram ads, this was a gamechanger. With Instagram Shops, you never have to leave the app to make a purchase – you browse, select products, and checkout from one place.
For small businesses that offer products, Instagram Shops is going to be huge for your 2021 social media marketing strategy. Not only can you use Instagram to engage your audience, but you can entice them to make a purchase directly through your profile for a seamless experience.
Instagram Trend #3: Keep It #Unfiltered
One issue that many people have with Instagram is its tendency to solely highlight the very polished and pretty. Instagram influencers and celebrities post overly edited and curated posts that show only the glamorous and fabulous side of life, and many small businesses feel like this isn’t attainable or realistic for them. But in 2020, that just wasn’t working for people anymore.
Users started leaning toward more realistic and real-life posts from both celebrities and brands even before the pandemic hit.
Take Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram profile, for instance. She’s not afraid to post the tragic, the mundane, or the unedited, and it’s made her a huge figure on the platform.
Or, consider Celeste Barber. Her whole Instagram account pokes fun at influencers and celebrities showing the “perfect” side of life, and in 2020 her net worth was estimated at $450 million.
If you want a brand example, Target has been sharing a mix of user-generated content, employee highlights, and less “polished” posts on Instagram throughout the pandemic. These posts serve to humanize the brand, unite users, and encourage a little fun.
In 2021, this type of content will continue to be a hit on Instagram, so small businesses shouldn’t be afraid to keep it real and share posts and videos that will resonate with people – filtered or not.
2021 LinkedIn Trends for Small Businesses
LinkedIn can be a valuable social media marketing channel for businesses in the B2B space as well as a recruitment marketing tool for businesses looking to fill open positions.
No matter how you use LinkedIn, here are some 2021 trends to use as part of your social media marketing planning.
LinkedIn Trend #1: Authenticity Is Key
This isn’t really a new trend, but it became even more evident in 2020 how important authenticity is on LinkedIn. Users no longer wanted buttoned-up canned posts from brands and professionals, they wanted to see the real, the raw, and the nitty-gritty.
Last year, that meant more transparency around people looking for jobs, information on what businesses were doing to protect employees and customers, and a real look at what work was like.
We see that this trend will only continue in 2021 and will be an important consideration for businesses on LinkedIn. Think about how your business can communicate authentically with employees, prospective employees, and customers on LinkedIn while staying true to your brand and your values.
LinkedIn Trend #2: Businesses Take a Stand
Speaking of your brand values, how you communicate them on LinkedIn will be important in 2021.
Businesses previously stayed silent on political and social matters in an effort to stay neutral, but we’re increasingly seeing that employees – and consumers – don’t want businesses to be neutral. They want businesses and brands to take a stand and be vocal about the causes they care about.
This is especially important if your business is using LinkedIn as a recruitment marketing tool as nearly 90% of millennials reported they would take a pay cut to work for a business with values that align with theirs.
LinkedIn Trend #3: Amplify Individual (& Diverse!) Voices
Diversity has been a focus for many businesses for a while now, but if you don’t have a plan to highlight individual and diverse voices on your business’s LinkedIn page, 2021 is the time!
Think about ways you can amplify content from your employees, share videos from them on your page, or feature short quotes. People like to see content from real people, and your employees give your audience a true glimpse into what it’s like to work for – and with – your business.
It’s especially important to communicate and share how your business is committed to diversity in all areas of how you operate – from hiring, to your marketing materials, and to the audience you serve.
5 Takeaways for Your Small Business Social Media Marketing Based on 2021 Trends
We’ve covered a lot here, and while it may seem overwhelming to incorporate these trends into all aspects of your social media marketing, there are some key themes and takeaways that you carry across all of your social media planning.
Here are five key takeaways:
1. Be genuine.
No matter where you’re posting, make sure you’re being genuine, authentic, and transparent with your audience. This will go a long way in building trust and a real connection with customers.
2. Create a conversation.
Social media is a two-way street. You want people to consume your content, but you also want them to engage with you. So, you have to engage with them (and other businesses and brands) as well.
3. Plan carefully.
Social media is relaxed, but it does require planning. Plan out promotions, specific posts (like holidays or seasonal posts), and contests throughout the year, and then sprinkle in real-time updates, culture spotlights, and user-generated content as they happen.
4. Be consistent.
What you post will (and should!) vary across social media channels, but the overall tone, what you’re trying to convey, and your brand assets should be consistent no matter where you’re posting.
5. Don’t be afraid.
So many businesses think their social media pages need to be perfect – the perfect video, the perfectly-edited image, or the perfect copy. But users want to see real posts from businesses. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a reflection of your business, your values, and your people.
Social media marketing can help your business reach a heap of different goals and starting off strong in 2021 can set you up for success in the long term. Keep moving forward with what’s worked for your business in the past and then add some of these social media trends to take your social media marketing to the next level.