The onset of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has revolutionized the lifestyle of people. Working from home, usage of the internet, and communicating through social media and digital modes of shopping, have become the new normal. In this era, online marketing in general and social media marketing, in particular, has gained unprecedented prominence and this has led to great innovations in this field.
Enterprises of all types and sizes are showing inclination to leverage social media marketing for the growth of their businesses. Analytics are also showing a trend of direct proportions in the spends on marketing and increase in business volumes.
Following are some of the trends that ecommerce businesses need to keep up with in 2021 in order to stay ahead of competition and remain relevant:
- Video Content
Social distancing norms made people prefer online shopping to walking into showrooms and shops to personally see and purchase products. Businesses can leverage the power of video content and use features like Reels and IGTV by Instagram, Fleets by Twitter, and the Stories features along with video posts to showcase their products to end-consumers.
- Virtual Livestreaming Of Events
Social media enables users to stream content live directly. Events like product launches can be streamed live along with important announcements and updates to easily reach out to customers. This helps to make them part of important company events in real time.
- Social Shopping/Social Commerce
Social shopping involves shopping directly on social media platforms. Websites like Facebook and Instagram provide users the facility to purchase products on pages of brands through shoppable posts with product tags. After browsing through products and their details, customers can instantly purchase them through Facebook Shops or Instagram Checkout.
- Social Listening
Used interchangeably with the term social media monitoring, social listening is a step ahead than that. It has now become an important way to gauge the customer pulse and understand their priorities. Social listening helps brands to reach out to their potential target audiences by knowing their preferences through trending keywords and hashtags.
- Chatbots For Customer Service
Social media chatbots are making customer service a lot more efficient. For brands, they reduce the number of man-hours and cut down costs. By facilitating speedy customer service and quicker resolution of customer grievances they are increasing customer satisfaction.
- Customer Loyalty
In the present competitive environment, gaining customer loyalty has become more essential than ever before. Social media is helping brands in achieving this objective. Consumers now expect ecommerce brands to strictly adhere to the new sanitization norms. Brands are posting content on social media on the measures they are taking to ensure customer safety in-store and during delivery to instill confidence in customers.
- DIY Tips For Using Products
During the lockdown period, some of the essential services like home maintenance, beautician services, etc. were not available. This gave rise to the need for people to take care of themselves and their homes on their own. Personal and home care product brands observed this trend and used this opportunity to create videos on how customers can use their products at home. These Do It Yourself (DIY) tips are helping consumers even after the lockdown.
New social media marketing trends arise every year but the ones that 2020 brought are expected to continue this year and beyond owing to the potential long-term shift in customer behavior.
Apart from the above-mentioned ones, the usage of augmented and virtual reality videos to give viewers an immersive in-store experience and sharing user-generated content to create a sense of community among them are some of the other trends that will continue in 2021.
It takes time to see tangible results for social media marketing. To get good results in the long run it is important that ecommerce companies choose channels and content type, based on customer preferences and be consistent with their marketing strategy.