The 4 Social Media Marketing Features Advertisers Should Pay Attention To in 2021

The 4 Social Media Marketing Features and Trends Advertisers Should Pay Attention To in 2021

Last year changed the way we live in practically every way, and the world of business was certainly part of that shift. In 2021, there is an assortment of social media marketing features and trends that will help brands promote themselves and spread the word about their products and services. Here’s what to keep your eye on for the new and near future.

Facebook Shops for Small Businesses

The pandemic forced brick-and-mortar shops to close, causing both store owners and shoppers to head online. As an answer to the changing e-commerce landscape, Facebook Shops was launched. With this new feature, small businesses can create online stores on Facebook and Instagram — for free. This is a quicker and less expensive way of getting a storefront up and ready for sales than if you were to, say, create a Shopify store or try to build a website with e-commerce functionality.

There’s another perk to having a storefront on these major social platforms, too: it’s directly integrated with social ads. Facebook Ads can be used to promote online stores, and the more users who take advantage of this new online shopping option, the more demographics brands can tap into when targeting their ads.

Plus, customers can follow through with their purchase right from the platform without being redirected somewhere else, like another payment gateway or a separate website. The fewer steps customers have to take when buying online, the better. When the buying process is swift and streamlined, there are minimized opportunities for the buyer to back out of the process, resulting in more sales and a higher ROI for you.

Instagram Reels for In-Feed Videos

In August 2020, Instagram launched Reels, a different approach to creating and finding short videos on the platform. With Reels, you can create 15-second videos with multiple clips, plus audio, effects and other creative elements. And while it’s a way for anyone using Instagram to attract a wider audience and expand their reach, it’s especially useful for brands.

Reels gives brands the opportunity to create authentic, engaging content in a new way that users are just getting used to. Similar to Instagram Stories — but this time, in your main feed and/or in the Explore section of Instagram — Reels gives creators the option to make informal (yet appealing) videos that are fast, fun and creative. Reels are easy to create while being a treat for your audience.

On top of coming off as a humanized brand with a personality that’s all your own, Reels lets you post educational content. Fifteen seconds is plenty if you want to create a fast-paced, multi-clip video that highlights travel tips, style guidance or recipes, just to name a few examples.

Possibly the biggest perk of Reels, though, is that they’re shoppable. You can show off a product and give users a way to purchase it with just three clicks, directly from the video — no bouncing around online necessary. And if a user isn’t ready to make a purchase, they can save the product for later, then return when they’re ready to buy.

TikTok Marketing and Advertising Trends

TikTok was in the news a lot last year, leaving users wondering if it would stay or if it would go. Since it seems to be here to stay — at least for the foreseeable future — brands are comfortable using the platform for marketing efforts.

Branded hashtag challenges are popular among musicians and big-name companies. It’s a pretty simple approach, too: your brand creates a custom hashtag, and then you encourage TikTok users to make on-theme videos and tag them with that hashtag. This type of challenge has a chance of going viral, taking care of most of the marketing for you — and for free.

TikTok has more traditional advertising options, too, and there are a few different ad types to choose from. There are pre-roll ads, which are videos that start right when a user opens the TikTok app, and in-feed ads, which appear for users as they scroll along. Branded effects are possibly the most unique type of advertising on TikTok, though — you can create a custom filter, complete with business information, that creators can then use in their own videos. (Also note that those hashtag challenges we mentioned above can be promoted with ads.)

Influencer Marketing Turned Up a Notch

Before the pandemic, a lot of brands relied on in-store and live experiences to attract customers — think makeup trials, food samples and eye-catching window displays. Now, those same brands have to find ways to acquire customers online — and only online if their stores are closed.

Online experiences have taken the place of practically all offline experiences, and to deeply connect with customers, enhanced influencer marketing is a must. Advisors, coaches and experts in their field are holding online events, like how-to videos posted to Instagram Stories (or Reels, of course) or in-depth webinars promoted through Facebook Ads.

One of the biggest shifts that brands have had to make is why they use influencer marketing, though. Commonly, influencer marketing is used to increase brand awareness or loyalty — you tap into a different portion of your audience, which immediately expands your reach. But without the support of offline marketing efforts, influencer marketing has to work harder by driving sales, too.

By using your social media platforms as online showrooms (particularly Instagram and Pinterest, which offer visual-heavy experiences), and by partnering with an influencer to push your products or services, you can increase your reach and your ROI with influencer marketing in 2021. And don’t ignore micro-influencers, either — even a small following can be a highly dedicated one. If a micro-influencer is already posting about your brand, take advantage of that UGC (user-generated content) and share it on your social profiles.

Brian Meert is the CEO of AdvertiseMint, the #1 Hollywood-based digital advertising agency that specializes in helping successful companies advertise on Facebook. Advertisemint has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spends in entertainment, fashion, finance, and software industries. Brian is the author of the best selling, The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising, a member of the Forbes Agency Council, and a thought leader and speaker.

CEO of AdvertiseMint, a Facebook Advertising Agency Author of The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising

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