Anytime I make predictions for the new year I always do my research. Today I have 10 predictions that are consistent across all platforms, all social media information sites, and several social media experts. I did not just make these up. These are from research done for the social media industry. Let’s dive right in and talk about what’s coming in 2021.
We’ve been talking about this for a while now. Conversation marketing is when you connect with real conversations. This sounds a lot like community marketing. People don’t want you to be formal. They want to just see you and talk to you. Be your own transparent self. That’s a good thing. All you’ve got to do is just be you. Start real conversations and talk to people. Let them know what’s going on from the real you.
Nostalgia marketing is on the rise. In fact, it’s up 88% since the lockdown. That’s not surprising. People are so frustrated with 2020 and everything that’s happening right now that they’re reverting to what made them happy when they were younger, hence nostalgia marketing. One of the hot Christmas ornaments for this year is an old Nintendo console which I thought was super interesting. Seriously, if you have the ability to integrate nostalgia marketing then do it. You can refer to something from before or do comparisons from then to now. It can be super helpful for your SEO, especially in a blog post.
Socially Conscious Marketing
Consumers are more aware of global issues than ever before. They want to make sure you are too. I can tell you that I, as a consumer, am more likely to buy from a socially conscious brand. I like that. 4Ocean is one of my favorites. They clean garbage out of the ocean. You get a bracelet every month and for every bracelet, they clean up a pound of garbage. That’s a big deal to me and something I want my money to go to.
I loved being a part of Giving Tuesday this year as a company so that we could raise money for a local nonprofit. I love that. As a consumer, ask yourself if it influences your decisions. When you donate a portion of your proceeds to Alzheimer’s research or breast cancer research or whatever you’re passionate about, your customers will take notice.
I know you guys have been on Facebook and seen an article and then a little “i” at the bottom. That is Facebook telling you that this is an actual verified piece of real information. They have started doing this because there is so much untruth being circulated these days. Just through June, there were 101 million articles that were fact-checked as untrue and marked as such. There’s lots of false information out there so you have to be careful about what you’re posting and you have to make sure you’re only posting what’s true and what will move your brand and your company forward.
Remixing Brand Content
I like to refer to this as the recycle and reuse program. Statistically, if you had a post that did really well last Christmas, it will do really well this Christmas. Almost exactly. If it got 20 likes last year it will probably get around that same number this year. So if you have a good piece of content you can absolutely reuse it. That said, you don’t want to reuse it within a 90-day period. The exception to that rule is cross-platform shares. If you had a great piece of current information on Instagram this Monday, you can share it to Facebook a week from now if you edit the caption.
You can take an old blog and put it through Lumen5, which is a program that automatically creates video content based on your blog post, and share that same piece of information with an entirely different look. As long as the consumer interprets it as good information they’re going to look at it. Take that really good blog post and recycle it.
The 4 Cs of Covid Content
Covid has shown us that during this major crisis people have been drawn to 4 things: Community, Contactless, Cleanliness, and Compassion. What does that mean to you as far as social media and marketing are concerned? It would be weird, if, during all this Covid stuff, you were trying to host a live event. That would make it appear you lack compassion for people who might be high risk. If you didn’t make that pivot and go contactless, it would give the impression you aren’t very tuned in.
When Covid first started our company went into full-blown PR crisis mode where we helped our clients focus on the positive. We featured the compassionate, good things coming out of this. One of the best examples I can give you is 9/11. It was a horrible national tragedy, truly. However, there was some good that came out of that through the actions of people who rose to the occasion and did positive things. You can take a tragedy and try to see the good and focus on that. Especially when people have been on lockdown for months, they’re overwhelmed and they want to see compassion and good news. They know things are bad so show them some good.
Community has really been brought to the forefront during Covid but even when it’s not a crisis, community is still huge. Always focus on community. Also, the contactless experience has been big thanks to Covid. People have embraced Zoom over in-person meetings which has been one of my favorite things to come out of this. Then, of course, cleanliness and compassion. Keep that in your head as we go into 2021.
This means you’re going to see more memes. You’re going to see more memes because 55% of 13 to 35-year-olds send memes every single week. Memes are the number 1 and only way my son communicates with any of his friends ever. They send each other memes. That’s how they talk. If you are targeting a younger audience and you want to be more tuned in, you might have to embrace humor and you might have to embrace memes. One of the new filters on TikTok is a meme generator and people are having a good time with it. It generates a random title and you’re supposed to mimic that in the picture. They are funny.
I will say you need to stay true to your brand so if your brand is not funny, don’t try to be funny. Leave that to the professionals. However, if you can integrate it and it makes sense for you, it’s something you will want to consider.
Gaming is on the Rise
I don’t really love this one. Gaming has actually been on the rise for the past 10 years. 32% of those over 13 identify as gamers. If you’ve got the new layout for Facebook, you see it. Across the top, you will see groups, marketplace, and all the regular options but now there’s a new icon for gaming. I am never going to be a gamer. That’s just how I roll and I don’t want to look at that. It really irritates me and is one of the reasons I hate the new Facebook layout.
I’ve actually been toying with the idea of doing a tutorial on the new Facebook layout since they’ve moved everything around. If that’s interesting to you let me know and we can do that.
Old School will be New School
55% of Americans listen to podcasts. People are getting more and more into audio. Again, I think it’s from having so much downtime, being in the office alone, driving in the car alone, and other activities like that which just make sense for listening to podcasts. You have education or entertainment right at your fingertips so you can really take advantage of that.
If you are thinking of starting a podcast, you can use something like StreamYard or GoToMeeting to record yourself for free, and when you’re done just download the audio. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. There’s your podcast.
The New Normal
Social media platforms are adapting to what they consider to be the new normal and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are leading the way. What this means for you is that they have the ability to recognize and block low-quality content. So if your content is not good, and Facebook doesn’t consider it to be good, they’re not going to let people see it. This includes trying to push people away from sales, promotions, and outbound links. They don’t like that.
Content is king. You have to educate, inform, or entertain around 80% of the time. It’s like a saving account. You put into it and you put into it and you put into it so that 20% of the time you can turn around and ask for the sale. I like to practice what I preach so you guys will find all kinds of free stuff on my Facebook page and multiple videos on our YouTube channel giving you free information. The information I post is unique to each platform so you aren’t getting the same thing on YouTube that you get on Facebook.
Make a Plan for 2021
Here’s what it boils down to. In 2021, you have to focus on creating quality content in a conversational way that builds your community. If you don’t get anything else from these predictions, that’s what you need to take with you into the new year.