How Social Media Has Changed Marketing in 2021

How Social Media Has Changed Marketing in 2021

In 2005, only 5% of the US population had been active on social media. In 2021, 72% of the US population is active on social media according to Pew Research Centre. This growth in users has caused social media marketing to form, grow and thrive. Digital marketing had existed before social media, but this was limited regarding application and effectiveness. Before social media marketing, digital marketing mainly consisted of email ads and SEO using black hat techniques, such as keyword stuffing, content stuffed with backlinks, and the overuse of tags.

Marketers in 2021 have had to adapt due to the pandemic. There had been a change in marketing before the pandemic, but it changed circumstances and demand so drastically that social media marketing had to be at the forefront. For startups interested in social media marketing, they will likely need a business phone. Before doing so, entrepreneurs should compare business phone services to find a service provider best suited for their business’ goals.

Social media and its disruptive impact on marketing

During social media’s beginning stages, it served as a platform to connect with friends and family. Today, social media has evolved into a platform where individuals are able to be connected with friends and family while being able to follow and be reached by brands, celebrities and influencers. Due to this, businesses were forced to change the way they viewed and approached digital marketing.

In today’s world, most businesses are forced to market their businesses to reach customers. Social media marketing is effective for this because it is cheaper than traditional marketing, having no start up costs. Many businesses have been able to avoid having to pay any marketing fees by running organic marketing campaigns, where they never have to pay for ads. By being able to post organic and paid ads on one platform, businesses are able to post content for their followers, while supplementing it with ads to reach a wider audience. This offers small businesses, with limited budgets, opportunities to reach a large number of possible customers.

Paid marketing on social media has proven to be wildly successful because of its access to big data. Because social media has grown, it has been able to provide data to businesses which is more detailed allowing businesses to improve on marketing. An additional benefit to using big data, is also being able to improve on the customer experience. Businesses will be able to improve on the products, services and ads they offer based on big data.

Social marketing in 2021

A Hootsuite report, named the ‘Social Trends Report, surveyed 11,189 marketers, industry experts and third-party research from leading industry analysts to determine how social media has changed in 2021. The five main trends found are:

1. Return on Investment (ROI)

Marketers have been projected to continue to use social media to deliver short-term ROI with targeted performance marketing tact, while building innovative digital experiences to gain loyalty from customers.

2. Meaningful engagement

During 2020, many brands tried to capitalise on increased social media activity during the pandemic. By doing so, many overlooked customer experience forgetting that people wanted to connect with each other due to isolation and lockdowns. Brands had to pull back on advertising spend and redirect their focus onto crisis response, social customer care and engagement. During 2021, marketers have been projected to have a stronger focus on value and meaningful engagement.

3. Focusing on baby boomers

It has been found that there has been a 66-point increase in the baby boomer generation finding new businesses and brands via social media over the past four years. It has also been found that a quarter of baby boomers have spent more time on social media than before, due to the pandemic. Marketers have been expected to explore and target the increasingly tech savvy generation.

4. Engaging with customer identity

According to the research, 85% of organisations that integrate social data into other systems have confidence in their organisation’s ability to accurately quantify the ROI of social media. Due to the pandemic, marketers in 2021 will be aiming to decrease the gap between engagement and customer identity to connect more customer data with social data.

5. Social media activism

During 2020, social media activism took the world by storm. An example of this is the Black Lives Matter movement, once again, fueled by police brutality on minority groups. It is projected that strong CMOs will use the information gathered by social media teams to assist their organizations and businesses adapt to their customers' beliefs. This will enable growth of the business, and of a better world.

The takeaway

Social media has changed the face of marketing, where customers and brands are now able to directly interact with each other. Businesses are also provided control of what they advertise and which audiences see it. For marketers and businesses to harness optimal benefits provided by social media marketing, they need to stay updated and follow trends and take note of how social media marketing has changed due to the pandemic.

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