I don’t need to tell you about 2020: you lived it too! So many challenges… BUT some really interesting stuff has been happening in digital marketing.
As a leading social media agency in Essex (9 years now of being social media specialists!) we’ve spent the best part of the year keeping tabs on what’s going on in social media trends and looking out for the next big thing to hit the social media bubble.
It’s been great year for social media being used to implement change; the Black Lives Matter movement, despite the global pandemic, took centre stage across the social landscape.
Celebrities and big name brands got onboard to spread a common message, and raise awareness of a hard hitting topic… a topic which had lacked a powerful communications platform until now.
The killing of George Floyd and the awe-inspiring response highlighted the important role social media plays in everyone’s lives these days… and this got us thinking about what the next big trends of social media could be this autumn / winter, and as we enter 2021.
Back in the summer, Instagram launched its new feature in a bid to rival the success of TikTok; Instagram Reels. The competitiveness between Instagram and TikTok goes back some way, thanks to TikTok’s record of reaching one billion users within 18 months, something which took Instagram over two years to achieve, so by launching Reels, Instagram hoped to claw back a share of the market. Read more about Reels.
Although the platform has always allowed users to share videos, Instagram Reels enables to create ‘jazzed up’ 15 second clips set to music… and although they’ve had a bit of a slow start, with some poor reviews, the feature is starting to grow in popularity – something we expect to continue as we go into the colder months. Colder months indoors, boredom sets in… people get creative!
As a result, it’s important that Reels start to play a role in any digital marketing strategy.
Just like other Instagram content, when used successfully, Reels can help grow your brand and engage with your followers.
If you already have a TikTok account, you can reuse TikTok content on Instagram Reels for a quick and easy way to start generating engagement… however, there are a few other ways in which you could make your Reels content really pop, including behind the scenes features, case studies, meet the team posts and of course, the inevitable dance routines!
Storytelling and gamification
Social media content has always been about storytelling, but with the emergence of TikTok and now Reels, this aspect is even more important. Social media platforms have become a space where you can capture the attention of your audience… and if you want to do this effectively, you need to be able to tell a good story – particularly in the consumer market place.
Another move in which social media platforms are prioritising audience engagement is through gamification. You may have spotted games on Snapchat filters, or even interactive polls on Instagram. These elements all form part of creating an interactive experience for users… in other words, gamifying their social media platforms.
As a social media platform which focuses on connecting people, it’s unsurprising that Facebook has launched its own version of video chats – Facebook Rooms. Designed to compete against the likes of Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts, this is the latest social media function to capitalise on our ever-growing need to connect virtually via video calls.
Facebook Rooms is particularly appealing to small businesses as it’s free to use, and up to 50 people can join the call… even if they don’t have a Facebook account themselves. We’re keeping a close eye on this functionality to see whether it can really compete against its video call rivals.
Have YOU tried it yet?
Squarestar Digital is a leading Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing Agency in Essex. We work with companies who want to grow online: get more leads, get more engagement, win more clients, diversify.