Social media remains one of the most influential forces in the world today, and this situation is unlikely to change during the course of 2021. If anything, social media will continue to ascend as the most popular, immediate and most far-reaching mode of communication. As we are now nearly halfway through the year, the dominant trends have already become apparent. Some of the most notable are the increased popularity of ephemeral content, the continued growth of social commerce, the dominance of video content, recycling of user-generated content and the role of social media in the realm of “fake news.”
The power of user-generated content (UGC) has become readily apparent over the past few years. It works so well because it encourages engagement and makes users feel that they are contributing members of a community, rather than just a passive audience. Marketers can leverage UGC to great effect, using it to deepen their current audience member’s engagement and draw in new members through reshares. Viewers want social currency, a feeling and perception that they are insiders in a community that matters to them. The best thing marketers can do is provide them with opportunities to do so. Offering a platform for their content and sharing the best examples of it is a perfect means to that end. Make sure that the content also serves your brand, of course. Then both you and your users can enjoy the benefits.
“Fake news” became something of a buzzword over the past four years, and the controversy came to a head in 2020 with all kinds of false allegations surfacing on social media about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, and the presidential election, among other things. Social media became a way for fake news to spread like wildfire. The accelerated spread that social media facilitates meant that unverified claims could go from one side of the world to another in record time – and rapidly become accepted by millions of audience members as undisputed fact. Social media platforms and governments have been forced to take action. Facebook and Twitter have ramped up their moderation efforts.. Social media marketers will need to be cognizant of the stricter regulations on content.
From the point of view of the social media marketer, there are several emerging trends that may well be game-changers this year. We will focus on three of them:
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