Social media marketing is a great way to market to consumers while they are in the comfort of their own home. And thanks to all the changes that 2020 has brought, brands have had to learn to adapt and improve their strategies in order to stay afloat.

So, if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, now’s the time to do just that!

The team at Social Media Today recently released predictions surrounding social media marketing in 2021.

Here's what they found:

Social media marketing prediction #1: Facebook’s AR glasses

Set to be released in 2021, these AR glasses will be a major game changer — not only for consumers but also for Facebook. This is because these glasses will allow consumers to experience the online and real world as one. Facebook will be competing against Apple and Amazon in terms of this new technology being released.

Facebook explains: "Imagine a pair of glasses that add a 3D layer of useful, contextually-relevant and meaningful information on top of the physical world. Such a device could help us perform everyday tasks better — like finding your keys, navigating a new city or capturing a moment; but it could also open up an entirely new way of moving through the world."

These AR glasses could mix up a new way of online shopping — meaning that people will be able to ‘see’ a product in front of them before deciding if they want to purchase it or not. This will leave consumers with a better understanding of what they are actually buying online instead of forcing them to wait for the physical package delivery to see if they are content with the purchase.

*Image courtesy of Social Media Today

Social media marketing prediction #2: Twitter and verification categories

On Saturday, 24 October, Twitter released a post that said: “We're planning to relaunch verification in 2021, but first we want to hear from you. Help us shape our approach to verification on Twitter by letting us know what you think.”

With countless Twitter accounts, many with different goals and content, it can be difficult for users to identify what type of account it is as well as who’s behind it.

Research suggests that up to 48 million Twitter accounts are bots”. This could mean that while the platform is busy with the process of reopening verification requests in 2021, it might end up labelling Twitter accounts that are bots. This way, users will be able to see that this specific account is not an actual person.

Having accounts in relevant categories will allow users to be more informed in regards to the Tweets that they read or decide to retweet. For example, if there is a bot account generating content about the elections, and it has been verified as such, users will know not to engage with that content unnecessarily.

Twitter also has the ability to inform users about potential bots. So if an account retweet’s 50 posts and doesn’t post original content, they could be labelled as one. Knowing this, users will be encouraged to share more of their own thoughts with their followers, which could help make the platform more authentic for users.

Social media marketing prediction #3: Instagram and in-stream shopping

On Thursday, 12 November, Instagram users found that their home screen on the app looked a little bit different. This is because there was a new ‘shop’ tab added to the navbar. It’s no secret that the platform has been looking into e-commerce over the past few years, but this year, it has shown that it is serious about this with the new feature to the app.

*Image courtesy of Social Media Today

Looking ahead to 2021, Instagram will continue to expand on the possibilities of e-commerce on the app by making use of AR. The aim will be to help consumers make decisions regarding what they want to purchase. This will be done by bringing new updates to the app as technologies continue to evolve and become better.

Back in 2019, Instagram users were able to shop using AR; they could try on makeup or even sunglasses, and this feature will continue to be developed, allowing users to try on clothes or even see an object right in front of them.

With Facebook’s AR glasses coming soon, and Instagram being linked to Facebook, there will soon be a lot more possibilities presented to businesses in ways that they can advertise and market to their consumers.

Social media marketing prediction #4: LinkedIn and live events

This year, LinkedIn merged its live-streaming and events tools for virtual events, allowing people to attend events online. In 2021, the platform says that it will continue to expand and grow live events due to the many benefits these virtual avenues have to bring to brands — hosting these functions are much easier to attend and a lot cheaper.

According to Social Media Today, “LinkedIn will provide a lot more video tools and options available to users. This means that there will be more businesses looking into giving their audience an online event accompanied by a LinkedIn experience.

The possibilities of hosting virtual functions mean that brands can reach wider, more diverse audiences and that more people will be able to attend them. LinkedIn will definitely take advantage of this opportunity to encourage more brands to use the platform to host their events.

What else do you think the year 2021 has in store for social media platforms? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Before leaving this year behind, why not reflect back on The 10 most memorable hashtags on social media in 2020?
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy