Bite-sized Advice: Social Media Marketing Trends

2020 was a crazy, unpredictable year for both social media marketing and the educators who teach it. With many outlets making their lists of predictions for marketing trends this year, 2021 seems like it will be much easier to navigate. To help give educators an advantage in marketing this year, we at Stukent thought it’d be valuable to reach out to an expert and get their thoughts on this year’s marketing trends.

 So in conjunction with our 2021 Social Media Marketing Trends article, we met with Dr. Alexa Fox, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Akron, on her predictions and insights for 2021’s marketing trends. Dr. Fox has spent many hours devoted to social media marketing research, and her voice adds valuable insights you can use in the classroom on how social media marketing will impact business and consumers in 2021. 

5 Social Media Marketing Trends that Could Dominate 2021

1. Companies focusing on building connections with their audiences 

2. Brands spending more time planning marketing strategies that build their relationship with the consumer

3. Brands advertising with purpose, rather than for the sake of pushing product

4. Customer-oriented campaigning will be the most successful

5. Companies using social media as a touchpoint in consumer interactions

“Brands should realize that social media is a powerful tool to build relationships with their consumers. They shouldn’t always be looking to sell something with every single post. Rather, brands should see it as a way to talk with customers, get to know them, and build relationships. I think that will really be key in 2021.”

—Dr. Fox

4 Discussions to Incorporate in Your Course

1. Marketing’s role in social media privacy

2. What companies and businesses do with the data collected from social media posts 

3. Social media privacy (or the lack thereof)

4. Marketing’s positive and negative impact on social media 

“I want students to know the implications of businesses having access to consumer data. What are they doing with that data? Should students worry about this? I’m going to discuss a lot about privacy trends. How does a company make sure they’re not just abiding by platform guidelines, but using consumer data safely? This has implications for social media and society. Marketing plays a significant role in how social media makes the world good or bad.”

—Dr. Fox

3 Predictions on the Future of Social Commerce

1. Social commerce has the potential to grow exponentially

2. User experience will be the contributing factor to social commerce growth 

3. Accessible platforms and sites will become more important

“Instagram is a great example of social commerce being streamlined. Lots of users see posts and want to know where the products in the posts come from—where can they buy it? People are now accustomed to shopping on their phones. This is useful for companies to take advantage of, but it will only work if Instagram stays competitive. UX will play a key role, and so will users’ trust levels in entering financial information on social media.” 

—Dr. Fox

2 Points on the Social Media Censorship Debate 

1. Social media companies are private companies

2. Debate will result in users learning more about their rights on platforms

“Companies can make the decision to censor. For example, Google’s search results may not be unbiased in terms of the algorithm, since it was written by a human being. Search engines can have a motive. I don’t think the average user realizes that there can be a bias in the results. Users must understand that companies can choose what to show. Social media and big tech companies have been getting away with user ignorance for a long time. Perhaps one outcome we will see from this is the need for consumers to better understand the platforms they use.”

—Dr. Fox

1 Habit to Make Social Media Marketing Strategy More Successful in 2021

1. Careful planning

“All of the planning and strategy that went into decisions for 2020’s marketing year fell through when the world shut down. With a world that is now more used to a pandemic-induced lifestyle, I think that the most successful marketing strategy that companies can employ this year involves careful planning. Marketers should take the time to breathe and think carefully about their marketing strategy. Unlike March of last year, companies aren’t scrambling to change their messages and ads. 2021 allows marketers to plan for slightly more in the pandemic-ridden economy. And that should contribute to some successes.”

—Dr. Fox

If you would like to learn more marketing insights from Dr. Fox, you can view her Stukent Digital Summit presentation here.

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