We’ve been watching closely what the changes to social media channels will be in 2021 as a result of tighter privacy terms, digital currencies and of course, the impact of COVID-19.

It won’t surprise you to know that social media platforms have done very well during 2020, with overall growth and usage increasing across the board – the figures are pretty impressive!

The big question remains: can this momentum be maintained in 2021 and what changes are on the horizon for the New Year?

 

Here are my top 5 things you need to know about social media for your business.

 

  1. Apple update game changer

A new iPhone update will provide social media users the option to ‘opt-out’ of ads on social media channels. This is huge and could have a massive impact on the way businesses advertise on the platforms.

  1. Privacy settings to disrupt advertising

Impending changes to privacy could cripple your advertising performance. This is a serious area for discussion and with the increased publicity about what information the social channels have access to, the changes they implement next could make or break how businesses use the platforms to sell.

  1. More algorithm changes

If you’re frustrated with the rate of algorithm changes, you’re in good company as the speed of changes have ramped up these last 12 months. In 2021, we expect to see more algorithm changes which will impact reach as the channels focus once again on quality over quantity; what this means is more outcomes, less vanity metrics.

  1. Robots take over social

Facebook has one of the smartest machine learning systems in the world. Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website; it’s an analytics tool that helps you measure how effective your Facebook ad campaigns are by monitoring the actions people take on your website. Through this you will be able to create expanded targeting options, lookalike audiences and deliver on your campaign budget better. The biggest challenge will be putting trust in the super smart machine.

  1. New year, new rules, new features, new currency
  • If you use influencers or are an influencer, it will be wise to ensure you’re playing by the rules of 2021. Sponsored content (that is, premium content a brand or company pays an influencer, in either money or product, to create and distribute) will be monitored more closely; posts must be disclosed as an #ad or #sponsored and those failing to comply – both influencer and brand/company – may cop a hefty fine
  • Gone is the shiny, highly polished mantel of influencers – people now want ‘real’. We will likely continue to see celebrity endorsements however in more authentic and relatable ways, for example, the L’Oréal At Home with Eva Longoria television ad and the humorous Ryan Reynolds commercial for Aviation Gin, with a giant “Homeschool Edition” bottle
  • On Instagram, an upgraded feature will enable the tagging of individual products – showing the product name, cost and a URL
  • In June this year, Facebook announced a global digital currency called Libra that will allow the platform’s billions of users across the globe to make financial transactions online. This currency makes cross-border payments faster and cheaper, and it is expected that Libra will start to be integrated more and more across the platform

Social media channels are continuously updating, evolving and adapting in response to how people behave – no doubt, there will be many other changes to come in 2021. The best way to approach your social media is to have a strategy that aligns with your business and marketing goals, and enables you to trial, evaluate and adapt your approach to grow your online social presence and meet objectives. If you are looking at your strategic marketing communications plans for 2021, ask us about our COMM*BAT sessions to help you start the New Year on the right foot.