7 Social Media Trends & Predictions for Irish Businesses in 2021
With 2020 now behind us, let’s look ahead to what we can expect from the next 12 months.
Most notably in 2020, online sales were off the scale, an immense amount of time was spent on social channels and video conferencing became the new norm. This has led to a major shift in the way brands connect with their consumers.
So, as we adapt to the latest restrictions, what are the latest trends and predictions in Social Media for 2021?
1: eCommerce Keeps Growing
As a result of COVID-19 Restrictions and the ever-changing scape of what is becoming our ‘new normal’, Irish businesses must quickly learn to adapt.
Although having an Online Store has been a popular revenue stream for countless brands over the past few years, traditionally it wasn’t at all part of a brick-and-mortar Irish store. COVID-19 has or will change that.
Thanks to the Trading Online Vouchers (TOV) and Business Continuity Vouchers (BCV), many Irish businesses managed to their stores online. However, we can’t help but notice, many of these Irish businesses still missed the mark by not integrating their Online Shop with Facebook & Instagram.
If you, dear reader, are one of these businesses, stop what you’re doing and integrate it now – Facebook’s FREE step-by-step instructions are on this link. It is such a missed opportunity to own a Website with an Online Shop that isn’t integrated with Facebook & Instagram Shopping. Put it at the top of your To-Do List immediately!
With Lockdown 3.0 in Ireland at present, any Irish businesses that can adapt their in-house processes into online processes should do so. We predict a continuation on what we saw last year with a rise in even more fitness classes online, stores will offer Click & Deliver, more professional services like Accountants & Solicitors will provide Online Meetings etc.
This seismic shift toward contactless shopping will mean eCommerce stores will thrive as the year progresses. With social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook already beginning to integrate in-app purchasing, the steps traditionally required to convert a visitor to a customer will be reduced and the gap between ‘scrolling’ and ‘shopping’ will be significantly blurred.
To take advantage of these changes, we recommend:
- Know who your target audience is and survey them to know exactly what they want and need from your online store
- Research and test multiple video platforms to find one that supports your new offerings
- Gather your customer’s details (with their consent, of course) to ensure you can get in touch at any time
- As mentioned above, you need Instagram and Facebook shopping set up so that when you post, you can tag your products, and they can be bought at the click of a button
You should also consider the following:
- Setup retargeting ads. A majority of your traffic won’t purchase on their first visit to your site. Implementing a retargeting strategy will ensure you capture them later and increase your overall revenue.
- Optimise your User Experience. Is your website slow? Does it display correctly on mobile? Is your checkout complicated? Do you have all your policies in place i.e. Delivery & Returns / Shipping? Anything that negatively impacts your user’s experience, fix it now.
With everything up in the air at the moment, not a lot can be controlled, but this at least is something that you can control… and if you do make an effort to make some or all of these improvements, you will be in a much better position than not changing anything at all. Improving your online presence will always stand to your business. Make the time to do it.
2. Brand Accountability
Now that there are so many businesses online, differentiation will be key to standing out and reaching your ideal customer.
It is vital that you show what makes you unique. Do you know what makes you different? You and your team! No one else is you… People connect with people, so make an effort to get you and and your team on your Social Channels and talk about what matters to your audience.
Never pretend to be something other than what you are. Your audience sees through that… Being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021.
3: Video Content
Fact: Posts that don’t contain a video get 92% less traffic than posts that do!
The trend on Instagram is very obviously all about short-form video. When Stories came out in 2016, engagement and reach on Grid-Posts decreased dramatically because Instagram highly encouraged their traffic to Stories.
The 2021 version of this is, of course, Reels. Stats show that reach and engagement is majorly dropping on Stories while it’s exponentially increasing for Reels.
Take a leaf out of what makes TikTok the success that it is, like Instagram did… To compete with the rise in popularity of TikTok, Instagram launched Reels, a new form of video content delivered in 15–30 seconds to create quick, attention-grabbing moments in a creative and entertaining way. Instagram’s new UI update, which put Instagram Reels front and centre, should clearly indicate to you that Reels are here to stay. They want you to use it, and will more than likely reward those that do, so our biggest tip is to make use of it.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, take note of what already works on TikTok, and create your own version on IG Reels. If you don’t have a TikTok account, create one and check out what’s the most popular on there. Do some research and see what sounds are the most loved, then create your take on IG Reels.
Reels are available as either 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Which to pick? Our recommendation? Stick to 15 seconds so that your full video plays on Preview mode (otherwise viewers need to click ‘See More’).
Don’t fall in to the trap of being intimidated by Reels, nor should you consider them only fit for personal use.
Reels become far more engaging than Stories as you can add music and captions to them. You can time the text to the beat of a song. If you’re a small-medium business, then get using the Green Screen effect. It’s the tool of choice to share photos, screenshots, or videos in your reel. You could add before-and-after Photos of a service you offer… Screenshots could be used to showcase questions your business gets via email or DM—where you answer the question as a ‘talking head’ in front of the screenshot. You will understand what we mean, when you try it… There are endless possibilities but get familiar with the Green Screen effect, and sit back and watch the leads increase.
4: SEO on Instagram
Instagram’s announcement in November 2020, revealed it would become more search-friendly and would not be solely dependent on hashtags. This means that when you search for a particular keyword in their search bar, then in theory, relevant videos, profiles, and posts should appear in the results.
Game-changer (but only if you make use of it)! Seize the moment and get ahead of your competition by ensuring ALL your captions include relevant and keywords to the content of your post so that Instagram will know what you are talking about in your posts, thereby increasing the likelihood of Instagram making your images / posts appear in search results that are relevant to your post.
Ideally you want Instagram to accurately categorise your account, so always aim to post content relevant to your niche. For example, if you run an Instagram account for your Beauty Supplies business, you should not confuse it by posting about an unrelated niche.
Another way to improve your chances of appearing in the search results is to add relevant keyword(s) to your name in your bio. (i.e., Paw Patrol | Dog Grooming).
5: Remote Working Rises
82% of all remote workers suggested that they are not planning to return to their corporate office setting.
6. Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing isn’t going away any time soon and doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. If you are restricted by your budget, micro and nano influencers (<25K followers) tend to have the highest engagement rates and provide fantastic Return on Investment (ROI) for Irish Businesses.
7: User-Generated Content is the New Word of Mouth
User Generated Content (UGC) is proven to out-perform Brand-Generated Content. In fact, ads that use UGC get 400% higher Click Through Rates (CTR) than average.
The Best Internet Marketing Tools & Resources for Online Business Owners in Ireland in 2022
At Whizz.ie, we only recommend tools that we consider essential to online business success.
With so many online tools available, it is hard to know where to start. Selecting the correct ones for your business can be a game-changer.
Throughout our time in business, we have tried and tested so many online business platforms to find the ones that worked best for us and our clients. Scroll down to find the ones we feel are the best out there.
AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ BEFORE PROCEEDING
We are affiliates for some of these tools, which means that if you click a link for a tool and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Our experience with these products and companies is the reason we recommend them - not because of the small commissions we might receive. We sincerely find them helpful which is why we recommend them to our clients. Please do not purchase these products unless you feel they will help you with your business goals.
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