NEW YORK: Consumer intelligence company Talkwalker and customer relationship management platform HubSpot have identified 10 trends brands should be aware of in the coming year in their Social Media Trends Report.
The biggest insight is the growing prominence of TikTok, which will force other platforms to adapt their strategies and will have implications for how and where brands reach their target audiences.
According to the report, TikTok saw a 61% increase in mentions year-on-year during the first half of 2021. The platform also became the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 billion global downloads. As TikTok plans to introduce e-commerce and a monetization model, it will become even more essential for brands to meet their consumers where they are.
More broadly, social media has become an even more important destination for marketers to increase brand awareness and engagement. There are more than a half-billion more people using social media around the world, a nearly 14% year-over-year increase. The report also suggested that 49% of internet users are likely to buy from brands they see advertised when browsing.
To successfully convert a user, personalized ad experiences will be essential. It also found that purchasing paths are key to this process: brands should use social selling opportunities as well as partnering with relevant influencers to reach audiences. Close to half of consumers said they rely on influencer recommendations before making a purchase, and 69% of marketers plan to spend more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.
Advertising on social media and with the help of influencers will become all the more important as Google phases out cookie tracking. The report called out user-generated content as a crucial way to reach consumers.
Metaverses will also be an essential way to connect with consumers. The concept has become one of the most discussed topics online over the last year, with 5.4 million mentions. Most of these conversations have been driven by Gen Z and Millennials, who make up 90% of online conversations.
Consumer intelligence and engagement will be key to the success of brands online in the coming year. These insights were derived from Talkwalker’s consumer intelligence platform in the 13 months leading up to August 2021.