The new normal is changing the social media landscape in which customers now prefer authentic content, easy-to-digest short videos, and platforms that also act as a shopping channel.
Last year when the schools, non-essential establishments, and airlines were shut down to curb the spread of coronavirus, Americans spent on average 80 minutes a day on social media, seven minutes longer compared to 2019.
While the economy is gradually reopening due to the plummeting number of COVID-19 cases, experts believe that the pandemic has irrevocably changed the way people use online platforms, especially social media.
Below is the list of top 10 social media trends arising from the new normal in which the consumers now have a different purchasing behavior and sentiment.
Table of Contents
Social media platforms are now used to alleviate social isolation.
Pre-pandemic, the use of social media was generally viewed as “unproductive.” But as people were forced to stay home and avoid large gatherings and unnecessary travels, the social platform has turned into a social lifeline by people, especially seniors, who suffered from debilitating isolation.
In a recent article published by Vox, the Media Psychology Research Center has found that people have started using social media to alleviate isolation, loneliness, and boredom.
Consumers are clamoring for more transparency in sponsored content.
A 2020 study conducted by the researchers at the USC Business School found that consumers were more likely to purchase a sponsored product when social media influencers disclose it than consumers who saw a content in which the influencers did not close that it was sponsored by a company.
The likelihood of purchase was even higher even when the sponsored products were disclosed by micro-influencers (low likes) versus macro-influencers (extremely popular based on the number of likes) who did not disclose that their content was sponsored by a company.
Less is more when posting content.
Gone are the days when flooding the social media channels with product-focused content was “forgivable.” Nowadays, consumers only want content that answers their pain point, reflects their value and lifestyle, or in other words, a customer-focused engagement.
Instead of spending more time churning out posts, brands should focus more on creating limited but high-quality content that provides real value and “connection” with the target audience.
Quality is the king.
Also in line with the “less is more” approach, companies should focus more on creating valuable content. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean fancy video production; in fact, “home productions” with amazing storylines combined with humor can result in a more “human” and authentic content, as exemplified by Airbnb’s YouTube ad called “Meet Dan.”
The rise of Tiktok and other social video platforms.
In the second quarter of 2020 when people were still adjusting to the new norm that requires social distancing and home isolation, TikTok became the number one top-grossing app on iOS App Store worldwide as people were finding alternative social media platforms that were less polarized and more entertaining than Facebook.
As of this writing, one in six US online users spend their time on TikTok at least once a week. Meanwhile, influencers also find this as a great platform to grow their following and connect with people.
TikTok is also an excellent platform for brands to find a sponsored influencer to promote their product, which is typically done by encouraging followers to create their own video based on a specific topic, dance step, current event, topic, etc.
(Note: The social video platform even allows brands to search for the “best” influencer to work with based on their industry, budget, and target audience.)
There is a growing preference for easy-to-digest content.
As social media users are leaning towards “lighter” topics–i.e., less polarizing online platforms and content free from conspiracy theorists and misinformation mongers–short and entertaining videos are increasingly becoming popular.
Aside from lighter topics, social media users prefer easy-to-digest video content. While there is no magic number when it comes to the ideal video length, taking into account the shrinking attention span of today’s users, most experts agree that for YouTube, it should be between three and three and a half minutes, while for TikTok, the ideal length would be under two minutes.
Social media platforms should also act as a shopping channel.
In addition to the shrinking attention span of social media users, brands should also take into account their “laziness,” i.e., they prefer to stay on the same platform than make an effort to switch to another channel to do their shopping.
Facebook and Instagram have already brought shopping capabilities to their apps, making these platforms ideal for eCommerce businesses. With these social media channels, consumers can see a product without leaving the app they are using.
Social media users now prefer a less perfect content.
The pandemic has irreversibly changed consumer sentiment as everything–from work and studies to conferences and meetings–is done online. This makes it hard, if not impossible, to curate a perfect-looking life in which there are no messy rooms, crying kids, and other cringe-worthy events during a Zoom meeting.
Content creators, especially on TikTok, are quick to notice the consumers’ growing preference for less polished content and a gradual shift away from airbrushed influencers.
The rise of gamers on social media.
Due to social distancing and home isolation, 2020 saw a significant increase in the number of gamers. In a survey conducted by Hubspot last year, the number of self-identified gamers increased by around 10 million, or 32%, from the pre-pandemic year.
As of this writing, gaming-related promotions are not yet accessible for small and medium enterprises, but Facebook and other social media platforms are finding ways to make them possible in the next coming years.
Live streaming is a growing trend.
While the popularity of live video has already been increasing since 2019, the advent of pandemic has further propelled this into a trend. Now, companies use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to do live stream events, video tutorials, panel expert interviews, and other similar content.
To learn more about how the new normal is changing the social media landscape, contact LOJO Marketing at 916 303-4080 to schedule your FREE consultation today. We are a team of social media specialists, digital marketing experts, and web and content creators who can help boost your online presence amidst this challenging new norm.