Welcome to 2021, not much has changed to be honest. The country is still being run by a giant pudding with blonde hair, Joe Wicks is still teaching our kids and Dry January still only lasts a few days. One thing we can look forward to is a new vaccine that apparently has a 5G chip hidden inside to help boost our phone signal, according to the flat earth society.
So, what have we got to look forward to in social media this year? Go and stick the kettle on, pour yourself a coffee and sit down because shit’s about to get real! (It really isn’t).
Social commerce in 2021 is going to be HUGE. You can already see this from how much the big platforms have been pushing their shop functions and updates over the past few months. We’ve seen social platforms teaming up with e-commerce platforms, with TikTok making big strides to catch up to their rivals.
Earlier in the year, TikTok announced a partnership with TeeSpring. Which would allow creators to list and sell merch directly through TikTok, without having to be directed elsewhere. This feature is still being tested with a small number of creators, but if it’s successful, it will be rolled out to brands globally. This means that brands will be able to sell their products directly through the app. cashback!
TikTok have also recently partnered with Shopify. This deal aims to make it easier for Shopify’s one million plus merchants to reach TikTok’s younger audience and drive sales. The partnership will eventually expand to include other in-app shopping features. As far as I know, it’s only available for merchants in the US, but if it works, it will no doubt be rolled out globally. This is fantastic news for small businesses too, considering how many organic eyeballs your content can still achieve on Tiktok. As soon as you can access it, I would make the most of the organic reach, as it won’t last forever. Eventually, they’ll end up doing a Mark Zuckerburg and slowly take away that reach until you end up having to pay for it. Scum. Sub-human scum.
With live video taking place across all social channels during the pandemic, it really has created a space for users to engage with brands and creators in real-time. Live is by no means a new tool, and it’s likely we will only see minor changes to live products across social media. However, with the world still suffering from the implications of the pandemic, social platforms will continue to push live as a tool to try and pull its users together.
Facebook is pushing its lives more than ever in 2021, and that’s something that will only increase into 2021, which means you should get behind lives now. Because, if there’s one thing we all know, when Mark Zuckerburg wants something, he usually gets it. We’re already seeing higher distribution on live videos right now. You can tell by the way that Facebook is positioning the LIVE feature button, top left when creating content on your personal account, as a separate button when in the WATCH feature, and as its own feed of live videos in WATCH, that they are clearly not giving up on live video anytime soon.
More gamification options to avoid engagement bait when running competitions on lives. Anyone who’s created a live video on Facebook will know it’s difficult to get users to engage in the comments, without crossing over Facebook’s mysterious Community Standards and getting in trouble for engagement bait. So we think Facebook will offer more options to engage with your audience without breaking the rules.
The next one, and one I’m very excited about, is the ability to purchase products during a live without leaving the live video. This has been done on desktop by some brands, but that’s no good to us when over 90 percent of users access Facebook via their mobile phones. This really will be a game-changer for a lot of brands and small businesses. With Facebook pushing lives, brands will get better distribution, including the ability to reach more followers, and with purchase options within the live, this translates to selling more products. Think QVC on steroids!
Right, that’s enough from me. Just remember, there’s still time to take advantage of TikTok’s organic reach, Mark Zuckerburg is a robot, there’s never been a better time to get your products on social media, and Facebook/Instagram Live will be a game-changer for in-live purchases. Oh, and the earth is round.
Adam Barrie, Co-founder.
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