Marketers and financial brands were challenged this past year. Some brands were able to easily glide into new trends that followed the pandemic, others were forced to hard pivot in order to survive. Or maybe this year was a good year to pause and re-strategize your brand messaging.

This past year showed us how much we actually can do online and how people can adapt to connecting with people through a screen (my grandma included). All of these new consumer habits that are taking place online, has changed the way brands communicate with their audiences.

After a year that was unexpected, unprecedented, un-everything we’re used to, 2021 is already showing us that there is hope for the future. As we dive into this year, here are some social trends to keep in mind.

Going Live and Video Content

Live streams increasingly rose in popularity when stay-at-home orders were put in place. This gave consumers a chance to connect with their favorite celebrities and brands online, or this was a good chance to take part in an online workshop.

In March of last year, Facebook reported that voice and video messaging more than doubled over the course of one month. And on Instagram, 70% of users watched Stories on a daily basis.

The integration of Instagram and Facebook stories set the stage for 2020, where content trended more towards video content vs. photo content. You’ll read later about which new app took advantage of this content trend.

Positive and Goodwill-Focused Content

During a turbulent year, it’s obvious consumers are longing for good news. As brands, we can provide content that is centered around just that. Brands are taking it into their own hands to do good in the community.

Whether it’s donating hotel rooms to medical workers like Hilton did, or fashion retailers transforming their factories to produce safety gear for the public like H&M did, it’s not only important for the good of humanity but also for cementing your brand values.

If your brand needs help with tracking community involvement in your business, there are software tools to help you do so. Using these tools can further promote your brand values, starting internally.

Pro Tip

Along with community engagement, it’s essential to keep transparency at the forefront. Consumers are smart when it comes to buying into brand messaging. It’s essential to make content look and sound authentic. The easiest way to do this? Truly be authentic and transparent.

New Social Platforms to Watch

In 2020, we saw one platform take advantage of highly engaging video content: TikTok. TikTok is a social platform that relies on its users to create short, 1-minute videos. The focus of videos can range from comedic relief to educational.

Coming into 2021, a new platform is on the rise, and exclusive at that. It’s taking an unconventional content approach: voice.

Clubhouse is an invite-only platform at the moment, so you need to know someone who is on it in order to be invited onto the app. On the app, you can join different virtual rooms, hosted by an individual and centered around a specific topic. Members engage in conversation without the worry of showing themselves possibly in their day 3, WFH loungewear.

The creators of Clubhouse weren’t expecting this boom in usage, which is why it’s currently invite-only, so that they can control how the app is performing without it accidently crashing by the amount of people using it at once. Hopefully they can work out the kinks soon, and we can dive into voice marketing this year!

These social trends will continue for the next 12 months: Live streams and video content will be great ways to bring human connection you’re your marketing efforts; keeping content focused on positivity will connect you to your audience; and watching emerging platforms will help you pivot and give you a better understanding of your target audience.

To learn more about upcoming social trends affecting the financial services industry, be sure to download our free Marketing and Compliance Report. This free resource takes a deep dive into how financial brands internal processes, concerns, and projections for the future.

This year forced brands to think hard about how they connect with their audiences and how that has to change for the future. Think about how you can make human connection the center of everything you do–especially online.

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Author: Cara Brackett

Cara Brackett is our Content and Client Specialist! She is passionate about social media and that passion has taken her to work with brands in Chicago, New York, London, and good ol' Lincoln, Nebraska.

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