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Top 3 Social Media Trends Accelerated by COVID-19 That Still Stand Today

By Claudia Ratterman | March 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

MarketingContent Marketing and ManagementCustomer Acquisition and RetentionCustomer ExperienceCustomer Understanding and Marketing ExecutionDigital Marketing Strategy and Execution

People have been spending a lot of time on social media.  I have too, it was the only way to stay in touch with family and friends and feel some sort of human connection as people were forced to isolate.  COVID-19 has accelerated social media marketing growth as well. Out of the many trends I have seen in the space in the last few years, 3 still stand today and are worth piloting as part of your marketing strategy this year:

1. Shoppable live stream on social platforms

COVID-19 has accelerated growth in the social commerce space.  People were forced to turn to online shopping as brick-and-mortar stores closed, limited foot traffic or reduced hours to combat the pandemic.  Once people started shopping online, they realized it was safe and convenient. Even now as things are back to a new normal, the convenience of shopping online isn’t something people want to give up.

Social media platforms have incorporated streaming video and e-commerce solutions to support the emerging needs of brands wanting to showcase their products more conveniently.   These capabilities now offer consumers a closer in-person experience without the need to step a foot in the store.  As a working mother of 3 little humans on a busy schedule, I say, sign me up! Just as we see Walmart and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics test the live streaming capabilities on TikTok and Facebook to grow revenues below:

Pilot a live stream of your products.  It may take some trial and error but keep adjusting your strategy to evolve the program and start seeing results.

2. Influencer marketing 3.0

Influencer marketing continues to evolve.  It started with written blogs, then it progressed to images and videos and now into live streaming.  In addition to the influencer marketing content type evolution, brands are starting to give micro and nano influencers a bit more attention; why? The short answer is because it is a much cheaper solution and as efficient. Sounds like a win-win to me! In fact, Gartner has found that influencers with fewer followers such as Micro and Advocate Influencers, drive higher levels of engagement (~3.1%-4.5%) than those with larger followings (~2.5%).

Test new partnerships with micro and advocate influencers.   Use social listening tools and/or work with your agencies to identify potential influencers that best fit your brand and product.

3. A paid strategy is a must!

It shouldn’t be a surprise that brands have seen a huge decline in organic reach throughout the years.  Social platforms continue to favor paid over organic on algorithms limiting the reach.   Did you know that only about 2% to 6% of your current followers will even see your post on their newsfeed depending on the social platform?  That was my firsthand experience as I launched hundreds of thousands of campaigns across industries for the past 14 years.  If you think that percentage is low, if your goal is to reach new prospects that aren’t already following your brand today those numbers go even lower, slim to none.

A social media paid strategy should be a priority if it isn’t already.  If you already have one in place, make sure you are being strategic with your investment.

Clearly lay out how your paid initiative supports the overall business goals and objectives, especially when measuring ROI.

Remember to never set it an forget it! The beauty of social marketing is the ability to adjust campaigns real time and seeing your numbers improve as you optimize.  The space evolves quickly and it provides new ways for brands to communicate with consumers and keep them engaged throughout all stages of the funnel.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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