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S.M.I.L.E. in January 2021

Welcome to the newest addition of Social Media Innovation List Email! Here are some resources to keep you up-to-date on the latest in Social:

US Social Trends for 2021 Report - eMarketer

Following up on their Q4 Social Media Report, which discussed how social media was transformed in 2020 and what key opportunities each platform now provides advertisers, eMarketer also released a 2021 report full of predictions for the year ahead. In summary: video (and short form video specifically) will continue to reign supreme; brand safety will remain top of mind for advertisers; social commerce will continue to evolve with new features and tools; and influencers as well as UGC will play a very strong role in marketing initiatives. In fact, more than 2/3 of US marketers are expected to tap into influencer marketing in some capacity this year. Read more about their top 10 trends here.

Facebook: US Emerging Trends Report

This Facebook report explores some of the “forces shaping the future now,” for consumers across the United States. Most importantly, there’s some good information on what this means for marketers; tips to keep in mind when it comes to your social strategies in the coming year. For more market reports across the globe, you can also check out this full series of insights here.

YouTube’s Culture and Trends Report

YouTube’s new insights report shows how consumer video trends have shifted in 2020. Key themes include data on how the “content creator” role has evolved, how video is becoming more interactive overall through watch-alongs and live streams, and a summary on how digital video is helping people face personal and societal issues. The report itself is interactive and fun, and worth checking out if you’re looking to finetune your YouTube content strategy in 2021.

iPhone 12 Supercharges Mobile AR in 2021

AR is a key trend to watch this year, according to eMarketer. With the release of the Lidar back-facing light detection and ranging camera on these new devices, users will be able to enable more sophisticated AR experiences, like full-body Snapchat lenses. This eMarketer report predicts that new technologies like these will drive AR advertising up from $1.4 Billion in 2020 to $8 Billion by the end of 2024.

Snapchat Salutes Brands’ Use of AR in 2020

The social platform shared new insights recently speaking to the growth in users last year, their changing behaviors, and the importance of experiences designed to enhance both physical and digital experiences. Virtual try-on particularly added value to shoppers during the pandemic, as did AR experiences now that 75% of Snapchatters interact with AR Lenses daily. This report shares some examples of how brands made the most of these trends last year, and some important things to keep in mind when planning for your Snapchat strategies.

Facebook Preview of New AR Glasses

Social Media Today covered recent news around the company’s strategy when it comes to AR and VR. Most notably, it sounds like a smart glasses release will come sooner rather than later, allowing them to compete with Snapchat Spectacles and upcoming products from Google, Apple, Samsung and others.

Facebook and WhatsApp Video Calls Reach Record Highs

This past New Year’s Eve highlighted an important trend of people becoming increasingly accustomed to staying in touch remotely. Putting more emphasis on video and messaging, in addition to the insights shared here Facebook also recently shared some tips for improving your customer experience using these new tools.

What Social Networks Experienced a Boost in 2020?

According to an eMarketer end of year report, 81% of all internet users worldwide are now social network users. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter all gained new users this year – although not all benefitted equally from growth. Instagram users grew the most this year: by nearly 23%.

App Annie’s State of Mobile Report for 2021 This report is a good indication of comparative performance among all mobile devices and apps in the last year. Key findings discussed include how the rise in time spent on mobile devices now exceeds time spent watching TV, and the staggering growth of certain apps that fueled that consumption (hello, TikTok.) According to their findings, TikTok is on pace to hit 1.2 Billion active users by 2021, and will grow by triple digit percentages in many countries. The report also discusses the rise in ecommerce, which could have major implications for Instagram and Pinterest growth this year.

CMO’s: Adapt Social Strategy for a Post-Pandemic World

This Harvard Business Review article makes 10 recommendations (based on a recent survey of CMO’s) to help marketers maximize returns on social media investments. The survey found that companies are seeing historic return on investment, with overall performance rising 24% since February, and budgets increasing as a result. One tidbit I found interesting: 24% of companies’ social media activities are performed by outside agencies (an increase from 17% in 2014), showing the importance of building a strong relationship with your social media partners. (As a side note, a similar survey from SocialBakers showed that Q4 ad spend rose more than 50% year over year, as many brands looked to invest at record rates.)

Brand Safety on Social Platforms: Opinion

AdWeek discusses in this article the importance of embracing positivity in social programming this year in order to facilitate deeper trust between social platforms and users. This trend is leading toward a resurgence of feel-good content from advertisers also looking to craft deeper brand associations.

Facebook De-emphasizes Page Likes for Public Figures

The newly released page layout for creators and public figures places more emphasis on following a page than liking it. This ensures that followers will be alerted to more updates from the page, and shows a more accurate snapshot of people who have explicitly chosen to get updates from it. This is even further evidence that Like’s don’t mean what they once did – even to Facebook themselves.

Upcoming Webinar Alert: LinkedIn New Product Releases

Register here to attend Wednesday, January 27th for an exclusive look at upcoming feature releases from LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions team.

2021 Twitter Planning Guide

Rather than release tips in their typical monthly event highlight format, this year Twitter put together a very lengthy best practices guide to help brainstorm and plan all of your campaigns for 2021. This workbook is intended to guide marketers through developing a playbook to follow throughout the year, in order to make the most of your tweet-worthy initiatives.

And finally, here are some of the latest vertical specific resources available:

Pinterest Planning Guide for Restaurants

Pinterest Planning Guide for Streaming Services

Pinterest Tech Consumer Insight Trends

Facebook Marketing Insights for Gaming

Facebook: Future of Shopping Report

Facebook Tips for Lead Generation

LinkedIn B2B Customer Engagment Strategies

TikTok Highlights Small Business Strategies

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