Social Media Trends
Kaitlyn Piland

Account Coordinator

Social Media Trends

Many people in the marketing industry have asked how the pandemic has influenced social media trends. The answer is simple: the pandemic has accelerated the trajectory social media marketing was already on. 

What is That Trajectory? Well, Let’s Talk About It.

Social media supports brands in their marketing efforts to encourage shopping or generate a direct purchase. It gives consumers instant access to the brands they buy products from. 

Open communication channels between brands and consumers on social media have led to consumers demanding that brands be authentic, transparent, and accountable in their marketing approaches. 

In the era of distrust, consumer trust is at an all-time low. Consumers are wary of advertisements they see. A recent study by the McCarthy Group found that 84% of millennials distrust traditional advertising in all its forms.  

Social media users are also savvier than ever before. Millennials and Gen Z especially are conscientious shoppers who want to communicate in back-and-forth conversations with brands rather than be communicated to in a one-to-many conversation. 

Dash Hudson’s VP of Strategy, Marie La France, says the word “consume” is no longer accurate to use when describing the way millennials and Gen Z interact with brands on social media. Today, people expect brands to allow them to be active participants in their marketing processes.

Consumers are looking for recommendations from trusted sources on what products to buy. This has translated to consumers following and buying from content creators they trust on social media. 

One effective way brands allow consumers to be more interactive with their products is by utilizing content creators. 

According to Dash Hudson, in the last few years, marketing utilizing content creators has drastically shifted from being a small part of a brand’s strategy to one of the main initiatives with the highest ROI. 

By looking for content creators in relevant product categories on social media, brands can find more diverse creators that can authentically reach the brand’s target audience through product reviews. La France recommends building long-term relationships with content creators, stating the best creative campaigns are ones where brands can monitor metrics while simultaneously working with content creators to make adjustments. 

La France notes it is important for brands to avoid overextending themselves to adapt to trends or partake in challenges that do not authentically align with their brand. Millennials and Gen Z are experts at sensing inauthentic sponsored content and are quick to call out organizations and brands that are not transparent.

According to Sprout Social, 86% of Americans say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before.

It seems the most important thing a brand can do today on social media is listen. People are already having conversations about your brand online. The key for brands on social media is how to join those conversations and positively shape them so that people will be receptive. 

How do brands do this? Especially during a time when so many brands are competing to stand out online? One way is by using honest content creators whose values align with your brands. Another is to join in on trends authentically and partake in challenges that align with your brand. Recognize that every social platform is unique and up your brand’s creative efforts. Don’t be afraid to show your brand’s personality. Consumers today want to see the human side of brands. They want to see it in new, creative ways. Brands must think about selling and storytelling simultaneously to reach today’s conscientious consumers. 

Related Resources

To learn more about how to craft a sophisticated influencer marketing program, click here.

To learn more about social media and the evolution of transparency, click here.

To view the social media webinar featuring Marie La France and others for Vogue Business, click here