Discover 5 social media trends of 2020 and become a digital marketing pro in 2021

Last week we talked about some market trends and opportunities for entrepreneurs. Following the trend line, this week we want to talk about social media.

Person holding a smartphone with Facebook likes flying from it

Today we are inevitably dependent on the internet, technologies and, of course, social media. Whatever your favorite social media is, you must agree with us that they are part of our daily lives. Also, from an early age, companies understood the importance of being online and being connected in order to take advantage of this new reality in the consumer market. Social media are one of the best ways to do that. After all, they are the place where people are, right? According to a Marktest study, 87% of Portuguese users visit social media several times a day. Thus, whether to improve customer relationships, increase reach and awareness, or increase sales, it is important that professionals have knowledge of digital marketing and keep an eye on trends.

Observing data and metrics can help you understand the current scenario so you can make the best decisions and take your social media to the next level. In addition, it is interesting to know how the atypical 2020 year and its effects on users impacted digital marketing.

The Social Media Trends Report, developed by Socialbakers, analyzes digital marketing at the end of 2020 and provides relevant insights to ensure the success of social media in 2021. It is on this report that we based today's list.

Get to know some report highlights:

1. Brands are investing in paid ads on social media

Although in the early stages of the pandemic, spending on advertising has declined, there was an increase in the rest of the year, especially during the holiday season. Thus, spending on digital ads for all brands was 56.2% higher at the end of 2020 compared to the end of 2019.

Chart about Ad Spend on social media in 2019 and 2020
Source: Socialbakers

The reason for this certainly had to do with the relevance of investing in digital channels that could reach people at home, since it is not possible to carry out other options used in the past, such as holding events or advertising on the street...

2. Most ads go to Facebook and Instagram feeds

Do you remember seeing lots of sponsored content on your Instagram feed? Well, in the fourth quarter of 2020, 73.7% of total advertising spending went to the Facebook and Instagram feeds. Instagram Stories obtained the 3rd significant positioning, with 10.9% of spending on promoted content. The other 15.4% of the expenses were distributed in 17 other placements.

Distribution of ads by placements on social media
Source: Socialbakers

3. Instagram audience size is larger than Facebook

In 2020, the Instagram audience grew 11.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, while the Facebook audience decreased 17.6%. In the fourth quarter of 2020, the audience of the top 50 brand profiles was 39% larger on Instagram than on Facebook. Engagement was also stronger on Instagram. Although 54.9% of all brand posts were on Facebook, Instagram had 21.4 times more interactions.

Comparison chart of total audience, posts and interactions between Facebook and Instagram
Source: Socialbakers

4. Facebook Live almost triples video interactions

You have probably seen at least one live on Facebook in the last year... In the fourth quarter of 2020, Facebook Live was the most engaging format on the platform. Regular images and videos had the second best performance in terms of interactions on Facebook.

Comparative chart of organic interactions by type of post on Facebook and Instagram
Source: Socialbakers

On Instagram, the winner was the carousel post, with 176 average post interactions. Do you know that kind of posts with more than one photo or video? These are the ones that consistently deliver superior image and video performance.

However, if we compare the fourth quarter of 2020 with the third, we realize that all formats on Instagram have decreased organic interactions and on Facebook only live video has increased.

5. There were 17% fewer influencers using the hashtag #Ad

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of Instagram influencers who used #Ad (or in Portuguese #Pub) in their posts decreased by 17.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Even with an overall increase in the holiday season, 2019 levels continued to be higher.

Graph of the evolution of influencers who used the hashtag #ad during the year 2020
Source: Socialbakers

In addition, only the biggest influencers - with over a million followers - grew in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year. This goes against the usual, as it is more common for smaller influencers to be more sought after by brands.

Main Takeaways

  • As we move away from the initial stages of the pandemic, audience habits become routine. That’s why it’s essential to follow these trends to create successful campaigns in 2021;

  • Brands must continue to work to adapt to the changing habits of consumers and to be able to reach them on their favorite channels, in order to maintain their attention; If your company's idea is to invest in paid ads, it is worth knowing which are the best platforms and formats for this purpose.

  • The focus on video content has increased and the reach that can be achieved with these videos will continue to impact marketing decisions in the future;

  • In this pandemic scenario, brands are preferring to work with XL influencers, contrary to what was expected. This is an interesting trend to be monitored in 2021, however it is important to understand how influencer marketing develops beyond the holiday season.

What did you think of these trends? Was there any data that surprised you? Are you ready to hit social media in 2021?

We are rooting for your success! 💪

Also read: Tips for Entrepreneurs: 6 Market Trends in 2021