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What The 2021 Social Media Predictions Got Wrong

What the 2021 Social Media Predictions Got Wrong

Each December, marketers and those who write about the marketing industry make their annual predictions about leading trends and where the social media sector’s headed. A few bat close to a hundred, but many also fall short. What this confirms is that the social media marketing landscape is one full of surprises. And that ultimately what counts is knowing how to pivot your digital marketing approach to include the forecasts that prove to be on the money. Smart WSI Marketing is an internet marketing company with the experience and expertise you need to keep your digital marketing strategy current and on-trend. Call us today for a consultation. 

What The 2021 Social Media Predictions Got Wrong

With no further adieu, here are the top five predictions even the best social media experts got wrong in 2021.

The Death of Facebook

Though Mark Twain didn’t actually say, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” the sentiment certainly applies to predictions made about Facebook. Experts described the platform as “overhyped,” “unreliable,” and “ineffective,” and there were plenty of jokes about the social media giant’s aging audience. Though there’s some truth in the grievances, no one is ready to write Facebook off in 2022. That’s because any platform that still pulls in more than 1.5 billion daily active users and leads in engagement and ROI is still packing quite the online marketing punch.

TikTok Will Become The #1 Platform for Influencer Marketing

There’s no denying TikTok’s massive popularity. Still, the platform fell short when it came to influencer marketing in 2021. Users love engaging with each other on the platform and are delighted by the unique content they find there. Still, Instagram remains the platform of choice for marketers looking to ink deals with influencers.

The TikTok Craze Will Wane

As we said, TikTok is enormously popular and, despite threats of being banned, its currency continues to grow at a steady rate, with the app hitting one billion monthly active users by the end of 2021. However, any agency that dismisses TikTok as merely a lip-synching and dancing platform is missing out on a creative outlet for their internet marketing campaigns. In 2021 the company launched TikTok for Business, a move that looks likely to see marketers increasing their investment in the platform.

Audio Chat Rooms Are the Ticket to Substantial ROI

By mid 2021, articles were being written about how the war between Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces was heating up. By the end of the year, it was clear the live audio apps were terrific for engagement but not so hot for return on investment. Clubhouse came in dead last, resulting in marketers decreasing their investment in the app in 2022. Twitter Spaces fares a bit better, as it has a higher reach—the platform has over 200 million daily active users, while Clubhouse reports around five million per day. Despite the lackluster performance to date, over 40% of marketers say they plan to use podcasts and other audio-based apps in the coming years.

A Return to the Workplace Will Wipe Out Remote Events

This prediction failed primarily because the workforce didn’t fully return to an in-office environment in 2021. Instead, many workplaces adopted hybrid work models that saw employees working both in-house and remotely. As the pandemic enters its third year, experts believe this could become a permanent arrangement, with over half of organizations saying they’re considering a permanent hybrid model post-COVID. As a result, marketers will need to adapt by increasing investment in live video and streaming on platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

Looking Ahead: Can We Make Better Social Media Marketing Predictions?

Social media marketing trends come and go at the speed of light. Still, marketers need to predict where they think things are going so they can plan and equip themselves for future digital marketing efforts. Three ways to make social media marketing predictions that pan out include:

  1. Staying current with new trends and technologies.
  2. Consulting a variety of resources for news.
  3. Seeking differing viewpoints that challenge inherent marketing biases.

Smart WSI Marketing is an Edmonton digital marketing agency providing customized social media management services that reflect successful trends and add substantial value to any internet marketing plan. To learn more about how we do it, schedule a consultation with us today.   

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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