GS&F’s Social Media Pros Weigh In on What’s to Come in 2021

Though 2020 brought its own fair share of change and upheaval, social media marketing surged ahead as many relied on digital platforms for connection, shopping and news. Experts have predicted an increase in SEO’s impact on Instagram, a shift in LinkedIn culture, and many more trends.

For even more predictions, we called on our social, media and digital experts in-house to weigh in on what 2021 will bring in terms of social media marketing. See how we’re thinking the coming year will shape up!

Ad Spending Shifting to Include TikTok

As TikTok usage rapidly increases among Gen Z and Millennials, I expect more advertisers to allocate their ad spend toward this video platform. Over 78% of TikTok users fall within the 10–39 age range, meaning that this tactic is a prime opportunity for advertisers to reach both generations. As we know, Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in America, so their spending power is higher than ever before. I undoubtedly foresee advertisers taking advantage of this fact. 

Bailea Persinger, Media Buyer/Planner

A Change in Attribution Modeling

Attribution modeling is how we decide how much credit (and when) an ad gets for a conversion. Facebook recently changed the way it attributes those conversions. Potentially, this means higher CPAs and lower ROI for marketers. This won’t impact lower price point brands, like Starbucks, but it could negatively impact brands selling products with longer sales cycles like TV purchases.

 Jamie Stewart, Director of Digital Media

Brand Purpose and Getting on Board With a New Video Style

Purpose-driven social media marketing will become even more important in 2021, but brands better be ready to back their posts with action. It’s no longer enough to say your brand stands for something. In other words, put your money where your mouth is.

In 2021, we’ll see an even bigger shift toward brand building and away from product promotion. Big brands like Nike and Patagonia have abandoned sales tactics on owned social media channels and adopted a more human approach focused on storytelling and advocacy.

Additionally, if the past is any indication of what’s to come (cough cough Instagram Stories), Reels and TikTok-style videos will become a natural part of the content development process for brands. Social media managers and content creators should focus on learning the ins and outs of this unique video style before they get left behind.

 Elena Griffo, Account Supervisor, Social Media

The Impact of Opting Out

iOS 14 is rolling out in earnest and with it comes a privacy update. Many users are expected to opt out of their tracking due to the amount of data gathered and the ability to opt out easily. Facebook and Snapchat are expected to be the apps most impacted with a predicted 3%–5% drop in ad revenue.

The full-scale effects of the iOS 14 update will take a while to unpack and largely depend on how many people opt out. But we are anticipating an increase in “cost pers” (CPM, CPC, CPL, CPA) as ad personalization decreases, making it harder to distinguish between audiences. We also expect Facebook to establish new measurement tools as they look to bridge the gap Apple has created.

Justin Roberts, Digital Ad Operations Coordinator

We’re always looking to step bravely into new territory, and social media is a big way brands can make bold moves. No matter what happens, our teams will have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in the social media world so we can be prepared to adapt for our clients. Get in touch to learn more!

Want more of the good stuff?

Sign up to receive our articles once every few weeks, all wrapped up in a neat little email.