With the advent of social media comes the increase in marketing used on these platforms. Every day more companies are realizing the endless potential of social media marketing. Stationary companies that have existed in the same function for decades are now rightly jumping on the social media bandwagon.

It has never been easier to identify, find and sell to our audiences through social media. With infinite resources, we have the opportunity to instantly chat with almost anyone we like (whether they answer or not is a whole different story).

Now, at least a whopping 91% of businesses are marketing on social media. With this in mind, the social media landscape is evolving faster than ever and to stay up to date we need to be aware of the latest trends. Here are 4 social media marketing trends that should be incorporated in 2021.

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Stories about feed posts

In a recent move, LinkedIn jumped on the story train. Why? Because more and more people are choosing to look at stories instead of scrolling through the news feed. Stories are more exciting, partly because they are only temporarily online, partly because they give more insight into people’s everyday lives.

The element of scarcity, combined with man’s natural sticky beaks, gives stories the ultimate power to form a more personal bond. Have you ever followed a particular entrepreneur or influencer on social media for an extended period and then saw them in real life? To me it felt like I actually already knew her. Choosing to devote more time and energy to storytelling is a great way to build unbreakable bonds with your audience.

Tell short stories

I firmly believe that our attention spans as a collective are getting shorter and shorter – and so are companies like Microsoft. A lot of people just don’t have the time or patience to watch a five- to ten-minute video without scrolling down their feed any further. The ability to condense your content to 90 seconds or less is a great way to get your audience’s attention and keep them interested enough not to scroll past. This is a big reason why Instagram reels and TikToks are so powerful – they’re short, fun, and often an example of visual storytelling in a nutshell.

Artificial intelligence (AI) ad tracking

We all know that technology is advancing at an amazing rate. What was the icing on the cake a few years ago is old news today. With the vast majority of businesses spending money on ads, a lot of time and energy has gone into optimizing them to ensure you can outperform your competitors without arguing about who has the biggest budget on ad spend. This is where AI tracking shines.

With the ability to read data a thousand times faster than humans, AI tracking can take your ad optimization to a whole new level. According to Australian digital marketing agency Yakk Digital, customers’ return on ad spend has increased a whopping 25 percent since implementing AI tracking for their ads. By optimizing your ads with AI, you will significantly reduce your cost per lead and ultimately make more money.

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Connection and community

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we humans crave connection more than we ever thought. Staying connected with our community is important, and most big brands and marketers know that the best way to build a brand is to create a community behind it.

People crave meaning, and that meaning often comes from being part of online communities. This can take the form of participating in the livestream of someone they admire or being in a Facebook group of like-minded people, but connection and community go hand in hand, so keep this at the forefront of your mindset and marketing strategy.

Social media has certainly stood the test of time, and will remain so. To get the most out of it, you should keep up with the latest trends, incorporate them into your strategy, and most importantly, be consistent.

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This article originally appeared on Unternehmer.com