Blog posting date icon
min read

Social Media Marketing Trends to Test in 2021

Want your association to stay ahead of the social media game when marketing to your members? Read more!

Holiday Shaped Cookies on White and Grey Textiles

Want your association to stay ahead of the social media game when marketing your to your members? Here are the biggest social media marketing trends predicted for 2021 and beyond.

Social media has evolved over the last decade, and even more so over the past 6 months. Not only has it changed the way people interact with family, friends, businesses, and associations - the way we consume content has completely changed.

Social media users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day on an average of 8 social networks and messaging apps.
Source: Global Web Index

Over time the consumer expectation of the content they see on social media has changed. Attention spans are shorter and the consumer is equipped with an average of 8 different platforms to keep them actively scrolling. Making your association standout in 2021 will be key for member engagement and retention!

How to make your association stand out in 2021?


Putting your members first may sound simple, but fully understanding what that means is a little bit more complex. Being a member-centric association is one that prioritizes its members’ experiences above anything else. That means not only giving your members what they want but also anticipating their needs.

Associations that provide a superior member experience will drive engagement. Member engagement will ultimately drive retention – lack of engagement is why 43% of members don’t renew. Engaged members also create advocates which enables a strong referral network for recruiting new members, especially millennial professionals.

Short-form Video

It’s no secret that short-form video is now one of the most engaging forms of digital content. With the growing popularity of Tik Tok and with the release of Instagram’s latest feature called Reels, bite-sized easy to digest videos have become a staple in social feeds.

If you’re looking to diversify your membership demographics to reach young professionals, Instagram Reels might be a platform your association spends some time exploring. With 15-second Reels, you can push content to your followers within the Instagram platform. This means new eyes on your content and potential for new members. You could also use Reels for new member shoutouts, onboarding, and promoting events.

Personalized Marketing

Personalized marketing is nothing new, and is essentially the art of using data to tailor your marketing to a target segment. Large brands have made waves doing this over the years, most notably, Coca-Cola’s 2011 #shareacoke campaign, where they replaced their brand logo with consumers’ names and encouraged people to share photos on social with a branded hashtag.

What started with 150 of the most popular names in Australia soon grew into a global concept. The summer the campaign started in Australia, Coke sold more than 250 million named bottles and cans in a nation of just under 23 million people. Coke encourage consumers to share their experience on social, #ShareACoke even became the number one global trending topic. It’s resulted in over 1 billion impressions. The campaign continues in some countries, adapting a message that is fitting for 2020 “ Share a Coke with Front Line Heroes”.

Personalization is an incredibly effective social media marketing strategy, and with tools like Facebook’s Pixel, you will have a wealth of data at your fingertips! Adding the Pixel code to your website is simple and will allow you to see what your website and career center visitors are most interested in and create personalized ad campaigns or content down the road.

Going Live

Going live on your favorite platforms can bring back some of the human connection that has become so vital in 2020. It’s estimated that 1.1 billion hours of live video was watched in 2019! Live video has become so growingly popular that other platforms have added the feature to their platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, and most recently LinkedIn.

Live video is so popular due to the high level of interaction and engagement that it can generate. Capture your members’ attention and involve them in the conversation! Schedule a few announcement posts prior to your scheduled day of going live that people can anticipate to join your Live video. Push notifications will notify your followers when you go live so they can easily access that video content.

Expert Tip: Tailor these videos to your members’ needs!

2021 looks to build upon and expand on the social media marketing trends that began in 2020. Further growing and creating a member-first experience will have the greatest impact on your association. Your social media marketing strategy should begin with that goal as a solid foundation to build upon. A member-first experience will not only grow your membership numbers but will additionally increase your retention rates, driving members to renew their dues with your association year after year.