“Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.”
– David Alston, Author
A lot has already been said about how social media has become an integral part of both the marketing world and our personal lives. The two have intertwined in a way that they seem inseparable.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, TikTok and other social media platforms have completely transformed the way we consume content every day.
But is this it? Or can social media marketing send out more surprises in 2021?
The answer is uncertain.
While many continue to grow their brands with an existing social media strategy, the massive availability of content always motivates marketers to come up with something fresh.
It is never to stand out from the crowd, and you always need to stay a step ahead of the competition to have a chance at becoming successful on social platforms.
As we continue to get an app for everything we do, we end up spending more time on our smartphones. With an estimated 3.2 billion users across multiple social platforms, and with a whopping 100 million users being added to the list every day, it is time to evolve the phenomenon further.
But amidst all the noise, there is just one sure-shot way of keeping your social media game strong – staying on top of the latest trends. Here is a list of top 10 social media trends that are likely to take 2021 by storm:
You often have an idea about what people think about your brand and it is a good thing to be self-aware. But embracing their opinions, poking fun at your own brand and not selling aggressively is a smart move.
Confused? That is self-aware marketing. While something like this sounds counterproductive, it really isn’t. When you face customer opinions head on, it adds a level of transparency and authenticity to your brand, which also leaves customers wanting more from your company.
Take McDonald’s 2019 self-awareness campaign as an example. They mocked their reputation of being cheap and serving fast food by promoting a Signature Burger Collection.
This collection showcased a range of premium and posh burgers that were literally served on a silver platter.
With everything getting instant gratification we have become accustomed to the quick-fix nature of social media. Short-form video content is one great example of this and it has become a regular fixture of our social feeds.
The success of TikTok and Instagram Reels send a clear message – short form video content is the path to follow moving into 2021.
Many popular names like NBA have jumped on this bandwagon and used TikTok to give customers a glimpse into their lives behind the scenes whilst creating awareness for their respective brands.
Instagram is also favoring users who use Reels by showcasing their videos on Instagram feed and explore page. So, the best way to gain from it is by being an early adopter of Reels and increase your brand’s reach with your community.
AR is creating a big splash on social media globally with new AR filters and technologies emerging every day. Unlike VR, AR takes on the real world and uses computer generated augmentation to deliver an enhanced experience to the users.
Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook are the prominent platforms offering AR filters on social media. The popularity of AR filters has motivated various brands to come up with their versions.
For example, the Diamond Instagram Filter by Vogue magazine managed to generate a lot of buzz when it was launched.
It is expected that this trend will continue to steam ahead in 2021 and as the technology evolves, more brands will jump on the AR bandwagon.
This trend might seem old, but it has been very effective. In 2019, internet users spent 1.1 billion hours watching live videos. After the initial success of Facebook and Instagram live video features, platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have also incorporated the trend in their apps.
Videos are a preferred way of consuming content and so this trend is likely to capture the attention and imagination of your social media users in 2021.
Now, this isn’t something fresh but we haven’t leveraged it enough for social media platforms yet. The availability of deep well of data can be used to engage audiences in a better manner.
You can leverage the social media platforms to send individual offers and product suggestions to your social media users based on their demographic, interests and activity. You can also use the information to create custom content for different user-types and dominate the social media game.
Regardless of how essential personalization has been in the past, it has delivered results and is a trend that will continue to be a part of social media marketing in 2021.
Nothing beats talking to your best friend about that car you want to buy, isn’t it? Conversations are a great way to connect with your users and drive sales.
Many brands are using conversational marketing by creating content that encourages their users to tag their friends and family members in the posts and it has a chain reaction that ends of delivering unmatched customer engagement in a matter of hours.
This trend is fresh and when combined with a strategy like self-aware marketing, it can do wonders to any brand’s social media marketing campaign.
Did you know that 55% of 13-35 year old people actively send memes to each other every week. Sharing information in a humorous manner is appealing and has become one of the most-used parts of social media conversations.
In a nutshell, meme messaging will continue to rise in 2021 and while these served as creative outlets for internet users in the past, many brands are also using memes to promote their products and services on social media.
Social media platforms are trying to gamify every aspect of their platforms. But that concept is still evolving. There are games that are well integrated with platforms like Facebook and they often tend to blur the line between gaming and social media.
For marketers, these games are a perfect place to advertise their brands based on the user preferences. This trend will continue to grow in 2021 and marketers can scout more opportunities to promote their brand between these games.
More than half of the world’s population is on social media right now and many of them use social media platforms to get inspiration for their purchases.
This constant search for motivation inspired social platforms like Facebook and Instagram to come up with Shops and they have infiltrated their respective platforms for a few years now.
Nearly 55% of online shoppers make the purchases on social platforms and this has inspired many leading brands like Levi’s and Gap to start selling via Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops.
Moreover, social commerce allows the brands to streamline the shopping experiences they deliver across different platforms and allows consumers to purchase items as they scroll. This is definitely a way of the future and this trend is going to rise in 2021.
One of the biggest cons of social media platforms has been the lack of oversight. Many users purposely circulate disinformation across all social platforms to influence users in their favor.
In the first six months of 2020, there were 101 million mentions of disinformation on social media. But social media companies are now making additional efforts to prevent such incidents and this trend will intensify the oversight in 2021.
Social media marketing is all about delivering content to the users in an engaging manner. Apart from the trends mentioned above, you need to be aware of issues around you and share your thoughts on the matter actively.
Know of any other social media trends we missed in the post? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Share this blog post on your social media account and let your friends get fresh insights into the emerging social media trends.