Top 10 Social Media Trends for 2021

These are the top predicted trends for 2021 from a range of marketing experts.

1. Audiences will be more socially conscious

Consumers are more conscious of global issues and how brands trade responsibly now more than ever before. Generation Z and Alpha actively engage in conversations surrounding social issues like mental health, equality, education, and climate change, and consciously search for brands with social values that are in line with their own. Based on a poll conducted by Forbes in 2019, 88% of consumers want to support brands that have social causes aligned with their product/service.”

2020 saw people worldwide being negatively impacted by the pandemic. This, along with other significant 2020 occurrences, led to consumers being even louder in speaking up regarding the issues affecting society today.

2. SEO drives organic Instagram visibility

In November, it was announced that Instagram would become more search friendly. Now, without the use of hashtags, if you search for a keyword then relevant videos, profiles and posts will appear.

Marketers should take advantage of this update to make sure your caption includes relevant keywords that will help Instagram identify what you are talking about.

3. Reels ignite organic Instagram exposure

Instagram Reels can be 15 or 30 seconds long and I like to think of them as stories on steroids. You can make reels as engaging as possible by adding music and text and getting creative. Marketers should be making the most of Instagram Reels to increase their exposure through the platform.

4. Personality becomes key to Youtube growth

Differentiation will be the key to standing out and reaching your ideal customers on YouTube. As YouTube’s popularity has increased, it has become a very saturated market in which it is hard to stand out. The most valuable way to build loyalty with a new audience on YouTube is through your unique personality; including the way you speak, the way you explain concepts, and the way you inject personality into your channel.

5. Social gaming

Did you know that 32% more people over the last 13 months now identify as a gamer on social media?

It’s no wonder social gaming has caught the eye of marketers. As opposed to traditional online gaming audiences, social gaming is a fresh demographic to tap into, opening a number of opportunities for brands looking to use social gaming as a marketing platform, however complex. The simplest form of social gaming marketing is pre-roll advertising, which plays before games start (just like a video clip). Another form is game sponsorship – for example, last year Mazda sponsored Bejewelled Blitz on Facebook and offered prizes for high scores.

6. Conversational marketing

2020 was a massive year for LinkedIn. The platform rolled out LinkedIn Live, Events, Polls, and Stories. In the coming year, marketers need to embrace not only these new features and content formats, but also the shift in culture created by the rise in remote working from home.

On the personal brand side of LinkedIn, mastering conversational marketing will be instrumental in driving sales. You can create polls that your audience will want to vote on, ask irresistible open-ended questions in updates, share candid photos from your workday in stories, or even post about celebrating career milestones.

On the Linkedin Page side of things (for businesses), 2021 will be a game-changer for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who are hyper-focused on their LinkedIn pages. The LinkedIn team is looking for ways to appeal to SMBs like never before with the rollout of upcoming features that will help SMBs build a community of raving fans around products or services. Many businesses are already taking full advantage of the interactive new features available.

7. Nostalgia marketing will engage your audience

Nostalgia increased 88% during lockdown, everybody loves a blast from the past from time to time. Incorporating this marketing approach into your social media content could help increase engagement in 2021.

8. Facebook Ad creatives favours positivity

The four ad creative trends predicted for Facebook are GIFs, user-generated content, collages and more text-heavy ads.

GIFs have proven themselves over the years to perform well and increase engagement. Simply taking 3-15 seconds of a video to create your own GIF is an accessible way to make Facebook ads more creative.

UGC can sometimes be your most creative and persuasive content; more marketers are recognising the power of UGC and finding clever ways to incentivise it amongst their target audience.

Collages are also making a big comeback; they are eye-catching and encourage people to pause their scroll to check it out. So why not try some on-brand collages and see if they perform better than your carousel format?

Text-heavy ads are back in. Although there has been no official statement from Facebook, it is rumoured the ‘20%’ rule has been revoked.

9. Authenticity matters

Statistics show that 90% of consumers now prioritise authenticity in determining which brands they like and support. Authenticity is also particularly important for the younger generations, such as Gen Z and Millennials, who engage with visual and ‘authentic’ content more regularly than the older demographic.

10. Social commerce is the future

Nearly 3 out of every 10 businesses already have a social commerce plan or are planning to implement one in the next 12 months. 55% of all Gen Z internet users say their recent fashion purchases were inspired by social media content.

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