Social Media Trends In 2021 That Matter To Marketers
Millions of people spend a good part of their day on social media – more than 3.8 billion users were estimated to be active at the start of 2020. The growing number of people who use social media make these platforms invaluable tools for marketing. Social media trends change often, so keeping up with the latest developments can ensure the success of your social media marketing campaigns.
We will take a look at some of the predictions made for 2020, keeping you informed and equipped. Once you’ve read through these expected and ongoing social media trends, you will be able to build an engaging marketing strategy.
Social media plays a very important role in consumers’ lives and using these platforms to connect has become significantly more effective. Companies can get closer to people and efficient social media branding can make them the favourite choice of users and clients.
What Are The Most Popular Social Media Networks?
Before we jump into the social media trends making the most waves this year, let’s take a quick look at the platforms where these trends are born.
Facebook remains the king of the social media world with YouTube and WhatsApp following on its heels. Here are some statistics about the most popular social media platforms:
- Facebook – More than 2.4 billion users
- YouTube – 2 Billion users globally
- WhatsApp – This chatting service boasts with more than 1.6 billion users
- Facebook Messenger – Over 1.3 billion users
- WeChat – Close on Messenger’s heels with 1.11 billion users
- Instagram – The popular image sharing platform has 1 billion loyal supporters
- TikTok – This site is ever-growing and currently has 800 million users across the globe
- Reddit – The ‘front page of the Internet’ has 330 million active monthly users.
- Twitter – This micro-blogging site also has just over 330 million users
- Pinterest – This picture-sharing site has more than 320 million active users
- LinkedIn – More than 303 million active monthly users
- Snapchat – Over 210 million active daily users
Now, let’s see what the most dominating trends of 2020 are:
Social Media Trend 1 – Niche Social Platforms Becoming More Popular
For the longest time, Instagram and Facebook were the big guys of the social media world. But in recent years several other niche platforms started to catch up. TikTok is one of them and became very popular among the younger generations. In the gaming community, Twitch rose to fame and LinkedIn became ‘the’ platform for B2B companies and professionals. This trend is expected to continue in 2020 and even beyond.
Social Media Trend 2 – Video Content Rises Up
As one of the most engaging forms of content, it’s no wonder that videos are becoming more and more popular. It is, in fact, the most loved types of content on social media. There are different ways to use videos on social networks such as the long-form kind found on YouTube and the short-form types of TikTok. It is believed that come 2020, more than 80% of all the content online will be video form. If you’re not making videos part of your marketing strategies yet, you better start soon. Facebook has started to catch on early and already has roughly 11% of its posts are videos. Videos on this platform get up to 8 billion views a day.
Social Media Trend 3 – Short-Lived Content Will Continue To Grow In Popularity
Fleeting content, also known as ephemeral, is something that is only available for a short while before disappearing. Snapchat and Instagram Stories are examples of these content types. This kind of content has been growing wildly popular and it won’t stop any time soon. Being short, engaging and rather addictive is what is so alluring about short-lived content. It is easy for users to scroll through one story after the other in rapid succession.
Social Media Trend 4 – Technology Adoption Will Be Higher
The adoption and integration of technology on social media platforms will increase. The demand for more engaging experiences will rise and this will see sites making use of the latest technological advancements. Facebook – once again leading the pack – is already making use of virtual reality with Horizon, a whole world to explore virtually. This kind of approach to social media could see people connecting in a new kind of way in the coming years. Sure, it’s still in the starting phase but technology has a way to grow rapidly once it kicks off.
Social Media Trend 5 – Instagram Removing Likes
As one of the most popular social media platforms, any big changes that Instagram makes will be major news. One really massive change that could happen is Instagram removing the ‘likes’ feature. Beta testing for this proposal has already started and the idea behind it is that ‘likes’ are causing mental issues. These ‘likes’ from other people is seen as social validation that is detrimental for people waiting and working for it all the time.
Of course, many people don’t like the idea and think it is a decision driven by greed. Brands pay influencers money for marketing and none of this goes to Instagram. Some think this is the social network’s attempt to minimising the influence people have which is reflected in their likes. This could result in brands rather investing in Instagram Ads. If Instagram removes ‘likes’, other platforms could follow in their steps.
Social Media Trend 6 – Influencer Marketing Soars
Although this is not a new trend, influencer marketing will continue to grow ever-more popular. The influence of these social media users who get paid to promote products and services is often underestimated. It has opened the door for social media marketing strategies that have evolved over the years.
Companies and brands pay large sums of money to influencers to market their products but it is still cheaper than traditional ad campaigns. On top of saving money, companies see actual results from using influencers. Some marketers have gone as far as to use a whole team of different influencers as part of their marketing campaigns. If Instagram does remove ‘likes’ from its platform, it could see influencers moving away to a different platform. It’s highly unlikely that social influencers will go away any time soon.
Social Media Trend 7 – Social Commerce Will Grow
Using social media platforms for selling products is not a novel idea, but this approach could become much more common. The likes of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have been used by brands as a place to sell their products and services. Social commerce grew into a new way for brands and this will become even more successful and popular.
Social commerce is already so efficient that it is becoming as popular as offline stores and websites. Because people are spending more time online, social commerce is likely to grow more with every year. It is also expected that social networks will embrace more engaging approaches to this form of commerce. They will strengthen social commerce activities by offering features such as shoppable posts. Instagram Storefronts are already changing the face of online shopping.
Social Media Trend 8 – Augmented Reality
The point of augmented reality is to enhance a user’s experience by using digital elements to change the way things appear. Social media platforms have been finding creative and interesting ways to make the most of augmented reality. The silly and funny photo filters that entertain so many is one such way. Adding bunny noses and ears to a face is an application of augmented reality.
The use of this technology will grow even more over the coming years. One example of what to expect is what Sephora has been doing. The beauty brand allows customers to ‘try on’ their make-up before making a purchase. This opens the door for many possible uses in the future, and Sephora has been offering it for a while. The company has even gone so far as to offer the experience on Facebook Messenger.
This technology allows people to make convenient purchases from home, something that enhances the online shopping experience.
Social Media Trend 9 – Improved Customer Service Experiences
Since companies started using social media platforms, it opened ways of dealing with customers. It allows people to connect with brands and share photos and videos with fellow users. As social media platforms transformed into retail platforms, customer services improved and evolved. This evolution isn’t over yet and more growth is expected to happen over time. With brands reaching out to customers and vice versa, social media customer experiences are becoming more and more engaging and intimate.
Of course, the need to actually respond to upset customers will increase as well, which will push up the standards. If a company doesn’t satisfy clients, they will suffer the consequences on social media. Keeping customers happy on social media will become more important but also easier.
Social Media Trend 10 – Better Control and Scrutiny
With social media becoming more and more popular and easier to access, more focus is placed on the safety of users. While social media comes with many benefits, it also comes with drawbacks. The privacy and security of users’ data are monitored much more closely. Breaches of privacy have made headlines in the past and this prompted social media networks to pay closer attention to the safety of their users.
Better regulation and legal scrutiny will become the norm as social media platforms grow bigger and more important. Misuse and the theft of private information will become a very important issue that networks keep a close eye on. More policies will be put in place and regulatory bodies will tighten security. This will lead to more restrictions, also applied to users themselves.
Social Media Trend 11 – User-Generated Content Will Rise In Popularity
Another long-standing trend is the use of user-generated content. It is a social media marketing strategy that is going strong and will continue to do so in the future. More and more brands and companies make use of UGC, as it is called.
People want to feel included, involved and important and this is used to the advantage of brands. Using user-generated content boosts a company’s brand awareness, brand loyalty and evoke a deeper sense of trust from customers. The use of this kind of content will become even more popular as more companies start to use it. Since the content is free and promotes a brand in an organic way, you should consider it if you haven’t used it yet.
Social Media Trend 12 – Social Media Communities
Of course, there are already many social media communities, it is expected that this number will not stop rising in the future. These communities are groups on social media that were created by brands. The aim is to create platforms where their customers and clients can communicate with each other conveniently and more privately.
A great example is Facebook Groups – there are millions of them and they all serve their own purpose. Brands are making use of these groups and communities to engage in a more meaningful way. This way, people can share their experiences with a brand and give them a chance to resolve issues and address problems. It is also a great way to launch new products.
These 12 trends are just a few of the social media are some of the ways that social media will change and move forward. Knowing about them and then using them in your social media marketing strategy will give brands an edge. Any informed social media manager knows that having an edge is what makes a marketing strategy one that works.
By incorporating a tool like SocialPlanner will make your strategy even more successful. SocialPlanner makes it easier to find, plan and publish engaging content to grow your brand, drive targeted traffic and make more sales. Social media is a competitive space and you need all the help you can get. Make use of everything you learnt here, add to that good tools and give your brand the best chance at being a competitor of note in the social media marketing world.