Social media has continued to grow exponentially in the last few years, and it looks like 2021 will be no different. As, we have put together 20 of the most important social media trends to know for 2021, so you can stay ahead of the game!
What Are Social Media Trends?
Social media is a big part of our daily lives as we spend hours on end scrolling through our feeds. In fact, according to a study conducted by We Are Social, around 300 million went online for the first time in the past year, and the majority of those new users came in from developing economies. Furthermore, according to the same report, there are additional 298 million Internet users in January 2020, a 7% increase from the same period in January 2019.
This is a good thing for business owners, as more people are becoming aware of their products and services. However, it also means that you need to catch the attention of your customer base to get them interested in what you're selling, or else they will just move on without even knowing that your brand exists!
Thankfully, social media trends are here to help you. Social media trends, as defined by Social Media Today, are a way to describe the general direction in which social media is going. They're also a reflection of what people want and expect from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest when it comes to sharing their lives online.
While there have been numerous changes throughout the years - some good for business owners while others not so much - it seems that social media trends are here to stay. After all, who doesn't want to use the same platform as their friends and family?
With this in mind, we've decided to put together a list of some of the most important social media trends you should be aware of for 2021. These will hopefully give you a better understanding of what social media is about and how it can help your business grow.
20 of The Most Important Social Media Trends for 2021
Here are 20 of the most important social media trends for 2021 to keep in mind as we head into the next few years:
1. The Proliferation of Memes
The Conversation defined meme as a "piece of content, such as an image or a video, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users."
An article in ypulse.com claimed that about 55% of Internet users aging 13 to 35 years old send memes every week. The same article claimed that 30% of those belonging to the same age group send memes every day. Ultimately, one in five of those interviewed admitted that they send memes multiple times a day.
In other words, memes are ideas in the form of images. The most popular ones will be widely shared between social media users with similar interests. In 2021 you can expect to see memes becoming much more prominent on all types of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
It's not just the images that are popular with meme-lovers either; funny quotes or phrases related to these images are also highly popular. If you take a look at the world of memes today, they often contain catchy phrases or words that can be shared with others who might not even understand what the image is about.
This has helped to make them extremely prevalent across social media platforms and will continue to do so in 2021 - especially as more people grow tired of the more traditional types of social media posts that are out there.
2. The Rise of Niche Platforms
Niche social media platforms are defined as social media websites that are targeted towards a smaller group of individuals who have specific interests. For example, there is now a social media platform for people to discuss their love for cats called Catster. Other examples include Instagram () - which is catered toward those interested in the arts or food photography and cooking - as well as Tumblr which caters more to those interested in creative writing and the arts.
In 2021, businesses will begin to target these niche social media platforms as a way of reaching out to more consumers who have specific interests. In addition, the companies that can utilize these types of social media sites properly will find it much easier for their brand name or product to trend on social media.
Social media will continue to be a reliable platform for reaching potential customers and leads with the help of paid advertising on these sites. However, most businesses that want to succeed in this area must invest money into their online marketing strategy by creating interesting content, promoting it properly through various ad platforms, and promptly responding to customer comments or questions.
3. The Upsurge Of Social Media Videos
Video clips are taking over social media feeds. These are a way for brands or individuals to share their experiences with others more engagingly and entertainingly.
This was concurred by an article posted in invideo.io, where it claimed that at least 72% of consumers prefer watching videos to learn about certain products or services. Moreover, the same article claimed that about 84% of customers were convinced to buy a product or service by watching a particular brand's video.
In fact, according to SEMRush, there are approximately 1.86 billion users subscribed in YouTube worldwide, and the same article claimed that one of the most popular ways that people consume content is through video, with 85% of Internet users in the United States alone access Youtube at least once a week.
With this increase in usage, it's no surprise that brands are now advertising their products directly on YouTube videos rather than solely relying on traditional TV or print ads.
This is due to the higher engagement rates found by consumers who view these types of content online vs. on TV.
YouTube already reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the United States, which means you need video content if your company wants to reach millennials.
Videos are also shared at higher rates: up to six times greater than text posts, according to HubSpot research.
4. The Notoriety of Digital Disinformation
Digital disinformation is the act of purposefully creating false information with malicious intent to disrupt society. Examples of these include fake news and social media scams designed to scam people out of their money or personal data.
Digital disinformation is a real threat in our social media ecosystem, as it can cause innocent users who believe this material to unintentionally commit violent acts against others without realizing amoral online actors are manipulating them.
A study conducted found out that almost half of the participants report that they encounter fake news stories on their social media feeds at least once a day.
In the United States (US), alone, Statista claimed that almost 80% of the consumers in the US have reportedly encountered fake news in connection with the outbreak of coronavirus.
To combat these threats, we must work together to be better-informed consumers while also making sure not to spread misinformation ourselves during conversations on social networks like Facebook Messenger.
5. The Expansion of Uses of Messaging Apps
Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat have become an integral part of our social media lives.
According to eMarketer's prediction, mobile messaging app market penetration will grow from 39.27% in 2016 to 52.87% by 2020, while social network penetration is expected to reach 69.45%.
Taking advantage of this significant increase in the use of messaging apps is possible through chatbots that can interact with customers and provide them with a personalized experience via these instant communication channels.
Messaging apps are being used for business purposes as well. The possibilities go beyond the standard chatbot use cases, such as customer service queries to more specific ones that can help marketers achieve their goals by offering unique experiences via these platforms.
As far as social media trends in 2021 are concerned, this is an area with a lot of potentials, so it will be interesting to see what's in store for us during the next couple of years.
6. The Importance of Authenticity
Authenticity in the digital age is a challenging thing to come by, but it is something that people crave more than ever.
Authenticity shown in social media is necessary, as according to a recent study, 55% of consumers feel like they're not getting the whole truth in marketing communication.
In a world where social media trends can be easily manipulated and brands may have several accounts from which to choose when publishing content online, it is more important than ever for them to get back to basics.
In this context, authenticity refers to being true and transparent online as well as offline. Transparency has been of utmost importance for some time now, especially in the age of social media where lies can spread at lightning speed – just think about how viral flat-earth theories can go.
People want to see real people sharing personal opinions and thoughts, not actors or celebrities trying hard to look like someone they are not (which is why influencer marketing works so well). This need for authenticity will only grow stronger as time goes on – especially when it comes to social media trends in 2021. The Importance of which has been on the rise since social media has become a big part of our everyday lives.
7. The Gaining Popularity of the Ephemeral Contents
Ephemeral contents, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, are any video content “that lasts for only a very short time.” These types of content have become extremely popular on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram lately – so much so that they could be one of the most important trends to know about in 2021.
This is due mostly to how easy it has become to create these kinds of content with the use of apps like Snapchat and Instagram. A lot of the time, these kinds of apps are used by celebrities and social media influencers to show off what they’re doing in their lives.
What is most interesting about this trend is that it brings up some serious questions regarding how important context is on social media. Since ephemeral contents don't have a timestamp or location attached to them, this may lead people to question what the point of social media is anymore.
This trend can also be compared to how Facebook--another popular social media website--allows users to only share certain moments from their lives instead of everything that happens in a given day. This has led many critics and analysts alike to believe that traditional social media websites are dying and will be replaced.
This is another instance where social media websites need to find a way to strike the perfect balance between displaying ephemeral content without losing their current user base that enjoys having something more permanent on display.
The impact of this trend has yet to truly be seen, but it's clear that there are some major changes in the works.
8. The Continuous Expansion of Traditional Social Media Platform
However, there are some of those who also believe that most traditional social media platforms are not going anywhere shortly. It is expected to see more of them emerge, but there will also be many who will die out. We may even see some of these platforms acquire or merge with more popular platforms.
For companies, this means that they will need to continue adjusting their strategies and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of social media marketing. It is becoming increasingly important for marketers to manage multiple different profiles on various social media sites instead of just focusing all their attention on one or two networks since audiences are spread out across many different platforms.
The most popular social media networks today will continue to be the top sites in 2021, but new apps and websites may also grow exponentially along with them as they look for a way to cash in on this ever-growing industry.
The growing number of social media platforms will not be contained to just the ones that are currently available. This has already been a trend for years now, but it is expected that we start to see this become even more important in 2021. Apps, like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are seen to launch some exciting new features in 2021. Moreover, these features will be intended to help users engage and interact with one another better.
9. The Steady Growth of Streaming
Streaming is expected to become even more popular in the next few years. In fact, according to some reports, the streaming market is expected to double by 2021. An article in findstack.com, that it is estimated the live streaming market will be worth $70.05 billion in 2021, which is a huge growth compared to its market's worth of just $30.29 billion in 2016.
This increase in popularity can be attributed to a couple of different reasons. One reason has to do with how easy it now is for users to stream content on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Streaming services are also improving as well; particularly when it comes down to providing larger libraries of media.
Social media platforms are also more accepting of live streaming, which is another factor for its growth. For example, in 2017 Facebook opened up the ability to stream on their platform with just a couple of clicks. All you have to do is click on "Go Live" and you're good to go! Other social media sites like Twitter (via Periscope) and Instagram also have live streaming capabilities.
Viewers are more accepting of these services as well, which is another reason for their growth in popularity. Using social media platforms to stream content has eliminated the need for viewers to watch ads on television or other traditional forms of media consumption. This practice allows them to choose when they want to watch, and when they don't. Furthermore, social media sites like Facebook also allow viewers to interact with the content creators in real-time via comments or messages!
Finally, let's not forget that some of these platforms are free for everyone to use - by uploading their content instead of watching ads (or paying cable fees), users can save money.
10. The Enduring Popularity Of User Generated Content
User-generated content is also one of the trends that have been around for some time now, and it will likely remain popular in 2021.
Instead of hiring actors or buying the rights to movies - brands are looking more towards their audience as a way to generate content that they can use instead. This allows them access to fresh ideas from regular users who know what interests people today more than anyone else!
Furthermore, it is also a way for businesses to engage customers on popular channels like YouTube without spending an excessive amount of money. Aside from that, user-generated content is a great way for businesses to get feedback from customers and turn people into advocates who share their experience with social media followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Businesses can also create user-generated content by asking customers questions about how they like the product or service purchased from them, which could lead to increased sales in the future.
11. The Ascent of Virtual and Augmented Realities
Virtual and augmented realities are relatively new technologies that allow for an immersive experience. Many businesses are starting to test the waters with these to try to stay ahead of their competitors.
Virtual Reality (VR) has been around since 1838 when French playwright Auguste de Villiers du Terrage coined the term "parade," which means "to fool." Technology has come a long way since then, and it is now being used in everything from movies to video games.
Businesses may have a customer base that lives in different parts of the country or world, so creating content like VR experiences, video games, etc., might reach those customers easier than before. One example of this is IKEA who launched a virtual reality furniture store where customers can browse through all the items they offer without going into one of their physical stores.
What's more, VR headsets have also been created for people who cannot use traditional VR goggles like children, those with neck or back injuries, etc. Many consumers already own an Oculus Rift headset which Facebook originally released in 2016; so as the technology advances, more companies will be investing in this medium because of its popularity among users.
Augmented Reality (AR), on the other hand, is the latest technological trend that is set to change how we live. AR refers to adding digital information onto real-world objects, making it seem like you're seeing something in front of your eyes when you are not. For example, if you are trying on a new pair of jeans at H&M and wanted to see what they would look like in your size, You could use an AR app to see what they would look like on you. This technology is still new but will surely become the most popular form of social media in 2021 because it's more realistic and interactive than any other medium that has been created before.
12. The Prevalence of Local Targeting
Local targeting, according to a study done by Yelp, is becoming more and more popular among businesses. Seventy-eight percent of people surveyed said that they would be likely to switch from one brand to another if the other company prioritized local targeting in their social media campaign.
Local targeting first became popular during the 2016 presidential elections. Social media platforms like Facebook allowed users to target posts towards specific areas, which was beneficial for both the Trump and Clinton campaigns. When you're targeting your audience in this way rather than just trying to reach as many people as possible, it gives off the impression that you care about them specifically.
When considering how important local targeting is, it's important to remember that social media is very personal. Instead of just passively scrolling through your feed and seeing the latest posts, social media users want their content consumption to be more meaningful than ever before.
In 2021, we're likely going to see several new trends in the world of social media and how people communicate with each other.
13. The Pervasiveness of Social Media Communities
Social media communities are becoming more and more pervasive in our culture because they provide an outlet for people to share their thoughts, feelings, photos, videos, etc. The internet has allowed us to connect with others who have similar interests without ever having to leave home.
This leads many social media users into a digital addiction where they spend hours each day scrolling through various pages on sites such as Instagram or Facebook. It's difficult not to become addicted when you're constantly bombarded by posts about what your friends are doing throughout the day.
In addition, this sense of community can sometimes lead to toxic behaviors such as cyberbullying. Many social media users have had their feelings hurt, or witnessed cyberbullying firsthand.
As a result of these negative aspects of social media use, people are beginning to look for new ways to communicate with one another online.
14. The Growth of Social Commerce
Social commerce is another major trend that has been popularized in recent years. In fact, according to Insider Intelligence, the US social commerce sales in the US will rise by 35.8%, amounting to $36.62 billion. This is a huge amount of money, and it's on track to rise even more in the future.
This type of commerce is powered by social media and deals with purchasing goods or services through various sites such as Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. It can also be done offline at brick-and-mortar stores where you'll have your credit card scanned, then receive a notification on your phone to confirm your purchase.
Many retailers are jumping onto this bandwagon because they realize how much money is being generated from purchases made via social channels.
Social commerce is a trend that's growing at an exponential rate, so it's one you need to keep your eye on over the next few years.
15. The Ascent of Purpose-Driven Campaigns
Purpose-driven campaigns are shifting the focus off of just promoting products and moving towards what is in the best interest of society.
While companies like Patagonia, TOMS Shoes, and Warby Parker are known for their good social campaigns, these efforts have become mainstream over time, with many large brands launching initiatives to do something on behalf of a greater cause or purpose.
In 2020 alone, there were an estimated 12 billion dollars spent globally that has been designated for social cause-driven marketing campaigns, which shows where we're headed as far as advertising goes.
This new era of branding showcases how strong our influence can be when harnessed together to promote a common goal, such as saving endangered animals or eliminating plastic pollution from oceans.
16. The Spread of Inclusivity
Inclusivity is another major theme that's set to become more powerful as our society continues to grow and change.
Companies are now taking the lead in this regard by launching initiatives to make their products work for people of all genders, races, or socioeconomic classes. Moreover, they're encouraging their consumers to do the same.
This push towards inclusion is set to transform social media in 2021, as many platforms are now working towards developing features that let us express our identities more freely, such as removing the need for gender-specific pronouns altogether or allowing users to upload photos with their preferred skin tones already applied.
17. The Impact of Social Conscious Audiences
Social consciousness in audiences will also have a significant impact on the social media platforms that they are using now. Consumers have become aware of how much data is being collected about them online, and are now deliberately taking steps to limit the amount of information that they share with social media companies.
This means that these businesses will need to find other ways for users to engage on their platforms moving forward. For example, Snapchat's newest feature Snap Maps lets you see where your friends are and what they're up to in real-time. This is a way for the social media company to encourage users to share more information while also giving them control over who sees their location.
This means that social media companies are going to have to become more creative about how they keep users engaged, or risk losing them.
This is one of the social media trends that we'll see in 2021 and beyond.
18. The Effectivity of Direct Conversations with Consumers
Direct conversations with consumers have also proven to be effective in the realm of social media marketing. As a matter of fact, according to a study by Nielsen, social media posts that include questions or other prompts have been shown to yield engagement rates up to 30 times higher than those without.
To build relationships with customers, brands need more than a one-way dialogue—they need content that resonates across all platforms and channels. Hence, followers feel like they're being listened to.
This is where you can turn your data into empowering insights because it's possible that when you are analyzing how people respond and engage with various pieces of information included on social media posts, you can get a better idea of what your audience is looking for.
19. The Power of Gaming
Gaming has taken over social media. This was concurred by TechJury, as an article on the said website claimed that there are around 2.7 billion gamers globally.
With the rise of gaming, social media is also expected to make a huge comeback. Gaming has always been part of every household in one way or another and with it came video games which evolved into online multiplayer games that are now integrated within other platforms like Facebook Messenger. This lets gamers connect directly through their social networks while they engage in playing games together.
Since social media has been integrated with gaming, there is a need for businesses to make their presence felt through this platform. The opportunities are endless and the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have already begun creating strategies for business entities especially when it comes to video games.
This is an important trend to keep an eye on because it will help businesses reach social gamers more efficiently.
20. The social media relationship funnel
Another trend for social media is the relationship funnel. A relationship funnel is defined as the steps of social media users from their first touch to a product or service up until the final act.
The social media relationship funnel is important because it's how your company can engage social media users. One of the most important things for marketers is to know their target audience well and engage them in a way that these target audiences understand.
This is one of the most important trends for marketers because it will help them determine how they can reach out to people and generate leads more efficiently by using effective strategies on social media platforms.
The Values of Trends
There's no denying that social media has indeed become a very useful tool for businesses. And because they're still growing, there are many social media trends that marketers need to be aware of to stay ahead and remain competitive.
Social media trends are valuable because they allow you to see what's happening in the world of social media and how it changes over time.
Another value of social media trends lies in the fact that they allow you to be in touch with your target market. And aside from knowing what kind of content they're into, it will help them determine how they can reach out to people and generate leads more efficiently by using effective strategies on social media platforms.
Furthermore, trends are also valuable because they help you know what your competitors are doing. This can be a good thing because aside from knowing their marketing strategies, it will also give you an idea of where to invest and put most of your effort into for you to get the best ROI on social media sites.
Trends will continue changing, but as long as you're aware of them, then you can stay up-to-date on new happenings or get a better understanding of why something might work well when used in conjunction with other trends.
What are the Impacts of Trends?
It is undeniable that social media trends have impacts on different industries. For instance, social media platforms can be used for business promotion and marketing campaigns.
As such, let's find out the impact of social media trends of the following:
B2B and B2C Businesses
B2B and B2C businesses have always been able to benefit from social media. Social media trends affect B2B and B2C businesses differently.
For instance, social media trends for B2C businesses include the use of video marketing and live streaming (Vines, Instagram stories) because these can help them increase awareness about their products and services. On the other hand, social media platforms provide a convenient way for businesses to connect with clients. For example, they can promote their business via live streaming, events, and contests.
The digital landscape is evolving, along with the trends in it, and this means that businesses have to keep up with the trends to be able to benefit from them.
It will continue to evolve over the next few years, and companies need to keep up with the latest social media trends to be able to use them for their benefit. Being at par with the latest social media trends will allow businesses to attract more clients and provide their existing ones with better services.
The impact of social media trends in marketing is seen in their increased use with better results.
Some of the most popular social media trends in marketing include marketing via live streaming or video content; people like to see and hear from their favorite brands, interview them for feedback, etc., so this trend will keep on increasing in popularity over time.
Another trend seen in marketing is the use of social media analytics and tools to better understand their activities. All these are important in finding better ways to improve their social media strategies and help them connect with people more effectively.
Traditional businesses are also impacted by social media trends in such a way that they are also trying to incorporate social media tools in their marketing strategies. The impact is not as direct but it's still important for them because, people now connect with brands via social platforms which means that even though traditional businesses are not using social media directly, they are impacted by the activities of these users on various channels.
Furthermore, social media trends are impacting the way traditional businesses operate. For example, social platforms have changed how people find new jobs and manage their professional careers by introducing tools that help them stay connected with each other through these channels.
Social marketing trends are changing the way businesses operate. While traditional companies are not using social media directly, they're impacted by user activities on different platforms. These changes in marketing trends will continue to impact how brands behave into 2021 and beyond.
Furthermore, people are becoming increasingly aware that social media is both a powerful commercial platform and an influential means of communication. As such, companies will need to utilize this medium to gain more exposure for their products or services. Facebook for instance has already become one of the most popular platforms where businesses can display their goods online with paid advertising campaigns. Social media is now a mandatory component of any marketing strategy.