From invite-only apps to Instagram shopping, these are the social media trends taking 2021 by storm.
Here, you’ll find:
- What new and time-tested social platforms have to offer marketers
- How social media content is evolving
- Why in-app shopping is a massive trend
- How to take advantage of the latest social media trends
Few things make me feel more ancient than having to Google a meme or social media trend because I simply don’t “get it.” (Does this make me cheugy? Are we still saying “cheugy?” Did we ever?)
Such is the nature of social media trends, which crop up and fizzle out like dying stars seemingly every day.
With social media apps as popular as ever, social media marketing (SMM) is a must-have tool in every marketer’s bag of tricks. Staying up to date with top social media trends can help companies maintain a competitive edge.
The world of social media is changing faster than you can say “Clubhouse.” Thankfully, the approach to social media marketing stays mostly the same. Let’s take a closer look at the top social media trends in 2021 and how they can affect your paid social campaigns.
1. Live feeds let you connect with your audience in new ways
Amid all the rollercoaster pivots of 2020, virtual events became the norm. But not everyone opted to hop on Zoom to host their digital gatherings. Rather, many leveraged live social media instead.
Livestreaming on platforms like Facebook and Instagram allows viewers to interact with the video host in real-time. Attendees can often submit reactions (such as a heart emoji). They can also add comments or questions that can be answered live. In 2021, we’re still seeing this type of social media content regularly used by influencers, brands, and notable people.
Pro tip: Launching a new product or service? Go live on one of your social platforms (ideally the one with the most followers). You can tease the new offering and answer any questions viewers have about it.
2. Clubhouse is popularizing a new social media format
Even as the lockdown orders are being lifted, the buzz around Clubhouse is getting louder and louder. While this audio-only social media app is still in its beta-version, creators keep promising a public launch in the very near future.
In the mean-time, the invite-only structure has decidedly spiked curiosity among social media users of all ages. The app features chat rooms that can accommodate thousands of people and serve as a type of virtual conference or gathering.
Today, marketing on Clubhouse boils down to raising brand awareness and working with influencers. In the future, as the platform goes public, marketers may want to focus on creating high-quality audio content to appeal to their ideal customers.
3. Social media platforms are turning into shopping channels
In the past few years, the omnichannel marketing approach had led to social media platforms doubling as shopping channels. Customers no longer need to click a button to get to the e-commerce website and make a purchase. These days, they can buy straight from the app.
While Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have been offering shopping features for a while, the rest of the popular platforms are contemplating the same approach in the future. Since social media reportedly influences 71% of buying decisions, platforms making shopping more convenient just makes sense.
For example, TikTok recently partnered with Shopify. This collaboration allows Shopify merchants to create their paid social campaigns directly from their Shopify dashboard.
Today, social commerce is becoming more central on TikTok than it is on Facebook and Instagram. So it’s a good idea to focus on mastering the short-video format in 2021, particularly for those with a younger demographic in the e-commerce space.
4. Purpose-driven campaigns are here to stay
The public health emergency related to COVID-19 became the message behind many purpose-driven campaigns on social media. According to a Twitter survey, 74% of respondents expect brands to demonstrate acts of kindness.
Since audiences want brands to take meaningful action and show thought leadership on sensitive issues, the approach to marketing should also change. When in doubt, marketing with empathy can get you far while also helping you build brand trust.
Many social media apps make aligning yourself with causes a breeze. For example, you can set up a fundraiser in just a few quick steps on Facebook or Instagram Stories.
5. Geo-targeting can help steal market share
Social media platforms are making it easier for marketers to target local audiences. As such, brands are taking advantage of geo-targeting to reach people based on their location.
Since social media profiles often contain precise information about the person’s location, local targeting is quite effective. By adding a certain location to social media content, you automatically draw the local audience in and provide a more eye-catching, personalized message.
6. Micro-influencers are gaining traction
Micro-influencers (those with 10,000 or fewer followers) tend to generate higher engagement than macro-influencers do. They also often cost less while providing access to smaller segments of your target audience.
Along with friends and family, most people trust the opinions of influencers they follow. And they also appreciate the transparency of knowing when an influencer is posting an ad vs. when a paid partnership isn’t clearly stated.
In 2021, many brands are discovering the effectiveness of these partnerships on social media to grow their audiences and foster brand loyalty. Micro-influencers are becoming more effective since they are more accessible to both the audience and the marketer.
As consumers continue to spend a significant part of their days on social media, platforms are catering to their demands through new features, convenient tools, and more ways to post.
By taking advantage of the newest developments, technologies, and trends, it’s possible to stay ahead of the competition without hurting your budget.