Social media has managed to become an integral part of our lives in a short time. What started as a medium to stay in touch with friends and family, soon become a channel for brands and businesses to connect with their target audience through well-crafted social media strategies.
With the rapid growth of this medium, numerous social media trends have emerged and evolved over the years. Adapting to these new and upcoming trends is what helps businesses keep abreast of the fierce competition.
Top 11 Social Media Trends to Watch Out For in 2021
We’ve compiled a list of top social media trends for 2021 that every marketer should follow for better engagement and improved online visibility.
Live Videos Transforming the Social Media Game
With a majority of social media experts asking to focus brands on video marketing for a while now, there was no doubt that live videos on social media are going to gain much popularity in 2021. Brands are now exploring live videos frequently to connect with their customers for chit-chats.
Surprisingly, the popularity of live videos has surpassed the demand for video content too. Presently, live videos are being broadcast on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr because almost 82% of the audiences prefer live videos on social media.
There has also been a surge in bringing celebrities and renowned personalities on live chat by various brands and creating opportunities for people to bond with their favorite celebs or role models.
Impromptu live chats are a great way to gain your audience’s attention and make important announcements, mainly when the opportunity for brands to appear in people’s feed has been limited due to changes in the algorithm.
Elevating Engagement With Ephemeral Content
If ephemeral content sounds new to you, you might better understand the term with reference to social media. Yes, we are talking about the trending short-duration content that disappears within 24 hours of posting, AKA Facebook and Instagram Stories.
Stories are fun, engaging, and keep people on their toes, quite literally! Brands are experimenting a lot with the “Story” feature on Facebook and Instagram to give their customers a sneak-peek into their world.
While images and videos and textual content continue to inform everyone of new product launches, offers, and other public announcements, the brand stories are aimed to be more personal and informal.
Therefore, customers can expect a lot more brand engagement in the coming days with them rolling out polls, quizzes, “behind the scene” moments, random banters, workplace tours, and a whole variety of engaging content that’ll help them know a brand very closely.
Growing Demand for Social Media Chatbot Communication
When it comes to communicating with the customer service department of a brand, nobody wants to waste their time on generic computerized communications. This is the exact thought that might come to people’s minds when they hear about chatbots.
Luckily, chatbots in 2021 and beyond are not here to waste people’s time but to bring quicker resolutions to the table. AI-powered chatbots can precisely understand your queries and concerns and offer you the best solutions within seconds.
How does that benefit you? Many brands don’t have the facility to provide 24X7 support to their customers, and if you get stuck with an order from such a site where there’s no human to help you through, it might get more frustrating.
With AI-powered chatbots integrated to social media pages of different brands, the dependence on humans will be less, and customers will get answers to their queries at any time of the day.
Since it’s a bonus feature for the customers and well as brands, much focus has been given to AI chatbots lately and it is also contributing to improving brand-customer relationships.
More Brands will Adapt to AR and VR Technology
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are current social media trends in 2021, as brands try to offer an exciting user experience. Many e-commerce companies have adapted to AR-powered shopping, allowing users to try-on products before purchasing them. This will help consumers make thoughtful purchase-decisions before investing in something.
Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook allow users to try on hundreds of different filters to click images or create videos or share them across, including updating profile pictures with brand logos or mascots.
Top technology players are making VR gears available to users at an affordable price, which allows them to enjoy an immersive gaming experience. Facebook offers a feature called “Facebook Spaces,” where up to 3 people can interact using a VR device.
There are still many improvements required in the VR and AR arena, and people are already up to it. Hopefully, in the future, VR and AR technology will become wholly mainstream and enhance the user experience by many folds.
Know How to get Facebook likes to keep audience update with your brand.
Brands to Continue Investing in Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has dominated the whole of 2019, and it will continue to do so for the next few years. However, the way through which brands and influencers collaborate will see changes in the coming days.
Brands will now collaborate with influencers over a series of social media promotion posts and not just for a single promotion post. They will put equal efforts in promoting the content created by these influencers.
Bigger brands are expected to collaborate with micro-influencers and niche bloggers to bring inclusivity and transparency in their marketing efforts. This also means that brands will be cautious in choosing influencers and crackdown imposters thriving on fake followers.
When it comes to endorsing branded products or services, influencers can no longer get away with posting pictures of themselves with the product. They also need to put equal efforts in content creation for brands, focusing more on long-form content, how-to videos, demos, and photo stories.
Social media channels are now offering exclusive monetization options for influencers to support them in securing their future as they work hard to leverage brands. Many social media platforms like Facebook and Youtube have launched a paid subscription model for followers to get exclusive content is a new social media trend today.
Local Targeting to Get More Prevalent
Just like local SEO, local targeting has become more prevalent in 2021 and will continue to be in the coming years. Local brands are finding a way to connect with their target customers by geo-tagging their social media posts and stories.
Instagram already allows people to look for posts and stories in their vicinity, which allows local brands to be more discoverable. Moreover, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram promotions enable businesses to target audiences from a specific locality through their IP addresses.
If you are a small business, you should reach out to local people to build your brand awareness and gain popularity before targeting people from further away. With the increasing online competition, it is tough for small businesses to compete with big brands, especially when starting.
In such a scenario, local targeting is the best way to reach out to people and get maximum ROI. Moreover, it allows you to cater to a specific audience by creating personalized content for them, which bigger brands sometimes fail to deliver.
Twitter to Transform into a Trustworthy News Portal
While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are primarily used as entertainment platforms where users can enjoy lighthearted banter, Twitter always reserved the spot for serious talks on various topics of interest.
Twitter is one site that has always prioritized news stories from around the world. However, the authenticity of such news stories was not 100% in the past, which led to controversies.
In the coming years, Twitter is expected to keep a stricter check on fake news and allow only those that are 100% authentic and from reliable news sources. Although Twitter never topped the social media game in terms of popularity or usability, it continues to be an important platform for several people.
Twitter is now expected to rise as a mainstream news media platform and increase participation from people.
The Death of Instagram Likes
No brand or company is a stranger to the realm of social media “likes”, but it seems like 2021 will finally be the year to kick this infatuation to the curb. It is well known about how the constant fixation on social media validation tends to have a negative impact. Hence, Instagram has initiated an experiment where they make the like counts private for several users all over the world.
Although it hasn’t been rolled out as an official update from the social media platform just yet, the tests conducted by them seem to have shown positive results. Therefore, it is safe to say that 2021 may be the year where digital marketing professionals will need to shift their focus from likes as an indication of success to the engagement and the quality of the content.
User-generated Content Will Get More Impetus
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content generated by users on social media. Many brands have started leveraging UGC as social proof of the quality of their products or services.
Many brands actively promote user-generated content as a part of their branded content. By doing so, they reap two benefits. The first benefit is that they can cut on the marketing budget of branded content by displaying UGC, and second, it allows them to bring customers to the forefront and make them feel valued.
UGC is entirely authentic as brands don’t have control over what users might say or post. It is the most trustworthy source of information anybody could get about a brand or a business. In the coming days, brands will encourage their customers for UGC to boost their engagement rate further.
Growth of Social Media Communities
The growth of social media communities is on the rise this year. As brands are trying to cater to the customer needs and live up to their expectations, they are adding customers to social groups where they can closely interact with them.
These forums are very useful in getting customer feedback and suggestions, carry out discussions, resolve grievances, and share personalized content that customers will love.
In the future, brands may also use these exclusive online communities to get feedback on new products before launching them and gain much richer customer insights at every step of their business journey.
Video Content Continues to Bloom
Video content is perhaps the most engaging form of content right now, and it is here to stay in the long run. In fact, brands are rapidly shifting to video content and prioritizing it over written content and images.
Many brands are also thinking of introducing premium video-based content to engage people even further. Videos can quickly grab the attention of users and keep them hooked to the screen.
After the massive success of the video-based app, Tiktok, Instagram has also introduced a similar feature in its platform very recently, called “Reels” that allow users to record and share short videos. Hopefully, more social apps will introduce additional features that’ll support video content creation in the coming days.
There are a number of social media trends that will rule the year 2021 and have a massive impact on the users, as well as, brands. If you haven’t adapted to these new trends year, it’s time you do so to leverage your brand on social media and stay ahead of the competition.