The Most Influential Social Media Trends to Follow in 2021

Social Media Trends in 2021

Staying updated on the latest social media trends helps you stand out among the masses. Here are the most important Social media marketing trends in 2021 that Social media marketing agencies are keenly observing and that you can also use to fuel your strategy.

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It would not be an exaggeration to say that most people spend a huge chunk of their time on social media and social media has gradually become an integral part of our lives. Yes, some are more addicted than others but this infection surely has affected each and every being to a considerable extent.

We cannot deny the importance of social media in consumers’ lives, marketers and businesses flock in today’s world. Especially since the pandemic has caused the containment of the masses in their homes, social media has risen as their last resort for everything.

Be it shopping or entertainment, social media is the solution to every problem that there is and this is why we cannot repudiate its significance. This massive engagement and frequent use have led to high competition in the online community and also content overload.

With every passing day, it is becoming more and more difficult to stand out unless you have a clear social media marketing strategy and the know-how of the latest trends among the masses online.

Staying updated on the latest social media trends not only helps fuel your strategy and helps you stand out among the masses but also helps you stay in touch with the upcoming trends so that you can strategize for the future accordingly.

Here is a list of the most highlighted and significant social media trends that you need to be aware of in 2021.

Growing Social Media Trends

1. Live streaming will remain on top

2020 practically changed the perspective and ways of living for almost everyone. People were forced to stay inside and continue living their lives in confined spaces. The major change was observed when the vast majority of people were forced to find a source of information and business on online platforms.

As face-to-face meetings turned into zoom conferences and popular bands started performing online, even the local businesses had to improvise and introduce online real-time brand interactions to encourage their product sales. The point here is that online streams and live broadcasting were the highlights of almost every business and social media influencer.

According to a report, the Instagram and Facebook live views doubled in a span of weeks during the early times of lockdown. Now that people have gotten so accustomed to online interactions, this trend is bound to stay. According to a recent Sprout Social Index, around 40% of the consumers are demanding more live videos from the brand even after the lifting of lockdowns.

The bottom line here is that online streaming has gained so much popularity and there is a big chance of it staying for a long time so you should definitely incorporate it into your social media marketing strategy.

Most of the social media companies, especially here the social media company in Dubai are going big on this strategy and convincing all their clients to focus on increasing online presence by live streaming more frequently.

2. Ephemeral content gained popularity and is thriving even more.

What is ephemeral content?

It is the content that is available only for short time duration and disappears afterward. Snapchat and Instagram stories are the perfect examples of ephemeral content.

Why is ephemeral content gaining so much popularity these days?

In busy times like these, when people's attention spans are short, content needs evolve as short, engaging, and addictive format and that is why ephemeral content is gaining ground. Its importance is evident from the substantial rise in Instagram Stories' daily active users and has compelled the marketers to consider it as a significant part of marketing strategies.

According to a survey, 64% of the social media marketers are either using Instagram and Snapchat stories as part of their social plans or they are somehow incorporating ephemeral content in their overall strategy.

Instagram stories were already very popular with more than 500 million users interacting on daily basis but ever since the pandemic came along, it has increased manifolds and was ranked the dominant content format in 2020, and from the looks of it, it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

What format of stories is preferred? Images or videos?

According to a Social insider study, image stories have a higher tap-forward rate of 5.65% than videos. For those who are wondering what tap-forward rate is, it is basically the number of people that saw your story and moved on to the next one without completely watching it.

This shows that people prefer videos on stories over images. Moreover, according to another study, around 51% of the brands are already using videos in their stories and the number is likely to increase in 2021.

3. Virtual Reality as a media trend

It is actually one of the current technological trends where a computer-generated simulation of a 3-D image is used for virtual interaction among users having special electronic equipment like helmets or gloves fitted with sensors.

During the past year, because of the prevailing health risks, the stay-at-home protocols and the need for social distancing promoted virtual interactions. It not only helps you interact with people living halfway across the world but is also the kind of experience people need when they are bound in their homes and are not allowed any kind of physical interaction.

Due to its prevailing popularity, the Facebook horizon is leveraging the Oculus VR platform to beta-test the virtual world in order to allow people to explore and connect with people around the world. So, it is better to keep it on your checklist list while strategizing your social media marketing plan for 2021.

4. Augmented Reality is gaining popularity

Same as virtual reality, Augmented reality is also gaining immense popularity given the recent events and the need of the modern world.

It is somewhat similar to virtual reality with the slight exception that it does not need additional hardware beyond a smartphone, making it more accessible than VR. AR experiences are not only interactive but are also highly effective for engagement.

Many international brands are joining this social media trend by creating AR filters in order to promote new products and enhance fan interactions. These software help to engage and entertain your audience as well as attract new customers through the right promotions.

International food chains like McDonald’s and many others have joined this trend and not only the food chains but also the clothing companies are jumping in on the trend. They are creating the special “try on” filters that let you try on different outfits via your phone camera.

According to experts, creatively incorporating AR into your social media strategy can be hugely beneficial and fruitful for your brand as creativity and innovation are the keys to driving attention and AR provides you with the right amount of both to draw in people.

Many social media agencies around the world and also the social media agencies in Dubai are working very hard to incorporate AR to attract as much engagement as possible.

5. Social commerce will continue to expand

Brands have been using social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for their product promotions for years now. It has become a new retail avenue for brands and this trend is only getting stronger with time.

In fact, social commerce is on its way to becoming a mainstream retail channel in competition with other mediums like offline stores and e-commerce websites. As the trend is increasing, the options are also expanding. Pro-selling features like stoppable posts and Instagram storefronts are being introduced to enhance the experience of the users and the general public.

The constant adaption of the social media industry has led to the introduction of more features and tools that support quick and easy shopping. For example, Instagram now allows you to add product tags and let you do an easy checkout without leaving the platform.

Similarly, on Facebook, you can set up a shop where people can browse and buy on the same platform rather than getting redirected to an e-commerce site.

Considering the role of social media in purchase decisions and keeping in mind that 54% of users use social media for researching products and also the fact that social media referrals can influence the purchase decisions of around 71% of the users has made it the perfect tool for marketers to capitalize on in 2021.

Keeping in mind the facts and stats, it is a good idea to consider adding social commerce to your strategy.

6. Purpose-driven campaigns are taking the lead

In today’s world, small acts of kindness always attract the attention of the masses. People tend to be partial to the humane causes and campaigns associated with them. According to a Twitter survey, 74% of the respondents want brands to showcase acts of kindness.

Similarly, 77% of the people feel more positively about brands that display a supportive front during a time of crisis. So, keeping in mind the current pandemic and economic situations, it is safe to say that 2021 is the year of purpose-driven social media campaigns. People want to help others now more than ever and expect brands to pitch in as well.

According to another survey, 86% of the people want brands to support vulnerable members of the society whereas 88% of the respondents think more support should be provided to front-line health staff.

It is really important for the brands to know when to invest and engage and in what sector or issue they should engage. It is better to stay off the sensitive issues that might be perceived as irrelevant to the company or brand.

Companies like Unilever have been supportive in the time of crisis and people have expressed their appreciation by engaging more and more with the brand. Hence, in order to increase brand engagement, it should be on your priority list to engage in acts of kindness as a brand.

7. Inclusivity and diversity matter now more than ever

With increasing awareness and options for customers to choose from, it has become important for the brands to make meaningful strides for inclusion in their business operations and marketing.

People prefer brands that are considerate and passionate about the interests of their target audience. According to a study, 29% of the shoppers would switch to a brand more suited and considerate about his/her interests.

It is really important to make sure that your content on inclusivity is well informed and that your brand is ready to act because, with time, the audience is getting increasingly aware of performative activism by brands that is more of a marketing play rather than a meaningful contribution for a good cause.

Brands that plan on building deeper connections with their customers in the coming years and your brand’s social presence must reflect your audience’s view on identity and diversity because if it doesn’t, you will end up missing a crucial opportunity to connect to your target audience.

8. Authenticity and transparency are of utmost importance

People crave reality and authenticity these days. If you want people to trust you, you have to be honest and transparent to them about the brand and there is absolutely no better way to do that than through social media.

According to a survey of Sprout Social Index, engagement and transparency are the two main factors that account for a brand's ranking on social platforms.

It is also important to make your customers feel comfortable enough so that they can reach out to you in case of any problem or negative feedback. It is okay to make mistakes. All you need to do is, just own up to them through a heartfelt social media message. Instead of deleting any derogatory comments, address them openly and show people how much you care about their opinions.

It is crucial to have transparency and authenticity if you plan on increasing your brand engagement.

This blog highlighted just what to watch out for and how to expand your dynamic social media strategy according to the current trends. These latest social media trends will help you build a stronger social media presence and will also assist you in expanding your product or brand image.

This is it for today. I hope that you enjoyed reading the blog and that you got some valuable information out of it. Do share it with your friends as well so that they could benefit as well. If you have any queries or comments, write in the comments section and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you and goodbye.

Lovetto Nazareth

About The Author: Lovetto Nazareth

Lovetto Nazareth is a digital marketing consultant and agency owner of Prism Digital. He has been in the advertising and digital marketing business for the last 2 decades and has managed thousands of campaigns and generated millions of dollars of new leads. He is an avid adventure sports enthusiast and a singer-songwriter. Follow him on social media on @Lovetto Nazareth