Anticipating Social Media Marketing Trends for 2021 (and Beyond!)

Article by: Madelyn P.

Today, we’re discussing a frontier that is relatively uncharted and constantly evolving. The unprecedented nature of this plane makes it one of the most exciting fields to explore. No, we’re not talking about intergalactic space or the subterranean ocean. We’re talking about the future of social media.

Sure, social media may still feel like the Wild, Wild West — but predicting trends has been the name of the game since its inception. That’s why we’ve been consulting with our crystal ball (and diligently keeping up with market research) to present you with a range of social media trends that you need to be aware of for 2021 and beyond.

Yeah. You’ve Heard It Before, But We’re Saying It Again – It’s About Quality Over Quantity.

There is a content overload on social media, and the competition is very high. The best way to get the most eyes on your posts is by creating content your audience enjoys. Now, you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “Cool, great advice.” While we don’t appreciate the sarcasm, we do have a few tips on how to put together engaging media your audience will love.

Start with bite-sized, consumable content. Everyone knows attention spans are short, so if you haven’t captivated your viewer within the first two seconds of a video then you’ve likely lost that person to the void. Your social strategy should prioritize “snackable” content that is usually fun, and definitely digestible, for the user.

Don’t be resistant to using Reels — the newest feature on Instagram for short-form video content. Anything published via Reels is being pushed to all Instagram users, not just to the ones that follow you. Also, Reels can be discovered in multiple places on the app — which makes it a major growth hack for 2021!

New to Reels? Check out our TikTok vs. Instagram Reels: Tips for Marketers post.

Brands should continue to take advantage of user-generated content (UGC). Why? Because it’s free, and UGC is typically considered much more authentic than branded content. This will establish a trustworthy image for your social media presence. Your audience will feel comfortable engaging with your educational content, and they will continue to promote your brand for you.

Forget The Mall. Social Media Will Become a One-Stop Shop For All Purchasing Needs.

Don’t deny it. For the last year, we’ve all been stuck at home, making a slightly excessive amount of online purchases. While you may want to get your personal spending habits under control, you should know social media is about to become the top destination for e-commerce.

All the big hitters (like Instagram, TikTok, etc.) have made significant strides toward getting consumers comfortable with buying on social platforms, within the last year or even earlier. At last, the little guy can rejoice because this is great news for small business owners. That’s because the journey a potential customer has to make from a social media site to your online store is much, much shorter.

It is easier than ever for new customers to go from discovering your social profiles to buying their first product from your brand without ever having to leave the app they are using. When developing your social strategy, keep the platform’s e-commerce capabilities in mind. Develop shoppable posts, educational product videos, and a clear brand message to highlight on your social profiles in order to garner loyal customers.

The Influence of Influencers Will Stay Influential. 

We know the word “influencer” can be a bit of a trigger at this point. We’ll have to become more comfortable with the term because our prediction is that the marketing power of influencers isn’t going anywhere. Today, social media is dominated by content creators paid to promote brands, on both a macro and micro level.

As active users of social media, it is obvious to see the sheer rise in the number of influencers on a variety of platforms. Throughout the history of social media, we’ve typically associated Instagram with influencer marketing. However, you should expect to see influencer paid partnerships appear on platforms like TikTok and Pinterest over the next year.

There is a silver lining. Investing in brand ambassadors is much cheaper than running paid ad campaigns, and it often delivers better results. Instead of working with one pricey celebrity, marketers are starting to collaborate with a whole network of relevant and niche influencers.

This kind of influencer marketing gets much higher engagement and costs much less. Going forward, more and more marketers will adopt this strategy by recruiting multiple smaller influencers to create content and help them attract their target demographic.

Move Forward Into the Fast-Paced Future By Implementing Your New Social Strategy, Today! 

Now you’re fully versed on the major trends that will dominate the landscape of social media for 2021. Leverage this knowledge to your advantage to stay one step ahead of your competitors. The nature of the field is dynamic and constantly evolving so understanding how these trends directly impact your brand is crucial to the success of your business. We know the world can often throw a wrench into your plans, but staying on top of your social media marketing strategy is a sure-fire way to continue making progress towards your marketing goals.