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7 Social Media Trends Fuelling 2021

Are you tracking the direction social media is heading in? Big picture trends can be an eye opener for both big and small businesses to get ahead of the curve.

2020 was a challenging year for all – with so many businesses having to channel social media avenues to reach their target audiences.

Today we look at some trends currently fuelling social media. What are other businesses doing on social platforms that work? What sort of content is trending? How have things changed over the period of the pandemic. We answer all these questions below.

1. A Greater Conversation Around Corporate Responsibility

2020 was a year that found the voices of activists being highlighted, like wildfire, across social media. Many businesses took this time to show their support and take action to better improve diversity and inclusion within their organisations.

From reviewing their policies to creating internal D&I committees – businesses from around the world are paving the way for change. This is also being highlighted on social media.

Businesses are also being scrutinised for their lack of action to tackle some of these issues. Transparency appears to be the key in 2021 – especially on sites like LinkedIn or Twitter.

2. A Generation You Wouldn’t Suspect Are Booming On Social Media

It was a surprise to discover that a big growth in social media usage in 2020 came from the Baby Boomer generation. According to Pew Research’s social media fact sheet, 69% of adults between 50-64 and 40% of those above 65 use social media.

With the entire globe turning to digital alternatives to the social interaction we’re used to – many Baby Boomers have embraced this change. So much so that they’re some of the most trusting segments online.

This generation wants to stay in touch with families, find out information about their local area and spend their disposable income.

Baby Boomers are also some of the most engaging generations. According to a study from Security.org, it seems that Baby Boomers are using social media daily, and more importantly 84% of Boomers report that social media is likely to improve their lives. (Whereas 1 in 3 millennials feel it worsen their lives.)

Nostalgia marketing practices in social media help brands link consumers with happier times from the past. Throughout the pandemic, this is something many need to get through the constant doom and gloom. During times of stress and isolation, indulging in sentimental longing for the past is a common coping mechanism. It can make us feel good.

Casting your mind back to pre-COVID isn’t the only road to go down. Many content creators are focusing on channelling 80s & 90s nostalgia and beyond.

Reboots have been a huge trend over the past few years. Netflix original series are a great example of this. With shows like Sabrina and Fuller House making a reappearance on our screens. They are mixing something familiar and old with something new and fresh.

4. The Continuous Growth Of Video Online

It’s impossible to deny the value of video content online. Video offers you the opportunity to be concise and capture viewers’ interest in the first few seconds. On Twitter, a video Tweet is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo Tweet. Zuckerberg himself, in 2017, said;

“I see video as a megatrend.”

While a static photo may be easier to produce – a video can hold a user’s attention for much longer. You can also do one of the greatest techniques known to marketers; Tell a story.

Given a few seconds of someone’s attention, you can quickly take users on a journey. This journey could highlight a brand, product or general problem somebody is looking to solve. Or you could use the time to inspire, entertain, educate or even celebrate.

Take a look at the video by Airbnb where they coin the term ‘vacation mom’. It resulted in 2.4 million views on Facebook and may give you some ideas of content for your business.

5. Niche Platforms Are Growing In Popularity

Most businesses know to channel their energy into Facebook and Instagram – as these platforms still reign supreme. However, there are benefits in paying closer attention to the smaller guys.

Platforms such as TikTok, Reddit and Snapchat have increased dramatically in the past three years. Data released by WeAreSocial between 2019 and 2020, reveals that Snapchat grew by 24.87% for this period. Whereas Facebook only grew by a minor 7%.

Similarly, Reddit grew by 23.26% from 330M to 430M. The benefit of putting marketing efforts into these smaller platforms means less space to compete for. Although the benefit of Facebook lies in its highly targeted ads for a low cost.

It’s worth checking out the demographics which use TikTok and Snapchat. If you’re trying to hit an audience between 16 – 25 – this may be your best chance.

6. Tackling Digital Disinformation Is Rising

Something that may not involve your business, but, is important to be aware of is the tackling of digital disinformation. This trend has been increasing since February 2020 and COVID19 has become a growing issue.

Social media can be a double-edged sword. As many tune in to get their daily news, it can also be the source of “fake news” stories. Platforms such as Twitter have begun adding warning labels to Tweets that contain “synthetic and manipulated” content.

If your business is seen sharing a post or tweet – it’s smart to check the source and ensure that it’s reliable.

7. Using Social Media As a Search Engine

The reliance on social media for consumers to find their goods and services is booming. Therefore trust is key. According to a study carried out by Edelman, 39% of customers only trust brands if they have interacted with them on social platforms.

About one-quarter of all consumers come across new brands via social media ads, posts or recommendations. Consumers are actively researching products on social media before they buy.

Although it might not be as straightforward as typing “plumber near me” into Google. Facebook discovery is about hitting the right people just before they need to purchase with you.

Did you know? You can target people on Facebook who have an anniversary or friend’s birthday coming up. You can get your products in front of people who won’t need them right away – but may make a purchase within a short period.

To make the most of discovery on social media – you need to understand exactly how people come to discover (or need) your products or services.

This has been our guide to 7 social media trends, right now, in 2021. Feel free to comment below or contact us if you need any help with your social media strategy.