Social Media Trends to Watch in 2021

June 11th, 2021

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There are so many options out there when it comes to marketing strategies and areas of focus. It can feel overwhelming and almost impossible to accomplish. Just think:

  • Facebook remains the world’s most popular social network.
  • Youtube comes before every other TV, video, or film service in terms of monthly engagement.
  • Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all have a “Stories” function.
  • TikTok has become the new up-and-coming social platform.
  • Gaming and VR capabilities are becoming more accessible to advertisers.
  • Brands can use Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook to live stream content directly to their followers.

I mean, the list just goes on and on. We get it–it can be overwhelming. That’s why we created this super awesome list of trends you should pay attention to. Pick one or two (or all if you’re feeling spicy) and focus on providing quality content to your followers.

Let’s dive a li’l deeper.

Trend: Social Media Platforms become shopping channels 

Ok, this one is bad news for my wallet. Social commerce has been around for a while, but it is only becoming stronger and more prevalent. 

Social networks are continuously evolving their capabilities for purchasing within the apps themselves, becoming an important new retail avenue for brands. Shoppable posts, Instagram storefront, Facebook Marketplace, the opportunities to list your product are becoming endless. 

Customer acquisition costs go down, and consumers love the ease with which they can purchase products they see on social, right away. Or suppose you are like me, after a glass of wine (or 2…or 3…or whatever). In that case, you decide to pick up a new hobby because you saw a beautiful set of watercolor paintbrushes on Instagram, and three clicks later, you are the proud owner of quality brushes. Of course, I lack any artistic talent whatsoever, but shopping through social channels is so easy that I often give in to compulsions.

A recent study took place looking at what marketers were trying to achieve with social media. The results were as follows:

  • 73% responded that their business was using social media to acquire new customers
  • 64% said that they were looking to increase brand awareness
  • 45% were looking to drive conversions.

In conclusion, social commerce isn’t going anywhere anytime soon; it is only becoming more popular.

Don’t be a bummer: Brands embrace being human 

Let’s be honest: Many brands miss the mark when it comes to participating in social conversation. Now, no shade here, the idea of brands commentating on the state of the world is relatively new, and many of them moved too fast without taking the time to consider what content they were putting out, and more importantly, why.

Through the pandemic, there was a massive uptick of people using social media. Brands found it irresistible to put themselves front and center in the conversation, often overlooking that people were looking to connect in a time of crisis, not brands. I don’t know about you, but losing my job at the beginning of the pandemic, did not make me fond of brands making vapid posts about “these unprecedented times.”

The best campaigns that came out of the pandemic were from brands that took the time to sit back and listen instead of talking. The world was stressed the f#ck out; no one needed Gucci to send them “well wishes.” What the world needed was lighthearted content that acknowledged life was complicated. Data shows that entertaining and valuable ads are more likely to drive purchases as people crave a return to normalcy.

A great example of this was the Coors Light campaign that offered real value to customers. Instead of smiling sadly and remarking, “we are all in this together,” they created an ad that lamented the “sucky, suck, suck, suckiness” of the pandemic. Coors then launched a social campaign that encouraged their customers to nominate someone who #CouldUseABeer. Customers were grateful for the lighthearted feelings and Coors sending out 500,000 beers to people who could definitely use one.

This trend is an important one; remember, take the time to understand what people need and how you can provide value. This trend is not going away any time soon, and it is expected that brands take a stance in the world. Be honest, be human. Social media is key for connecting with your audience.

Modernize or die: Technology adoption is vital 

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are the new social media stars. Users are demanding more engaging experiences, and these technologies will make that happen for you.

Virtual reality is still in the beginning stages of adoption by social media platforms. However, Facebook has begun experimenting in the space with their new social virtual reality world, Horizon. Yet, even Horizon is still in its beta stage, and participation is via invite-only.

AR, on the other hand, has recently become popularized by Instagram and Snapchat. That makeup filter that you use to send snaps to your crush because you’re too lazy to put on makeup? AR. 

The applications of AR are not just limited to photo filters. Brands can leverage AR to provide more engaging shopping experiences for their customers. Sephora has been using AR for a long time to do just that. Their AR feature on the mobile app allows customers to try on makeup before purchasing. This helps people make better decisions as well as creating lifetime customers who are confident in their purchase. Not to mention, a memorable shopping experience is also fabulous.

There is a lot of potential for brands using AR and VR in their social content. Being a relatively new space, there is also a lot of room for experimentation and creating unique content that stands out amongst others.

How to stay ahead of the comp 

Let’s wrap this up with some action items. Now that you know a bit about what’s trending, here are some things you can do to capitalize on the trends and stand out in an ever dynamic and competitive space.

  • Continue to research trends and online consumer behaviors.

  • Take stock of your target audience and listen to what they want.

  • Remain agile. Social media changes every day and is evolving at an incredible rate. Don’t get stuck in the mindset of “our brand has always done this, so why change?”

  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC). Producing polished brand content can be expensive, and the ROI remains relatively low. UGC is cheap and is a form of content that people actually trust. Users are more likely to listen to their fellow peers on social than a brand trying to market its “fabulous one-of-a-kind product.”

  • Target your customers through their passions and hobbies. Remember, your customers are not just data points. They use social media to learn, engage, laugh, and be entertained. Treating them like humans with interests makes your brand look human too.

  • Stay true and authentic. Take a moment and look at your brand. What do you stand for? What inspires you? What are your favorite ice cream flavors? Share this content with the world, and you encourage customer loyalty. Not to mention it’s way more fun than pushing products.

Final Thoughts 

Nowadays has been studying all of these trends in-depth and employing them across our bold, creative, and unique campaigns. You may be thinking, “didn’t they just say be authentic and not to push products?”

First of all, we are authentic. We pretty much rock, and we have data to prove it. Second, our brand personality is confidence in our services and confidence in our ability to help your brand. Viral marketing isn’t just strategy–it’s art. We may not know s**t about painting, but viral marketing is our brand’s specialty.

Ready to kick ass and take names? Lets chat.



140+ Social Media Statistics that Matter to Marketers in 2021 | Hootsuite

2020 Has Upended What Consumers Expect From Brands. What Does That Mean For The Holiday Season? | Morning Consult

In These ‘Sucky’ Times, Coors Light Is Offering Free Beers | AdWeek