4 Social Media Trends for 2021

social media trends 2021

As we close out the year, many of us are already thinking ahead to our content strategy for 2021. We’re considering the platforms we want to invest time into and the types of content we want to create in order to generate more awareness for our brands. You know, is it worth finally jumping on TikTok? Should I actually be creating content for Instagram’s Reels feature? And do I really want to start a podcast?

Well, one of the ways we can address those questions and efficiently plan for the new year is to consider some of the predictions for social media trends. Then, we can decide if we want to jump on board and give them a go ourselves.

4 Social Media Trends for 2021

So, which trends should you keep an eye out for as we enter 2021? I’m sharing four that are definitely worth your time and attention. You should consider experimenting with these in the year ahead and see how they work for you.

1. Short Video Content Will Continue to Gain Popularity

Did you know that TikTok is the most downloaded app of 2020? Many people caved and downloaded this app during the COVID-19 pandemic after lockdowns began around the world. If you aren’t familiar, TikTok allows you to film short videos that are up to one minute in length. A quick scroll through the For Your Page (their feed) will reveal all kinds of content. Pranks and jokes, DIYs, recipes, makeup tutorials, and dancing videos… You’re sure to find something there that will be of interest to you.

And drawing inspiration from TikTok’s success, Instagram launched Reels in over 50 countries in August of 2020. Although this feature was initially made available in 2019, it didn’t become widely accessible until this year. With Reels, Instagram allows you to create short video clips that last either 15 or 30 seconds.

It’s still too early to determine if Reels is here to stay, but Instagram is certainly pushing users to give this feature a shot. They added an entire feed dedicated to Reels, which can be viewed by tapping the Reels icon in the lower navigation bar inside the app.

Short video content is worth experimenting with, as you never know when something you post might go viral (especially on TikTok). You can share a quick video with tips and tricks, make a brief vlog of your day, or use it to humanize your brand.

(If you need help generating ideas for video content, check out my post on Twitter video.)

2. Live Video Will Remain a Staple

It almost seems silly to say that live video is one of the social media trends of 2021 because it’s certainly nothing new! However, many brands committed to going live regularly while we were all cooped up at home during worldwide lockdowns. It seems that every time we opened the Instagram app, we were getting notifications that someone was going live.

Fitness brands were doing free live workouts to keep their community active. Gary Vaynerchuk created a daily series to talk to and share business advice with his audience. And many other brands used it as a way to connect with and get to know their people better. No matter how you used it, going live helped people feel less alone in what was a crazy year.

Live video should absolutely be part of your 2021 content strategy because it’s the best way to make connections with people in real-time. You can get instant feedback regarding what you’re working on and have an actual conversation with people. And it makes your viewers feel like they’re actually hanging out with you.

3. Audio Content Will Gain Even More Listeners

For the first time, more than 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast each month. Crazy, right? The fact that the amount of podcast listeners continues to increase year after year is a pretty good reason to start one ASAP if you’ve been thinking about it. But what exactly does that mean for social media trends as we head into 2021?

Well, it’s a good reminder that audio content is popular right now. And an app called Clubhouse takes advantage of this, as it’s audio-based. Although it’s invite-only and not many people around the world have access, this app has been getting a bit of buzz lately. It allows you to hop in and out of virtual rooms where you can have voice conversations with other people to talk about anything and everything you’d like. Only time will tell if this app will truly take off once it’s made widely available. I just received access to it and will keep you posted with my thoughts.

However, Twitter obviously sees the value in audio because they allow users to send audio tweets. It’s just one way to switch up how you’re creating content for the platform because it’s something different than a simple text tweet or a video. Not only that, but apparently Twitter has been working on a Clubhouse-style feature of their own called Audio Spaces. So, how can you start incorporating more audio content in 2021?

4. Socially Conscious Content Will be Crucial

Due to the political climate in recent years, it seems consumers have become even more invested in who and what their favorite brands support. They want to know what you stand for in your business and what your stance is on social issues. They also want to know where you’re donating money to if you’re a large corporation. For many people, these things will dictate whether or not they continue to follow and spend money with certain brands.

While it may seem scary to voice your opinions because you’re always going to alienate someone, consumers are putting the pressure on brands to speak out. As we go into 2021, one of the social media trends to consider is how you can lend your support to the causes that matter the most to your business, whether that’s human rights, gender equality, education, or another key issue. Taking a stand has become the new normal, as 70% of consumers believe brands should speak out.

So, can you speak out using your content? Or maybe you can donate a portion of your proceeds to a specific organization and encourage your community to do the same? Doing this shows your audience that you care about important social issues around the world. And it shows that you care about them as human beings.