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Top social media trends that will dominate 2021

Social media has been such a blessing for so many people this year and allowed us to stay connected to the people we love. As explained in the Social Flagship Report of the Global Web Index, “It’s hardly surprising that social media has helped us feel less lonely. This sentiment reaches a high of 65% among Gen Z and 61% among millennials; for younger generations who missed seeing their friends in school or building new relationships in their first job out of education, connecting with social media has been a lifeline to maintain friendships.”

For brands, it’s been an amazing tool to keep in touch with their customers and maybe even get to know them a little better.

Now is a really good time for businesses to think what you want to do with your brand next year, and to set some major goals. Today, we are sharing some 2021 trends to help you in your process:

Live Videos

Generally, videos have become the main source of entertainment during the pandemic with more people watching YouTube than using Facebook. This is set to continue along with short form content of Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, but most importantly, live videos.

Live videos have become a way to replace human interaction during the pandemic. It has definitely become the most engaging form of content on social media with over 1 million instagram users are watching live videos every day. Other platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, and most recently LinkedIn, have all jumped on the live trend. This relaxed, informal format is set to stay for 2021 over highly stylized advertising.

Instagram is also looking to give a little twist to live videos as well, along with a few other features.

As a result, big-name brands are now going live all over social:

Chipotle is using IG Live to share recipes.

MTV is going live on Instagram with their #AloneTogether jam sessions.

Benefit Cosmetics is showing fans how to use their products

NASA is using YouTube Live to live stream news about scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

Nostalgia Marketing

Nostalgia mentions increased 88% during lockdown.The relatable emotions with the ‘good old days' helped boost current emotions, and with the foreseeable covid recession, its significance is likely to rise. Relatable and conversational content will be crucial to build relationships with your customers, but don't forget to add a nostalgic twist.

The nostalgia effect on social media demonstrated the importance of reinforcing connections by sharing their memories online. In fact, Andrew Abeyta, assistant professor of psychology, explains, “nostalgia is a potent reminder of what makes our lives meaningful.” In other words, it gives us a sense of hope and normality – especially important in times of crisis.

Even brands took a trip down memory lane with their choice of content:

McDonald’s is giving us all the feels with their recent reminder

Microsoft twisting the logo, retro style:

Humane topics

Consumers are becoming more culturally aware of topics including mental health, equality, education and climate change. These topics are set to become even more important in 2021.

According to the talkwalker trend analysis, BLM and equality, politics, mental health, changing food trends, finance all came top of the list of the 2020 conversational cluster. The data indicated just how socially aware millennials and generation Z are on social media.

Vikas Chawla, co-founder of social beast said “The rise of socially conscious audiences - With an increased focus on well being of self and society, the relevance of brands giving back to society and environment has never been higher. Audiences are also connecting more with brands that have a cause or stand for initiatives that they relate to and this trend is going to grow even further in 2021.”

As a company, you will have to engage more with humane topics, or risk of becoming obsolete in 2021. In the upcoming year, people will be even more aware of the effects of COVID19, which will definitely impact the decision making process of a potential customer.

The brands who took social responsibility to the next level:

Burger King inviting everyone to support other fast food chains with their “Order at McDonald’s” post

Glossier's grant initiative for Black Owned beauty businesses

Coca Cola calling us to unite, but stay apart

Covid19 has definitely sparked a massive jump in internet usage. Consumption levels will likely return to normal, but how we think of and use social media has shifted – with lasting implications.


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