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Social Media Trends for 2021 and Beyond

  • July 7, 2021
  • By GR Harlow
  • In Social Media

We are halfway through 2021 and businesses are evaluating their social media campaigns. What’s working, what’s not, and more importantly, what’s next? As our lives return to some sense of normalcy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, what should we do with our social media to stay relevant? We’ve identified some important social media trends for 2021 and into 2022. 

Ephemeral Content

Tap into your audience’s FOMO with ephemeral content. Say WHAT? Ephemeral content is temporary, typically visually interesting media like images and videos. It’s only available for a limited period of time before it disappears- eliciting a sense of FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, for followers. 

All content on social media is ephemeral in one of two ways. The first way is we see something in our newsfeed on Facebook, read it once, and never come back to it again- meaning our attention to it is ephemeral. Or, the content literally disappears, as is the case with Snapchat, and Facebook and Instagram Stories. Watch it, view it, get the information before it’s gone forever. This content creates a sense of urgency for consumers and gives it more importance, knowing that it’s not accessible forever. 

Video Content

Video content remains the most important and engaging type of content on social media. There are so many different platforms on which to share your videos, and multiple ways to showcase your videos on each. One really important point to remember: Quality content trumps quality videography. If we’ve learned anything from the last year, it’s that we can do almost anything from home, with pretty minimal equipment. Interviews were done at home. Celebrities live streamed from home. Television talk shows happened at home. News reporters delivered the news from home. None of these were high quality productions, and yet we all tuned in. These home broadcasts felt more personal and intimate, and it didn’t matter that it wasn’t perfect. In fact, that is what made it special.

As we return to a sense of normalcy, don’t forget the important lesson we all learned: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t wait until you have everything ‘just right’ before posting that content. The important thing is to post quality content! As long as your videos and live streams provide content that is interesting and useful to your audience, don’t worry if the production value is less than perfect. 

Our next blog will take a deeper look at TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook and Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and YouTube- stay tuned!

Purpose-Driven Content

Now more than ever, consumers look to the companies they do business with to be doing good work outside of the actual work they do. In fact, a 2019 Accenture study found that 29% of customers would switch product brands if the company is committed to inclusivity and diversity. And over the past two years, these issues have become even more important to consumers. 

Partnering with a cause not only does good for that cause; it also does good for your company. You reinforce your brand’s values to existing customers, while simultaneously  reaching out to that cause’s audience, who may not be your current customers. 

Social Commerce

Social commerce is simply selling products and services on social media. This is different from e-commerce, which means you are selling on a website but not on social media. According to Hootsuite, “Social commerce is a $89.4 billion market right now. It’s projected to grow to $604.5 billion in the next seven years.” Social commerce is incredibly popular on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Consumers scroll their social media, see a sponsored post or ad for something they ‘have to have,’ buy it, and return to their regularly scheduled scrolling. They don’t even have to leave their social media app- it couldn’t be any easier! 

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, yes and no. It’s a great way to reach a targeted audience, but you’ll have to put in some effort. You’re advertising on social media… meaning you’ll have to be social. You need to stay on top of the communication with your followers. Respond to comments and direct messages quickly. Monitor reviews and follow up. Look for trends and find ways to improve the customer experience. Put in the effort and you will see huge rewards!

Navigating the Trends

Many of these social media trends for 2021 and beyond are a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being stuck at home gave social media a huge rise in traffic over the past 18 months, and the ways in which we use social media are not likely to change any time soon. Get in touch today if you’d like to discuss your social media plan and how we can help you achieve your goals! 


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