7 social media trends for 2021

Hey, fam! Today we’re talking all about social media, what's trending in 2021, and more specifically, what you should be paying attention to. While we like to keep a focus on doable, timeless social media strategies (without the overwhelm), you also don’t want to be that person in denial about the way the industry and technology is changing.


We encourage you to experiment with these points (P.S. #2 is non-negotiable). You can play with trends and turn them into an approach that fits your unique point of view. We are big believers that you have to find what works for you and your brand, because there's simply no one-size-fits-all approach. We're here to help guide the process and show you what we're seeing and hearing about the industry from a birds eye view.


Above all, BE THE TRENDSETTER. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn't mean it has to be your path.


So let's get to it!



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7 Social Media Trends for 2021


1. Reels & other short form video.


It doesn’t take a genius to notice that content is getting shorter and shorter (along with all of our attention spans). The introduction and subsequent success of Reels and Tiktok have made it abundantly clear that there is opportunity for GROWTH and VISIBILITY if you can master the art of short-form storytelling.


What to do:

Go to youtube, look up Tiktok/Reels tutorials and get familiar with the functionality. Then simply explore the reels of your favorite, high quality content creators to see the different ways you might be able leverage reels. Keep a notebook and jot down ideas when they come to mind. Think behind the scenes, tips, mini-tutorials, voiceovers from your favorite TV shows that relate back to your brand message, and more.



2. Diversity & Inclusion


This is a way of life, NOT a trend. But the movement around racial justice is NOT going away and it DOES affect your business. In 2021, businesses will be working to make sure ALL humans are welcome and represented, both on their teams, in their customer base and in the way they show up on social media. Consumers will be holding business more accountable for the way they show up and advocate for BIPOC.


What to do:

Put your money where your mouth is. Find ways to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color through your business, whether through the freelancers or employees you hire, products and software you use in your business and personal life, or the voices you amplify. Be cautious of the businesses you choose to support and THEIR stance and history with racial issues. This all matters! Educate yourself, make a plan for fostering inclusivity within your business and donate a portion of your income once you have the means to support BIPOC initiatives, organizations and businesses.



3. social media E-Commerce (in-app shopping)


Consumers are getting more and more comfortable with buying on social media apps, that is a fact. Social media applications are aggressively expanding shop features (both for organic reach and through advertising), including the addition of IG Live and Reel Shopping.


Moral of the story? Customers will not only discover businesses, but they will be able to buy with EASE and CONVENIENCE from within the apps, especially Instagram. This also highlights the importance of viewing your brand’s social media platform as a digital storefront and creating a brand message and aesthetic that you’re proud of, the same way you would a physical storefront.


What to do:

Take a few minutes to browse your favorite store’s Instagram and online shopping options. Consider if this is an avenue to add to your online strategy. If you don’t yet have a digital storefront, is this something that you can implement down the line? Where do you fit in to this?



4. Meme Culture


Meme culture is here to stay in 2021 and we are happy about that! Memes are a great way to add humor and levity to your brand. Find ways to tie your brand to memes that you can leverage for your business. This is definitely an art that takes practice, but it is WORTH exploring because it's a great tool for growth and visibility. This year in particular, prioritize entertaining posts that will offer nostalgia or a laugh to your followers.


What To Do:

PLAY and EXPERIMENT! Take a few minutes each month to find imagery and gifs you love to add more levity to your brand. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Study the way people use them and draw inspiration to try for yourself.



5. Socially conscious, or values-driven brands will rise to the top on social


Gone are the days that you can just have a business without addressing ethical, moral and social issues prevalent in today's world. Consumers want to buy from brands who have a conscience and align with their own ideals and priorities. They want to know their dollars are making a positive impact in the world. It will continue to become even more important that your VALUES are clear on both your website and social media.


What to do:

Think about your brand's ultimate purpose, the mark you want to make in the world. Then don’t be afraid to share it! Your audience and customer CARE about that. If you haven’t already, take time to work that out and then come up with a strategy for integrating your values and beliefs into your online channels. A social media strategist (insert shameless plug for our services, LOL) can help you with this!



6. Virtual Events on Social Platforms


Digital events were already in the works and gaining popularity pre-COVID, but COVID-19 sealed the deal...and then made it a NECESSITY. While lockdowns and seclusion due to COVID-19 won’t be a forever thing, virtual events will continue on and certainly for the remainder of 2021. We're seeing virtual classes, masterclasses, webinars, happy hours and more.


What To Do:

Think about how you can serve your audience virtually. How can you bring value to your audience, or solve a paint point for your customers with a virtual offering or event? You can also collaborate with other businesses to gain access to new audiences, which will help with growth, brand authority and also serve your existing followers. Have a brainstorm session, then plan one event or collaboration this month!


Get on board, friends. Digital is here to STAY.



7. Authenticity


We've noticed a shift towards greater transparency and authenticity on social media. More and more brands, businesses, influencers, and individuals are putting out real, transparent, raw, behind the scenes content rather than the perfect, curated content.


What To Do: Try to find ways to humanize your brand, add more transparency about your business practices and process, and challenge the status quo. Show more behind the scenes, insider secrets, or things that “aren’t normally shared” in your industry.



Now it's your turn! Pick ONE of these to work on this quarter. Create a plan to incorporate it into your content strategy and don't forget to PLAY. The more you can find joy in the process, the more your social media strategy will serve you well (without the overwhelm).



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