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Social Media Trends in 2021

Social media have become a crucial part of every serious marketing strategy. Here are a couple of social media trends this year.

Instagram Slowly Taking the Lead

Instagram added the greatest number of new users between July and September 2020, posting even stronger growth figures than Facebook. Instagram’s advertising reach grew by 7.1% in the most recent quarter - over three times more than Facebook at 2.2%.

Picture 1. Following social media trends is crucial for your marketing success

More than half of all businesses (60%) are planning to increase their Instagram budget, and almost half are planning to do the same for Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Instagram Statistics to Remember

  • Photos with faces perform almost 40% better than without faces.

  • Posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement on average.

Picture 2. Hootsuite social media statistics

The Popularity of Live-Streams

Stay-at-home orders throughout the whole world meant events were canceled, and people were unable to attend in-person events. This led to an increase in the number of people tuning into live streams, whether it was a branded live stream, a live video from their favorite celebrity, or an online workshop.

On Facebook, live viewings spiked by 50% during lockdown periods, while viewings on Instagram surged 70%. TikTok use shot up in 2020, and there’s a good chance we’ll see this upward trajectory continue to play out in 2021.

Here are 5 ideas for live content which will boost your live offering:

  • Q&A sessions

  • Make an announcement about promotions or special events

  • Take people behind-the-scenes

  • Play a game or host a contest

  • Interviews, collaborations and takeovers

Increase in Influencer Content

Brands are not just collaborating with 1-2 influencers; they are working with a whole network of small, relevant, niche influencers. This kind of influencer gets much higher engagement and costs much less.

Going forward, more and more brands will use this strategy and work with multiple smaller influencers instead of one celebrity.

  • 63% of consumers trust influencers’ opinions of products much more than what brands say about themselves

  • 58% of people have bought a new product in the past six months because of an influencer’s recommendation


Today, people's attention spans are short, and the way they like to consume content has also changed. This is why content formats like Stories have become popular. They are short, engaging, and addictive in a way that people can spend hours scrolling through one Story after another. This is evident by the substantial rise in Instagram Stories' daily active users:

Picture 3. Number of daily Instagram Stories

Brands have taken notice of this trend and will continue to leverage it to their advantage.

According to this recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers either already have incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to.

  • Instagram Stories’ daily active users grew from 150 million in 2017 to 500 million in 2019.

  • As for Facebook stories, its daily active users more than tripled from 150 million in 2018 to 500 million in 2019.

There’s a bunch you can do to make your Instagram stories more engaging, such as adding questions, polls, and fun stickers or music to make your content as unique as possible.

Video Content Will Dominate

Video content is one of the most engaging forms of content and will soon dominate social media, a clear winner over all other content types. Whether it is short-form videos like those popular on TikTok or Stories or long-form content on YouTube, videos are the future of social media content.

According to a Cisco study, by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start utilizing video content to stay relevant in the social media domain.

Picture 5. Preferred methods of learning about new products and services

Interesting Video Stats

  • Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in a text

  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined

  • 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions

  • 89% of video marketers say they get a good return on investment from videos

  • 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video

Increase in the Use of Social Media for Customer Service

Social media has traditionally been a place for people to connect with their social networks and share photos and videos. However, those days are long gone, and social media is now so much more than just that.

A lot of brands have started recognizing social media as a platform for delivering customer service. This transition happened gradually as brands started noticing that many customers try to reach out to them on social media. This may be because of a lack of response on other channels or just because it was a more direct way to reach the brands.

Nearly 70 percent of US residents say that being able to directly message a company makes them feel more confident about the brand.

Providing the best possible customer service on social media is one of the ways that any brand could benefit from social media marketing. The idea here is to manage the online presence and make sure to keep in touch with the audience through social media platforms. This includes responding to comments, mentions, reviews and messages.

71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family (Lyfemarketing, 2018).

By interacting with customers through social media platforms you show them that you care. This step could go a long way in terms of building positive relationships with customers.

Local Targeting Will Become More Prevalent

Many brands use location-based targeting to reach out to and attract people from a specific geographic location. One common way in which brands attract a local audience is by geo-tagging their posts and stories. If you add a location to your social media content, it will automatically draw in a local audience.

Social platforms like Instagram provide the option to search for posts from nearby places or specific locations. If you add locations to your content, it will show up in these search results, helping local people find your brand and content.

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