Top 11 Trends in Social Media Marketing in 2021

If you run a business, or work in the marketing department for one, you know a thing or two about how important marketing is. It can be a make or break factor in the success of your company. Good marketing can increase sales or patronage dramatically while poor marketing can leave you left behind before you even know what happened.

Keeping up with trending media across the social channels that you use can help keep you and your brand current and fresh. That helps keep your customers coming to you and helps bring new customers in.

Social media trends change all the time though, and you need to be able to keep up with new channels, new methods, and what’s “in” and what’s “out”. Can you keep up?

If you’re curious about social media trends for 2021, at least how it’s shaping up so far, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn about what social media trends you can leverage this year to help build and support your brand.

Why is Social Media Marketing So Important?

On average, the world spends 144 minutes per day on social media. That’s an insane amount of time. This is time that you could be using to reach out to your customers and meet them where they already are; on their apps.

Social media marketing can also help to improve brand loyalty and trust, as customers are more likely to see the business as more personable if they’re speaking through the channels that they interact with every day.

Digital marketing has truly taken center stage, and with more and more people on their phones and computers all the time, that makes sense. You need to go where the customers are. Social media is the new “word of mouth”. One good tag or mention can be a gamechanger for your company, and by not utilizing it, you’re throwing an important tool away.

But how do you keep up with trending media? If you’re not super in-tune with social media as is (like many digital natives are innately), you might feel a little bit left behind. That’s where we come in.

These are 11 trends that you and your brand might want to take advantage of in 2021 for optimal growth.

1. Influencer Marketing is More Important Than Ever

With the rise of social media came the rise of the social media influencer, and thus, influencer marketing.

While it’s been going on for a while, influencer marketing is showing no signs of slowing down. It’s an incredibly effective marketing tool, especially when you’re trying to reach out to younger crowds.

Millennials and under lean away from trusting traditional advertising. When the influencer was born, this created a way to market to these generational groups in a more personable way. They want to trust the person that they’re listening to, and if that’s a trusted influencer in their chosen niche, they’re more likely to buy your product.

If you haven’t gotten into influencer marketing yet, it’s not too late. Find an influencer in your niche and join the movement.

2. Augmented Reality Becomes Reality

We might be living in the future in 2020. While there have been augmented reality games for a while now, more and more apps are hitting the market that utilize augmented reality for branding purposes.

If this applies to you, it’s time for you to hop on.

AR is still relatively new and fun, which makes it super sharable content. Sharable content is exactly what you want when you’re working on building your brand.

You can make your app if you want, but there are also tools through Facebook and Instagram to help facilitate your move towards AR. This one is going fast though, so you don’t want to miss out while it’s still new and cool. Eventually, it will be old news.

3. You Might Want to Slow Down

A lot of users, despite the growth in social media use, are growing weary of social media. It can be overwhelming, especially during times of political stress.

Sometimes users get upset by being bombarded by brands posting their content over and over to their feed. While it used to be important to post constantly, this may no longer be the case. Instead, you’re going to want to post strategically.

If someone is getting tired of seeing your content, they’re going to unfollow you (and eventually forget about your brand). Switching your content around from time to time between social media channels can be helpful.

It can also be beneficial to post less often to the feed and more often to the temporary channels, like “stories”. This gives users the choice to see you when they want to, or when they’re scrolling through the rest of their stories. This method can feel less abrasive to the average burned out social media user.

4. Stories Are In

With that, it should be noted that stories are probably the way to go in 2020 anyway. There are a lot of good reasons why, especially for brands.

There’s been a marked increase in the use of Instagram stories over the past year. With people’s short attention spans, something brief is often easier to watch and consume. It’s easier to watch a short video than it is to commit to reading a whole post.

It’s also incredibly easy for brand profiles to add links to stories that users can simply swipe on to get to the page that the brand is linking to. In posts, this requires some extra steps and often only works for specific products.

Stories are also a great way to share customer content without crowding their normal feed. Reposting an image of a customer using your product to your story is effortless, and it will help boost your brand loyalty.

If you’re able to transfer your daily content to Instagram stories, you’ll likely see a change in your following. You can also utilize their augmented reality tools to make your custom filters that users can share amongst themselves. This also helps to build your brand!

5. Be Prepared to Lose Your Likes

Perhaps another reason to move some content to stories, right?

Instagram is testing out (maybe already in your area) what it’s like to no longer have a number count on likes. Whether or not this is going to last is unknown, but you should be prepared to use something else as a measure for your Instagram success.

It’s important to be able to track your engagement on social media, and if likes are the way you did that before, you might be in for some trouble.

Instead, you might need to take a look at your Instagram insights, which can be confusing if you don’t have the proper training on how to consume and use that information.

If you haven’t seen the change yet, prepare for it anyway. Whether or not it will be a permanent shift doesn’t matter if you’ll have at least some downtime in which you’ll need to track your engagement on your own.

6. Video Content is In

If you’re not making video content for your platforms, you’re already behind the times. Aside from the marked benefit that videos already have on stories (they’re short and easy to consume), they’re incredibly popular on other social networks as well.

Facebook videos are incredibly sharable and tend to get more eyes on them than their still photo counterparts.

People want to be able to multitask. Videos allow them to listen to your post while still doing whatever else that they’re doing. They’re also easier on poor attention spans.

There’s no reason not to be taking advantage of the benefits that marketing with video content can bring.

7. Customer Service: Social Media Style

While it’s been common for brand representatives to do a little bit of customer control on the various social networks for a while now, there will likely be an uptick of that now.

As more and more people flood to social channels instead of official websites or phone lines, it will be necessary to have professionally trained representatives of your company to help with their concerns. Not setting this up could end in a lot of backlash.

The way that these customers are handled matters. The social media channels are public, and responses to comments will be seen by everyone who follows you (and some people who don’t if you make it to an “explore” page). To protect your brand, instruct your digital team on customer service accordingly.

8. Share Your Customers With Your Customers

It’s going to be more popular in the upcoming years to share any tagged posts of your loyal customers using your products or services.

As mentioned before, Instagram stories is a great place to do this.

People like to have their content shared with the world, and it will help build brand trust and loyalty. It will also show your other customers (and customers-to-be) that real people use your product or service and enjoy it enough to show it off to the world.

You also benefit from the content being entirely free to you. You don’t pay for this advertisement, it comes to you organically and it’s incredibly authentic. This is wonderful for your business and your brand.

9. Targeted Ads Are Growing

The use of personalized and targeted ads will only increase as time goes on, and this can work for or against you depending on your marketing strategies.

Ideally, people who are interested in products similar to yours will find you through association. They start liking a bunch of posts about products in your niche, and suddenly you show up as well.

This works best if you’re marketing well. Make sure that you’re tagging your posts appropriately so that these people will find you when they’re getting other targeted ads. You want to be the service they see.

10. We’re Going Local

Have you been geotagging your posts? Now might be the time.

More and more brands have been utilizing locations to find their local target audience. If you’re a small business that relies mostly on locals to sustain your growth, this is crucial for you.

You don’t have to go broad with it, at least not for every post. Tag your city, tag nearby relevant landmarks or national parks. Tag places that might show up in local stories for people near you.

These are the people that you want to consume your product. They’re your neighbors. If you play the game right, you’ll be headed directly into their feed.

11. Listen Up for Social Listening

Social listening is all the rage right now for savvy marketers, and if that’s you, you might want to tune in.

Brands want to be aware of their reputation online. One bad word-of-mouth exchange and your company can be in the gutter. Tragic. Paying attention to Yelp and Google reviews doesn’t cut it anymore (though those things are certainly useful).

Instead, you’re going to want to check out a social listening tool to look for mentions of your brand on the web. This way, you can see what customers are saying no matter where they are. This can help you fine-tune your business to meet the needs of customers, identify areas that need work, or just let you know that you’re doing a great job.

Getting more in tune with your customers is always a good thing. If they won’t tell you what they think themselves, it might benefit you to find out through your own means.

What Trending Media Tools Are You Using Already?

Businesses have to stay with the times when it comes to digital marketing. You’re probably already following some of these trends, but there might be other areas that could use some work.  Instagram for example is a channel that helps in building brands thereby increasing the number of followers by doing things like buying Instagram likes.

Getting the perfect trending media on your social channels can be tough, but it will help your brand immensely.

For more posts like this on all of your favorite trending topics, check out the rest of the site!