Social Media Trends for 2021 - How to Go Big in The Social Space

Social Media Trends for 2021 – How to Go Big in The Social Space

Are you aware of the buzzing social media trends for 2021? As the new year has stepped in


Are you aware of the buzzing social media trends for 2021?

As the new year has stepped in it’s the best time to check-in on the newest trends prediction.

2020 has been a tough year and was more like a lesson for all of us. When it began, it seemed like another calendar year, but as the months passed, the pandemic showed the flip side of life to everyone, including businesses and industries.

Companies learned to ebb and flow when the economy struck the bottom lines in every corner of the world. Agility became the great equalizer in the post-pandemic era. From conglomerates to mom and pop stores followed the same rule that helped them to survive. Every industry, including digital marketing, changed its approach. And, this became the most talked about thing on social media. Coronavirus was more like a psychological shock that made half of the people spend time on social media globally in the year 2020.

Looking at all this, now we can expect that it is going to shape the social media trends for 2021 as well. Although the pandemic rolled a wrecking ball on the businesses, still, you can manage to drive ROI using social media.

In this article, we are going to have a look at the following:

  • A quick recap to what brands had been doing all 2020 on social media
  • Social media trends for 2021
  • How can you use user-generated content to plan your 2021 strategy?

So, let’s start with the strategy that social networks had been following all year.

A Quick Recap to Social Media Strategy that Brands Followed

If you look back at the year 2020, you will discover specific trends that created a buzz. Brands used some tactics that hit the mark in the year 2020, out of which some are mentioned below. Let’s have a look:

Brand Objective and Employee Activism- The Tug of War

When you look at social media in 2020, you will find that it was divided between the employees and brands. The trend was at the forefront after the pandemic hit the economy. Some employers took the decisive action of donating to their employees or focusing on the usage of hand sanitation to serve their community. Taking a stand for the employees had worked in the favor of many brands. And, yes it is generally seen that brands who demonstrate a positive act grow 2.5 times more than any other brand.

On the other hand, brands that didn’t take a stand for their employees or served the community in times of need have hit the bottom.

TikTok- The New Social Media Sensation of Lockdown

The Guardian named TikTok “the new social media sensation of lockdown.” It served to be the perfect solution to fight boredom when people were stuck inside and missed a little fun. TikTok emerged as a useful medium for the brands to prepare for the next generation of social media users. And, brands took this opportunity to entice a new class of users who like interaction and attention at the same time.

Brands like Chipotle jumped on board for a little experimentation on TikTok. It catered to the younger generation with interactive campaigns to drive traction. For instance, their #boorito Campaign, where they demonstrated excellent creatives that showed as if chips are singing with Adele. You can see it advertising on TikTok that is nothing less than a beautiful demonstration of modern-day marketing.


Source: Bloomberg

Expanding the Skill Set is the New Challenge

When the pandemic began, brands were facing a new challenge of building a new skill set. As a result, around 44% of marketers looked up to performance tactics to drive specific goals. These included short-term conversions, building brand equity and community building. Brands started competing to provide a full-funnel experience to their customers. Jacksonville Jaguars is the perfect example of this, where it used a series of content to entice audiences named “be the scout.”


What Happened on the Part of Brands?

Apart from the strategies that brands followed, social networks came with some exciting trends. For instance, Instagram came with reels that allowed users to record 15-second multi-clip videos and audios, which came from the stories format of Snapchat. It somehow took over TikTok, which emerged to be one of the most used platforms with staggering user growth.

Moreover, brands got to understand the value of Pinterest that presented a great platform for them to showcase their products and promote their website. It is a great social media platform for industries like lifestyle, fashion, entertainment, and healthcare.

Social Media Trends for 2021

After knowing what brands stick to in 2020, it’s time to focus on social media trends for 2021. Will these trends continue to blossom and become one of the most popular eCommerce trends? Keep reading to find out.

#1 Memetic Messages

Memes count for a great social media trend that has been popular for quite a while. But, in times of COVID-19 where people had nothing, and they were missing all the fun, memetic messages emerged as lifesavers. However, it may pose a certain amount of risk, but determining the relevance of the meme and appropriateness of the meme will save the brand from making any offensive joke.

And, looking forward to that, we can expect brands to come up with more memetic messages to persuade them into buying their products and services.

Have a look at some memes that were trending in times of COVID:


Source: Twitter

#2 Live Streaming Will Soar in 2021

Considering the cumulative time of 284 hours that people spent on watching live videos in 2019, we could see many brands took to social media for live conferencing, events, and other purposes. It will not be shocking if we see brands to continue live-streaming their events and conferences in 2021 as well.

We can see that brands are using various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, and Instagram to go live. The way they are using it may vary as some brands are seen to take up events live, some could be seen taking Q&A sessions, and some were seen taking up live classes. It all depends on the industry they belong to and leverage live streaming to their advantage.

Here’s a screenshot of the live broadcast from CBC featuring coronavirus pandemic.


Source: Facebook

#3 Shoppable Media will be the Next Engaging Thing

Like shopping channels, shoppable social media will be one of the next most trending things in 2021. As we are already seeing that virtual engagement has replaced offline stores, brands are going to focus on driving participation through social media.

Social media is coming up with new channels now and then, owing to which there is a possibility that Successful publishers, brands, retail brands, and experience providers will collaborate. It will help them promote their brands collectively and fulfill live experiences that people expect. Moreover, we can expect to live shopping directly in the coming time.

Even today, various social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook offer this feature of live shopping. And, various influencers could be seen pivoting to Instagram live in response to the restriction in the wake of the pandemic. Moreover, on Instagram customers can tap to view a product they want to buy and then continue to the payment process directly.


Source: Twitter

#4 Direct Conversation with Users

In the wake of the pandemic, every brand was trying to prove its authenticity and improve credibility. Also, consumers were looking for more personal interactions as they were spending a lot of time on social media. Brands tried to manifest this by using more direct conversation tactics. And, it seems these social media trends for 2021 are going to last.

Brands may do polling and ask the audience about the next thing they want to see on social media. Moreover, during the live videos, many brands asked for topics their audience would like to talk about. It will help brands to cut through the competition and make the conversation more personal.

The best example is Radio Disney that asked for audience opinion on which song they liked in an interactive and creative way.


Source: Instagram


#5 Augmented Reality for the Thumb-Stopping Content

When we look at social media trends for 2021 AR and VR will be common to watch in the coming time. Brands are going to use AR story filters to create unique content. We know every band is trying hard to show themselves differently, and AR story filters are a great way to do that. It allows brands to add in a layer of interactive design and interesting, visual elements in their content. Moreover, the broader filter library has tons of patterns and visual creations that can make their content stand apart.

#6 Gamified Content for that Fun Element

As we discussed in the above section that every brand tries to use different tactics to entertain their users on social media, gamification of social media is one of them. Many brands in 2020 used gamified content to amplify their message on social media, and it seems that this social media trend is going to stay. The potential ideas could be:

  • Posting live videos everywhere,
  • Twitter polls,
  • Rewarding users for contributing to the content,
  • Posting trivia questions on different social media platforms,
  • And, creating a social media treasure hunt.

Source: Meltwater

#7 Personalized Marketing to Wow Users

Personalized marketing was also a great emerging social media trend that will stay in 2021. As brands saw that users have become extremely selective about the content they consume on social media, brands incorporated personalization to lure their audience. Well, this was also seen earlier in Coca Cola’s #ShareCoke Campaign in 2015. The brand shared people’s photos on their logo that attracted the audience. After this, many brands followed the same strategy. And, with the availability of user-generated content, many brands are going to take this further. Watch KLM Surprice video for example.

#8 User Generated Content

If we ask you who do you trust, your friends or brands? Many of you would rely on what your friends say. This is the reason that user-generated content is effective and will be one of the most popular social media trends for 2021.

User-generated content is the simplest marketing tactic that brands like Netflix, Disney, PepsiCo, and others have been a part of. They have shared the real content that the locals or travelers had created, which made it authentic. And, this is the reason that user-generated content has become the face of today’s modern-day marketing.

The perfect example of user-generated content is Bowflex at the home campaign. The brand asked the users to hashtag their use of Bowflex products. This way, it brought the customers on the front page and humanized the brand. The strategy worked wonders, and many users were tempted to share how they used the Bowflex products with a hashtag and tagged the company.


Moreover, this user-generated content has been a pivotal part of the marketing strategy for many brands. It is going to be one of the most popular social media trends for 2021, which is going to stay with us. Looking at the rise in user-generated content, we have come up with a full proof marketing strategy for 2021. So, let’s have a look:

Planning Your UGC Strategy for 2021

2020 has taught us a lot. Looking at the ongoing trends, we know user-generated content is the key to success for many brands. Let’s have a look at the key elements of your user-generated social media strategy for 2021:

#1 Build Trust

Build trust in the eyes of your customers to bridge the gap between brands and buyers. Here, storytelling is the powerful medium to develop a deeper sense of belongingness in the customers. The perfect example is Facebook’s campaign in times of lockdown “We are never lost if we can find each other.”

The campaign highlighted the importance of staying connected during the pandemic. The campaign had various images of how people are coping with the pandemic and weaved a story around it, which turned out to be interesting and informative at the same time.


#2 Relatability is the Key

User-generated content is far more relatable than what’s planned. The biggest reason is that it has that element of spontaneity and fluidity that customers expect. You will see many posts on Instagram that sell lifestyle through engaging videos and images, but the main thing is to develop relatability with people.

The perfect example for this is the #MyHGV feed feature from Hilton Grand Vacations. Here the brand quickly realized the need to market the lifestyle that people are missing. It featured the best images that inspire customers to book the next holiday.


Source: Flockler

#3 Providing Social Proof

Social proof has always been a significant element. But, as we look at the social media trends for 2021, people are going to look for validation. After things will start returning to normal, you will see your audience asking for social proof because it brings in credibility.

Experts say that Bellroy is a great example; it encouraged common people to join in on social media that acted as social proof for the brand. The brand asked people to share their side of the story about how they use Bellroy products with the hashtag #MyBellroy.


Source: Cm-commerce

It also encouraged some of the influencers to review the product. Out of this, a popular bag reviewer Chase Reeves reviewed the bag that garnered 20,000 views on the Instagram feed of the brand.


Source: Cm-commerce

It’s apparent that user-generated will be the core part of the marketing strategy. It will help to nurture a sense of community building. It will also help to establish better connections with users and keep up with the dynamic world. But, you need to understand that user-generated content is all about the data available on the internet. It clearly reflects what people think about your brand, and you will need the help of social listening tools.

As you explore the market, you may find many tools that can help you in tracking social media metrics. One such tool is Mentionlytics, which is going to drastically change your social media game. Let’s see how:

How Mentionlytics Can Help You Thrive in 2021?


If we look at the social media trends for 2021, brands will make the most of user-generated content. It could be slightly challenging to handle loads of information uploaded on social media manually. Gathering information traditionally will be quite time-consuming. Instead, we recommend using social media monitoring tools like Mentionlytics to track customer behavior, preferences, sentiments, competitors, and engagement.

With Mentionlytics, you can enjoy a stress-free time as it offers numerous features that are incredibly beneficial for you, such as:

  • You can collect the important insights,
  • Look for trends and strategize your campaign
  • Access to mention insights,
  • Find right influencers for your brand,
  • Grow your brand’s reputation and sales
  • Know about your competitors, products, and industry
  • Discover public opinion about your brand
  • Complete media coverage, including social media, online news, blogs, and any website.

Apart from this, you can also join in forum discussions, comments, and blog posts to spread awareness about your brand with Mentionlytics.

So, what are you thinking about?

Try our free version today.

About Eva Thanu

Eva is a Digital Marketing graduate and Customer Success Director at Mentionlytics. You can find her on Twitter! Follow Eva on Twitter