With 2021 just around the corner, it’s high time for us to take a look at what may be coming next in the world of social media. While 2020 is leaving us uncertain and kind of confused, we’re all looking forward to what 2021 will bring.
To get fully prepared, we have managed to identify four social media trends that are likely to have an impact on social media management in 2021.
Social media trend #1: The rising importance of micro-communities
During the F8 conference in 2019, Mark Zuckerberg said that “groups are now at the heart of the experience”. And while he only mentioned his own child – Facebook – it’s also relevant for general micro-communities, whose importance is expected to grow.
Facebook Groups, LinkedIn groups, Messenger group conversations, private Slack channels, and even Reddit subtopics: they are all communities on a micro level.
Companies are increasingly more interested in building a community around their brands, and social media profiles alone are not enough to do so. The native features of social media platforms encourage forming communities – which is one of the social media trends we’re eager to identify.
Micro-communities come with many benefits:
They can be used for early idea validation, as well as getting product feedback.
You can conduct market research on a microscale among your loyal community of customers and people caring about your brand. The feedback you can get via micro-communities can’t be underestimated and is impossible to get anywhere else.
A single question might spark discussion about the products or even raise the urge for changes that you never thought you needed to implement. While it’s not a social media trend itself, it shows you a direction to follow.
Let’s assume that you run a clothing brand. By building a community around your products, you encourage members to share their deliveries from your brand, and exchange feedback or advice.
But you can also use the community to help create new offerings. Your clients may talk about new products that you don’t currently offer (e.g. maxi dresses), and this presents a big opportunity for you to consider and apply.
Communities are characterised by deeper engagement, loyalty, and a unique bond between their members and the brand that runs them. They often become the very first places where certain consumers head to upon the purchase or delivery of a new product.
There’s a real sense of exclusivity in micro-communities. In order to be successful, brands should provide communities with premium content and offers. This can in turn pay off with extraordinary engagement, high conversion of community members, and an abundance of data.
As one of social media trends 2021, we’re expecting brands to grow their social media micro-communities, set up new ones, dig out the forgotten communities they once had, and interact with existing communities around their industry.
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Social media trend #2: Short-form videos are here to stay
You may think that you’ve seen it all before. Yet Snapchat revolutionized social media a few years ago before passing the baton over to Instagram Stories, which, along with Instagram feed, brought short videos to many companies’ strategies.
What else will be here to say, then?
TikTok has changed the already established market of short-form videos. It quickly got Generation Z’s attention first, before spreading to other video creators, making one of the most important trends in social media in the last few years.
And suddenly, everyone had to explore TikTok.
While what’s going on with the tool is unsure (in the light of a ban in some countries), the truth is that short-form videos are here to stay. Other social media platforms are jumping on the bandwagon of short videos’ popularity and making the most of this social media trend.
Instagram responded to TikTok’s hype and consumer demand with Reels, which is currently being tested in a few countries. Reels are shorter than TikTok videos, yet they allow users to add music and effects, including AR ones.
Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t being left behind either, launching Stories-like formats on their platforms. With Twitter Fleets, currently in testing, you’ll be able to publish quick stories up to 140 (coincidence?) seconds each, combining videos, photos, and even gifs. LinkedIn Stories, rolling out gradually all over the world, will help individuals build their personal branding and connect with their networks using short videos.
As one of social media trends in 2021, we’re expecting not only to see more platforms roll out new short video features, but also more brands investing their time and resources in this kind of communication.
Conversational marketing won’t only mean chatbots and automated rules in 2021: it will mean conversational commerce, analyzing customer journeys via multiple touchpoints, and solving more than just common problems.
RCS (rich communication services), push notifications, voice-activated assistants, and chatbots: they all use and leave breadcrumbs of information that can help with delivering an even better customer experience. And according to our prediction for trends in social media 2021, brands won’t want to possibly miss out on that.
With Facebook itself developing new ways to automate customer service on the platform (common inbox and automated rules, just to name a couple), Instagram pushing Reels, and Twitter allowing for voice Tweets, the movement is visible.
As one of social media trends 2021, we’re expecting brands to consider implementing both chatbots and solutions for conversational marketing, as well as technology to catch up with, if not surpass, conversational marketing demands.
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Social media trend #4: Emergence of new shoppable formats
2020 forced many businesses to move online and offer even more digital solutions in order to keep in touch with their clients. It also, indirectly, may have sped up the development of new social media formats that sparkled in 2020.
Take Facebook Live Shopping. Combining live videos with shoppable features give brands another exciting opportunity to showcase their products, and clients can immediately buy them.
And that’s going to be one of the social media trends of 2021: an even tighter link between social media and ecommerce, allowing social media users to browse, research, buy, finalize a transaction, and give product feedback on one platform.
Instagram has also been heading this way. Shoppable posts have strengthened their role since many businesses have had to pivot to exclusively online, or make it their strong branch.
Since their implementation requires as little as having a Business Account and uploading products to Facebook in order to tag them on Instagram, increasingly more brands are deciding to leverage such posts in their communication. Shoppable posts are not the newest trends in social media, yet they definitely have space to shine even brighter.
As one of social media trends, we’re expecting these two formats to keep shining, but also other formats to join forces and support seamless ecommerce on social media.
To wrap up
It goes without saying that what has happened in 2020 will definitely leave a mark on what 2021 is going to look like. With more solutions for e-commerce and omnichannel customer service, social media users may be in for a treat. And we can’t wait to find out whether our predictions for social media trends 2021 were right.