With the new year seeing us into another national lockdown, there’s even more emphasis than ever on social media and the online world. If you’re wondering what this means for your business and where to start, we’ve stared long and hard into our crystal ball… and these are our social media predictions for 2021.We’ve broken them down into 6 trends to focus on:

1. Short-form video

Throughout the first lockdown we saw a massive spike in the popularity of apps like TikTok and is expected to continue in 2021. So, it comes as no surprise that social media video is the most engaging form of content online. Given the quick-fix nature of social media (and our ever-shortening attention spans), short-form video content in particular has become a staple on our feeds.In the past year, big brands such MAC Cosmetics and NBA have boarded the TikTok train to make their brands more accessible and give customers a glimpse behind the scenes. Flash forward and many more are following suit, hot on the heels of the launch of Instagram Reels, with the like of Louis Vuitton and Sephora utilising the short-form video feature to promote its luxury fashion line.Remember, when creating video content for your business that the first 3 seconds is really important to grab people’s attention!

2. Influencers

The industry has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years… whether you love them or you hate them, they’re here to stay! The introduction of new platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok has allowed businesses to target customers in new ways.

6 Influencer Trends:
  1. Micro influencers will rise: Micro influencers are influencers with less than 10,000 followers, and are more trusted by their audiences.
  2. Performance Marketing will rule: gone are the days of going to influencers cap in hand. We can now approach them with specific goals in mind.
  3. We’ll see specialised influencers:  these influencers are more niche, this allows companies to work with people who have their target audience in the palm of their hands.
  4. More real content: consumers want to see more real people that they can relate to instead of unrealistic pictures of people off on their own islands.
  5. Employees and buyers as influencers: people want to see more content from people who work for the companies they want to buy from. They want to know ‘from the horse’s mouth’ what the products are like and what it’s like to work for these companies.
  6. Expect Contracts and long-term relationships: working with micro influencers for less money over a number of months to produce fresh content for your brand.

3. Social Commerce

Research shows that 71% of consumers now turn to social media for shopping inspiration and 55% of online shoppers now make the majority of their purchases through social media channels.Due to the increased demand from social media users, brands such as ASOS, Topshop and Levi’s, have started selling their products through Instagram Shops, Facebook Shops and even Pinterest Catalogues.If you have a product-based business, it may be a good idea to look into social media commerce as this is something we predict will keep growing.

4. Going Live

As we mentioned before, our attention spans are shrinking and we need something shiny flashing in our faces to pay attention (we think we’re turning into magpies!). Live streaming creates active engagement and in the past few years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the use of standard video.Live videos have the highest rate of engagement of all types of content. This is because it doesn’t just allow audiences to engage with their favourite people, businesses or brands, but it allows them to interact with them in real time. While this phenomenon was sure to have grown on its own anyway, this year has caused its popularity to snowball. Between the global crises, environmental issues and social movements that have dominated 2020, people are craving attraction now more than ever.

5. Content for Good

Whether it’s content on environmental sustainability or racial equality, a brand that creates content for good can become more memorable for having a defined position, and is also seen as more mission focused (or passionate about doing the right thing) that goes beyond being solely revenue driven. In short, content for good is here to stay. BUT voicing an opinion doesn’t go very far without action to back it. People won’t respond if you’re creating more noise than value. If you’re going to create content for good, make sure it’s meaningful.

6. Self Aware Marketing

Nowadays, we’re well aware that if we go on social media, we’re going to get marketed to – you don’t have to be a marketing expert to know that! In the past few months, brands from McDonalds to Oasis have released a set of ‘self aware’ campaigns – satirical adverts that make fun of other brands, and make fun of the concept of advertising in general. This fits in with our previous points about real content and content for good, social media is becoming more open and honest. Most campaigns hide the fact that they’re trying to hit sales targets, or gain market share. But these campaigns put that fact front and centre ‘please share this post because we’re trying to sell you something’ – people are valuing the honesty.These are our 6 social media predictions for 2021 Thank you for reading our blog post. We hope you found it useful. If you have any questions or would like any help with your social media marketing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.