Social Media Trends 2021

This year, we’re looking at Social Media Trends 2021 in a special context, because 2020 was pretty much turned on its head. For example, the Corona crisis and resulting lockdowns have impacted online user behavior, as well as the content strategies of companies and brands. We take a look at the latest developments and present the 2021 social media trends that you can benefit from right now!

Social media in 2020 – current facts and figures

We start with encouraging news for the industry, because basically the use of social media platforms increased enormously in 2020. In fact, this is also obvious when social life is restricted. For example, 94 percent of Germans were regularly online, of which four out of five were active on social media. Every day, 14 people per second create a new social media pro and globally, there are 4.1 billion users on social media.

Among the most-used platforms, Instagram remains the most relevant, which is why 61 percent of marketers also plan to increase their ad spend budget, according to Hootsuite’s Social Trends Survey. On Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, 44-46 percent also want to increase marketing budgets. We now summarize which strategies you can use to successfully approach your social media presences.

These social media trends are waiting for you in 2021

1. video content continues to dominate

Whether it’s TikToks, Snaps, Stories or Reels — the diverse moving image formats continue to conquer the social media world across all platforms. New features are launched regularly and their use is promptly rewarded with high reach and engagement. Although content should always be produced and published in a platform-appropriate way, there are plenty of ways to intelligently adapt and use your content for multiple platforms.

2. more livestream content

The less public life and events could take place, the more 2020 livestreaming offers were used. For Facebook, usage doubled during the lockdowns, and for Instagram, it increased by as much as 70%. TikTok usage also skyrocketed in 2020. Since social distancing will be with us for a while, these trends will most likely continue in 2021. Because the need for contacts and shared experiences wants to be satisfied. Virtual events, their monetization and the potential of collaborations or “shoppable” products should therefore be considered.

At YouTopia 2020, some of Germany's most famous influencers* lived under a dome with celebrity guests and collected tree donations in a 99-hour stream on YouTube.
On the YouTube channels of the YouTopia residents, it was also possible to follow the highlights of the livestream event afterwards.

3. Social shopping is becoming more established

The professional use of social media channels is becoming increasingly attractive for e-commerce as tools for “shoppable” products continue to grow. With the numerous ways to link products in Stories, livestreams, reels, guides, and even the implementation of “stores,” Instagram shows just how much social shopping could soon become mainstream. But the store option has also been available on Facebook for some time now, and TikTok has also recently partnered with Shopify. In-app purchases via social media will shorten the customer journey in the future, as checkout no longer has to be done via the website. An advantage that should not be squandered.

@ikarusyoga provides information about its sustainable products in Instagram Guides.

4. transparent interaction with the community

An increasingly socially and environmentally conscious generation is moving around on social media channels, and companies need to adapt to them by showing attitude and addressing issues that are relevant to them. The broad range of topics includes mental health, social justice engagement, body positivity, inclusion and diversity, or environmental protection and sustainable lifestyles. Social media offer Generation Z and its successor, Generation Alpha, a platform for drawing attention to grievances and exchanging views.

Thus, in 2020, the political positioning of well-known brands on the “Black Lives Matter” movement came into focus. The values of followers should be reflected in the corporate culture and transparent community management. This applies not only to the content played, but also to the selection of influencers used.

The account of @thefemalecompany shows how a young company presents its values on social media in a contemporary and credible way.

5 Remixing as a user-generated content trend

User-generated content (UGC) should have been an integral part of a social media strategy for some time. Sharing UGC on your channels strengthens user loyalty, creates identification potential, and provides a large content pool to draw from. Especially short video content, shows the creative potential of a younger user base that loves to let off steam together with other content creators.

“Remixing” is therefore the new buzzword. In concrete terms, it means using what is already available and adapting it individually to give expression to one’s own ideas. Especially on TikTok and now also on Instagram Reels, functions such as duets are used for interactive co-creation. Companies should therefore offer their target group the opportunities to interact with the brand. If the idea catches fire, the fans become authentic brand ambassadors.


Up, down, right or left - everything is now possible with the new duet function 🙌 #duet

♬ Original sound - TikTok Germany

6. memes as part of the marketing strategy

Memes are not a new phenomenon, but an integral part of Internet culture. But especially in times of crisis, the crafty references to pop culture are a welcome change in the feed. The key to success here is also to know your target group precisely. Especially nostalgic allusions, like “only 90’s kids will remember” etc. evoke positive memories, which are transferred to the brand. But, of course, they do not work for users of all ages.

Memes are great for livening up one’s communication or even for collecting user-generated content. The supreme discipline here is to go viral with your own memes and thus benefit from increasing reach and interaction rates.

Memes are an integral part of @netflixde's social media content.

Be sustainably successful on social media

In addition to the topics listed above, social games, conversational marketing, the use of voice search, and podcasts are considered trends, and others can certainly be identified. Knowing the trends is only one building block for a successful strategy. Likewise, you should know how to continue to use tried and true.

In order to achieve long-term success with your social media channels, you should not lose sight of the basic principles: You should always keep a close eye on target group-specific content, authentic communication, crisis-proof community management, and the use of platform-specific formats.

Want to enlist the help of experts for your social media strategy? No problem, we TACSYs are happy to help!

Author: Sylvia Muschalski

Social Media Trends 2021

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