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  • Writer's pictureAlia Elsaady

Social Media Trends For 2021

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

2020 has been a whirlwind for most businesses and individuals coping with the new normal. This time saw people trying to get a grip on new trends that were emerging as a result of people spending more time at home.

Social media was more and more essential for consumers and businesses alike. This is why we decided to round up all the top social media trends for 2021. We’ve also compiled them in a useful infographic that you can download or save below. We’ll be going through some key insights that could be helpful to you when entering the new year.

Consumer Experience Has to go Online

73% of all marketers ranked “increased acquisition of new customers” as their top outcome for social in 2021”- Hootsuite Acquiring new customers was certainly an uphill battle for marketers especially for businesses traditionally based offline. Many businesses were struggling to stay afloat but those who could, had a shift in the way they understand their consumers and do business.

What you can do:

  • As a business you need to recreate consumer experiences online, leveraging products such as demos or events. These can greatly replace experiences that were traditionally only available in an offline environment

  • Relying on one social media channel could also be limiting to you, so make sure you are conducting multi-channel campaigns that will lead to a higher influx of new consumers rather than through one single channel.

More User-Generated Content

Social Media Trends
Source: Crowd Tap

This year also meant that there was a rise in short-form video content created by users. Tiktok is a great example of the power of user-generated content. They have already introduced monetization features on their platform allowing people to purchase goods through pop-ups that appear in the app. Additionally, Instagram Reels has risen in popularity and has been useful for businesses with Instagram stores already in place. What is worth noting is that “User-generated content drives 28% more engagement than brand-led content”- Comscore.

What you can do:

  • Consider additional social media trends and channels like Tik Tok and Instagram Reels and how they figure into your strategy

  • Allow users access to digital assets such as logos and Instagram branded templates or filters to give them the opportunity to share the content of their own, with a high-quality version of your logo. Consider how you can incorporate these templates.

Memes are still Cool

Source: pch.vector

Just because TikTok was popular doesn’t mean memes fell out of popularity. On the contrary “55% of 13-35 year olds are sending memes each week. Mentions of memes increased from 19.8 M in August 2019 to 24.9 M in July 2020 (+26%)”- This is one of the social media trends for 2021 that seems unexpected but it definitely makes sense given that people had a lot of time at home to share, create and reshare memes while also poking fun at the current situation. Although you might be tempted to ride the wave it’s important to know what you’re sharing and how it keeps in line with your brand image.

What you can do:

  • Engage in meme communities on Reddit and Twitter to find memes that you can repost that fit with your brand or that you can recreate to match.

  • Share user-generated memes that can be found in these communities, usually a community will be very aware of what’s in and what’s not. If you find a post that is going to make some waves you can definitely share it.

  • Be careful and mindful of what you share, some memes could be offensive or might not actually be popular with your consumer segment whether that be geographic location, gender or interests. Truly evaluate memes and how they will impact who sees them.

Sharing Memories from Past Years


With everyone cooped up in their homes, reminiscing on past memories became an everyday act people wanted to recall different days and were pleased to see brands on board with the idea. “Mentions of keywords related to nostalgia or remembering the past, rose from a baseline of around 13M mentions to 24.4M (+88%)”- Though a word of caution here, it’s really important to consider your audience before you hop onto the nostalgia bandwagon.

What you need to do:

  • Make sure you know your audience, nostalgia won’t hit with every demographic especially if your customer segment is on the younger side or just won’t identify with the content shared. Remember it’s always better to share new, engaging, useful content.

  • Knowing your history is important too, what brings back memories to your audience? Think of your industry but also of pop culture.

Listen to your audience

Virality Map/Source:

Empathy understanding is not just a Digithy motto, it should be yours too! One of the most important parts of being a business is not reacting to your consumers but actually listening and observing how they are responding. “Up to 66% of respondents in Hootsuite’s Social Trends survey say social listening has increased in value for their organization over the past 12 months”. - Hootsuite. Try to change things up and really gain knowledge on what works and what doesn’t work for your consumers, instead of anticipating their needs.

What you need to do:

  • Listen to how your audience is resonating and responding to your product or service. How are they reacting? Is there something that needs changing that you hadn’t noticed?

  • Don’t rely on basic platforms, check out any place where your audience spends their time. Try to break the mold.

Create Audio Content

There was a substantial rise in the creation of audio content and podcasts this year and a good portion of people tuning in. Radio might be not your main channel but podcasts could be, in fact “55% of Americans now listen to podcasts''- Providing value to your consumers through another platform where they can learn more about you and also gain access to the knowledge and insight you have could be the win-win situation your product/service needs.

What you can do:

  • Add a vocal element to your content creation - employ old-school radio marketing methods in a new market.

  • Start a podcast, or if you’re not ready to do so or think that you don’t have the resources you can find a way to be mentioned into one.

Build Trust

Building trust happens in the boardroom and not simply through advertising. “Just 1% of millennials say that a compelling ad can build trust”- This means you’re going to have to do a lot less telling and a lot more showing. Your consumers need to see how socially conscious your brand is, and if it isn't, how is it becoming one? There’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and evaluating the why behind your business as long as it’s directed towards stronger brand positioning and social consciousness.

What you can do:

  • Connect and empathize with your audience and their needs.

  • Align the data from marketing and market research with the recommended positioning of PR and your brand positioning.

  • Focus on mission-led marketing campaigns with a bigger picture in mind. Really ask what is your why and find out ways that your business can help not just contribute to your consumers’ needs but how it makes the world a better place.

We hope these social media trends have been valuable, and if you want our infographic cheat sheet of all the social media trends to keep an eye out for this coming year then you can download it from our free resources!


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