Social Media Trends of 2021

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Social Media Trends of 2021

The year 2020 was like no other, with essentially everything moving online, from staff meetings to sporting events. This has, of course, had a huge impact on social media use. Over the past 12 months, the number of people using social media has increased by 490 million—which is a growth rate of over 13%!   Due to a global pandemic, stay-at-home orders, and frequent political and social turbulence, people more than ever are turning to online mediums for connection, news, and commerce. The typical social media user now spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media each day, which adds up to about an entire day each week.   Although it’s a new year and the vaccine roll-out is eminent, 2021 is likely to maintain this digital high even as people slowly make their return to in-person activities.   The current digital media landscape is challenging businesses and marketers in new ways that involve navigating social media and screen burnout as well as responding to a greater need for accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability.  With more people online, the stakes are higher to produce quality, meaningful content that is both easily accessible and authentic for your target audience. While these goals aren’t new, the way that they’re put into action will need to be adjusted in order to keep up with changes in the way people are currently consuming media.   In light of this, we’ve highlighted the following trends that your business will want to keep up with on social media in 2021 as well as some strategies to get you on the path to success:  

Social Media Burnout: Diversify Content & Decrease Time Investments

  Since video conferencing and online events like live streams replaced almost every in-person activity this year, people are really craving more person-to-person interaction and hoping to spend less time with their eyes glued to a screen.   So, what does this mean for your business’s digital media strategy? 2021 is the year to diversify your platforms and be ready to offer your audience content in multiple formats. While we typically recommend the strategy that “less is more” in terms of selecting social media platforms, this might be the year to consider venturing into new territory. Think critically about this choice—and consider the possibility of changing the format of your content if not the platform it’s posted on.   For example, is most of your content written, like blogs and text posts? You might want to add a visual component like videos, infographics, and pictures. If you’ve mostly posted blogs to Facebook, maybe now is the time to pick up the growing platform of Instagram that allows for a more visual style.   If you’ve already invested in visual and written formats, you might consider launching a podcast or even taking the plunge into short video clips on TikTok, which has been rapidly growing in users this year.   Since Tiktok gives 15-second previews of each video, this allows users to peruse content without making a large time (or eyeball) commitment. This also applies to any visual or audio content.   By diversifying the way your content is delivered, users can still consume it without having to make as much of a commitment to staring at a screen, and in the case of audio content like podcasts, they’re able to digest your message while doing other activities at the same time.  

Accessibility: Work Smarter, Not Harder

  In addition to producing content, we recommend making your content accessible from multiple platforms and formats as much as possible.   You don’t have to recreate the wheel so to speak or churn out endless wheels—but make sure that your content can be adapted to fit the individual’s needs, whatever those might be for your target audience.   Google searches done with voice or visual-activated software like Alexa and Google Lens are at an all-time high. Appealing to these crowds by adding image alt-text and sitemaps for images will not only prop up your brand as being ADA accessible and inclusive, but it will also maximize the number of users that have access to your content to consume it in whatever way works best for them.   And if you haven’t already, it’s crucial to invest in making your business’s website ADA Compliant to protect yourself from costly lawsuits and increase your potential customer reach. It’s worth mentioning that adding features like image alt-text and sitemaps for images will also give you an SEO boost.  

Inclusivity, Diversity, & Social Justice

  This last year has a seen a focus on inclusivity, racial justice, and diverse representation in the media and in politics. It’s crucial to include this in your businesses’ social media strategy. Highlighting and speaking to movements like racial equality, body positivity, and feminism will ensure your audience knows that you care about more than just selling a product.   The rise of influencers speaks more to this. People are interested in seeing products being sold by actual humans with real, socially applicable messages. So, how does this show up for your business?   Consider how you might acknowledge and incorporate diversity, inclusivity, and social justice into your business strategy and voice. For example, if you sell a product that uses models, do you have a multitude of different-looking people representing your product?   If there aren’t people representing your products, can you think about how your product or service might help others on an individual level or even work to reverse prejudice on some level? These are themes you can address in social media posts, blogs, or even podcasts or press releases.  


  Sustainability has been increasing in popularity for years, and more consumers are conscious of which products they buy and how to reduce their own impact on the environment.   Incorporate into your social media strategy a voice that shows you’ve considered this impact and are working to reduce it. Even if your product or service doesn’t have a negative impact on the physical world, expressing concern and thought about this will increase the trust a potential client or customer will have for your brand.  


  Finally (and most importantly) authenticity is more important than ever. With a heavy rise in fake news, conspiracy theories, and scams the last few years, people are really worried about putting their trust into an abstract body they can’t see or talk to.   Your social media strategy should leave room for two-way communication and humanize your business as much as possible. Focus on local targeting, developing your brand, voice, and image, and in whatever ways you can make the face behind the name visible for your clients.   Get in touch with Social Spice Media to learn more about creating a marketing plan for your business and how you can effectively spend your marketing dollars. Our team pays attention to your goals and creates a custom strategy that delivers results. Do you know someone who could benefit from our services? Refer them to us today! Our team is eager to connect with businesses in any industry. We serve the local needs of Ventura County and Santa Barbara as well as anywhere in the United States.