6 Oct 2021

Top five social media trends of 2021

The trends having the most significant impact on brands, marketers, and businesses


This article was contributed by Erica Moy, Digital Marketing Specialist at DoubleShot Creative, and Julia Piedimonte, Digital Marketing Intern at DoubleShot Creative.

As a digital marketing agency, it’s our job to stay up to date with the latest and greatest social media trends. This year, we have seen a wider array of activities gaining momentum and significantly impacting the social media landscape. Here are some of our favorites:

Influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has become incredibly prominent since the start of this year. In a recent survey, 89% of marketers believed ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other networks. In this day and age, catching the attention of a potential customer can be a challenging feat. For this reason, building a solid influencer marketing strategy can help your company succeed on the social media front.

Here are some things to consider before building your strategy: 

  • Decide what type of influencer you want to consult, then determine which platform will perform the best with your plan.
  • After you research and select your brand partner, form a budget and management schedule. This way, the campaign won’t become too expensive, and you and the influencer will be on the same page.
  • Collect and analyze data of how your brand is performing with the influencer’s assistance. Use this information to determine if it’s growing brand awareness and opportunities to optimize. Check out our favorite tools for analytics and metrics.

Social commerce boom

We were no strangers to the digital age pre-pandemic. However, after over a year, social commerce has become an essential part of our everyday lives. Social commerce, the process of selling and buying products directly on social media, skyrocketed in the last year as we found ourselves social distancing and staying home. In 2020 alone, the U.S. sales of goods and services increased 38.9%. In 2021, the selling and buying of goods through social media trended toward a 35.8% rise.

Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have versions of an online marketplace where you can buy or sell products directly on their app or website. We expect to see many more social platforms follow suit for the rest of 2021 and beyond.

Digestible video content

Since 2020, we have seen brands like Instagram add the capability for their users to share short, engaging videos modeled after the wildly popular platform, TikTok. The intent behind offering a platform for short-form content is to grab the audience’s attention before they lose interest. This form of content not only saves brands ample time but also the cost during the post-production process. This year, ditching lengthy advertisements has been a popular choice among brands as it’s become clear that pairing audio, such as music, voiceovers, sound effects, or custom brand tones, with short videos can better capture the audience’s attention.

Brands like Nike, Chipotle, and even the Washington Post have hopped on this trend. Now it’s your turn to do the same!

Brand transparency

Recently, we have noticed that consumers appreciate it when companies are more open and relatable. That’s where brand transparency comes in. Brand transparency is when a brand provides open, honest, and accessible communication with internal and external stakeholders. In short, people are more likely to trust and purchase products from a brand that fully discloses essential information about goals, values, or data insights in a way their audience can understand and relate to.

Here are three essential elements of a transparent brand:

  1. Corporate practice: How the brand communicates its policy and performance clearly to experts
  2. Product proof: How the brand communicates assurance to consumers
  3. Brand purpose: How the brand shares its values and beliefs with customers

Companies like UK-based cosmetics company, Lush, have built brand transparency through displaying their morals and values clearly in their products. Lush is committed to using fresh and ethical ingredients in its handmade products while fighting against animal testing. Additionally, they have a Sustainable Lush Fund where 2% of all profits are used to create and encourage sustainable farming efforts and projects within global communities.

Social activism

Spending time in quarantine led us to rely on social media for communication, shopping, and keeping up with the latest news. We have seen the endless stories of racial and social injustices splashed across our screens. As a result, the wave of social activism that arose from social media transformed how we protest and advocate for change. When brands use social media to educate and spread awareness, they show their audience that they care and want to help make the world a better place. Standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Nintendo, and Glossier all showed their support on social media and took specific action to boot.

Technology company HP took the sustainability route by pledging to uphold their three pillars of sustainable impact, focusing on Climate Action, Human Rights, and Digital Equity. Read more about how HP is committed to being the most sustainable and just technology company here.

We are confident and hopeful that this will remain a trend for brands in the years to come.

What social media trends have caught your eye this year?

Categories: MarketingSocial Media
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