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The Most Important Social Media Trends Of 2021

This year is almost over, as we are getting ready to step into 2022. If you ask me, I have no idea where the time went, because everything felt like it went by in a blink of an eye. With that being said, when it comes to brand and social media platforms, things evolve even faster. They introduce new campaigns, release new products and new features. They also keep changing their algorithms so no wonder new social media trends keep appearing every year.

A good example that will help us see how quickly we are embracing the new social media trends is Instagram Stories. A few years ago, when Snapchat made an appearance on the market, it was known for its disappearing content after 24 hours.

And because almost nothing is original nowadays, of course, other apps followed suit with this feature. For example, over 500 million people use the Instagram Stories feature daily. In addition to that, there are several other platforms that are adding similar features, such as Facebook Messenger.

These changes that happen extremely fast are challenges that brands and social media marketers have to face, as they constantly have to review and upgrade their strategies.

We can’t begin the new year without knowing all the details about 2021’s social media trends. If you’re looking for them, here they are:

1. Live streams are still popular

At the beginning of 2020, Covid-19 turned our lives upside down. We’ve discovered that nature is bigger and stronger than we could’ve imagined. We’ve also seen what life is like when you are forced to live it only in the comfort of your own home.

When social distancing and lockdowns started happening, a lot of businesses went digital. The face-to-face meetings turned into Zoom sessions and events turned into live streams. Everyone tried to adapt their activity being online, in order to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

If we talk about numbers, social media platforms saw an increase when it comes to the number of live streams, especially in places where the number of patients diagnosed with Covid-19 was high. In Italy, for example, the number of people who watched live streams on Instagram and Facebook doubled in only a week.

At the time, live streams were a way to connect with people and to engage with them. However, even though the world’s situation is a little better now, thanks to the vaccines, live streaming continues to gain popularity. According to the experts, they should be considered as an important social media marketing strategy!

In conformity with the latest Sprout Social Index, 25% of marketers stated that live streaming was one of the most important types of content, and helped them achieve their social goals.

2. Stories are the new content 

Since they began using the Instagram Stories feature, people seem to hold tight to this trend! It is believed that brands should think more about posting on stories, as part of their publishing calendars. In addition to that, videos posted on Stories are encouraged, because people like them and they manifest interest in videos, rather than simple pictures.

According to a study led by SocialInsider, it has been found that people tend to skip pictures when they are going through stories. For example, the images from stories presented a 5.65% higher tap-forward rate, compared to videos. This refers to the number of people who saw the story and moved on to another one before even finishing it.

The same study discovered that people are more likely to spend time looking at the videos that are posted as stories, rather than images. This is why over 51% of brands out there are using videos in their stories. According to the experts, the percentage keeps increasing.

3. Augmented reality

Augmented reality, known as AR, is becoming more and more common on social media platforms. It was introduced on the market by Snapchat, but quickly after, other platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and even Pinterest, adopted it. They have launched their own filters, effects, and lenses. It has been shown that AR made an impact not just when it comes to entertainment, and engagement, but commerce as well.

Many brands introduced this trend on their platforms, creating AR filters for promoting their products and encouraging engagement and interaction among fans. If AR is promoted well and enough by a brand, it is a way of increasing sales and attracting new customers.

A great example of a brand that used AR is IKEA. They made an ad about a family who wanted to buy a couch. They didn’t know how the new item would be in their home, so they used the AR to “project” the couch on a tablet, to see where it’d look better.

4. Social commerce

We already know that the social media industry is constantly adapting its strategies to enhance the user experience. We see many features and tools that can help users make the process of shopping online easier. For example, Instagram created a feature that allows people to add product tags and permit easy checkout without having to leave the platform. Another example is Facebook, where you can set up a Shop and users can buy straight from the platform.

It has been found that over 50% of social media users are looking for products on social media. In addition to that, the referrals from these platforms are able to influence the purchase decision of approximately 71% of users.

By doing this, when people see something they like on social media, they no longer have to search the products on the official websites, they can buy them straight from the platform.

5. Purpose-driven campaigns

Since the pandemic has entered our world, people manifested more interest in humanitarian campaigns. They want to get involved, and they are expecting brands to do so as well.

In conformity with a Twitter survey, over 70% of the people who responded said that they want brands to show more acts of kindness. Also, 77% of them have a better perception about the brands that are showing support towards society during these hard times.

6. Inclusivity rules 

People want to feel inspired. They want their favorite brands to show that they care about what their audience wants. According to a study, it has been found that approximately 30% of buyers would love to purchase products from brands that are promoting diversity and inclusivity.

Keep in mind that your audience can distinguish activism that is real from the one that is only a marketing strategy. A good example of a brand that is promoting values that people are interested in is Fenty Beauty. Actually, all brands that are conducted by Rihanna promote people from all kinds of races, shapes, and sizes. In their ads, they show real people using their products.

7. Transparency and authenticity 

If you want people to engage with your brand and to trust your products, you have to be honest with them. You can’t just lie and expect a lot of positive comments. The most simple way you can do that is through social media. It’s easy and accessible.

It is absolutely normal to make mistakes, but people appreciate it when you own up to these mistakes. When something bad happens as a result of the brand, it’s always better to address the issues publicly through a social media message. This way, the brand can allow people to feel connected and free to reach out and speak up about any disappointments.

For example, when receiving negative comments, it’s better to not delete them, but to address them and to try and respond nicely. Brands that show their customers that they care about their opinions are more likely to succeed.


Social media is a great way to engage with people and to make a brand stand out. Although these are the most important trends from 2021, they will be just as important in the next year as well. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’re the key to success!


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