January 7, 2021

2021 Social Media Trends: What’s Here to Stay and What’s Going Away?

Christina Sirabella

If you’re reading this, congratulations—you made it to 2021!

We won’t recap everything that happened on social media in 2020 (because we already did!), but it’s safe to say that throughout the year, every marketer was challenged to think differently, abandon pre-planned strategies, and prepare to make big pivots at any m̵i̵n̵u̵t̵e̵ second. In many ways, we were left with more questions than answers after a year that was unlike any other. Some of the predictions that were made for social media in 2020 held true, but no one could have guessed how the year would end up going—or how social media would react to all of it.

That doesn’t mean, though, that we aren’t going to make predictions again this year! Keep reading to find out the four trends that we think will define 2021 on social media.


1. Socially Conscious Consumers

For obvious reasons, people shopped online more than ever in 2020. And with the shopping capabilities released by platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and even TikTok in the past few years, a lot of those purchases took place on social media. All signs point to this trend continuing in 2021—but now, especially because online shopping allows them to do more research about brands before purchasing, consumers are more socially conscious than ever. 2020 brought with it a global pandemic, an uprising against racism and police brutality, and historic wildfires due to climate change. It’s no longer optional for brands to take a stance on these issues. If they want to harness the purchasing power of younger generations, they’ll need to show up with purpose and meaning—not just product-pushing.

2. Planning? We Don’t Know Her

“Planning” as we know it is effectively dead after the year we’ve had. Throughout all of 2020’s twists and turns, the futility of mapping out content months and months ahead of time became clearer than ever to brands and marketing teams. Plus, with the lo-fi style of content rising in popularity through apps like TikTok, high production value has taken a back seat to agility and scrappiness—and we predict shorter planning and production schedules will become the norm in 2021.

3. Personalization & Private Groups

Social media feeds are noisier than ever. So, many folks have joined private groups and forums in an effort to customize their experiences—especially on Facebook. The platform has been pushing the idea of “meaningful interaction” for a while now, and there are over 10 million Groups on Facebook with over 1.4 billion people using them. Recently, Facebook also introduced a branded content tag tool that allows Group admins to publish posts in partnership with or on behalf of advertisers. In 2021, we expect to see even more brands taking advantage of features like this in an effort to gain a direct line into these engaged, focused audiences.

4. TikTok

No explanation needed. Let’s just say “bored in the house and I’m in the house bored” lives in our head rent-free.

To see if our predictions come true this year, subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest social media updates in your inbox every Thursday!

Tags: Content Marketing, COVID-19, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Social Media, Strategy, TikTok, Trends

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