Social media marketing trends to watch in 2021

With the first few months of the year under our belts, we’ve got our eye on the social media marketing trends to watch in 2021! The pandemic continues to impact the social media landscape as well as our online behaviour, and some of these trends seem to be a direct response to the events of the past year. In this blog, we pick out the areas of social media marketing that have been gaining traction in 2021 and discuss how to leverage them in your business.

Social media marketing trends

Here is our round-up of the key trends we expect to see more of in 2021:

1) Micro-influencers

Influencer marketing has been on the up for some time. According to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report, there has been an increase of at least 50% in the industry’s estimated size every year since 2016.

However, it’s not just celebrity influencers with massive followings who are having their moment but the lesser-known, ‘everyday’ content creators known as micro-influencers. Whilst micro-influencers have fewer followers than their famous counterparts, they typically have more knowledge of their sector and are seen as more authentic and credible. They also have deeper, more personal connections with their followers – not to mention significantly lower fees!

We’ve also seen the growth of nano-influencers, or individuals with fewer than 10,000 followers. These people are often at the start of their influencer careers, so striking up a partnership with them to promote your brand at this early stage could be a savvy move for your business. Influencers are ideal for social media campaigns to increase your brand awareness and engagement, so start thinking about how you can use them in your business!

2) Social media Groups

Groups on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be a powerful tool for growing your business. They also provide a useful forum for gathering audience insights and ideas, building a community around your brand, and strengthening brand loyalty.

Although you’ll need to invest time to build and manage a Group, the investment should pay off in the long run. To run a successful Group, you should aim for consistency when it comes to topics and frequency of posts. Be mindful that your Group shouldn’t just replicate the content posted on your main Facebook or LinkedIn business page. With most people joining Groups for a particular reason, try to provide members with focussed, niche content that ’super-serves’ them and offers true value!

3) Stories

‘Ephemeral’ content is here to stay! What began with Snapchat has quickly progressed to Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. Stories are vertical videos and images that appear outside of your usual feed and disappear within 24 hours. They’re popular with millennials, with Instagram alone clocking up over 500 million viewers daily! High levels of engagement and a convenient format for users make them a popular and effective marketing tool. On top of this, they’re cheap and easy to make! You can even add them to your website to impact your SEO. If your business isn’t using Stories already, now’s the time to start.

4) Social audio

If you haven’t yet heard of the drop-in audio chat app Clubhouse, you soon will! Social audio is enjoying something of a moment right now. In a recent interview, analyst Jeremiah Owyang told the TechFirst podcast: “What we found during the quarantine is that text messaging just doesn’t give us the emotion and the nuance that the human condition requires (…) On the flip side (…) Zoom calls and video shows are just too taxing on people.”

Twitter is hot on the heels of Clubhouse with its equivalent, Spaces, being rolled out to users right now. Just this week, Facebook also announced plans to launch a range of new audio tools soon including ‘Audio Rooms’ (a likely Clubhouse clone?) – so watch this space!

Whether it’s Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, or Facebook Audio Rooms, small businesses will be able to use social audio to host live webinars, Q&As, comment on industry events or invite guest speakers to host Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with their customers. With Zoom fatigue common, we think the social audio trend is here to stay!

5) Podcasting

Like social audio, the popularity of podcasts has gained pace, with many of us now tuning in regularly. The pandemic is also likely to have impacted their success as they offer a personal way of communicating in a format that’s convenient to consume. Podcasts are relatively easy and cheap to produce, with some basic software and your mobile phone. You can use them to attract new customers, build your brand’s credibility, inform your audience, and more.

With these trends going strong, think about how you can incorporate them into your marketing. You might be surprised by the results!


For more advice on your social media marketing strategy, contact the social media experts at NS Design, or get yourself booked onto our next Embrace the Space social media masterclass!

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