2020 was a year like no other, and with many industries forced to shut up shop, temporarily or permanently, this saw a huge increase in the number of users taking to the Internet and social media.

And according to Ofcom, UK adults spent a whole quarter of their day online during the course of the lockdown.

TikTok, in particular, saw a dramatic increase, reaching 12.9 million UK visitors in April, compared to 5.4 million in January. And during this period, 67% of consumers also expanded their use of Instagram.

After the coronavirus pandemic, social media users are no longer just consumers, with two in five adults uploading content themselves.

So, with all of that being said, what does social media have in store for 2021? Here, we take a look at some of the upcoming social media trends that will see us through the new year and beyond. 

Live Streaming

Over the last few months, we’ve seen a huge influx in the number of social media users taking to live streaming services, in a variety of different capacities. 

On Instagram, social media influencers have used the live feature to connect with their audiences. Whether that’s by taking part in Q&A’s, daily catchups or even live workouts, influencers have been provided with a new ‘norm’ when it comes to creating content. 

Health and fitness influencers took to Instagram Live to share real-time workout sessions, lifestyle influencers used the feature to conduct their book clubs and music and entertainment influencers shared live music sessions, keeping us all thoroughly entertained. 

And it isn’t just Instagram Live, as Twitch also climbed the social media ranks throughout 2020. With a 24% increase in Twitch viewershipgamers and technology influencers have utilised their platform to live stream video games, tech reviews and so much more. 

After seeing its success over the last 12 months, there is no wonder that live streaming is on track for an even more successful 2021. 

Video Content 

Similarly to the above, video content will continue to dominate the industry throughout 2021. For no other reason than it is simple and engaging, as well as easy to understand, digest and share.

Video content, in whatever capacity, creates a deeper connection between the content, the brand and the influencer, meaning that people will resonate with it much more. 

To put it simply, videos are much more engaging. They catch the attention of consumers almost immediately, regardless of the social media platform or style.

As opposed to the written word, social media users don’t have to focus too much when consuming video content. Not only that, but time is precious, more so now than ever before, and videos are much quicker to consume, too. 

Sales and Ecommerce 

Social media has seen numerous changes over the last year, but one, in particular, is still in its infancy and will only continue to progress throughout the course of 2021.

Slowly, social media has become a sales channel and has begun to implement a number of ecommerce tools and features.

Although brands and businesses have utilised the power of social media to help sell and promote their products, it wasn’t until recently that consumers were able to make a purchase via their preferred social media app. 

This is not only a trend, but a new means of online shopping and retail and one that is here to stay.

The latest Instagram update allows users to shop products via photos and videos and provides users with a variety of features that are tailored to existing behaviours. 

Instagram Shopping provides users with the ability to make a purchase almost immediately. Users from around the world have seen a rather drastic change in the layout of the app, including a dedicated homepage to the all-new shopping feature. 

In-app Features

Social media apps are being continuously updated with brand new features. Whilst this usually takes social media users a while to get their heads around, these features also become a brand-new way for influencers to create and share content. 

Instagram is completely ahead of the game in this department and is continuing to roll out new and innovative features to the app, and Reels is one of its latest additions.

Reels allow users of the app to create videos up to 30-seconds long with fun edits, sounds and effects – similarly to TikTok.

Twitter has recently introduced Fleets, an addition similar to that of Instagram Stories. And with social media channels continuing to release new in-app features, it gives brands, consumers and influencers no choice but to keep up.

So, with the likes of the main grid, Instagram Stories and now, Reels to help them create content, influencers will no doubt use each feature as a way to demonstrate different sides to their personalities.

The main feed typically sees polished and put together images, whilst Stories will show the realities of their days, and Reels; a behind the scenes look of how they create content, allowing consumers to be that bit more involved. 

Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Soar 

As well as social media, influencer marketing will continue to soar throughout 2021 and beyond. 

Social media gives both brands and influencers the tools they need in order to work effectively together, allowing them to create incredible partnerships and campaigns. 

On track to become a $15 billion industry by 2022, the influencer marketing industry isn’t set to go anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it is continuing to grow at a phenomenal rate and that comes as no surprise to anyone. 

And after 2020, influencers have been able to adapt and meet the newfound needs of their audience, proving their ability within the marketing industries.

If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that influencer marketing is going nowhere and is in fact, the only way forward... 


For more information on creating successful influencer marketing campaigns, contact our team today