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Social media trends 2021: future topics, expert forecasts and tips

In 2020, social media platforms have grown in importance and this trend will definitely continue in 2021. If you want to reach the right users here, you have to keep yourself up to date on particularly interesting topics, formats and platforms. In this article, Melanie Tamblé summarizes the findings from a comprehensive study.

Important social media metrics and status quo

For the study Social Media Trends 2021 From the data pool of more than 60,000 users of our social media management tool Blog2Social and the FirstSignals® analysis method from pressrelations as well as the survey of well-known social media influencers, the most important figures, trends, expert forecasts and tips for social media marketing for 2021 determined.

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More than half of the world's population uses social media - in numbers 4.41 billion active social media users. A user has on average 8.5 social media accounts and uses these accounts 144 minutes a day and thus 876 hours a year.

The corona pandemic has fueled the use of social media: The number of social media users rose by a whole in the period from October 2019 to October 2020 453 million.

Social media offer companies the opportunity to reach their own target groups. 81% of small and medium-sized companies already use social media.

And social media users also react positively to the involvement of companies and brands in social networks. 71% of social media users have already had positive experiences with a brand on social networks and would recommend them to friends and family. More than half, 54% of social media users, effectively research products and brands on social media.

In order to reach users, it is important to position yourself on the right content and topics, but there are also numerous other factors that can influence the reach and engagement of social media channels. Social media are very diverse and different and are used by different target groups for different purposes and times. The users also react very differently to post formats and the frequency of posts, because the social media posts also have a different "lifespan" in the various networks, in which they still achieve good visibility for the followers. For the visibility of social media posts, the relevance of the topic for the target group and the associated interactivity (i.e. likes, shares and comments) are decisive.

Here is a summary of the most important forecasts, trends and expert tips for the social media strategy 2021:

Future social media topics 2021

What are the topics in social media for 2021? The FirstSignals® research team at pressrelations GmbH has analyzed the emerging topics that will become very important in 2021.

A look into the virtual crystal ball has identified the following potential topics:

  • Corona helped digitization to breakthrough and brought both the economy and the world of work into disarray. The Digital nomadsthat have been a niche trend for years are now making a media comeback. Digital nomads, Workation and Telemigration are just a few of the new trends that reflect the location of digital jobs. Even after Corona, this will remain a sustainable trend.
  • WoL (Working-out-loud): With digitization and distributed work in the home office, there are also new working methods and the need for more transparency, open collaboration and shared knowledge.
  • VR, Augmented Reality (AR) and Cross Reality (CR) have left the gaming world and are offering new concepts for business, the world of work, culture and everyday life in the context of increasing digitalization.
  • Also the Business and finance is experiencing a new digitization boost this year.
  • Predictive Analytics: Predictions are becoming more and more important. Data mining in connection with AI technologies, with the analysis of huge amounts of data, opens up new possibilities in marketing, in planning and production and in the optimization of supply chains, in autonomous driving. In the financial sector, AI-supported Robo-Advisor in optimizing investment strategies. In marketing, you make AI-supported predictions for that Nudging to “nudge” consumers to buy by cleverly presenting the right products.

in the Consumer and cultural sector The following trends will accompany us this year, among others:

  • Slow fashion: With an alternative to fast fashion disposable fashion, the fashion industry is now also following the megatrend of the slow food movement towards more sustainability in production and retail.
  • FemTec: Following the women's quota and #MeToo, women are also becoming more self-confident and present in the technology and healthcare sectors.
  • Splinternet: The Fragmentation of the internet but also shows the dark side of the new technologies, which with AI and firewalls, especially in dictatorships, limit and manipulate the “information sovereignty” of the Internet through surveillance and censorship. With Deep fake Another downside of the new technologies is revealed. With “face swapping”, counterfeits have reached a new level beyond PaintShop and represent a new risk of manipulation and cyber bullying.
  • Not only corona and digitalization are changing our world, but climate change will also play a new and important role this year and reinforce the trends towards sustainability in many areas. Natural capital is at the center of the Green economy and tries to incorporate an environmental-economic component into the capital factor in order to create market-based incentives for more sustainability and careful use of ecological resources.

Expert forecasts and general trends for 2021

  • Twitter:Robert Weller, Founder and author of toushenne, looks above all Fleets as a prominent trend in the short message service, with which story formats are now also on the advance on Twitter. They are also gaining in importance Hashtagsthat take on a group function on Twitter and enable users to exchange ideas in their niches.
  • Facebook:Facebook expert Thomas Hutter prophesies Messenger communication In connection with Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and chatbots, it is becoming increasingly important in dialogue marketing.
  • LinkedIn: At the business network LinkedIn The focus is on trust through informative, entertaining and inspiring content Social selling, means Caroline Hof, Founder and managing director at Hof Digital. Above all, real "problem solvers", for example in the form of how-to and list articles, can win potential customers.
  • XING: the business network XING 2021 is all about Digital eventsso Monika Zehmisch, Ambassador at XING Düsseldorf. The platform offers a wide range of options for simply creating and marketing digital events and takes care of the complete ticketing with success evaluation for webinars, virtual trade fairs and conferences, bar camps, digital wine tastings or digital breaks for lunch breaks.
  • Instagram: watch video formats too Christine Thull and Karina Hartwahn, aka The Piñatas ", in the form of Reels and Story styling with filters like Claredon, Juno and Gingham being the defining trend for InstagramCreative brands in particular will be successful on Instagram in 2021.
  • Pinterest: Also advises more creativity Pinterest expert Dr. Melanie Grundmann from Marpha Consulting. Pinterest 2021 is particularly suitable for the creative presentation of current and seasonal ideas and trends Video Pins, Story Pins and Collection pinsthat offer shop owners in particular good opportunities to creatively combine images and videos.

Triumphant advance of visual content

the fact is Visual content will continue to be one of the most important engagement factors in 2021. Around 995 photos are shared on Instagram every second and the visual content is the main driver of interaction on the other networks. Social media posts with visuals generate an average of 94% more views and 200% more shares than pure text posts.

Tweets with GIFs get 55% more likes than tweets without GIFs. However, only 2% of the tweets contain GIFs.

For 2021, special attention should therefore be paid to the development of graphics and videos. With design tools and apps, such content can be implemented without a professional graphic designer in order to give your post a creative design.

Image sizes and format recommendations

Not only the creative design, but also the optimal image size can be decisive in order to achieve the best results and to put content or products in the right light. In an article we have the current ones Image sizes and format recommendations for social media posts in the most important social networks.

The best times to post on social media

The right timing can also influence the success of social media posts. Posting at the best time when the audience is active can have an important impact on reach and engagement. There are those Best times " As different as the networks themselves, because the different networks are actively used by the different target groups at different times. While early risers are more likely to be found on Twitter, XING and LinkedIn, after work they tend to go to Facebook and Instagram and the night owls are particularly active on Reddit and VK. In a graphic you can see the best times for social media posts in the various networks.

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Tips for the marketing and social media strategy 2021

The Corona pandemic will be with us for some time to come in 2021. Social distancing, Home office and Digital events but will also change the business culture in the long term. The Social media channels enable fast and effective communication of the constantly changing situations and conditions and create new opportunities for corporate communication.

The Future issues belong on the watchlist for your Communication strategy 2021. Anyone who positions themselves early on on emerging trend topics has a good chance of becoming Opinion leaders and to get a lot of attention and reach for these topics.

For the cross-media social media strategy there are many different factors to consider. The right formats, the lifetime of the posts and the appropriate timing of the posts are just a few factors that can influence success. The alignment and adaptation of the contributions to the particular characteristics of the users and networks are therefore the foundation of a successful social media strategy. Social media tools like our Blog2Social with format and time settings optimized for networks can offer great support in the automated planning of cross-social media strategies.

The complete social media study (97 pages) can be downloaded here for free.


This article belongs to: UPLOAD Magazin 89

E-commerce has received a significant boost in the past few months. But that doesn't make it easier to assert yourself against the growing competition of large and small online shops. In this issue we collect practical and useful tips. You can read in an article how you can generate more sales in four steps. Another article explains in a very practical way what decision-making structures and "nudging" are all about. We help you choose the right shop system and provide an overview of insurance. Last but not least, an article shows you how you can shoot good product photos even with limited resources. Bonus article in this issue: The most important social media trends for 2021.

Melanie Tamblé is an expert in PR, online marketing and social media and managing director of ADENION GmbH. ADENION GmbH's online services support companies and agencies in their daily communication work in digital media. PR-Gateway and Blog2Social enable a quick and easy distribution of press releases, social media news, blog articles, images and documents to press portals, blogs, news services and social media.

Keywords UPLOAD magazine 89