Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch out for in 2021 and Beyond!

Komal Merwani
8 min readMay 28, 2021
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The year 2020 has been the turning point for social media marketers. The whole world flocked towards social media platforms due to the coronavirus pandemic. Content creation and consumption increased dramatically like never before. Whilst people were spending more time on social media platforms, marketers took the advantage of the opportunity and got busy finding new ways of enhancing engagement with their audiences. From games, online concerts, fundraising programs, live sessions, to various Instagram trends, marketers paved the way for the revolution in social media marketing. Globally, over 3.6 billion people use social media and the number is only projected to increase to 4.41 billion in 2025. This means more than half of the world's population is already using social media. Another report by Dataportal says an average of nearly 2 million new users is joining social media every day. The stats are evident enough for all social media marketers to understand the potential of the market in the coming years.

Moreover, according to a report by Statista, the average social media usage across India increased from 3 hours 31 minutes in January to 4 hours and 46 minutes during the time of lockdown. Social media is thriving and will continue to do so in the coming years, at least that’s what stats suggest. But, the digital environment is loaded with content which is another challenge that marketers are facing. Unless you as a marketer are not well informed with the current and upcoming trends in the field, developing a profitable social media strategy would be difficult. To help you stay updated and ahead of the coed, here are the top 7 social media trends to watch out for in 2021 and beyond!

#1 Disappearing Content will continue to grow!

Disappearing content, ephemeral content, or stories are the type of content that has gained momentum in the past 1–2 years. Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, etc. are being utilized by brands in various forms ranging from product information to quizzes and games. There is a lot of potential hidden in the stories and marketers have been exploring new ways to attract an audience, spread awareness, and eventually convert leads. According to Facebook CEO, Mark Zukerberg,

“Another important shift that we’re seeing across the industry is the growth of Stories. We expect Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way that people share across all social apps. That’s because Stories is a better format for sharing multiple quick video clips throughout your day. The growth of Stories will have an impact on how we build products and think about our business, including WhatsApp and Instagram, which are the #1 and #2 most-used Stories products in the world.”

There has been a major rise in daily Instagram stories active users, from 100 million views in 2016 to 500 million views in 2019. Out of those millions of users, a third of them are coming from brands and businesses.


According to a recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers either already have incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to. This report further proves the potentiality of the stories as a platform for marketing.

Examples of Some Stories that brands are leveraging to step up their social media marketing game!

Example-01 NewYork Public Library- Insta Novels


Example-02 Lowes — Coffee Bar Tap to Convert


#2 Video Content will continue to thrive!

87% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. While 68% of marketers say video has a better return on investment than Google Ads. Moreover, it’s estimated that by 2022, 82% of the global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads (Cisco, 2019). That’s an 88% increase in traffic share from 72.3% in 2017. These statistics are efficiently communicating the importance of videos in recent years as well as coming years. So, if you wish to generate maximum ROI and stay relevant with the ever-changing marketing world, you surely cannot avoid videos. From How-to Videos, to cooking, to makeup videos, to shopping haul videos, to promotional videos and ads, brands have been effectively leveraging video content for their gains. The Internet is flooded with video content and the demand for new content continues to rise.

Besides, if you are a brand looking to promote your products, you should focus on UGC- User Generated Content. A study suggests 90% of consumers are more influenced by UGC (User Generated Content) for their buying decisions rather than promotional emails and even search engine results. You may share customer stories in the form of videos or get some influencers on board from your niche and ask them to create videos for your brand. Whether it is a long-form video for Youtube or short-form videos for reels, shorts, Facebook, or any other platform, video marketing is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Check out Blogger Massom Minawala’s Instagram video for Dior!

#3 Customization with Augmented Reality will lead!

While Virtual reality is still emerging and has a long way to come when talking about social media platforms, this is not the case with Augmented Reality. AR Filters are now extensively used by brands for the launch of new products or even enhancing customer interaction with the brand. Brands are creatively using Ar filters and games to gain attention and influence buying decisions of the consumers. Though Facebook had launched AR filters well before Snapchat and Instagram, the latter two apps have paved the way for innovative social media marketing. Facebook is still experimenting with AR and VR functionalities and marketers can expect new technology and enhanced popularity of AR and VR among their audiences.

Mac cosmetics recently launched their make-up filter where users can try on different kinds of eyelashes and their shades.


#4 Nano Influencer Marketing will be the new norm!

While many brands are still unaware of the advantages of working with micro-influencers, the industry people are already incorporating nano influencers in their social media strategies. Nano Influencers are generally categorized who have followers within 10,000 to 5,000 followers. The social appeal, intimate engagement, and impact that these influencers make are incomparable. No doubt having more followers is profitable and it allows marketers to address a larger audience. But, statistics do not suggest so;

According to HypeAuditor, the engagement rate of nano-influencers is twice as high as that of other groups of influencers.

There are various benefits of collaborating with nano influencers. From a financial point of view, nano-influencers do not charge thousands like other influencers. So, incorporating nano influencers in your strategy wouldn’t be heavy on your marketing budget. Another important aspect is the high emotional appeal. Because nano influencers do not use pricy instruments to shoot themselves, the originality and rawness of the content make their content furthermore appealing. The content they create is like getting advice from friends! Moreover, they have niche-specific followers, which is a win-win for your brand.

#5 Viewers will embrace Snackable Content!


After the launch of Tik-Tok, Instagram Reels, Youtube Shorts, etc..the Internet has seen a surge in short-form videos from the year 2020. From multinational brands to home-grown brands, everyone has been leveraging the short-form videos for their profit. Brands have been hopping on trends, making informational videos for their products, focusing on UGC, and have found many other creative ways to create snackable content.

Platforms like Sharechat, Moj, Chingari, etc.. are further gaining popularity among Indians. And brands have found ways to interact and engage with their customers on multi-platforms. So, for any marketer, it’s important to follow a multi-platform social media marketing strategy in order to succeed in the competitive environment. Moreover, marketers should also keep in mind that the content is optimized for watching on mobile phones because 60% of views are generated from mobile phones.

#6 Social Commerce Will Furnish!

Hootsuite recently asked their clients what they were trying to achieve with social media. By far the most popular reason for businesses using social media was for the increased acquisition of new customers (73%). This was followed by increasing brand awareness (64%). Driving conversions (leads, purchases, and product inquiries) came in third with 45%. Continuous innovation and new features rolled out by platforms like Facebook and Instagram have fueled e-commerce and have resulted in the growth of Social E-commerce. With the help of Social Storefronts and an in-app payment facility, social media is becoming an unparalleled marketplace for brands and even small businesses.

According to Source, Social commerce is an $89.4 billion market and is quickly expanding. Hootsuite estimates that Social Commerce is projected to grow to $604.5 billion in the next seven years. Last year, Facebook’s advertising revenue jumped to almost 30% (Facebook). These statistics effectively prove the potential of Social Commerce in the year 2021 and beyond!

In order to make the most out of such platforms, brands should stay updated of new trends, should connect with their customers online, and must have a maintained storefront.

#7 Purposeful and Socially Relevant Content will get noticed!

The year 2020 has been extremely challenging for brands. More than ever brands have felt the need for purposeful and impactful advertising. Many brands voiced out against social injustices, talked about sustainability and ran fundraising programs amid the pandemic. With audiences becoming more aware of social issues, and digital activism becoming the new norm, it has become inevitable for brands to voice out their opinions as their viewers expect them to do so. But, while incorporating purposeful advertising in your strategy make sure whatever you share your brand’s objectives must align with it. And you should also be able to carry forward the idea that you believe in.

Apart from this, you can incorporate a non-biased form of advertising through info-social content.

“Over the past few months, info-social — a style of text-based content that aims to educate and inspire communities — has dominated Instagram. Digital activism, coupled with in-person organizing, gave rise to this style as a means of sharing information and educating followers on topics such as racial injustice, climate change and local community outreach. Now, businesses are sharing important social issues with their customers too.”~ Instagram

Not just Instagram, other platforms like Facebook, Youtube, etc are also seeing a rise in info-social content.

Via- Instagram

Incorporate these trends in your social media strategy to get ahead of your competitors. And keep reading our blogs for more such information. All the best!