To say that 2020 was a difficult year for predicting how social media and marketing would be altered is an understatement. An overwhelming number of communications shifted online, in addition to virtual events, classes, and other important news announcements. Being stuck at home for such extended periods of time had everyone itching for ways to stay connected, informed, and entertained.

So now that we’ve put 2020 in the rear-view mirror, and have our foot on the gas heading into 2021, what can we expect as far as digital trends for the year to come?

Social media isn’t going anywhere, so we must adapt and shift online strategies to prepare for the unknown. We’ve put together a list of some of the trends and predictions for digital marketing and social media that we feel strongly about in 2021.

Pay Attention & Listen

Many brands felt pressure in 2020 to share their perspective or make statements on numerous social issues they likely never had to address before last year. Some learned valuable lessons, and have shifted to put practices in place to listen to their audiences better, rather than rushing to be the first to take a stance.

In addition to tracking relevant trending topics, brands must also take the time to listen and determine if their voices are needed, or even wanted, in those conversations.

Takeaway: Have a response plan in place with necessary steps to take in order to react instead of resorting to a knee-jerk reaction.

Instagram Advertising

While many have tinkered with Facebook ads or promoted posts in the past, most are new to the idea of advertising on Instagram. Over 1 billion people used Instagram per month in 2020, and 90% of users claimed to be following at least one business. This led to Instagram’s advertising reach outperforming all other social media platforms in the fourth quarter of 2020.

There’s been a shift in the way people are using Instagram, which originated primarily as a way to share photos. Now more than ever Instagram serves as a place for businesses to connect and engage with target audiences and convert sales.

Takeaway: Take a hard look at Instagram advertising if you aren’t already, and don’t be afraid to jump in and give it a shot.

Stories Are Content

Ready for a fact you can take into 2021? More than 500 million users interact with Instagram Stories every day. While stories are nothing new, this tells us that they’re here to stay. If you aren’t already, you should be working stories, on both Facebook and Instagram, into your regular social media content calendars.

Taking it a step beyond, videos regularly outperform photos on stories and people spend more time viewing them.

Takeaway: If it makes sense for your content and overall messaging, putting an increased focus on video stories is a logical step forward to take.

Not all best practices will be suitable for everyone, and these are just a few of the upcoming trends we’re keeping an eye on.

If you’re interested in discussing some of these strategies further or have thoughts on any others, give us a shout or drop us a line at We’d love to chat with you!
CATEGORIES: Storytelling  Social Media