Social Media Trends 2021

Today we’re taking a look at social media trends. This content is brought to you by Envato Elements, a subscription based library full of all the digital creative assets you need to produce professional social media content in no time.

From social media graphics and templates, to stock footage and imagery, and even video templates and overlays, everything you need to streamline your creative process is at your fingertips. Check the link in the description for a special offer from the Envato Elements team to get you started. Let’s get into it! We all know that video is the most engaging form of digital content online but our attention spans are not what they once were. And, with the threat of users scrolling on before you get your message across, short-form video has become the format of choice for influencers, brands and individuals on social.

But our decreased attention spans aren’t all our fault. With the popularity of Instagram Stories and Snapchat, the introduction of platforms like TikTok, and the development of new functionality on existing social platforms like Instagram Reels, viewers have been conditioned to expect to be entertained (or, in some cases, educated) in a very short amount of time. While longform video is dominating YouTube and other marketing platforms (which you can learn more about in our marketing trends piece), on social media, snackable, short-form video content is set to continue its popularity well into 2021. In the past year, big name brands have jumped on the TikTok train for extended reach and accessibility, often using the platform to give users a rare look behind the scenes.

MAC Cosmetics have done just that with this video on their TikTok account. Others have taken to the new Instagram Reels feature like ducks to water. Louis Vuitton, for example, produced this clever and engaging short reel to entertain their followers. To promote the use of new features, Instagram gives a helpful little boost to early adapters, so, if visibility and reach are things you’re striving for on social media then jumping onto Reels early may give your account the edge it needs.

To help you produce your own short-form video that packs a punch, check out this Instagram Stories Stomp pack by NeuronFX. With templates for vertical and square formats, you can create a 12 second animated masterpiece fit-for-platform. And for more on what’s popular in video, check out our Video Trends piece linked in the description below. Social commerce refers to the use of social media to drive eCommerce purchases.

And social platforms are making it easier and easier for online retailers to do so with the introduction of Facebook and Instagram Shops, and shoppable posts. With 71% of consumers already using social media to get their dose of shopping inspiration, it makes sense to extend your shop’s reach and develop an integrated shopping experience. Fashion retailer, ASOS, have done so with their Instagram shop, which arguably provides an experience as good or better than their retail site. With a combination of flawless photography and raw, unfiltered imagery featuring models of all shapes and sizes, ASOS’s Instagram shop is accessible to a wider customer base, providing a more welcoming interface, far more authentic and relatable than their eCommerce shop front.

The Pinterest platform offers catalogue functionality, as you can see in this example from Levi’s. It allows users to browse through collections in app or on desktop and links the user directly through to the eCommerce site to make their purchase. If you’re in the beauty game, you can use these 12 easy-to-edit Photoshop templates by Sko4 to help showcase your products on your Instagram shop. Or check out these luxury, high-res templates by spacestudios to get your products looking slick.

You can edit the graphics in Photoshop, Sketch or Illustrator and a link to the free fonts used in the designs is also included for seamless customization. For more on social commerce, check out our Marketing Trends piece linked in the description below. As opposed to virtual reality, which is the creation of a whole new world, augmented reality or AR uses technology to project virtual, computer-generated augmentations onto a real world setting. The most obvious use of AR on social media are the filters you can apply to yourself in real time while you record footage for a story, a snapchat or a post, or while you chat with someone on a video call.

AR filters have become so popular that Instagram now allows anyone – brands, businesses, influencers and even everyday people – to create their own filters for others to use in their Stories. In honour of Vogue Australia’s 60th birthday, the brand created their own Diamond Instagram filter, enabling fans to celebrate with them on their special day and, of course, extending their brand reach in the process. To create your own AR filter effect, you can use these Glowing Scribbles by artino. With 300 elements to choose from, 180 frame-by-frame animations and more than 10 controllers for each element, we can imagine this pack creating an awesome AR look! For more on the way new technology is shaping the way we shop online, check out our eCommerce Trends piece linked in the description below.

Personalized marketing is exactly as it sounds – its all about providing a unique experience for the customer based on what you know about them. And with so many people on social media these days, it’s become much easier to personalize brand experiences by using consumer data and pinpoint targeting. Lexus used their social media data to run over a thousand different Facebook ads within a single campaign, targeting niche audiences and customer segments. They piqued their audience’s interest with imagery that mattered to them and followed through with a message that connected it with the NX model they were selling.

This campaign reached millions of people and drove engagement figures up exponentially. Cadbury personalized their message in a completely different way, to promote the Cadbury Glow product. Using new technology to generate personalized videos by pulling data from Facebook accounts, Cadbury’s message was a simple one – make the memorable moments glow with a gift from Cadbury. It also used nostalgia to generate positive brand associations, which is a trending tactician marketing this year.

Find out more in our marketing trends piece linked in the description below. You can achieve a similar effect with this Frame Mockup Slideshow by DannySkinner. This fully editable After Effects template comes fit with 29 media placeholders, 8 text placeholders and doesn’t require a single plugin. You can find more about personalization in our eCommerce Trends piece.

Find the link in the description below. Did you know that one in five Facebook videos are live streams? And, on Instagram, 1 million users are watching live video everyday? Live video has taken social media by storm and it looks like it will continue to dominate the channel in 2021. As social media users have come to value authenticity over a refined aesthetic, going live has emerged as the obvious solution for brands wanting to forge deeper, more genuine connections with customers while boosting their brand credibility in the process. Sephora use Facebook live to share makeup tutorials with their followers.

MTV have put together an Alone Together series of jam sessions you can tune into to pass the lonely isolation days. And NASA have even jumped onboard the live video bandwagon, presenting live seminars on scientific discoveries and aeronautic research on YouTube, to keep science buffs and space fanatics in the know. If you’re live streaming to YouTube using an encoding system, you can use these YouTube Elements by agungugang to remind people to like your video and follow your channel. Or if Facebook and Instagram are more your scene, use these Online Live Stream Instagram Stories by Kahuna_Design to get people excited about your next live stream.

You can find more on live streaming in our Marketing Trends piece. Check out the link in the description below. With more and more social, political and environmental issues gaining traction in modern day society, social media users are starting to expect brands, influencers and even the individuals they follow to have an opinion and speak up about the things they believe in by creating content for good to spread awareness or show support for a cause. Many brands have become social media activists in the midst of issues that have arisen over the past year, like Nike, who used their brand to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement with these posts on their Instagram account.

Ben & Jerry’s Australia have also been active on social media in their fight for a sustainable future, stirring their followers to make a change and fight for a cleaner, more resilient Australia. If, like Ben & Jerry’s, you’re keen to demonstrate your commitment to sustainability, check out this pack of 10 social media templates, available in 3 social media sizes, from Envato Elements. And for more on content for good, check out the Content For A Cause section of our Instagram piece, or the Brand Activism section of our Marketing Trends piece, both linked in the description. With social media dominating our free time in social isolation, many consumers have become more aware of marketing on the platforms and, as a result, have become more demanding of authenticity.

Self-aware marketing is almost like advertising reverse psychology, with brands pointing out their own flaws, owning their mistakes and even overtly calling out their advertising ploys. Marmite is an ideal example of a brand that doesn’t take themselves too seriously on social media, using self-aware marketing to endear themselves to their audience. They know their product is polarizing, so rather than trying to convert the haters, they lean into it with social ads like these. Moreover, this year, because of the global health crisis, the brand had some struggles manufacturing their product and there was a period where stocks were dwindling on shelves across the UK.

Rather than hiding behind excuses, they deployed a campaign that encouraged consumers to ration what they had until they were able to produce some more. Not only is this honesty helpful to the consumer, the way the problem was presented was jovial but most importantly apologetic which was all that was needed to satisfy grumpy customers. Oatly use self-aware marketing in a much bolder, more obvious way. The brand combined outdoor advertising and social media to broadcast this cheeky campaign that uses satire in a sort of meta way to catch viewers’ attention and get them on their side.

If you don’t have the cash for an out-of-home campaign but you’d like to sprinkle some of Oatly’s self-aware magic on your own brand, check out this mockup template bundle by Giallo. Simply copy your artwork into the placeholder and it’s as good as a real life billboard. That does it for the Social Media Trends you’ll be seeing in 2021.

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