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Attempting to predict the Next Big Thing in Social Media is no easy feat. There’s just so much going on.

The impact of lockdown on businesses meant an increase in the use and development of technology.

And simply being online was a huge way in which people could access other people (certainly was for me).

In 2021 Instagram made it clear that they are prioritising video content, especially as Reels have blasted into space! And both Insta and Facebook have highlighted the importance of content creators for their platforms. And they’ve backed this with money, lots of money 

Constant evolution is the nature of the social media beast. So what can we expect to see trending in the not too distant future? Here are 10 Social Media Trends for 2021-2022:

Customer Service

Social media is a great tool for businesses to use to connect with their customers. And when customers have questions, or complaints, it’s an easy and direct route for them to make contact through. Businesses therefore need to have a proper process for dealing with any questions, or complaints.

Top tip: assign a customer service role to the social media manager, have scripted and agreed upon responses, actually respond to comments, take any big issues offline and deal with them off the feed.

Inclusivity and diversity

Businesses should be marketing to their whole customer base and that includes being aware of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation. Include diverse images, products, language but make it meaningful, not merely performative.

Top tip: update your pronouns on Instagram and LinkedIn

Authenticity

People don’t like being lied to, people like honesty and integrity and a dash of humility. Everyone knows that social media doesn’t show the full picture of someone’s life and it’s not supposed to either because we all have boundaries. However, people do expect others to take more responsibility and accountability these days.

Top tip: if you make a mistake, acknowledge it and learn from it, apologise and grow.

Augmented Reality

Basically filters, and we all already love filters, especially ones that add brightly coloured lipstick. AR is being used by businesses to promote products by giving followers really fun experiences (and who doesn’t like a fun experience?) and that increases engagement levels for them.

Top tip: have fun with it

Virtual Reality

Where AR allows users to have an experience within the platform, Virtual Reality requires users to use specific equipment. The most well known at the moment is Facebook’s Oculus. VR has been around for a while now but it’s only recently that social media has included it. According to the Oculus website, ‘OCULUS QUEST 2 GIVES YOU THE FREEDOM TO DO IT ALL. GAMES, ENTERTAINMENT, LIVE EVENTS, FITNESS AND MORE.’

Top tip: Start saving up and stay aware of what’s going on with this one

Social Commerce

Shops everywhere, am I right? Who even goes to brick and mortar shops anymore? I’m joking, but there has been an increase in social media commerce: Instagram Shop, Facebook Shop and paid advertising possible on pretty much every platform. Ecomm is big business.

Top tip: Facebook ads – because 71% of UK adults can be reached with Facebook Ads and 42% of UK adults with Instagram ads

Videos

We already know that Instagram is prioritising video format, and video content will continue to dominate with short form videos being the most popular because we all have ridiculously reduced attention spans these days. In fact if you’ve read to here then big well done.

Top tip: get comfortable with Reels or TikTok

Stories

Do you include stories in your social media strategy? Featuring predominantly on Instagram and Facebook (they kind of bombed on Twitter) they are fun and interactive and engaging and short and temporary. And have you noticed that once you click on one story, you just keep watching?

Also it’s worth remembering that stories can be saved to highlights if you want them to last longer.

Top tip: have a play around with the engagement tools in stories such as the question box, countdown timer, poll, quiz, slider

Live Streams

In my social media life I’ve done 3 Lives, 2 on Facebook and 1 on Instagram. The one I did on Instagram went wrong but it looks as though I’ll have to sort that out because Live Streams are predicted to be growing as a trend. Again their popularity is kind of a bi-product of the pandemic as people used it as a way to connect with their followers. We saw interviews, tutorials, announcements (Adam Moserri does a ton of lives and then saves them to IGTV)

Top tip: practice, practice, practice if you’re not feeling confident about Lives. And do a power stance before you go live.

Influencer Marketing

Social Media Influencer is a job title that didn’t even exist 5-10 years ago but it can be incredibly well paid and very lucrative for a business. Well known faces that align with the brand can help reach and awareness and can be cheaper than running a paid advertising campaign, apparently.

Top tip: research and include influencers when creating your social media strategy.

As you can see there’s a lot going on and no doubt there will be more developments so it’s always a good idea to make sure you stay on the ball with updates. But these are all things that you can consider including in your social media strategy.

Top tip: I receive emails from Social Media TodayWe Are SocialMatt Navarra and Emma Van Heusen

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