In the past few years, social media trends have become even more important in our daily lives. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted society on a massive scale and forced the majority of the population to spend more time online. Many workers transitioned to work-from-home schedules, and as in-person events were halted, companies turned to social media to do the heavy lifting. As we continue to transition, current trends in social media will continue to hold significance for marketers. We can safely admit that we all spend a little more time on social media than we used to. Major social media platforms reported a boost in engagement in the past couple of years, and obscure apps like Zoom blew up as schools and businesses found ways to move education and work online.
Latest Social Media Trends
2020 was a remarkable year that tested the capabilities of modern technology, specifically social media. The world found ways to be together even when we had to be physically apart. The wave of new social media trends we’re continuing to see today is a direct product of our change in daily life.
Obviously, online shopping has been an option for consumers for a while, but the pandemic heightened the need for alternatives to in-person shopping. It has become more important than ever for brands to have online stores. Today, many consumers continue to shop online due to the accessibility of online stores. Facebook and Instagram have created space for businesses, big and small, to thrive. Not only do these platforms offer users the option to create business accounts, but they now have introduced “shops.” This feature is an online store on both social media platforms that gives the user the opportunity to shop within the app. This can give your business even more presence on social media, as there’s no need to leave the app to buy your product.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has been one of the hot social media trends for years. An example of AR would be a Snapchat or Instagram filter. It takes an image based in reality and adds something that isn’t there, whether it be a filter or an animation. Virtual reality has been on the precipice of becoming popular for years now. VR is the ultimate immersive experience. The user is essentially dropped into a completely different world. This technology was mostly used for gaming until social media started experimenting with it in the past few years.
With the help of a VR headset, you can experience virtual reality on YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. Facebook’s brand, Oculus, wants to take social media to a different level by offering another reality to its users. The idea is to be immersed in entertainment, community, education, and other experiences in a new way. It seems that there are countless opportunities to use VR and AR in conjunction with social media. We’ve already seen marketers use AR on social media with Snapchat, and we can predict that VR will be a helpful tool to marketers as well.
New Social Media Platforms
The social media trends of today are reflected in the culture of the past year. There has been a massive grasp for connection through every aspect of the online experience, whether it’s streaming a movie with friends or talking to strangers in real-time. These new apps have bridged gaps in communication and set current trends for social media.
Caffeine is a new live streaming service that rivals Twitch in its capabilities and is on the rise. The app’s popularity, especially with younger demographics, shows that live video is making space for itself within the realm of social media. From a marketer’s perspective, the app could be used to host live Q&As, livestreams in collaboration with influencers, or a number of other live video-based content.
First developed in 2020, Clubhouse is a social media experience based around voice. Upon opening the app, you can look through different “rooms” in which people are engaged in conversation. You can enter a room as an audience member and raise your hand if you wish to speak. Or you can create your own room. The app is voice-only, meaning there’s no pressure to be well dressed or good-looking. While the app is still working toward a general release, this new audio-based social media holds a world of possibilities.
Much like Clubhouse, Spaces is the beta app for an audio feature on Twitter. Stepping into the unknown territory of audio features only makes sense for Twitter, as the platform is already based around community dialogue. Once Spaces is released to the public, there could be any number of ways to use it for marketing.
Current Trends Expected to Continue Growing
Of course, as we move into a new year, social media trends are going to change. This means some trends will die out while others will persist. Let’s discuss a few current trends that are expected to continue gaining traction.
More and more, people are consuming video content on social media. With the rise of TikTok, short-form videos are more popular than ever and there are so many ways to share them. Video content is a social media trend that does not seem to be going away any time soon. Generation Z spends most of their free time online. Social media trends follow our attention spans, so it’s no surprise that TikTok and video content from other platforms are beginning to replace television. Teenagers would rather spend two hours watching a host of different videos on TikTok, with messages ranging from comedic to political, than two episodes of a television show. Over the summer, Instagram incorporated its own version of TikTok videos into their new Reels feature. Like TikTok, users can consume videos with endless scrolling, and they can also create them without disrupting their official Instagram feed.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen social media trends spread from one platform to the next. Since Snapchat came onto the social media scene in 2011, Instagram, Facebook, and even LinkedIn have incorporated “story” features as another way to promote video content. This feature allows users to post short video clips to their profiles for 24 hours before it disappears. Many brands use stories to help promote their products. In fact, utilizing the story function on your social media pages is a marketing must today. Through stories, you can frequently showcase your merchandise or service, remaining at the front of social media feeds. You can also interact more closely with consumers this way by asking them questions and creating polls. Overall, video content continues to gain traction.
One social media trend that just keeps climbing is influencer marketing. This is what we call collaborations between brands and social media influencers. This strategy of marketing is incredibly lucrative on both ends if executed correctly. The influencer gets paid to promote a product or a service on their social media pages and the brand gains new followers, profiting from the collaboration. We will continue to see influencers promoting brands, possibly more than ever. As more people join social media, more influencers emerge, providing more opportunities for brands to expand their reach.
How Can Social Media Help Your Business?
First things first, if your business has no social media presence, now is the time to get one. As more of our lives are spent online, you’re missing out on a world of new customers who could be using your product or service. Think about the number of people in your life who use social media every day. Chances are, you are one of these people. By utilizing these platforms, you are widening your company’s scope. As you can see, there are countless possibilities for marketing with social media. These apps are encouraging marketers to bring their business to these programs through innovative new features. By following current trends, you can build up your company.
Today, social media can even be a place to start your business, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or any other platform. Social media is a place for your business to grow; it doesn’t matter if you start out big or small. All it takes is a viral post. You might not have the time to think about what to post on every platform multiple times a week while also running a business. It can be stressful to keep up appearances on social media, which is why SEO Design Chicago offers social media content creation and content strategy. When we team up with your business, we can work together to create a balanced social media presence that will promote your product, grow your audience, and keep your following.
- What are social media trends today?
- What are the current social media trends?
- How can social media help my business?
- What is social commerce?
- What is influencer marketing?