The trends that will dominate the social space in 2021

Saying that 2020 has been a tough one is stating the obvious. It’s a year we will most definitely tell the kids about when we are grey and old. What has been most interesting, however, is the shift in advertising and social media. Strategies have done a 180 degree turn overnight, annual marketing calendars thrown into disarray and a focus on consumer behaviour has taken centre stage.

Consumers have been interacting with brands and consuming content in new ways, meaning trends that no one could have predicted have emerged and are here to stay. Audiences are also keen to be engaged and take on a creative challenge set by brands, but they also want more in return. They want to know that brands actually care and in return for this proof they will pay you with their loyalty.

With brand building being more tightly wound with brand purpose than ever before, we have taken a look at what’s to come for 2021 and how brands have the opportunity to flourish in this space if they act fast.

1: Remixing is here to stay

Remixing is where user-generated content takes existing formats, ideas or templates and recreates them to express a user’s own personality or ideas. If you didn’t at least attempt a TikTok remixing trend this year then what were you doing?

Heba Sayed, strategy leader at IBM Cloud and AI, has predicted that: “User-generated content will be the ‘crown jewel’ for great brands in 2021. The best pieces of content will be the ones marketers don’t create, but instead facilitate. At a time where consumers’ lives have changed dramatically, they look to people, not brands, for inspiration about products and services that fit within their new lifestyles post Covid-19.”

With TikTok and now Instagram Reels on the rise, there is a big opportunity for brands to provide audiences with the tools to chime in and create content under branded hashtags. By getting content creators to influence the consumer with a fun and engaging challenge, brands embed themselves within the creative.

2: Reveling in the nostalgia

As Covid really started to hit home, we saw an influx of nostalgic content. Naturally, people wanted to remember better times and connecting with positive memories helps people disconnect from their current struggles. When brands connect with that positive memory, they are then able to build an emotional relationship with the consumer. This is because when the audience feels good, they will then associate your brand with that feeling.

According to a recent study completed by Talkwalker and Hubspot, mentions of keywords on social media related to nostalgia increased from around 13m to 24.4m; an 88% increase.

A perfect example of how to do this effectively is Gucci’s 2020 Christmas Gift campaign. It imagines a holiday party in an office with a retro 90s setting. This example…


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