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Covid 19 has worked as a catalyst for accelerating initiatives and ideas that were still in the wings and may have not have happened so soon if it was not for the pandemic. The future of social media may not look anything like what we have witnessed till now. Here is the forecast for social media trends for 2021.

1. Impact of a socially conscious audience – We know-how in 2020 the socially conscious audience impacted the brands, politics, and society. The focus for companies will now have to move to areas such as social justice, mental health, and inclusivity as the highly charged Generations Z and Alpha are well aware of these issues and they use social media to bring attention to them. The companies will have to go beyond words and take action on demonstrating their commitment to creating an honest social impact. They will have to reposition themselves in 2021 by using more cause-driven messaging which will drive higher engagement with the younger generation.

2. Rise of digital disinformation – The year 2020 has been very difficult for one and all and it has brought forth the issue of disinformation. The focus in 2021 for brands and social media channels will be on putting forward the truth to put an end to all the false stories. Brands will have to be transparent with the information so that there are no information gaps, thereby excluding the chance of any misinformation being passed on to the audience. They will also need to invest in ensuring that all communication channels, be it social media, email, etc. are secure and verified to avoid hackers from giving out any false information. Brand monitoring[1] will have to be scaled up and brands will have to be careful with the information they put out to avoid any kind of controversy with the authenticity of the information.

3. The new normal for social media giants – The social media giants will stay as relevant in 2021 as they have been in the past with some new features and changes according to the current trends. There have been many negative stories that have surrounded some of the social media platforms, but they have still shown growth in the user numbers and their reach. For brands, they should focus on being on a few social media channels rather than hopping on to any and every niche platform that comes up. They should keep innovating with the new features that are offered by the selected channels and monitor closely these channels. Analytics tools will help gain consumer insight which can guide content planning and ideation. Lastly, monitor all investments made in paid social closely to optimize the campaigns.

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