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Social Media Trends - What to look out for

Like many industries, social media has needed to rapidly evolve in midst of the Covid-19 crisis and shift their focus with the increased demand of users. According to Hootsuite (2020) more than half of all businesses are planning to increase their social media budget for Instagram and almost half are planning increased activity for Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Surprisingly, TikTok (the new guilty pleasure for attention deficit teenagers and adults alike) has not made operational changes to optimize fully for businesses — for now anyway. With budgets being squeezed moving into 2021, businesses are keen to maximise marketing results and the future is, of course, digital. 

Read on to hear our in-house Digital Marketing and Social Media team’s scoop on the hottest social media trends for 2021 and how you can implement them into your marketing strategy. 


  • Facebook: Facebook video marketing to grow in 2021, Facebook online shopping experiences, User-generated content and Use of hashtags to improve reach.
  • Instagram: Instagram stories, Use of Reels and Use of branded AR filters 
  • LinkedIn:  Active users, Evolution of LinkedIn and Audience network 
  • Rise of Pinterest: Evolution of Pinterest,  Running Digital Campaigns and Generating traffic 
  • TikTok: Evolution of TikTok and Demographic of users 


Facebook video marketing to grow in 2021:

Video advertising is one area where Facebook is a clear leader, with its reach and accurate targeting ensuring high ROI for marketers. After emerging as a competitor to YouTube in the video stakes, Facebook is even surpassing Google on a number of important metrics. One thing to keep an eye out for is mobile optimization and correct CTA (Call To Action) placement in videos to increase optimal returns from Facebook video advertising.

  •  71% of consumers find Facebook video ads relevant or highly relevant.
  •  Facebook users watch ads 5X longer when they are consuming video intentionally.

Facebook online shopping experiences:

With the eCommerce revolution showing no signs of stopping, more consumers will be turning to Facebook shops. Next year will see more businesses building their own digital shop-front - a more professional and branded extension of Facebook’s current Marketplace offering, allowing smaller businesses to adapt to the rapidly changing customer buying trends. 

Social Commerce, also known as sCommerce, is the new kid on the block and gives consumers the ability to shop and purchase products or services inside a social media channel without having to leave the platform to complete a purchase in an internet browser. Users can shop and buy with fewer clicks and without having to venture off the social channel, removing barriers to sales. 

Whether you’re a small business owner or a large business selling at scale, sCommerce could be the answer for reaching new audiences. 

User-generated content:

In 2021 the most successful pieces of content will be content where businesses don’t create, but facilitate. In the aftermath of  2020, people look to other people for inspiration about products and services that fit their new lifestyle post Covid-19. 

So, why is it important and why should your business implement user generated content? User generated content conveys authentic feeling and in a saturated digital age, authenticity is king. In order to achieve authenticity, many businesses are now opting to use influencer and user-generated content so they can connect with their audience on a deeper level.

As a retail or eCommerce business, look at your most loyal customers and reach out to them and see if they want to collaborate. It may mean providing free products to your influencers, or paying them a fee, but this could be a worthwhile investment as your followers become your advocates and reach a network only they can unlock. 

Use Hashtags to improve reach:

Use hashtags (one to two are recommended) on your posts so people can click through to find more relevant conversation. Make sure they’re relevant to the subject you are talking about and if possible, create a unique hashtag for your business which will become a geotag for all your digital activity. 

Use them wisely in the way they were designed - to help create and continue and conversation around relevant topics. 


With one billion active users worldwide, Instagram should take priority within your social media strategy for 2021 and beyond. Here are a couple of features on the Instagram app that you should utilise this year:  

Instagram Stories:

As the backbone of influencer marketing, stories have become a key aspect of social media advertising with nearly eight out of ten (seven percent) brands saying that utilising Instagram Stories has seen a massive increase in influencers’ content about their brand (Tribe Dynamics, 2020).

Instagram Stories allow your business to stay front of mind of the customer by seemlessly intergrating your content with that of their friends and family, allowing companies to increase your brand awareness. Although, make sure you’re not over-doing it, you want to engage your audience, not bore them! Ask questions of your audience, put out interactive polls and filters so you can start a conversation with them. 

Use of Reels: 

Launched in August 2020, Instagram Reels is set to challenge TikTok’s video content model in 2021. Instagram Reels allows users to create and edit short, 15 - second videos and since the feature launched in August 2020 it is anow available in 50 countries (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020).

While the feature is currently focused mainly on user-generated and creator content, Instagram will inevitably monetarize this space for advertising and unlock another new opportunity for companies to share their message with users. One of the key benefits of using the Reels tool, is that users are reporting higher reach and engagement on their Reels than when using the same or similar content in different placements on the Instagram platform.

Instagram Reels can be discovered in many places on the Instagram app, which accounts for it being a major growth hack for 2021 as there are more channels for people to find and interact with your content. You can discover Reels:

  •  In the Reels tab
  • Scrolling the home feed
  • The explore page
  • The reels tab on individual profiles

Use of branded AR Filters:

The use of branded AR filters are becoming increasingly popular within Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok . It offers businesses an opportunity to connect with consumers and provide them with a new brand/shopping experience or an opportunity to actively engage with interactive campaigns online. For example, a filter created for We MakeUp (an Italian cosmetics brand) enabled users to “try on” different lipstick shades with their AR filter, discovering their perfect shade. The campaign achieved a 53% click through rate and a 28% uplift in sales. 

Given their potential, branded AR filters are likely to be one of the top Instagram trends in 2021 and one that companies should not hesitate to leverage as a marketing tool.Time to get creative and show off your brand’s personality. 


With nearly 700million active users on the platform in 2020, LinkedIn’s capabilities have certainly responded to the increased demand of business professionals during the pandemic. LinkedIn has evolved, adding new features such as live video events, name pronunciation and reaction emojis. Aside from LinkedIn's user growth, it's also continued to expand on advertising opportunities, which has helped it become the second most used platform of B2B marketers. Because LinkedIn is a slightly different audience from other major platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat, you'll want to understand the audience before investing time or resources into a campaign or advertisement. Having said that, the pay off can be much greater for businesses selling high value products or services as LinkedIn offers the opportunity to target demographics such as job role and title. By advertising on LinkedIn you can speak directly to the decision makers and purse holders in your prospective client companies.


The rise of Pinterest

With 400 million monthly active users, Pinterest has emerged as a “go-to” tool for digital marketers and has received praise for driving “bottom of funnel conversions”. Since adding new ROI driven advertising tools and a “Today” tab to keep users engaged Pinterest is drawing a huge number of users within the education, advertising, business and professional services industries. 

When running a digital campaign, Pinterest allows for targeting typical demographics such as age and location but also facilitates the targeting of specific passions and hobbies, attract a cross-generational audience and leading to new revenue opportunities. 

Pinterest offers businesses high browsers to buyers conversion rates, driving traffic and with “pins” attracting inbound link clicks through to your website or other social media channels. Finally, Pinterest integrates nicely with your website, Facebook profile and Twitter account, making cross promotion consistent and simple. 



With 500million users in December 2019 to close to a billion in January 2021, TikTok’s growth is no doubt impressive. TikTok allows brands to engage with users through short bitesize videos lasting one minute or under. In the last 12 months, brands have created accounts on the platform to explore and engage with consumers in a more informal manner. The Tiktokcreator demographic and audience is varied and you can find everyone from influencers and celebrities to politicians and the average Joe or Jane.

Like other social platforms, TikTok will be embracing a monetization model and making an eCommerce shift in 2021. If you’re business isn’t ready to take the leap of faith into TikTok yet- don’t rush. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons and you’ve done your research, knowing that your target market is on TikTok. There is a fantastic community feel on TikTok and this does open up opportunity for brand awareness for your business, but advertising needs to be more covert and guerrilla in style in order to connect with the platforms existing culture.

2021 looks to be a busy and interesting year within the social media landscape. Considering it’s value to business, developing your social media strategy in 2021 should be a key focus within your business. It is important that you keep up to date with latest trends, listening and analysing your customer’s (and prospective customer’s) behaviour. By using the data insights from your social media you can make informed business decisions and ensure your advertising and marketing is connecting with your audience and contributing to business growth. 

If your business is looking to develop your social media strategy or explore digital marketing, reach out to and a member of our digital team will be happy to give advice and prepare a proposal for how you can maximise the opportunities social media can offer your business. 


About Whitenoise 

Four teams. One studio. 

At Whitenoise, we offer brand identity development and graphic design across all traditional and digital media, advertising for tv, press, radio, OOH, online and ambient. 

Our animation offering includes 2D/3D animation and motion graphics, FX,CGI and 3D visualisation. Our film team works with the latest technology for business and broadcast, we have 4k film capture capability, Steadicam, aerial videography and sound design. The digital team offer social media services including content creation, copywriting, social media management and digital advertising.

For a full list of services, visit our website:

Further reading

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