Socially conscious audiences and the impact they have on brands, politics and society as a whole is expected to account for the single greatest impact to social media next year, according to a recent survey by social media analysis firm Talkwalker and software company Hubspot.
The survey, which asked 50 industry experts, social media gurus and PR professionals from around the world to identify the coming year’s top social media trends, cited the impact of socially conscious audiences as the number-one trend affecting brands in 2021, underscoring the need for companies to engage with consumers on topics such as mental health, inclusivity and social justice least they face becoming irrelevant.
“Politics, equality, education, mental health, finance, changing food trends are proliferant conversations on social media,” the report read. “These topics are critical to these generations, and social media is their way to bring them to attention. The COVID-19 health crisis also impacted Gen Z badly—50% have either lost a job, or had someone in their household lose a job because of the pandemic. In the coming years, they will have more to fight for, and will potentially become more vocal about the issues that matter more to them.”
Other trends experts said will define 2021 include a return of “old-school” marketing, an increase of social gaming, a continuing rise of digital disinformation, nostalgia marketing, conversational (IA) marketing, meme-driven media and “remixing,” or the art of recreating content via apps like TikTok, Koji, and Instagram Reels.
The Talkwalker/Hubspot “Social Media Trends 2021” report relied on data gathered by Talkwalker Analytics and Quick Search during the 13 months prior to August 2020.