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10 Social Media Trends Every Marketer Should Know in 2021 [Infographic]

Article by Ying Lin

After researching dropshipping, you’re finally ready to jump in and start your Aliexpress dropshipping business. Before you begin, it’s important to look into the different marketing strategies you’ll need for your store. 

Social media marketing is one of the most important marketing strategies for ecommerce businesses. This requires more than opening a few social media accounts where you expect your target audience to find you – you also need to understand the latest social media trends.

From the growing impact of social commerce to the very latest social media marketing strategies, we’ll go deep into the ten social media trends every marketer should know in 2021. This knowledge will surely give your ecommerce business the boost it needs.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

1.The Proliferation of Memes on Social Media

The very first social media trend you need to know about isn’t exactly new and you don’t need to be social media-savvy to have heard of it. 

But it has been gaining popularity in recent months and very quickly too. We’re talking about the rise of memes. 

Memes usage and mentions increased from 19.8 million in August 2019 to 24.9 million in July 2020, marking a 26 percent rise in just one year (Talkwalker, 2020). 

Perhaps uncoincidentally, its usage peaked in April with 28 million. That’s when lockdowns were imposed and internet users turned to social media for their dose of, well, social. 

In fact, nearly nine in ten (88.1 percent) social media users in the US reported spending at least half an hour more on social media every day during the coronavirus pandemic. 

With the pandemic and resulting lockdowns expected to continue into 2021, it’s more than likely that memes will continue to trend on social media. As a business owner, this is certainly something to consider including in your social media strategy—if you haven’t already done so.

2. Start Profiting From Your Social Media Videos

Start Profiting From Your Social Media Videos Already a hit before the pandemic, videos have become even more popular during the lockdown. In response, many platforms are now offering more video features for businesses.

Video streaming, in particular, is one that has seen demand surge. With a massive market value of $42.9 billion in 2019, the industry is expected to grow 20.4 percent between 2020 and 2027 (Grand View Research, 2020). 

Recent consumer behavior is certainly backing this forecast. The trend of live video shopping has taken China by storm recently with consumers there flocking to online shopping sessions during the lockdown. Over four million live shopping sessions were held in Q1 2020 alone (Techcrunch, 2020). 

If you think this is just a fleeting trend, think again. Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba says it plans to recruit and train video influencers to sell more through AliExpress, a sign that live video shopping is here for the long run.

Instagram is also boosting its video capabilities as views of its live videos jumped 70 percent from February to March. 

To encourage video creation, it now allows ads to be shown before long-form videos on its IGTV (Instagram TV) service, with 55 percent of those revenues going to creators (SCMP, 2020). 

Social Media Trends: Niche Platforms Growing in Popularity

Sure, Facebook still reigns as the social media king. When done well, Facebook ads can be a lucrative marketing channel. But the latest social media trends show there are emerging – albeit smaller – platforms that are worth paying extra attention to. 

TikTok is one such platform. The global time spent on TikTok grew 210 percent year over year in 2019, as a result of its efforts to expand its user base and increase users’ time spent (App Annie, 2020). In fact, nearly half (44 percent) of TikTok’s total downloads happened in 2019. It’s no wonder that so many businesses are signing up and exploring ways to skyrocket their TikTok growth.

Another niche platform that’s growing in popularity is Reddit. Though it has been around for 15 years, with the likes of Facebook and Instagram around, it’s seldom seen as an important marketing channel. But here’s where the latest social media trends prove otherwise. 

Reddit saw a massive boost in 2019. The number of monthly active users on Reddit increased 30 percent year over year to 430 million and its monthly view counts also witnessed a 53 percent jump. These are both clear indications that brands need to take a serious look at making Reddit a part of their 2020 plans. 

4. Social Media Stories Are Not Going Anywhere

Social Media Stories Are Not Going Anywhere

If you’re considering marketing on stories, be it Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram stories, you’ll want to pay attention to this next social media marketing trend. 

The stories feature for all three platforms mentioned above, all of which actually fall under the big Facebook umbrella, allows users to post a limited-time update that disappears after 24 hours. 

Even though these features were all launched less than five years ago, it’s proven to be one of the more popular growing social media trends among users and their growth numbers certainly indicate that they’re here to stay.

The daily active users hit half a billion across all three platforms in 2019 (TechCrunch, 2019). More specifically, Instagram Stories’ daily active users grew fivefold from 100 million in 2016 to 500 million in 2019. As for Facebook stories, its daily active users more than tripled from 150 million in 2018 to 500 million in 2019, and Whatsapp stories’ daily active users grew from 450 million in 2018 to 500 million in 2019.

5. Digital Disinformation on the Rise

Social media is a double-edged sword. Though a growing number of people are relying on it as a news source, it’s exactly this potential that makes it so dangerous. 

The latest research shows that digital misinformation on social media has been on the rise since February 2020 (Talkwalker, 2020). This was brought on by COVID-19 as people flocked to social media to learn more about it and get the latest updates on the pandemic.

That, in turn, gave rise to opportunities to spread fake news. Misinformation aside, some users even went as far as fabricating conspiracy theories, which have also increased dramatically. 

Some social media platforms do have measures in place to counter the spread of misinformation. Twitter, for instance, took to adding warning labels to tweets that include “synthetic and manipulated” content. 

Despite these measures, controlling digital disinformation on social media has always been a problem and will probably continue to be as we head into 2021.

6. Social Commerce Is the Future

Social Commerce Is the Future

If the previous social media trend hasn’t already convinced you of the power of social commerce, how’s this to tip you over the fence: 55.2 percent of all Gen Z internet users in the US say their recent fashion purchases were inspired by the social media content. 

Considering that this group of users does half of their fashion shopping online, that accounts for quite a substantial amount of revenue.

The millennial generation is also nearly as inspired, with only slightly fewer (50.6 percent) reporting purchasing a fashion item online after browsing through social media. All in all, it’s safe to say that more than half of all internet users between the ages of 14 and 34 have recently bought an item related to fashion online as a result of social media.

With these social media trends in mind, you will not want to lose out on the benefits of social commerce for your business. After all, your competitors may already be doing so – nearly three out of every ten businesses say they have either already implemented a social commerce plan or are thinking about doing so over the next 12 months (Hootsuite, 2019). 

7. Authenticity Matters in Social Media Marketing

Authenticity Matters in Social Media Marketing

To further reiterate the previous point on user-generated content, here’s a statistic that highlights the importance of authenticity on social media.

An increasing number of consumers view authenticity as an important factor in determining which brands they like and support. Statistics show that 90 percent of consumers today prioritize authenticity in brands, up from 86 percent in 2017 (Stackla, 2019).

Authenticity is also particularly important for the younger generation – Gen Z and Millennials, in particular – who enjoy visual, raw, and real content more than the older crowd. 

However, there appears to be a gap between the type of content consumers enjoy and what brands publish. Though more than 90 percent of marketers believe that they are creating authentic content that consumers can relate to, 51 percent of all consumers think that fewer than half of all brands are creating truly authentic content. 

8. Social Media as a Discovery Engine

Social Media as a Discovery Engine

Here is another one of the latest social media trends: social media plays a huge role across the entire purchase journey of a consumer.

Consumers are increasingly reliant on social media for their purchases. According to a recent study, one-quarter of all consumers come across new brands and products through social ads and recommendations. 

The passive consumption aside, consumers are also adopting a proactive approach to discover new products. Statistics show 43 percent of consumers research products online through social media networks (GlobalWebIndex, 2019). 

And there is an age trend to this as well: younger generations tend to look up products on social media more often than the older generation.

9. Growth in Messaging Apps

Growth in Messaging Apps

One of the latest trends in social media marketing relates to messaging apps. The latest study figures show that the number of users of mobile messaging apps is expected to reach 3.12 billion worldwide in 2023 – a 24 percent increase from 2.52 billion in 2019 (eMarketer, 2019).

Currently, 90 percent of all smartphone users around the globe use at least one messaging app, which is a huge market for businesses to tap into. Coupled with the fact that most consumers prefer to communicate with companies is via messaging, this is certainly a social media trend you should include in your business’ marketing plan.

And if you’re thinking of doing so, consider the potential of each platform. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger may be the two most popular mobile messenger apps with 1.6 million and 1.3 billion monthly active users respectively. But if you’re targeting markets such as China, WeChat, which has 1.1 billion monthly active users, would be the way to go.

10. Customer Service via Social Media

Customer Service via Social Media

Last but not least, one of the latest social media trends relates to consumers’ increasing use of social media for customer service issues. A recent study shows that nearly three in ten consumers use social media to communicate with a company (Drift, 2019). 

Most who do so cite convenience, 24-hour service, and ease as the top three expected benefits. However, these advantages appear to be limited to the simpler issues consumers face, since only 10 percent of consumers say social media offers quick answers to complex questions.

Nevertheless, social media has become an important channel of contact for consumers and even has an impact on branding. Nearly 70 percent of US residents say that being able to directly message a company makes them feel more confident about the brand.


Whether you’re looking to tweak your social media strategy or just looking to get caught up with the newest social media trends, these ten social media trends we’ve listed above will certainly help you understand how your customers engage with social media.

And one quick note before we go: given that social media trends are constantly evolving, you’ll want to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest social media marketing trends so that you stay one step ahead of the competition!

Here’s a summary of social media trends for 2021:

  1. Memes usage and mentions rose 26 percent from August 2019 to July 2020 and are expected to trend into 2021.
  2. Social media videos are on the rise. Alibaba and Instagram are among the platforms that have announced new measures to help brands boost revenue from videos.
  3. Global time spent on TikTok grew 210 percent year-over-year in 2019 and Reddit’s monthly active users grew 30 percent year-over-year. 
  4. Daily active stories users on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp all hit 500 million each in 2019.
  5. Digital disinformation on social media, including fake news and conspiracy theories, has been increasing since February 2020. 
  6. Nearly three out of every ten businesses plan either already have a social commerce plan or are planning to implement one in the next 12 months. 
  7. Nine out of ten consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support. 
  8. 43 percent of consumers research products online through social media networks. 
  9. The number of mobile messaging app users is expected to reach 3.12 billion worldwide in 2023.
  10. Nearly three out of every ten consumers use social media to communicate with a company.

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