About a month ago, I received an email with one of my favorite subject lines: If hindsight is 2020, what’s 2021?
This was one of many emails containing trends and predictions for next year. And after the year this has been, it is understandable why people are looking ahead.
Read on as we share some of the insights we’re gleaning from our crystal ball.
1. Social media usage
How many of you received a number of weekly screen time reports that said “your screen time was up from last week”? Turns out, you’re not alone. Nearly 50% of adults in the U.S. increased their social media consumption, and social media users increased 10.5% globally during the pandemic. From a channel perspective:
- Facebook and Instagram usage increased 40% in 2020.
- LinkedIn is seeing record engagement, including a 50% YoY increase in the content shared on the platform.
- TikTok has boomed, with billions of downloads and 90% of users checking the platform multiple times a day.
Why it’s important
It’s important for brands to understand this user behavior and consumption on social media, because it can directly impact channel strategy. With increased time spent online, fans have higher expectations when it comes to responsiveness. It also gives companies the opportunity to engage with their fans more frequently through a variety of content.
What to expect in 2021
While people flocked to social media to find connection and entertainment during quarantine, we fully expect the amount of time spent online to plateau and decrease slightly as we head into next year. You’ve probably already noticed some of your connections indicating that they’re feeling digitally fatigued and may be pulling back their online engagement.
We also anticipate that continued conversations around data privacy and user protection will impact how people view and use social media. While we aren’t expecting a monumental change in how many people use social media, we do anticipate that people will be more conscious of their behaviors online. They want to protect their information, which could impact usage.
This means that brands will have less time to compete for their audiences’ attention and engage them with their content. They will also have to constantly work to foster trust among their followers as people question their own trust in the social media platforms they’re using.