Facebook’s Peek into What’s Trending in 2021

2020 was undoubtedly a year littered with change, from the surge of COVID-19 to an impending invasion of murder hornets. We ask ourselves how has this changed individuals prioritization of events and consumer behaviors? 

Facebook IQ has taken a look into the upcoming trends of 2021 in its “2021 Topics and Trends Report,” with activism, community, and adaptations of new technology among the top trends.

Education Leading to Awareness & Action

There has been a clear shift in education, particularly in the way individuals seek out information. People are beginning to acquire new knowledge that helps them make better connections with the world around them and transform awareness into action. 

Voices are now being heard and listened to for a variety of issues from climate change to inequality. Right here in the United States, Generation Z and Millenials led the charge in taking a stand against racial inequality. The movement continues to prevail as younger generations use social media to educate themselves and others on prominent issues. Ultimately, this influx of education has stretched advocacy beyond the boundaries that held it back in the past.

Furthermore, literature and learning have found new and exciting ways to enter the lives of Americans young and old. There has been a surge in the number of individuals who are downloading eBooks, streaming videos, and listening to podcasts. The trend expands beyond digital media as well, with printed books and local bookstores regaining popularity. 

Microlearning is also becoming a new norm for corporate educators looking to capture the attention of Gen Z audiences. By refining once lengthy content into short-form bites of digital information, educators are able to refine their teaching methods to better suit the engagement practices of younger generations. 

How We Spend Our Time At Home

Lockdowns have kept billions around the globe away from public, indoor spaces, which has led to a shift in the way individuals spend their time. Whether it be developing new hobbies, exercising more, or home improvement, finding new ways to spend time indoors and outside is definitely trending. 

For example, gardening has become increasingly popular in homes around the world. In the United Kingdom, the government even set aside 1.7 million Victory Garden allotments to allow gardeners to take their pent up energy to the soil. This has led thousands of Britons to become more sustainably resourceful. The British aren’t alone, however. This increase in planting has been surging through dozens of other countries. 

Lockdowns have also led to what Facebook has coined as the “Casual Culture.” More and more people are learning to do the things they would normally head out for, such as grooming and exercising. While 46% of United States consumers stated that they have recently participated in some form of at-home grooming, such as cutting their own hair, others are foregoing grooming in ways that lead them to embrace a more authentic self, such as letting hair go grey or growing beards. These shifts are helping consumers procure more empathy for those around them and develop stronger senses of self-compassion. 

What’s New With Technology?

The increase in remote learning and working from home in 2020 forced those who did not previously have internet access to find ways to acquire it in order to be successful. This has ultimately produced a boom in e-commerce and digital streaming. With this massive shift to digital, people in all career paths and walks of life are expanding their connections online.

Hybrid shopping is also capturing the attention of a new wave of buyers online, leading brands big and small to make the jump to ecommerce or upgrade their existing ecommerce capabilities. 

Consumer spending increased a whopping 29% just between March and April of 2020, according to Facebook IQ’s report. Among these trends, subscription services have boomed. Services like Ipsy and Hello Fresh have capitalized on the pent-up demand caused by the stay-at-home orders issued around the world and delivered people a sense of serendipity with exciting unboxing processes. 

The Way We Kick Our Feet Up

With more time on their hands and time at home, leisure activities have enjoyed a renaissance in 2020. More people are being creative in more ways than ever before. Museums and other attractions rushed to convert their collections to digital, stream exciting events for interested spectators, and even develop forums to allow creatives to share and discuss their own work. For example, The Met connected people worldwide with the amazing art that lines their walls by adapting their exhibits for digital consumption. 

Creatives are also turning to upcycling, personalizing their own fashion with trends by bleach or tie-dying, hand-making jewelry, and stitching patchwork. Almost 24% of UK consumers say they completed a craft or do-it-yourself (DIY) project in 2020, according to a Facebook IQ poll. DIY activities have become new hobbies and passions for those who may not have had the time or need to engage previously. 

What Does This All Mean For Marketers? 

Now you’re probably wondering, what does this mean for the way we market to consumers? It is becoming increasingly important to understand the niches your audience fits into. Your brand story is more influential now than ever before. With new and emerging trends and technologies, you have the ability to represent and reinvent your brand. Capture a trend that works in your favor and use it to craft the best strategy to help you excel in 2021 and beyond. 

To see all of Facebook IQ’s predictions and insight, download the PDF version of the “Facebook IQ 2021 Topics and Trends Report.” You can also compare 2021’s trends to Facebook IQ’s 2020 midyear topics and trends analysis in our post on the “Top 5 Trending Social Media Topics of 2020.”

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