2020 was a huge year for social media trends. Major platforms released everything from new apps to novel features. Cutting-edge tech and content continue to transform how users spend time on their channels of choice—and how your team can leverage each one for your agency or clients.

With so much innovation in the space, how do you decide where your agency should focus? And how do you get maximum value from each new feature or approach you try? Let’s take a look at 10 ways your agency can capitalize on social media trends in 2021 and beyond.

If your agency offers social media management, your team likely spends hours on each client account every week. In some cases, you’re focusing on high-level analysis and optimization. But in other cases, you’re wasting time on tasks that you could automate instead.

Smart agencies are increasingly relying on AI for simple yet time-consuming tasks like deciding what or when to post. Many have also begun using AI to automate influencer discovery, brand monitoring, social media posting, and understanding social media trends. With AI-powered tools like Linkfluence and Cortex, you can automate aspects of social management and boost productivity by 40%.

2. Master TikTok to Skyrocket Client Reach and Engagement

Since its 2017 debut, TikTok has stood out at the top of the list of social media trends. The app has rapidly built a global user base of over 800 million, and its short video format has proven to be a massive hit. Users spend an average of 500 minutes on the app each month, and average engagement rates per post are over 50%.

The majority of TikTok’s users are 16 to 24 years old, so likely outside of your agency’s target audience. But the platform may be the perfect match for your clients, especially those with TikTok influencer potential. By becoming TikTok experts, your team can help clients establish impressive reach and engagement. Then you can ensure they’re positioned to leverage advertising and revenue opportunities as they become more common.

3. Showcase Your Agency’s Creativity With Instagram Reels

Instagram introduced Reels in mid-2020, and the response to these short videos has been explosive. Global brands have racked up millions of views for their most popular Reels. Many brands have achieved significantly higher engagement with Reels than with Stories or standard video posts. Because they appear in their own Explore feed, Reels can also drive brand awareness and audience growth.

social media trends - Instagram Reels

Why choose Instagram Reels over TikTok? You don’t necessarily have to choose. Many brands repurpose TikTok videos on Instagram Reels, reaching both sets of followers with the same content.

While the platforms’ formats are similar, the audiences and partnership opportunities are worlds apart. Instagram has over a billion active monthly users, compared to TikTok’s 100 million. Instagram’s audience also skews older, as over 30% of users are 25 to 34 years old. If your agency has already invested in Instagram, adding Reels to the mix is a great way to let your creativity shine while expanding your audience and boosting your engagement rate.

4. Get More Value From Instagram Stories With Stickers

Instagram Stories stickers

Love the idea of Instagram Stories but wish they offered more value for your agency? Instagram routinely introduces new sticker types designed to do anything from increasing engagement to driving revenue. Here are a few new options for your agency to test:

  • Boost engagement: Use quiz stickers to educate followers and get audience feedback or hashtag stickers to drive discovery.
  • Get DMs: Add DM Me stickers to encourage followers to start conversations with your team.
  • Make connections: Use mention stickers to tag influencers and clients.
  • Sell products and services: Add shopping or gift card stickers to help clients generate revenue.

5. Start Conversations on Reddit With Polls

Not all agencies have a dedicated Reddit strategy, but if your clients have popular products with high customer satisfaction then you’re probably keeping an eye on their Reddit community.

Building a strong community on Reddit is a valuable way to provide social proof for your clients and to gain traction and engagement for new products or ideas. With Reddit’s poll feature, you can natively ask the community specific questions and get much high engagement than a text post. The higher response rates to the poll can also lead to positive impacts on the comment rates.

This makes polls a really powerful feature for gaining deep engagement from your Reddit community and capitalizing on social media trends relevant to your clients’ audiences.

6. Leverage LinkedIn Polls for Lead Generation

LinkedIn Polls

LinkedIn launched a handful of new features in 2020, and the poll option offers lots of potential for agencies. Create polls from your company page or personal profile to accomplish goals like:

  • Gauging your audience’s goals: Have current events caused your audience’s goals to shift? Find out what they’re planning so you can align your offerings appropriately.
  • Learning about pain points: What are your audience’s biggest challenges? Ask your followers what they’re struggling with to get new ideas for content.
  • Assessing interest in new ideas: Thinking about offering a new program or service? Poll your audience to gauge interest and use the results to guide your launch.
  • Starting conversations: Want to get your followers talking or find out how your audience feels about emerging trends? Ask simple questions so followers can weigh in quickly—and encourage them to say more in the comments.
  • Qualifying leads: Need to fill your agency’s pipeline? Poll your audience about the strategies they want to start prioritizing, and use their responses to create a list of prospects for future follow-up.

7. Share Thought Leadership Via LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn Events

As a social platform designed for professionals, LinkedIn is the optimal place to share your team’s thought leadership. But why stick to basic posts, articles, or videos when you can host entire events on LinkedIn? Take the new LinkedIn Events feature for a test drive and:

  • Livestream public or private events with LinkedIn Live—no Zoom necessary.
  • Create a LinkedIn landing page to promote your event.
  • Drive organic discovery by sharing events in your feed and adding them to your page’s events tab.
  • Generate interest via polls and videos before events.
  • Interact with attendees via live chat during events.
  • Share highlights to your page and collect feedback after events.

8. Transform Your Team Into Social Commerce Experts

Instagram Shopping

If your agency supports e-commerce clients, you can help them drive more conversions by becoming social commerce experts. Here’s how to leverage some of these shopping-focused social media trends:

  • Pinterest: Almost half of Pinterest users visit the platform to shop and search for products. Create Rich Pins from clients’ product pages to make shoppable Pins that drive sales.
  • Instagram: For years, Instagram users have relied on the platform for product discovery and research. With Instagram Shopping, you can tag products in client posts, carousel posts, and Stories so followers can purchase instantly.
  • Facebook: New for 2021, Facebook Live Shopping essentially lets your clients host their own home shopping shows. Help them learn how to sell during livestreams by linking to products on their website or in their Facebook Catalog.

9. Take a Mobile-First Approach to Video Production

When it comes to developing a video strategy, prioritizing mobile users is more important than ever. If you aren’t taking a mobile-first approach to video, you could miss countless opportunities for awareness, engagement, and conversions. After all, mobile devices are responsible for 75% of all video plays, and over 90% of users who consume video on mobile devices share the content with others. Here’s how to adopt a mobile-first strategy:

  • Use vertical or square formats: Use a 1:1 or 4:5 ratio so viewers can watch your content without having to reorient their smartphones.
  • Keep it short and sweet: Produce clips that are no more than 15 seconds long so users can watch in their Stories or newsfeeds.
  • Make it engaging without sound: Add text overlays, subtitles, or graphics to get the point across visually.

10. Join Clubhouse to Network or Collaborate

In late 2020, Clubhouse debuted to a ton of buzz, thanks in part to its audio-driven approach. Unlike other social platforms, Clubhouse lets you talk with other users, so it’s ideal for swapping ideas or brainstorming your next big project. The platform’s invitation-only aspect means it’s packed with early tech adopters and entrepreneurs—making it great for building relationships and developing collaborations with fellow marketers.

Clubhouse can help you expand your professional network to other industries, too. You can use it to increase brand awareness for your agency, generate leads for your team, network with CEOs, and join virtual events and private chats. Need an invitation? Download the app and ask a colleague to invite you to join Clubhouse.

Want to get better results for clients, boost your agency’s social media presence, or improve your team’s productivity? Start leveraging these social media trends and put these new features and techniques to work for your agency.

10 Ways for Your Agency to Capitalize on Social Media Trends