Social Video Trends to Watch in 2021 with the CEO of the Shorty Awards

In this Fireside Chat, we sat down with Greg Galant, the CEO and Cofounder of the Shorty Awards. Listen in or read on to learn about social media trends to look out for in 2021 and how this year changed video production from the creator of the one of the most prestigious social media awards.

Social Video Trends to Watch in 2021

In 2020, social media ruled our lives. Being stuck at home, many people turned to social media to stay informed, be entertained, and keep in touch with family and friends. This meant that video on social media became one of the most popular tools for social connection, and it needed to adapt quickly. 

In response, we saw social media trends rapidly changing to fit the needs and interests of people. The platforms tried to keep up and added new features, like Instagram Reels and Twitter Fleets. 

But after this unprecedented year, what social media trends will stick? And what will the future of video production look like? CEO and Cofounder of the Shorty Awards Greg Galant had some ideas.

What a Successful Social Video Looks Like Today

With the popularity of video-based social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, social video has evolved to a new level of entertainment. Content creators are producing high-quality content that works with the constraints of each social media platform, rather than against them.

Greg Galant says that “TikTok is a reminder of how powerful the phone is. It’s no longer just a screen for when you’re away from your computer or other larger screens – it’s something we turn to even when we have our larger screens available.” 

But no matter what device we’re streaming on, successful social videos all have one thing in common: authenticity. Take our Shorty-nominated video for example. With real-time reactions and raw filming style, the message of giving back was authentic and memorable.

How 2020 Changed Video Production

This year, in-person video production was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. However, pandemic constraints on in-person shoots encouraged the industry branch out. 

In some ways, the transition to virtual production and livestream video lifted a burden for video creators. 

Video created on social media – especially in a pandemic – doesn’t require the expensive, high production value of traditional video. Anyone can sit down and start recording a video through their phone. 

According to Greg, “the learning curve is much smaller and cheaper now for people making their own videos on social media.” 

More accessibility means the pool of video on social media is only going to keep growing. And more video content means audiences will continue to be exposed to new and diverse perspectives of video. 

In 2021, lean into video production that goes against the norm, and embrace the stripped-down quality of virtually produced video to build stronger connections with your audience. 

Don’t Forget the Basics

With these observations in mind, know that it’s impossible to tap into every trend in a fast-paced digital world. Remember that hopping onto trends isn’t always a recipe for success. 

Even when trends or clickbait seem to be dominating social media, know that those styles can easily be replaced by something new. Instead, make authenticity your priority when developing video for social media. 

As Greg put it succinctly: “It’s important to be authentic to people’s reality, but it doesn’t have to be the point of the story.” 

Take this with you as you plan your production schedule and video marketing strategy for the new year. And get in touch with us to learn more about how you can put these ideas into action.


Greg Galant the CEO and Cofounder of the Shorty Awards

GREG GALANT is the CEO and Cofounder of the Shorty Awards, which honors the best in social and digital media. This year’s winners included Trevor Noah, Zendaya, Rebel Wilson, and Megan Rapinoe. Greg is a prominent speaker, appearing at SXSW, Web Summit, and the Harvard Business School, and has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press.