Social media strategy has evolved wildly over the years. We could all plan to post on the day of a grand opening or a product release knowing we would get immediate interaction in 2016. Now, our followers may not see an important post in their feed for a week—or at all.
Since social media is constantly changing, the methods in which we make our company's events, initiatives, and information available to our audiences must constantly change as well. As the world of social media marketing grows, it is more important than ever to have a robust strategy to "woo" your audiences on a consistent basis and grow their trust as part of your social media strategy in 2021.
Social Media Strategy in 2021: 5 tips
Last year, we shared six tips that are necessary if you are just starting out. Today, we are sharing five in-depth tips for you as you plan your upcoming social media strategy.
1. Prioritize Quality and Authenticity
This has been the number one priority since day one, but it begs being said again. As tools for creating engaging content become more popular and readily available, more and more companies are upping their game, making it harder to "stop the scroll."
As consistently as you can, post high-quality, engaging visuals. And before you ask, yes, there are meme accounts that have insane engagement. But you do not want your social media strategy to be that of a meme account. If you have an important message for your audience, do not sell yourself short with "easy" or poorly executed content. Go the extra mile to procure scroll-stopping videos, images, and relevant captions.
That's right. Our insatiable appetite for video will continue in 2021 - and beyond. In fact, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, by the time 2021 officially rolls around nearly 80% of all internet traffic will be video. Social media platforms are increasingly prioritizing video as this format appeals across demographic lines. Good news for businesses: 33% of those who watch social videos view brand content. And given the increasing prominence of mobile, social media marketers must make sure that all videos can be played across devices.
Authenticity goes hand in hand with quality. Users are growing tired of fake or “fluffy” (filler) content. We are not claiming that creating authentic content is easy, but we do know that it will encourage your audience to have a growing trust in your brand.
2. Do a Content Audit
A content audit is the process of collecting and analyzing all the assets you have available on your website or otherwise. When planning social content, knowing what is already readily available will save you time and effort, and will help inspire you in creating new content.
Assess what can be repurposed, tweaked, or trashed, and then categorize each by where that content falls in the buyer’s journey and marketing funnel, as well as by the format type and by any buyer personas for targeting. And do not forget to add notes! Context is always key.
3. Utilize Stories... Like, Yesterday
Most social audiences (not all, but most) are on Instagram. If they are not on Instagram, they're definitely on Facebook. Instagram and Facebook have few things in common, but one stands out screaming, "Hey! Look at me!" and that's Stories.
Stories have legitimately taken over social media since their launch in 2016, with over 500 million users watching them every day. One third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses—and you absolutely want to be part of that one third. If you are having a hard time deciding what type of content to post to stories, think quick, easily digestible, and memorable. Any content that requires your audience to "lean in" and digest should be a post. Everything else? Post that baby to a story. (And then add it to a highlight!)
4. Spend Time Online (to Avoid Tone-Deafness)
Conversations online spread like wildfire. It's likely that you won't be able to keep up with all the topics of conversation that occur on a daily basis (and we would urge you not to try), but it is important to keep an eye on them if and when your audience is taking part in them. The only thing worse than being ignorant to what is going on is appearing tone deaf to the issue spanning the far corners of the web.
If you are utilizing a social content scheduler like Sprout Social, it's easy to check in just a few times a month... but let the automation do its thing! We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to check in weekly—if not daily—and make sure that the content you have scheduled is still appropriate.
You do not have to be everywhere. With several big-name options to choose from—including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube, it is not feasible in terms of time or resources. Focus on the platforms your target audiences are using. Some generalities:
- LinkedIn: Most users have a college/advanced degree, and their incomes tend to be higher.
- Twitter: 63 percent of all Twitter users worldwide are between the ages of 35 and 65.
- Instagram: Instagram skews more towards younger users:
- Age 18-29: 67 percent
- Age 30-49: 47 percent
- Age 50-64: 23 percent
- Age 65+: 8 percent
- Snapchat: Most users are under the age of 34.
- Facebook: Facebook, while not as popular as Snapchat or Instagram with younger users, does span a wide range of ages.
- Pinterest: 25 percent more women use Pinterest than men.
- TikTok: Although TikTok is fairly secretive about its user demographics, one analysis revealed that 40 percent of TikTokers are under age 20 and another 26 percent are under 30.
- YouTube: Who doesn’t use YouTube?! Set up a channel.
- By being cognizant about your platform selections, you can make the most of your time and effort - and reach the right people in the right places with your social media strategy.
If you recognize that the content you have scheduled on your chosen platforms may come off as tone deaf because of a social conversation that your audience is having, you will need to realign your content for that month. Which brings us to social media strategy tip number five.
5. Meet internally Regarding "Crisis" Communication
This is not exactly a revolutionary social media strategy. However, it is a fundamental one. 2020 has taught us many things, but if there is one thing we need to take away for the coming year it's that a timely response to social crises is absolutely paramount.
Now, more than ever, what your company stands for is incredibly important to your audience. Plan an internal meeting to discuss the issues that occurred during 2020 and how you could have responded better socially. Based off what you find in that meeting, decide your company’s stance and social media strategy regarding them and plan ways to communicate quickly about similar issues. You may never need to use these responses externally but knowing these things will help your brand's focus either way.
There you have it: our five tips for planning your social media strategy in 2021. This list truly scratches the surface. Day in and day out, users are inundated by thousands of messages on social media and everyone is doing what they can to keep up, let alone stand out. As a brand, you want to be trusted by your audience. If you follow the five steps outlined here, it is highly likely that you will have a robust social content calendar matched by an audience that trusts both your online presence and your brand.
The good news is that, as we wind down an unconventional and uniquely challenging year of digital marketing, we have two words to look forward to: social media. It continues to be a dominant force as consumers use these platforms to connect, to find entertainment, and, increasingly, to interact with their favorite brands. This is great news for social media marketers, of course. This could be your best year yet!
We would love to hear how you are getting ready for 2021. Share your social media planning tips on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn and tag us in your posts.
>> Ready to elevate your social media strategy in 2021 with creative and management services by THAT Agency? Give us a call now at 561.832.6262.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.