What You Need to Know About Social Media as You Head Into Next Year

What You Need to Know About Social Media as You Head Into Next Year

It is no secret that 2020 has kept the world on its toes, and social media marketing strategies are no exception. With multiple updates, added features, and the ever-changing algorithm, entrepreneurs, influencers, and brands alike are scrambling to find a social media strategy that will work as the year comes to a close.

In today’s blog we are going to dive deeper into social media strategy by answering the top five social media questions people are asking as we head into 2021:

1 – Do I need to have a cohesive theme on my IG grid? 

Short answer: nope! Sure, when you have new followers checking out your grid for the first time, it’s nice to have a layout that is pleasing to the eye, but it should not be your top priority. 

  • Many people spend way too much time making sure everything looks the same and don’t invest the same time into the quality of the content.
  • Likes from content that is all about a continuous theme and a “look” typically fall into the same category as vanity metrics. Yes, you’ll get some likes, but it’s not going to help you reach goals you have for your brand or increase engagement with your content.
  • Focusing on the theme or look of your grid can even cause your content to appear the same and make it much more difficult to stand out against other brands.
    • You always want to stop the scroll. That probably isn’t happening very often if it all looks the same.
  • Make sure your photos, videos, graphics, and copy are of quality and show off your brand voice. Your aesthetic will shine from this and people will recognize you for your own unique brand, not the fact that all of your photos have the same light pink hue.

2 – What method do I focus on when it comes to posting content?

While it can be helpful that social media platforms have developed so many ways of posting and engaging with your audience, it also can be very overwhelming. IG reels, stories, IGTV, going live on FB or IG, posting photos, blogging, and more – how will you know what works?  Based on market research, here is what we know:

  • 68% of consumers want to engage with photos, 50% with videos.
    • Short videos like stories and reels are continuing to rise in popularity. Attention spans are short and this has changed the way people consume content. Just think – how often do you read an article’s headline and consider that to be your intake of news? The good thing is, videos can be a great way to let your personality shine.
      • Continue to use IG and FB stories often.
      • Use short videos or reels to show off behind the scenes or more fun, personality-based content. 
        • For example, making an aesthetically pleasing reel of you using your product or showing part of your day.
      • Longer videos, like IGTV or FB live, can be better for more information based content.
  • Find ways to turn your typical content into video form. 
    • Content repurposing is a great way to do this!
  • Experiment with videos and track analytics to see what is working.
    • Try not to do 100% of one or the other to keep your audience from getting bored.

3 – How do I engage with my followers?

You always hear the term “increase engagement” tossed around when it comes to social media and marketing, but how do you actually do this?

  • Always make sure to nurture your audience.
    • Especially with the pandemic, people are longing for meaningful interaction. They want a chance to share their story, make real connections, and know that they matter.
    • Use quizzes, polls, “ask me” stories, and more to get to know your audience.
      • This lets your followers have a break from scrolling and gives them a sense of connection. It also gives a  sense of instant gratification by seeing responses to polls and quizzes with a touch of their screen.
      • These types of interactive content give you information to tweak your strategy based on results. Use this data!
    • Don’t just “like” a comment or post… really engage. When you do this, your followers will notice and are more likely to engage, share, and recommend your content, and buy your product or service.
  • Don’t underestimate customer service.
    • According to the 2020 Sprout Social Index, approximately 79% of consumers expect a response from brands within 24 hours.
    • 49% of consumers will unfollow a brand due to poor customer service.
    • Good customer service increases rapport, customer loyalty, and long term engagement.
      • If you have responded to your followers or customers in a personable way previously, they are more likely to engage with you in the future.
      • People want human interaction that is specific to them, so personality matters.

4 – How do I get new people to discover me or my brand?

Market research suggests that 45% of consumers rely on suggestions in their feed or discovery tools to find new accounts to follow and engage with.

  • Utilizing discovery pages or “similar to accounts you follow” features are important to get noticed by a new audience.
    • Try targeting and engaging with consumers who are interested in content, products, and services that diverge slightly from yours.
      • For example, a dietician targeting audiences of fitness and well-being accounts or a candle making company targeting and interacting with audiences of home decor accounts.

5 – How do I combat cancel culture?

2020 has made it evident that “cancel culture” is alive and well regardless if you are a brand, celebrity, or social media influencer. 

  • Consumers are much more aware and vocal when it comes to social issues and are watching how brands handle these situations. This means that they are:
    • Holding brands and influencers accountable for their actions.
    • Expecting more diversity.
  • Instead of fearing being “cancelled,” use it as motivation to stay socially conscious.
    • Make an effort to keep up to date on social events.
    • Check with your team before posting anything that could be considered sensitive content to avoid offending your audience.
      • You are much less likely to run into an issue when you have your content looked over by a diverse group of people.

Bonus question – Are freebies really going away? 

For those of you selling products online, it may feel like there is a new online shop popping up every second. In order to keep up with the times and make customers want to buy from you, the key is to make the transition as seamless as possible.

  • Users want the most convenient shopping experience available, and oftentimes value this over price.
    • A great way to do this is by enabling a “shop the post” feature.
    • Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook all allow e-commerce shops to create “shoppable posts” where you can make a purchase without having to leave the platform or even the post itself.
    • If you are not able or do not wish to use shoppable posts, then direct links and swipe up stories are also helpful to potential customers. 
      • If a consumer has to go out of their way to search for and buy a product, the sale won’t happen.

A lot of us have free offers out there that we are posting all over social media. While these freebies may not necessarily be going away completely, they are getting less effective. This is especially true if you are running paid ads on these platforms.

  • It is getting costlier to attract people to watch your free training or use your free resource, which means that if you don’t have a great system in place to turn those leads into sales, you’re probably going to see a lack of return on investment when it comes to paid traffic. 
  • We are starting to see more paid offers instead of freebies, but for smaller dollar amounts.
    • These low cost offers are a great way to gain new leads and sales without breaking the bank, so they can even pay for themselves.

Always remember that no one thing works for everybody, so test out new strategies and do what works best for you.

Now that you have some insight to hone in on your social media strategy, feel free to take it one step further and learn how to use a single piece of content and turn it into weeks worth of micro-content by purchasing our step-by-step process, The Content Machine™.  With these tips and my process of creating a 12-month marketing calendar to save you time and resources, 2021 is already shaping up to be a great year!