Social media is the single most powerful tool when it comes to marketing. With billions of users actively using different social media platforms daily, brands have the opportunity to reach customers 24/7. The customers themselves have evolved alongside social media as well.
What influences customers to make purchases can now vary from recommendations from their favorite online celebrities to the results of their research. As customers change their buying patterns, brands must also keep up to date with them. The key to engaging with customers in 2021 is through social media platforms. As more people find themselves turning to social media to stay connected, brands can leverage this tool to connect with their target audience directly.
By learning how to adapt to changes in social media platforms, as well as about emerging trends in social media, brands can make the most of this year.
How Can You Develop Your Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2021?
Social media marketing is increasingly becoming the primary way brands advertise themselves to customers. Other forms of advertising, such as traditional print marketing, have less sway over the masses than social media marketing. However, brands can still face limits when it comes to connecting with their customers. One of the most common problems faced involved social media algorithms.
Algorithms are created by social media platform creators and can be different for different social media platforms. These algorithms dictate what kind of content a user sees when they open their social media account. For example, it’s the Instagram algorithm that decides what kind of content appears higher, as well as lower, in a user’s feed. Algorithms have also evolved over the years. This means that a social media platform could change its algorithm or policy in a way that affects brands. As algorithms prefer showing posts from friends and family before businesses, businesses will also have to adapt how they showcase their content.
This is most commonly seen through the feed, but can also work positively for the brand. This can be seen through social media companies actively incorporating e-commerce and online shopping into their platforms. Take, for example, Instagram. The algorithm is designed such that posts from friends and family take priority over businesses. This doesn’t mean that posts from businesses won’t be showcased, but rather that they will be available lower down the feed. At the same time, Instagram allows users to shop directly on the platform.
In this case, a customer can simply click on the picture of the product they like, and be directed to the checkout counter. Many social media platforms, though not all, have incorporated online shopping into their platforms. Facebook is another platform from where users can shop directly from the app. On YouTube, viewers are shows products available from the channel they are watching on and will need to click those showcased links to reach checkout.
When this happens, the potential customer may or may not scroll down to see the ad. For brands on social media, visibility becomes important. That means you want your brand to appear on the top of news feeds. But this could be difficult as social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and others tend to prefer showing content from personal contacts first.
Despite this, there are several strategies you could use to win at social media marketing in 2021. Here are five such ideas:
1. Diversify Content
Your content is what will make you stand out on social media. With hundreds of thousands of posts being generated every minute, social media is saturated with content. That’s why creating quality posts that you post consistently can make a difference when it comes to visibility.
You can either create your social media content in-house or with the help of a digital marketing agency. Different social media platforms are also suited to different kinds of content. Tailoring your videos to ensure that you upload the right kind of content on the right platform can make a huge difference when it comes to getting higher engagement.
While Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are great for images and short-form videos, YouTube is better suited to long-form video content. For LinkedIn, consider writing blog content focused on your area of expertise.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing continues to be in demand in 2021. Already in 2020, there was an increase in the number of brands collaborating with influencers. That is set to continue this year, with a few updates. When influencer marketing first became popular, brands strove to interact with and hire celebrities and popular influencers.
However, the approach to influencer marketing has now evolved. Nano influencers are increasingly being sought after to help sell products and services. These influencers usually have fewer than 50,000 followers. Their smaller follower count allows them to build stronger relationships with their followers. This makes it more likely for their followers to purchase products or services recommended by them.
3. User-Generated Content
For 2021, creating content may be less of a challenge. This is owing to the rise in the use of user-generated content. You can find this all over social media, where a customer tags a brand and the products purchased in their post. This way, the user’s family and friends can view how they look with the selected products.
Since the brand is linked, they can simply click on the link and view the brand’s catalog for themselves. This gives brands free yet highly effective advertising.
4. Sustainability and Purpose
Key themes that are relevant for social media success in 2021 are sustainability and purpose-driven marketing. Brands across the world are increasing their focus when it comes to marketing towards sustainability. This is done to accommodate the changing perceptions among buyers.
Social media marketers who want to win in 2021 can utilize the concept to their advantage. Aside from creating content and sharing on social media, hashtags have become important. Since relevant hashtags will be full of content in 2021, brands that utilize the hashtag can reach large numbers of people easily.
5. Customer-centric Approach
For brands that want to win at social media marketing in 2021, building good relationships with customers is essential. This can be done by actively replying to queries as soon as possible, creating conversations online, and leaving open channels of communication.
You can also make use of surveys and questionnaires to ask customers about their buyer’s journey. By using their recommendations, you make them feel important and increase customer loyalty.
Social media has evolved in 2021 and brands will have to evolve alongside it. The focus on customers is key this year, as is the shift towards creating content centered around sustainability. By staying aware of these trends, you can create a better social media marketing plan for 2021. This can help you build a sustainable business.
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