If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that people are using social media more than ever, and digital consumers are using platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn on a greater scale than ever recorded.
In fact, recent reports from the GlobalWebIndex show every demographic – from Gen Z to baby boomers – are spending longer on social media because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s not just social media usage that has increased – the way we’re using social media has drastically changed too. Consumers are using these platforms as a form of escapism from the ‘doom and gloom’ of constant COVID news.
So what does this mean for you and your business? Not only should you have a social media presence, but you should be getting the most of the channels you use to ensure you’re targeting as many relevant audiences as possible to share your messages, earn followers and get engagement.
To help you achieve that, here are our 21 top tips for 2021 to help keep your business’ social media presence relevant – now and into the future.
1. People love people
Maybe it’s because our socialisation has been limited for the past year, but people feel a bigger connection with brands that share photos of people.
Incorporating posts with images of people enjoying or using your product or services humanises your brand and it also keeps things interesting if you often use corporate imagery.
Consumers like to see ‘real’ people rather than ‘photoshoot’ photography – so include more of this.
2. Behind the scenes insight
Now more than ever, businesses are showing ‘behind the scenes’ footage of their organisation.
People enjoy seeing how things are created, what work goes on in the background and the day to day life of an employee.
Since many of us have been working from home for a while, it’s great for audiences to be offered an insight into other people’s worlds, whilst also connecting them to your brand.
3. Moving past COVID
While six months ago it was a good idea to show your customers or viewers what steps you’re taking to create a COVID-safe environment, it’s not as relevant now that we’re a year in.
Consumers are using social media to relax and most likely have COVID fatigue, so try to shift your focus to more positive content.
4. Assess your data
As you start to post on social media, each platform will give you interesting states and insights into your page and post popularity.
While follower count is a good measure of how things are going, engagement is what you’re looking for.
So use this data to assess when and how much you should be posting and where to encourage the highest engagement rates for your business.
5. TikTok isn’t for everyone
TikTok has taken off, and while it’s a fantastic platform for certain audiences, it isn’t for every business.
So while you might be keen to jump on TikTok while it’s booming, look at your target audience to determine whether the popular platform will put you in front of the right people.
Seriously consider whether TikTok is worth focussing your energy on. If it’s not worth it, don’t bother.
6. Don’t miss special occasions when scheduling
‘Awareness days’, especially during the pandemic, are a good way to keep things interesting. Search ‘awareness days calendars’ online, and you’ll find a whole host of special occasions that you can start incorporating into your social media strategy.
Are you a pet supplier? Plan your offers and posts around pet dental awareness month. Selling food or catering? Use global chocolate day to offer a social media giveaway. Use these events to your advantage.
7. Good quality imagery
It may seem obvious, but there are still many companies using either low quality images or images that they clearly do not own and are copyrighted.
Having a diverse and good quality stock of professional images for your business will captivate your audience and make a HUGE difference to not only your social media posts, but also your online and website presence too.
8. Invest in a videographer
Many businesses are hiring videographers to show off their business in a creative and engaging way.
Using footage of your business space, clients using your products and services or even drone footage can make a huge impact to your organisation.
Sharing videos makes a change to posting images and are always welcomed on social platforms, as often platforms like Facebook will bring video content to the top of news feeds.
9. Facebook groups
Using and interacting with Facebook groups is a personal way of connecting with your audience.
Whether you’re sharing advertising posts on local selling groups, ideas in advice groups or even archive photos in regional groups; they’re a great way of increasing engagement and bringing followers to your page.
10. Giveaways & competitions
A sure way to gain followers quickly and effectively is offering giveaways and competitions to your audience.
By liking, sharing, and commenting on giveaway posts, your audience has the power to make your posts go viral.
Be sure to include terms and conditions in the post, choose winners randomly and deliver on the products or service promised.
11. Soft messaging vs promotion
Consumers don’t always want to see ‘sell, sell, sell’ messages on social media. Soft messaging or simple ‘tag your photos’ type posts have their place in connecting with your audience, and help mix up promotional messages.
Sometimes the softer approach, and posting content for your customers to purely enjoy and appreciate, can work.
12. Drop a platform
If using Twitter doesn’t seem right for your business, don’t feel pressured to keep it for the sake of it.
If you’re not getting engagement on certain social platforms in comparison to others, it might not necessarily be down to ‘bad’ content. You’re better off as a business losing the account than wasting time with no engagement results.
13. Check out your competition
It’s always good to research what similar businesses are doing on social media. Do they have a few thousand more followers than you? Are they offering more engaging content?
Of course it’s important that you don’t copy them and have your own online identity for your business, but it doesn’t hurt to see what others are doing for inspiration!
14. Collaborate with influencers
Influencer marketing has really taken off in the past five years, so if working with a big online personality would fit your business’ goals, it’s an avenue worth pursuing.
It’s especially beneficial for B2C businesses who want to get their products in front of their target audience, but be aware that some influencers can charge a great deal to promote your products.
It can also be a long process of liaising with their agents, but if you’re getting your business in front of thousands of people, it’s probably worth it!
15. Tags and links
The more you tag businesses and organisations you’ve collaborated or worked with, the more likely they are to re-tweet or share your original posts.
This will increase engagement and interactions with your posts and drive users to your pages with little effort.
16. More (short) video content
While having a videographer really works for some businesses, if you’re a smaller company or don’t need a huge amount of video content, short, focused footage shot on an iPhone or laptop can be just as beneficial.
In fact, personable and ‘real’ footage can be a lot more engaging. Consider asking members of your team to vlog their day or to shoot an informative short video sharing tips and insights, and post this to social media.
17. Reply directly to your audience
People like to know that there’s a person behind the organisation they’re interacting with. Nowadays, rather than calling or sending an email, consumers tend to go to social media pages to share their views on a company or ask questions.
Replying to these comments publicly shows you’re engaging with your audience – and encourages more people to comment – therefore increasing overall engagement.
Remember, if it’s a negative comment you can ask the poster to send a direct message to move the conversation into a private space.
18. Paid advertising and promoted posts
Often, it can be a challenge for small or new businesses to reach new audiences organically on social media.
Investing in some paid advertising or boosting promoted posts can be a powerful way to bolster your social media presence.
You can target specific audiences and increase your exposure to the people relevant to your business.
19. Match your bio, cover images and profiles photos
It’s important to remain consistent when it comes to your social profiles. Don’t confuse your audience by having different profile pictures and cover images on your accounts.
Make sure they match your company’s branding. Use animations as and when you can too!
20. Make the most of stories
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn stories – short, timed snippets that you can share from your profiles – are often neglected when it comes to scheduling your social media content. But they’re often the first thing that pops up on people’s news feeds!
Stories offer a quick snapshot and insight into your business that you can post quickly, and show that you’re active and present on the platform. Often people will view a story and then use this to click onto your profile – which can obviously work massively to your advantage!
21. Create posts that you enjoy
If you can look back across your social content and find it insightful, interesting, interactive, engaging whilst showcasing your business professionally then you’ve done a good job.
That’s what social media is all about.
(Data from GlobalWebIndex)