Last year was rife with surprises. One year ago we couldn’t have at all predicted the way world events were going to play out. But we’re here, on the other side, adapted, stable among the chaos and still pushing forward.
In 2021 it’s time to breathe new life into your social media strategy by remembering the successes of the year past, and also by reevaluating and reviving where you can.
So, what worked across the social media landscape last year?
Most likely due to everyone being trapped indoors with unspent energy, we saw a rise in the number of TikTok users. Starting with dance videos and progressing to more original content, the audience became the creators.
Originally a hub for GenZ, the app experienced a surge of downloads in March 2020 which saw millennial users and baby boomers join too.
They steered the wheel for creating and viewing short-form video content - that brands then went on to emulate.
TikTok’s boom led to the inception of the Reels feature on Instagram. Static posts weren’t cutting it anymore which forced brands to adapt or risk losing the interest and engagement of their audience.
Brands often stay neutral when it comes to politics, religion or social debates.
However when the Black Lives Matter movement kicked into full gear with the tragic events surrounding the death of George Floyd, silence was no longer an option. For anyone.
Colleagues, Institutions, Celebrities, Brands - everyone was asked to stand up and be counted for where they stood on racial inequality, and, where possible, to prove it.
Whereby in the past certain groups were given a pass for silence, as not to unduly influence an audience, those rules were thrown out. For brands, it either saw a boost or a decline in sales and audience engagement, but one thing was for sure; silence was now marked with compliance, and 2020 became the year for everybody to speak up.
Finally, one of the biggest takeaways from content marketing as a whole in 2020, was seeing brands come together to reassure their audiences during such a difficult time.
Brands were unified in their messages of social responsibility during the height of the pandemic. To social distance, to remain indoors, to wear a mask, to seek other ways of communicating and sharing time with loved ones.
There were a wealth of successful social media campaigns to come out of this - our blog post on; Campaigns’ That Got It Right During Lockdown, highlights just a small number of successful brand marketing. From Audi to Zara, with one - and in many ways, the only - rhetoric at the time, it was less about one-upping each other, and more about showing audiences that we were indeed all in this together.
Taking what we have learnt from the past year, it’s time to evaluate how we can adopt new social media techniques to implement as strategies for the new year.
With new features being added to social media platforms, from Reels to Fleets, as well as the swerving popularization of revamped applications - there are so many ways to reach your audience.
Instead of juggling them all, look through your insights, analyse your reach and engagement and understand which social media platforms work the best for your brand and your audience. Then be brave enough to drop any that are underperforming.
Why spread your net far and wide when you have a few pools where you know your target audience dwells?
There is no harm in reassessing a few months down the line and readjusting where necessary - just don’t forget there’ll be another platform popping up soon enough that you might want to dip your toe into.
With the limits 2020 put on brands, they had to think outside the box to create content - and ended up digging in the corners of that box to create something new out of something old.
Brands are always looking to create something that has never been seen or done before - and though the audience will be excited over new content, they also enjoy the familiarity of something repurposed.
On Instagram you can reupload your existing video content for Reels, making it discoverable to a new page of scrollers.
Look inwards as well as outwards when you are outlining social media strategies in the new year.
Yes, above we just discussed dropping platforms that weren’t giving you joy, and how you can very easily repurpose old content and your audience won’t mind.
However nobody quite knows what the future of social media will hold, and so you have to be ready for anything. That includes new ways of reaching your audience.
Don’t wait too long before joining the latest social media trend or app - especially if you know you can find either your current or a new audience there. Yes, these things come and go but being the first to help popularise it will go a long way in brand recognition.
The same goes for existing applications or sites that you have never thought about exploring, such as Reddit or Pinterest. Do some research and see if it is something your brand can utilize in the new year, and perhaps even launch a social media strategy with.
A New Year can bring both new challenges and new opportunities - however, we can’t successfully move forward without first looking back. Take the time to look over your brand’s performance for the year as a whole. What months were better than others? What strategies had a bigger impact on your brand? Which ones underperformed and why? Use all of this to break into the new year with a brand new outlook on your social media strategies.
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