Five social media strategy tips for 2021

|| January 11, 2021

By Jordan McDonald

55 comms social media coordinator

Welcome back to 2021. Let’s hope it’s a year with more certainty. It’s not easy to plan in these times but businesses still need to plot a course for this year. Here are some social media tips worth considering for your 2021 strategy.

1. Remember your “personality”

We’re focused on defining your business’s personality at 55 comms because we know how important that is for audiences. What’s also important is knowing if your personality has changed and how you communicate that change. For a lot of businesses nothing will have changed. Whether there’s been change or not, a good understanding of your personality will have a really positive impact on your content execution. However, if your personality has changed as a result of COVID, then plan for that in your social media messaging for 2021. For example, some businesses that built a reputation as carefree and risky may have to reconsider that as society changes it outlook. It’s the same if your business personality was built around the boutique nature of your set-up but you have grown into a larger organisation. Determining how to reflect that change on your social media is important.

2. Evaluate your channels

Being active on multiple social media channels is a good thing, but only if you can properly sustain it. If your business operates on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn but you only really post on Facebook and Instagram, it’s worth considering if you need to keep those additional channels. Operating multiple channels has many benefits but requires deliberate thought and content execution specific to those platforms. A 280-character post suitable for Twitter is most likely not going to suit your Facebook page. Comparatively, the three-minute video you post on Facebook won’t be allowed on Twitter. If you can’t give the proper time to craft channel-specific content for those you’re a part of then consider if they offer value at all. The other scenario that arises from evaluating your channels is you may discover your target audience has migrated or grown on a platform you aren’t active on. In this instance, is this a channel you can join and build? Evaluating your channels could give you some time back to focus on creating your best content, or it can help you connect with more target audience.

3. Communication is valuable

A quote we recently shared on our social media explains this tip perfectly. It reads: ‘COVID has taught us never to underestimate the importance of communication and how critical it is to “double down” on it during uncertain and volatile times’. No doubt a lot of you would’ve published or read a message from a company addressing COVID last year and perhaps even this year. I’m equally certain that you recognised who did it well and who did it poorly (or not at all). Good communication has never been more important and social media is the single most effective tool at our disposal. Using social media to communicate well is where a lot of businesses struggle. In your teams, determine some communication goals for the year ahead and how you can best deliver those.

4. Consider your budget

How much you spend on social media should always be considered. Traditionally, return on investment (ROI) on social media is strong. However, 2020 certainly changed the advertising landscape on social media and I strongly recommend reviewing how much and where you’re allocating your budget. Facebook has dominated the social media market in attracting the most marketing spend for several years. However, Instagram has taken top spot in this year with 60 per cent of consumers planning to increase budget spend on that platform according to Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2021 examination. In addition, just under 50 per cent say they’re planning to increase their spend on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn making Twitter and Tik Tok noticeable omissions from the top four. Understanding these changes and how they represent your audience on social media will play a valuable part in helping determine where your budget is allocated.

5. Don’t be too COVID

Although the global pandemic is unavoidable, it’s important not to forget that people still want to consume regular content just the same if not more. Look at your content from 2020 – how many times did you mention COVID? If you find most of your posts mention it and you aren’t related to the health industry in some way, chances are it’s a bit too frequent. Being surrounded by the pandemic is forcing people to look for ways to escape it. Consider content that provides some levity and fun to your audience. The last year brought us nostalgia marketing in a big way because reminding people of better times brought such widespread joy. The right piece of ‘fun’ content can have a tremendously positive impact on your audience relationship. Coca-Cola did this really well. In the initial months of the pandemic, Coca-Cola pulled all their advertising spend and redirected their efforts into the COVID-19 response while continuing to engage and listen on social media. After months of observing and listening, they released well-executed campaigns that provided their audience with a moment undisrupted by COVID and ultimately aligned with why people turn to social media in the first place. I don’t suggest you ignore COVID, but take the time to observe and listen to what your audience needs.

Consider these tips in the coming weeks as you work through your various planning processes. I wish you the very best for the year ahead.