Before I begin, just go ahead and pat yourself on the back for making it through the dumpster fire of the year 2020 has been for all of us.
You did it!
Through all the wildfires, demonstrations, elections, and oh, that one pandemic that marked 2020, we relied on social media to express ourselves and feel connected.
Social media platforms added millions of new active users in the past year, and the US retail social commerce is expected to grow 35% in 2021. With so much at stake for businesses to achieve great things on social, it’s only fitting that we list a thing or two to help you have a seamless start to the new year in social.
Here are seven things you should know.
1. Look at 2020 in review
As much as you don’t want to look back at the events of 2020, it’s still very important to pause and reflect on the events of the past year to help set your goals and objectives for the forthcoming year.
Here are some things that you can do as part of your social media self-reflection exercise:
- Start by taking a moment to appreciate all the tasks and projects you had accomplished in the past year.
- Find out which events of 2020 you found most easy or difficult to navigate around on social and why.
- Examine the trends and developments that took place last year in digital marketing and social media and find out how your brand responded to those developments. For example, how did your business react to the potential TikTok ban in the U.S.? Did you manage to publish content via Instagram Reels?
2. Set realistic social goals
Smart social media goals can be your north star by holding you accountable and helping you track your progress. Check out our social media ROI guide for more details (specifically, page 15).
For instance, does “increase brand awareness on Facebook” translate into more fans or more engagement on your posts? Be specific and set realistic goals about what you want to achieve on social this year—and how you are going to measure them too.
3. Watch out for new trends
Will social media be the future of e-commerce? Are “Fleets” right in time for the rise of ephemeral content? Is it game over for Instagram filters soon? And what about augmented reality, will that really explode in 2021?
Not sure what the answers are? That’s why you need to read up on the most influential digital marketing trends to know what’s in store for 2021.
Our 2021 Digital Marketing Trends eBook lays down the top 10 influential trends of the upcoming year to help you discover which trends your team should gear up for in 2021.
In this eBook, you will get an in-depth look into how:
- Authentic brand activism is a potent business catalyst,
- Immersive AR experiences drive sales for tech-savvy brands,
- And why ephemeral content is here to stay.
You can find the remaining trends here.
4. Get the right tools
Want to grow your business on social? Then you’re probably going to need an upgrade from native platform functionality.
I can list the first 100 reasons why social media marketing tools should be part of every marketer’s arsenal, but that would just deviate this article from the core topic. So, I’m going to meet you have way there and try and list 50. Okay, maybe just five will do:
- Most social media marketing tools, like Falcon, come with a single dashboard that eliminates the need to have a dozen tabs open to run social media marketing campaigns across multiple channels. Doesn’t just make life so much easier?
- Not to toot our own horn, but tools like Falcon integrates the full spectrum of social media management tools in one suite. A single login gets you social listening, engagement, publishing, analytics, and audience data management capabilities in one neat package.
- Publishing tools make publishing across channels and markets so much simpler.
- Using a social engagement tool means that all your customer interaction is handled from one single inbox.
- Lastly, a social media monitoring tool lets you trawl millions of online sources for insights. You can track keywords, hashtags, names—and see the results broken down by demographics and sentiment.
5. Perform a social media audit
Social media audits are conducted to help you identify gaps and give you more clarity on how your brand performs across your social media networks. At the same time, it’s also an opportunity to understand the relationship between your brand and audience.
A thorough assessment of your organization’s social media presence and performance will help you:
- Develop (or adjust) your social media strategy and make sure it aligns with your business goals.
- Discover trends you can use to create or modify social media campaigns.
- Get valuable insights into customer sentiment and brand perception.
- Justify social media spend and provide proof that it’s worth the time and effort.
Now that we’ve entered a new year, what do you say about conducting a nice social media audit?
More on this in 5-Step Guide to Performing a Social Media Audit.
6. Try something new
New year, new you! Yes, 2021 is the year to come out of your bubble and try something new.
Whether you want to try long-form content through Instagram Guides or short-form content through LinkedIn Stories, bring back those ideas you’ve put on the back burner and try something new on social this year.
By trying new things, you might be able to surprise your audience with new and engaging content. And guess what? This might even make you stand out from the other brands that aren’t trying new things.
7. Prepare a social media holiday calendar
Prepare a social media holiday calendar at the beginning of the year, and you’ll never have to worry about missing International Cat Day in 2021. Miauuuw!
Social media holidays, no matter how quirky or bizarre they are, are great opportunities to engage in trending holiday content with relevant hashtags and content. So, prepare a social media calendar to keep track of all the holidays and leverage brand awareness on social.
2021 has got gotten peoples’ hopes up. After being challenged both physically and mentally in the last year, everyone’s hoping for a kinder and more optimistic new year.
As a community, we need to stay positive, connected, and—most importantly—we need to lift each other up to weather the storm. With advanced technology at our disposal, businesses have every chance to stay connected and offer support to their audience at this time.