Do you use social media the same way you did five years ago? Probably not.
Social media trends change like everything else. Best practices get updated or replaced altogether. And if you’re not keeping track of those changes, you’ll miss out on digital marketing opportunities.
Ragan’s PR Daily has a list of five emerging social media trends in 2020.
We thought we’d go over them to talk about our experiences and how you can use these trends to steer yourself toward success in 2021.
Adapting the content calendar process
Ragan’s advises that “[s]uccessful social media management today sees brands shifting from far-in-advance planning to a more flexible model with content created only for the near future.” This is something we have experienced with clients.
Dynamics and news change quickly. So you need to keep your “hands on the steering wheel,” as we like to say.
That doesn’t mean you throw all planning out. What we’ve found works is to look at your content in terms of themes that can be adjusted for specific circumstances as you go.
This will give you some direction without making your content stale or tone-deaf.
Prioritizing social media listening
“High-quality content creation begins with intent, intentional listening on social media channels,” notes Ragan’s. Putting on your “listening ears” is part of how you stay on top of the changing discussions and dynamics we mentioned above.
Comments will give you insights into what your audience thinks about your organization. Shares can give you clues about what content is popular. And likes can be signposts to what matters most to your audience.
Even silence is valuable, letting you know when an idea you’ve had is a fumble. Mistakes only remain mistakes if you don’t learn from them.
Taking a stand
Ragan’s identifies that, “today’s customers expect brands to stand for something beyond their bottom line.”
We had a series of conversations about this question with our friend Eric Peters.
Ultimately, you don’t have to take a stand on everything. But knowing what issues matter to you as an organization and being active on them in a genuine way that you can communicate to your audience is more important than ever.
While it is true that “[t]imes of crisis are not a time to be self-promotional,” this reality is starting to shift as people settle into a new normal as best they’re able. We wouldn’t go so far as to suggest you cancel your self-promotion in 2021. But we also believe that part of a good business model involves giving back and cultivating goodwill wherever you can.
Focusing on the human element
“People are craving sincerity, connection, and community right now.” This is always true.
We’ve consistently found that content featuring people outperforms content that features things. Your audience is made up of human beings, not algorithms. And human beings are motivated by emotions.
It is hard to convey emotion in your content when all you focus on are products and services (aka things). Which is not to say that you can’t feature or talk about products and services. But pair them with people to show your audience a human impact and why they should be emotionally invested in what you’re posting.
If you’d like to hear more about making the most of your digital marketing in 2021, give us a call!