It’s been quite a turbulent year, and many marketers struggled to navigate the murky waters we’ve found ourselves in due to the pandemic. However, we’ve also learned a lot during the past year, and these new insights have certainly helped us paint a path on what good social media marketing will look like in 2021. Here are some tips to step up your social media marketing game in the next year.
It’s no surprise that the pandemic and budget cuts have put marketers across the globe in this ungrateful position to bring new customers. In fact, the majority of them stated customer acquisition as their top goal for 2021, while less and less of them think that improving customer experience would be among their company’s top 3 goals for the year. So what happened? Well, the pandemic left businesses in this big struggle to adapt their online presence to fill the void of a personal, in store experience, and since the online experiences offered by many organizations were highly transactional and were only meant to supplement these in-store experiences, there was no way to compensate for that. And while brands naturally shift their focus to short-term ROI accountable tactics, transactions alone don’t create long-term growth. Marketers must continue to use social performance abilities while also recreating missing customer experiences. So how do you do this?
- Increase your ROI by adding more channels – with every channel you add to your campaign, you can improve your ROI and effectiveness. Also, introduce user generated content into marketing campaigns. Remember, buyers believe their peers more than they trust brands.
- Include social in shopping – The lack of the physical experience makes it more difficult for the shoppers to be confident in their purchase. They cannot touch or interact with the product, so social can be a potential way to bring back some of this confidence for the buyer. For example, your employees can host live Q&A sessions of share content.
- Social helps organizations stay connected to their loyal customers so use this power to correct disjointed customer experiences. Work with your social team to reduce complaints on major issues such as wrong pricing or bad return policies.
If the pandemic has shown us anything, is that the power of listening often works much better than instant reaction. How? The rise in social media use this year made many brands jump into putting themselves at the center of attention, overlooking the fact that people want to connect to each others rather than brands. Soon the social landscape was flooded by campaigns that had the exact same sentiment and feel, and they ended up being mocked for this. The major issue is that brands do not know how to cater to audiences they are trying to win over. So by listening in 2021, the smartest brands will find their place within their customers’ lives.
- Don’t ignore passive consumption – Most marketers struggle with breaking the bad habit of only counting vanity metrics such as likes and shares, but the fact is, only a small percentage of users actually shares and comments. The majority of social media is consumed passively (the average user on Facebook only shares one post per 30 days). Many businesses try to latch onto memes and viral moments for a few extra retweets, which doesn’t translate into any business value. Know when to aim for reach and when for engagement. For many campaigns, mass reach is much more realistic than mass participation. This will in turn lead to further behavior (searching online, asking for more information, or simply reinforcing your brand’s image).
- Turn to earned media – producing new content is difficult, but you can always lean on user-generated content. Earned media is much more effective than advertising because consumers are more likely to trust their peers rather than brands.
The majority of marketers out there are not confident that their social media followers are more valuable customers than those that they don’t engage with. Why? Because they have no knowledge whether the person they’re speaking to is a customer, an ex-employee, and so on. In order to deepen the relationships with the customers, you need to be able to gather data and gain insights on your customers. Data integration is the path towards connecting social engagement to customer identity and measurable ROI. How do you do that?
Well, the detailed reporting metrics and detailed reporting metrics that come with paid ads are essential for delivering relevant content to the right people.
For example, impressions and reach should be tied back to your web traffic and bounce rate, session duration and others. These insights can be very helpful for evaluating your marketing efforts and knowing how they resonate with your audience. Also, using a UTM framework to track all data from both paid and organic campaigns will help understand which content is driving action.
Between the emotional and economic fallout of COVID-19, 2020 was a year of turbulence in other areas, including the uprising against racism and the concerns regarding climate change. As a result, marketers were under enormous pressure to address these issues and their organizations were forced to focus on topics that they never focused on before. Under this public pressure, many brands stumbled. While social media is an important tool for voicing concerns and starting conversations around difficult topics, social media can’t make up for a lack of brand purpose. Consumers are much more concerned about whether a brand is actually making a difference and working to make the world a better place and that it operates according to its values, rather than the statements they release in a crisis. So how do you do this?
Begin from the top and encourage your employees to speak up – CMOs have to be the voice of the customer and take the pressure off frontline social teams. Use the data and the listening mentioned earlier and adapt to a new path where your brand commits to real values, and keep it consistent.
And there you have it. Remember, social can be a powerful tool in connecting with your customers, if you play your cards right. Listen to what is happening and act when action is needed. Find innovative ways of connecting with users on a more personal level by collecting data and getting valuable insights through analytics tools.
Read More: Better Social Media Copy – More Engagement!