Building a social media strategy is a tricky task. Social media trends change from one second to the next with little warning or foresight. As new platforms gain popularity, it’s a constant battle for companies to decide which to invest in and which to dismiss as a fad.
Social media is a top way to connect with customers. Nearly every person in the world is on social media in one shape or form. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat, and many others pop up and gain users rapidly. The copious amount of social media platforms adds pressure to brands to divide their social marketing budget strategically.
Here are a few tips on how to build your social media marketing strategy for 2021.
Get To Know the Platforms
There are so many options to choose from for social media marketing. Every platform comes with unique benefits and has needs, so getting to know each platform helps determine a framework for what your brand must do. Each platform brings a different emphasis on content type, a unique audience, and a distinct tone.
For example, Twitter tends to take on a sarcastic, playful tone that would not work well on a platform such as Facebook or Instagram, where the style is more professional or serious. It’s vital to get to know each platform individually and understand the expectations users have from brands on each.
Decide which type of content is best for each platform. For example, Pinterest is a primarily visual platform, and Twitter is mainly text. Using the same ad content on both platforms is not the most effective option.
Learn Where Your Audience Is
Not every person uses every available social media platform. Typically, similar age groups and demographics flock to similar apps. An excellent example of this is how TikTok hosts younger generations because the content appeals more to them.
Facebook and Instagram
Grouping Facebook and Instagram together make sense because Instagram falls within Facebook’s family of apps. There is no paid advertising on one or the other without going through the Facebook ads manager.
Facebook’s family of apps hosts the broadest audience in social media. If you’re not sure where your target audience is, the safest bet is to advertise on Facebook. Facebook automatically shows ads to your target audience across all its platforms, including Instagram.
Pinterest is a perfect platform for businesses looking to segment their audiences and reach a niche group. Pinterest is big on DIY projects, fashion, exercise, photography, food, beauty, and advice. It is a virtual hub for hobbies. Businesses of all industries can succeed on Pinterest once they locate their niche audience and perfect their content creation.
Pinterest uses Rich Pins, where brands pin information about their product details and location onto the post. It is a primarily visual platform and relies heavily on images and videos to capture user attention.
TikTok is largely still considered the new kid on the block when it comes to social media platforms. Many marketers are still trying to figure out ads on it and deciding if it’s here to stay or if it may fade like its predecessor short video platform, Vine.
TikTok hosts mainly the younger generation but is famous for its niche “For You Page” tailored to the individual user by understanding what that user interacts with and likes.
Snapchat is another platform popular with the younger generations. It is a messaging platform and social media network with the unique feature of disappearing content. Messages sent on Snapchat and videos or photos disappear 24 hours after the receiver views them.
Snapchat’s unique disappearing feature allows companies to create content without the pressure of it living on the platform forever. There is transparency in how many users viewed your content and who viewed it. It’s a good platform for interactive content.
Twitter is a primary text platform with a character limit to keep messages short and to the point. Tweets must remain under 240 characters. There are options for polls, videos, images, links, and much more. Users can like or retweet your content to share it with their own audiences in an organic matter.
Many businesses use this platform to address customer concerns, interact directly with their customers, and develop and perfect their brand voice.
Before venturing into the 2021 social media market, brands must consider their goals. Setting goals is essential to measuring growth and success in a campaign. It is vital to set realistic yet optimistic goals. Companies must understand their budget and size limitations when venturing into social media marketing.
Get to know where your social media presence stands currently and look for a realistic amount of growth during the campaign. While it is possible to go viral and gain brand awareness from thousands of people overnight, it is unlikely. Use your current performance level as a baseline.
Once you set goals, you can start to strategize actionable steps to reach them in a timely fashion.
Set a Budget
Setting a budget is a massive part of your social media strategy. It largely determines what platforms to work on and how large an advertising effort a company can make. Each platform has its own form of pricing for different ad types.
Take content creation in mind when mapping out a budget. Creating consistent, high-quality content is costly and often requires a team. Ad copy, graphics, and strategy are all costs associated with social media marketing.
Start setting realistic goals to decide what is essential. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Do you want more website visitors? Are you looking for users to make a purchase? Pick one thing to focus on for your campaign. Splitting interests weaken the strength of the campaign.
Set a Strategy
Social media advertising is very intricate and requires careful planning. Setting a strategy helps refine your goals as a company while creating steps to achieve those goals. Social media is increasingly unpredictable, as each platform has unique features and audiences. There is always a chance of a brand’s content going viral and a chance of the content getting nearly no engagement.
Social media companies and governing bodies are still trying to find the best balance of sharing, tracking, and privacy online, which leads to rules changing continuously. Keeping up on laws and updates from social apps and internet providers is essential to preventing content flagging.
Come up with a strategy for each platform and consider how much of your social media advertising budget to dedicate to each platform. Some apps have higher pricing models than others; keep this in mind when dividing up ad spend.
Leave Room for Change
Social media changes rapidly. There are many moving parts to social media that cause continuous shifts and updates. Privacy updates can change on a dime, keeping advertising brands on their toes to check for laws and regulations. Further, posts that break any requirements by each platform or any governing body are removed or flagged on the platform.
Another way changes affect social media advertising is the arrival, adaptation, and departure of trends. New trends pop up on platforms and spiral into recent trends. A great example of this is on TikTok.
Recently, on the short video-based platform, a song, “Cloud 9” by the popular band Beach Bunny, turned into a viral sound to which hundreds of thousands of users made videos. A user created an acoustic cover of the song, which then proceeded to go viral and turn into a sound used by hundreds of thousands of users on the platform. A few weeks later, as that trend died down, another user, @diarrheaquinn, used the tune of the song and spoke, “I hate people that work at the bank. Shh, I work at the bank, here is a dollar, do not tell anyone.” TikTok users used this unique sound in over 600,000 videos.
All these trend adaptations took place on one platform in only a month. Brands must prepare to change their videos as trends adapt. The original “Cloud 9” trend is over, and users may see it as outdated, even though it sparked the newer “I work at the bank” trend.
Strategize, but leave room for change to keep up with trends and new user expectations on each app.
Social media is an everchanging trend that informs brands about upcoming fads, expectations, and allows them to connect on a more personal level with their customers. Brands can gain a large following on many platforms and must prepare to handle the potential influx of customers that can stem from a successful social media campaign.
When first starting with social media, it can be beneficial to hire a social media marketing agency already well-versed in trends and how each platform works. This can help your brand define goals that are attainable and in line with your long-term company aspirations.