This year has been a heck of a ride for everyone. However, savvy brands and many the small and medium businesses we've been consulting have risen to the occasion, giving us great takeaways about social media trends that are here to stay. Which social media strategies were the most successful in 2020? How can these help inform our social media strategy for 2021? I’ll reveal the top 5 strategies you can implement, along with marketing tactics that will guarantee success throughout the year.
Social Media Strategies in 2020
According to the latest statistics, there are 3.8 billion active social media users as of January 2020. This is a 9% increase compared to the same time last year. Translated into numbers, last year alone, 321 million new users have joined social media platforms worldwide. With social media exhibiting an upward trend several years in a row, it’s clear why brands invest a lot of time and effort into creating an effective social media strategy. Effective social media strategy consists of a series of steps that reflect your goals and what you plan to achieve on social media. Noting down and understanding your goals into a comprehensive social media strategy will allow you to track your success and identify areas of improvement. Naturally, for a social media strategy to be effective, it has to take into account the latest social media trends…… which is where Fred Ferry Social Media Strategies comes in. Below, I’ll share a couple of social media tips that will help you run more effective marketing campaigns, build better customer relationships and ensure that you make the most out of your social media efforts in 2020.
1. Use Contests to GET and STAY on the Radar You’ve surely stumbled upon a social media contest in the past, or maybe even organized one yourself. There’s a reason why so many brands have included these to their social media strategy. Social media contests are a proven way to get the word out, get people interested in what you offer, and boost your followers count. Over the past couple of years, social media contests have been especially effective when done in a collaboration with an influencer. More brands are making the shift towards enhanced customer service and two-way communication. And so, contests and giveaways will remain as relevant as ever, but their main goal will no longer centre around increasing the number of likes and followers alone. Instead, brands are actively starting to use contests as another way to provide something of value to their audience, and not only get on the radar of potential consumers – but stay on the radar as well. Using contests in your social media strategies (and do it right) can help you to:
Increase brand awareness and remembrance
Grow your email list
Drive more traffic to your website/blog/social media platform
Get to know your audience
Educate potential customers
Get people to test your products
Reward your loyal customers
… and more!
Most importantly, you don’t need to sell physical products to organize a contest. Are you a growth specialist helping people who want to start their own business? You can offer a free 30-minute consultation call, or free access to your mini-course. 2. Create Deeper Connections with Video You’ve surely noticed that various social media platforms have added more features for you to share video updates with your audience. TikTok expanding their clip lenght to 1min or Instagram implementing Reels are the latest examples of this. There are many reasons to include video into your social media strategy. Youtube is huge right now, Instagram Live encourages its users to share instant updates, longer form content with IGTV, shorter but dynamic clip formats with Reels, and of course, there’s the incontestable power of tikTok. Over time, we have witnessed how visuals drive more engagement, and video enables you to talk to your users directly – making a deeper connection. One of the most powerful ways to drive more engagement and get immediate reactions/feedback is through live streaming on social media. Live streams allow you to cover events, pick or announce contest winners in real time or create buzz around a product during its launch phase. Social media users appreciate the “raw” quality and “realness” of social media videos. So today, everyone can become a content creator, even without the support of a team of professionals. Don’t forget to measure your results and use hashtag analytics to track your campaign performance.
3. Include Social Commerce into Your Social Media Strategy Social media platforms used to be a place where people can keep in touch with friends and family. Nowadays, users stay up to date with the latest developments, get inspired, research and discover new products through social media. We all know that social networks influence what people buy online. Buyers can easily compare products, read user testimonials and browse new items using social media platforms. However, over these past couple of years, social networks began to offer new features that allow users to shop on social media as well. This means that your social media strategy can have a huge impact your bottom line. Pinterest’s Shop the Look feature allows users to get instantly redirected to the checkout page, where they can immediately turn their inspiration into a purchase. Similarly, Instagram leads the way allowing brands to not only sell on social with their Shop feature, but also to pair social shopping with influencer marketing. 4. Boost Sales with Augmented Reality (AR) I’m sure you’ve heard everyone talking about AR and how it will shape the future of shopping. Up until now, a lot of people were visiting stores to see, touch and try on the products before they go back home and order them online. This resulted in a complex path to purchase consisting of several touch-points both in physical and online stores. Because of the recent pandemic, retail shopping declined by 20%. Alternatively, brands that leverage an omni-channel approach can expect growth. In the future, we can expect that a lot of retailers will transform their brick and mortar stores into showrooms, where people can see and try on the products, and then buy it online FROM THEM. Also, the latest developments in AR are beginning to allow customers to get the same experience – online. In the past, Facebook and Instagram have launched AR filters, allowing users to try on products from selected advertisers to see how they fit before they make a purchase decision. These AR tools have been limited to the platforms’ early partners in the cosmetics and eyewear industry, including NARS, Mac, Warbly Parker, and Ray Ban. 5. Get on the Micro-Influencer Marketing Bandwagon Despite what naysayers claim, influencer marketing is on the rise, and is expected to grow even more in 2020. To stay relevant and get discovered by new audiences, brands need to start partnering up with content creators who are loved and trusted by their communities. But how can small brands afford to pay influencers? This is a common objection raised by businesses who still equate influencer marketing to celebrity endorsements, while in fact, an influencer can be even someone with 1000 followers. There are 5 influencer tiers: Nano (1k-10k), Micro (10k to 50k), Mid-Tier (50k to 500k), Macro (500k to 1M) and Mega (1M+) influencer. Lately, many brands have started stepping away from mega influencers and instead, they’ve started to collaborate with smaller creators who have an audience between 10K and 100K followers. Micro influencers have a more genuine relationship with their community and as a result they have a lot of true fans that trust them and their judgement.
The social media landscape is changing every day, and with new features kicking off and new social media platforms gaining popularity it can be hard to develop social media strategies. However, if we take a better look, all these changes and features have one thing in common: they’re developed to help brands drive more engagement, start conversations and provide more value to their customers.
The key to staying relevant is keeping up with your audience, their interests and habits. This should inform your social media strategy. One of the things that you need to track are the social media platforms where your target audience spend the most of their time. There are a lot of new social media platforms appearing, and it’s impossible for you to be present everywhere. So, you need to assess which platform has the biggest potential based on your line of business and audience. For example, a lot of brands focus on the most widely known social media networks: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, while overseeing other networks like LinkedIn, Youtube and as of recently, TikTok (huge potential). Depending on your brand and what you sell you might want to consider experimenting with some other platforms. Some platforms might not be that popular in terms of advertising but may prove to be effective for you and help you reach new, engaged audiences.
So if we have to sum this up and give you a single tip to follow in 2020, it’s this: Be creative, but do not follow trends blindly, and instead, invest in those things that are in line with your brand and are appreciated by your audience. Get the help of professionals to make it right.