We know how challenging it can be to choose how best to engage with your target audience on social media when time and budget are precious resources. Since the start of the year, we have spent hours researching and shifting through reports from industry experts to find valuable and easy to follow social media tips for any business.
Statista reports that since March, as countries implemented work from home orders due to the global pandemic, there has been a reported 21% uptick in monthly social media usage. Throughout the year, consumers have not only continued to use social channels to catch up with loved ones, but they’ve also embraced them for product research, the latest news coverage, and hours of mindless entertainment.
This article breaks down how your business can maximise its exposure on social media and take advantage of this extra time that your target audience is spending on these online channels.
Social Media Tips for 2021
- Maximise Organic Exposure on Instagram with Reels
- Allow Customers to Shop Online through Facebook & Instagram
- Improve Engagement on LinkedIn with New Features
- Go Live in 2021
- Less is Now More on Social Media
1. Maximise Organic Exposure on Instagram with Reels
Short form video seems to be the order of the day on Instagram. This trend started with Instagram Stories in 2016 which saw engagement and reach for regular feed posts drop as Instagrammers embraced stories that disappeared after 24 hours. It is starting to look like history is repeating itself with the introduction of Instagram Reels in 2020.
Reach and engagement for both stories and feed posts are decreasing while user attention is now gravitating towards Instagram Reels. Some experts have predicted that Instagram Reels now receive ten times more views on average than what is expected from stories and feed posts. It is safe to say that it is well worth giving some time to share short form videos on Instagram Reels this year.
Reels can be 15 or 30 seconds in length and are Instagram’s answer to TikTok. The best thing about Reels is that they don’t have to be complicated. They are actually very similar to stories. You can simply record yourself talking about a product or service and add music or text to make the video even more engaging.
An excellent feature on Instagram Reels is the Green Screen effect. This feature gives users the ability to share photos, screenshots or videos in their reels. These can be used in the background on Reels which allows for really interesting content ideas such as thanking a positive online review or answering frequently asked questions as a “talking head” in front of the screenshot or photo.
Need to know more about Instagram? Here are a few of our popular resources to help you out:
2. Allow Customers to Shop Online through Facebook & Instagram
The gift that keeps on giving that is Covid-19 has put the onus on businesses to pivot and look at new ways in which to sell to their customers. Facebook and Instagram now provide a safe and relatively inexpensive way for businesses to sell their products and services. We expect that the shift towards contactless shopping will see online shopping thrive even further in 2021.
Facebook and Instagram have integrated in-app purchasing which will reduce the steps traditionally required to convert a social media user into a customer and the gap between scrolling and shopping. The best thing about this new feature is that you can now tag your products on social media posts which will allow your audience to tap on the image or video on the post and purchase the product through the online store on your website. This is an excellent feature, especially when your social media audience share your posts or when you share user generated content and tag your products on the post.
To fully take advantage of this new trend, it is recommended to set up retargeting ads as the majority of your audience will not purchase on their first visit to your website. A retargeting campaign through Facebook and Instagram Ads will encourage users to return to your online store later and complete a purchase. This will significantly increase your overall revenue.
Lastly and most importantly, user experience is paramount when it comes to your website. Sales will be lost if your website is slow, not optimised for mobile or has a clunky checkout process. We would highly recommend fixing any user experience issues as a first port of call.
We expect this new shopping feature on Facebook and Instagram to consistently evolve but it is well worth getting on board now and being ahead of the curve in 2021.
Do you have a social media strategy for your business? Here some helpful resources to help you get the very most from social media.
3. Improve Engagement on LinkedIn with New Features
LinkedIn didn’t sit still in 2020 and released some really interesting new features. The B2B platform released LinkedIn Live, Events, Polls and Stories. This year, businesses should take advantage of these new features to increase engagement on LinkedIn which is considerably lower than other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Businesses should also be aware of the shift is business culture created by the rise in professionals working from home.
Our research has highlighted that people working remotely tend to engage with conversational content because it replicates the office environment they are missing. Creating polls that encourage your audience to vote, asking open ended questions on posts or sharing behind the scenes pictures or videos through stories are just some of the ways that your business can leverage the new features on LinkedIn.
This year is expected to be a game changer for SME’s that have a strong focus on LinkedIn. The platform is looking for ways to improve engagement levels between SME’s like never before through the release of its latest features. Upcoming features are expected to help businesses build a strong audience on their LinkedIn business page around their products and services. Businesses would be well advised to delve into the latest new features on LinkedIn to boost the effectiveness of their activities on this valuable channel.
Need help with LinkedIn for your business? Here are some easy to follow tips that will help you get the very most from LinkedIn.
4. Go Live in 2021
Last year, many businesses had no alternative but to take conferences, events and training courses online through video sharing platforms. Many businesses are now using Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter to live stream events, webinars and other types of content. It is worth looking at live streaming for free on these platforms in 2021 if you have not done so already. Live streaming on social platforms keeps your social media followers engaged, especially if you provide them with valuable information such as tips and advice or interviews with industry experts.
Live streaming on social media allows your audience to ask questions and for you to answer their questions in real time. It also improves transparency between your business and your customers and makes your business more approachable. Just keep in mind that live streaming events should be well prepared and to always expect the unexpected.
Want to improve your Instagram posts with engaging graphics and videos? Read our easy to follow tips on free social media tools that will really improve your social media posts.
5. Less is Now More on Social Media
There was a very noticeable shift from brands in 2020 with their social media strategies. The best performing brands on social media spent less time sharing social media posts and more time producing content that was thought provoking and in touch with what was going on with Covid 19. This trend is expected to continue in 2021 from many industry experts.
Big brands have realised that they should be less concerned with complex social media algorithm on the best times and frequency of posting and more concerned with whether or not their audience wanted to hear from them or not. Posting less may sometimes be the right thing to do for your business, especially if the general mood online is low. This year, it is worth having a sense of what the atmosphere is like online in your target market before tapping on the post button.
How will you manage social media in 2021?
Well there you have it. These five social media tips should help you stay on top of your social media game and one step ahead of your competitors. The important part now is to dip your toe in the water and test some of these new social media trends. They may not all be right for your business but you’ll never really now until you try. Testing ideas is the best thing about social media!
I wonder what we will be debating about this time next year on what will hopefully be our face to face marketing meetings.
Contact Annmarie Coonan if you would like any further tips and training on social media for your business. We would be happy to meet over Zoom and help you get the very most from you digital marketing efforts.