It’s customary to set new goals at the beginning of the year—ones that allow you to expand your knowledge, improve your health, or break bad habits for good.
While we’ve all heard of the most common ones like spending less and exercising more, consider adding revamping your social media strategy to the list.
In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, you should always be on the lookout for up-and-coming trends and new ways to engage your audience. To help you get started with your resolutions, I’ve put together a list of the top 4 social media best practices I’m implementing in 2021.
What We’ll Cover:
- Resolution #1—Create a Social Media Strategy & Actually Stick to it
- Resolution #2—Build a Community and Grow with it
- Resolution #3—Look at Your Analytics and Build a Report
- Resolution #4—Have Fun with Your Social Media
Resolution #1—Create a Social Media Strategy & Actually Stick to it
As we dive into the New Year, now is the perfect time to start putting together a few key social media marketing best practices to keep you on track for Q1.
Perhaps you’re thinking—“Do I even need a social media strategy? If I post regularly, that should be enough to earn me a ton of likes, right?” Wrong. When planned and executed well, a social strategy can help you build a strong, organic presence online and ensure that you’re reaching the right audience at the right time.
But, how do you even go about doing that?
For starters, you need to identify who your target audience is. By understanding the demographics and psychographics of your customer base, you can better understand how to engage each group.
How old are they? What’s their average income level? What are their pain points?
Questions like this will make it easier to define your ideal buyer.
From there, you’ll be better equipped to determine your social media budget, as well as the best times to post, all of which should help you make more informed decisions about your content.
It’s also important to make every post count and focus on quality over quantity. Leave posting for posting’s sake in 2020.
Instead, it’s key to understand the reasoning behind what you’re posting. Are the messages you’re pushing out actually contributing to your overall digital strategy?
For example, if your product or service is more visual, then it may be a good idea to post more frequently on social media. If not, take the less is more approach and only share an update when it’s absolutely necessary. Focus on sharing content that engages your fans. If they’re not interested, you may need to reassess the strategy all together.
And when it comes to social media best practices for business, user-generated content tops the list. As the name implies, user-generated content is provided by customers and submitted to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Part of the reason user-generated content is growing in popularity is because consumers are getting savvier. They know when companies are using stock and brand-only photos. That’s why you should make it a goal for 2021 to curate photos from fans online and re-share them on your account (with permission, of course).
Knowing that other people use and enjoy your product is powerful to potential customers; in fact, a recent study by Stackla showed that 79% of users say user-generated content has a major influence on their purchasing decisions. This shows users that your brand is authentic, approachable, and most importantly, that consumers like you enough to show you off!
Resolution #2—Build a Community and Grow with it
There’s no denying the importance of high-quality content when it comes to your social media campaigns.
It’s a vital component that can help drive clicks and sales much more than many other aspects of your strategy can. But, one element that consistently gets overlooked (or left out entirely) is social media community management.
Despite being one of the most critical social media best practices, community management is often put second after content strategy because many marketers believe that once they start posting, they can then take a back seat as users follow immediately after. However, this hardly ever happens.
Having a strong social media community means you have to build an authentic, loyal community of dedicated customers around your brand. This goes beyond being social media and digitally savvy.
In order to grow a substantial following and set yourself apart from competitors, you need to follow other accounts, comment on posts, and engage with related hashtags. Once other accounts see your willingness to engage with their content, they’ll be more likely to reciprocate.
By taking the opportunity to interact with your audience in different ways, you’ll create a network of people who love to connect, learn, ask questions, and grow with you.
And remember—once you develop a sizable following, don’t leave them hanging!
There are few things more frustrating to customers than when a brand frequently posts on their channels, but ignores all comments from users—especially negative ones. This not only shows that the company doesn’t care about its customers, but that it won’t be there to assist when someone reports an issue with your product or service.
Resolution #3: Look at Your Analytics and Build a Report
If you want to maximize your social media performance, you need to have a solid understanding of what’s working and what isn’t.
Which metrics do you want to track? How will that information be useful to you in the long run?
For starters, I can’t stress enough the importance of optimizing your ads.
In 2021, forget posting an ad and leaving it until your budget runs out. Instead, check it after 3-4 days to see which audiences are most receptive to your ads, and fine-tune the others. Feel free to turn off ads that are underperforming. After all, there’s no reason to spend money if they’re not converting. After the ads are completed, track the reach, engagements, and link clicks, and use the data to create even better ads the next time around.
Also, you’ll want to routinely review your posts. We all hate that feeling when a post doesn’t perform as well as we think. You had what seemed like a great idea, and it was squashed by your followers. But don’t lose hope—or worse, delete it. Just take note of the likes, comments, and shares, and find out where you can improve in the future.
Lastly, make sure to compile all this data and put it into a report. This is one of the most disregarded social media best practices out there. An effective social media report will identify your goals and strategies, highlight your wins and losses, and prove the value and ROI of your campaigns.
Once you’ve created a comprehensive report, be sure to share it with your stakeholders, and keep it to track your channels’ progress over time.
As time-consuming as it may be, social media reporting gives you a chance to learn what content stood out to users, how to adjust your strategy, and ultimately, learn how social media is bringing in that ROI. As long as you present your data insights in a clear, context-driven manner, you’ll be good to go!
Resolution #4—Have Fun with Your Social Media
Social media isn’t meant to be boring. In fact, when they were first invented, using social media best practices for business was not what came to mind.
Today’s users frequently follow accounts to stay informed of current news, industry updates, and trends. But, that doesn’t mean the content should be dull.
Memes, striking imagery, and videos can all engage your audience, even in the most niche industries. It’ll take a bit of research, planning, and creativity, but try not to overthink it. The more fun you have with your social media, the more fun your audience will have interacting with you on it.
While you want to prioritize entertainment, don’t forget to stay up-to-date on industry trends as well.
TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Fleets have all been introduced or have increased in popularity in the last few months of 2020. So far, TikTok already has 850 million users across the world!
Whether or not you think a dance challenge will fit into your 2021 social media strategy, staying informed on new apps, updates, and trends will keep you ready for anything that comes your way in the New Year.
There’s no time like the present to start reviewing and refining your social media strategy.
That’s why you need to start the New Year off with a bang and set your sights higher than you ever have before.
By committing to these 4 social media best practices, you can set yourself up for success in 2021 and beyond!