Here's How to Drive Your Social Media Strategy forward in 2021

Inderjit Matharu founded White Digital, a provider of digital communication solutions in 2015. His current role puts Matharu at the forefront of helping brands market more effectively in the digital age using technology and human interaction at the fore front.

2021 is just a few days away. It is time to gear up for the New Year and create a brand new social media strategy that boosts awareness and gets you the results. If you are struggling to formulate the right strategy, here are some top trends that you must take into account:

Tailor Your Content for the Socially Conscious Audience
Your audience is socially conscious - if you don’t create the right content that strikes a chord with such an audience, you risk losing engagement completely. Topics such as politics, equality, education, mental health, finance, and food trends are vital topics that the current generation is interested in. Creating content around these themes is a great way to have a meaningful engagement with such an audience.

Let’s also not forget that a significantly large number of Gen Z lost jobs due to the pandemic. They are more likely to be vocal about issues that directly impact them. Working towards creating a social impact through your social media marketing efforts can enhance your credibility as a brand.

Consumers are more likely to remember your brand when they can engage with your beyond the lure of your products - as a social media marketer, shift your focus on building a trustworthy and reliable brand that focuses on relevant social and political issues. A word of caution - make sure that your PR and marketing efforts are aligned for this one to avoid massive social crises. Remember that not focusing on relevant social issues as part of your marketing efforts may alienate a particular audience, especially from the savvier generations.

Say no to Fake News
While fake news or misinformation spreads like wildfire, it can ultimately damage your brand. The audience has already put up with a fair share of conspiracy theories, hate speech, and other fake news during the pandemic. Therefore, it is expected that they will choose more prudently and separate propaganda from real news in the coming year. It is extremely critical for your social media efforts to focus on creating credible content to combat the half-truths peddled on all platforms.

It is also an excellent opportunity to invest more time building an authentic and trustworthy brand image. From the audience’s perspective, there’s nothing more comforting than a reliable brand to maneuver through periods of uncertainty.

Old School Marketing Methods Still Work
Modes of communication, such as blog posts, newsletters, email marketing, videos, and even podcasts, will remain some great ways to connect with your audience. The pandemic has completely overhauled the way we communicate. So focusing your social media efforts on creating a series of podcasts that someone can listen to while working out is a great idea. This will also provide you easy access to the young digitally-minded audience.

Start Making Conversations
Marketing to your audience is no longer a one-way street. If you want to market your brand successfully, you need to start having meaningful conversations with your audience. Strategize to include conversational marketing in your game plan. Bring a human element to the table through personalized content - it is the easiest way to make an impression on your audience. Whether you are using chatbots, calls, or social messaging, connecting with your customers at a deeper level is the best way to stay ahead in the game. If you are an SME, it is essential to stay connected with your customers by tapping into the relevant social media platforms.

Focusing on community building is also going to be a vital element of the brand-building exercise. Consistent efforts towards building a community and engaging with the audience will go a long way in helping the business grow.

Bring Back the Nostalgia
Given the year we had, a healthy dose of nostalgia can boost your marketing efforts. Want the audience to disconnect from their current worries and engage with your brand? Pepper your social media content with good old memories from the past. When you make your customers feel good, they associate your brand with happy memories.

Nostalgia marketing is a great way to attract a Millennial audience. Take, for instance, Stranger Things streaming on Netflix that relies heavily on nostalgia. This resulted in a massive engagement on social media platforms because the audience was reminded of precious childhood memories. If you want nostalgia marketing to work for your brand, start by knowing more about your audience and what is genuinely nostalgic for them. You will need to go back in history to see what was popular back then and how to integrate that into your current offering. You can even engage retro influencers who have built their entire brand through various nostalgic elements.

Embrace Memes
The numero uno rule to ace content marketing efforts is to innovate constantly. Memes are the new-age satire and a powerful tool to grab the attention of your audience. When Sony released Playstation 5, the audience responded with memes. The social media team at PlayStation was smart to note this - they used the This is Sparta meme while releasing the latest game release within the community. This particular tweet got 14.3K engagement, proving once again that meaningful content is the key to building lasting audience connection.

If you decide to use memes, be sure about what the meme means and check the copyright and fair use restrictions. You don’t want to get into trouble while trying to build the credibility of your brands.

COVID Content Will Be Relevant
It will take several years to forget the pandemic completely. This means that you can still shape the tone of the content using the 4Cs of COVID-19 content: Community, Contactless, Cleanliness, and Compassion. For instance, KFC dropped the punchline ‘Finger-Lickin’ Good’ from their promotional material to address the cleanliness aspect.

It is expected that the 4Cs will significantly impact brand communications next year. By including COVID content as part of their social media marketing efforts, brands will stand a better chance of engaging with the consumers, analyzing the exact concerns, and resolving them more effectively.

Final Words
If you want your marketing strategy to succeed in 2021, make sure to keep it customer-centric. Brands that will consistently engage in meaningful conversations with their customers and fully appreciate their concerns and motivations will stand a better chance of surviving the times ahead. The pandemic has given us a golden opportunity to create deeper bonds - it is time for brands to think outside the box and dwell on why consumers want to engage with brands and what kind of marketing efforts can strengthen the bonds.