With much of the world spending more time than ever at home, inevitably people are spending more of their time on social media. 2021 is one year your social campaign can’t afford to take a snooze on. Read my take on Social Media in 2021- 10 Unmissable Strategies to ensure 2021 is your brand’s best year yet.
#1 Video Content
The average person will spend a staggering 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021, according to Zenith’s Online Video Forecast.
Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith, found that people spend half as much time watching conventional television, as they do watching online video.
‘This fast-expanding supply of audiences is fuelling rapid growth in demand from advertisers, making online video the fastest-growing digital channel by advertising expenditure,’ Jonathan says.
More than 50% of all humans on the globe use social media in some form. Video marketing on social media is the best way to reach huge audiences. But slow down there — with the potential to reach millions of customers through video social media marketing, you must make sure your brand is being represented effectively. Social media video ads can flop, and result in you throwing away a lucrative ROI. A well-designed ad, on the other hand, can acquire you a staggering return. Read more stats, tips, and tricks on social media video marketing.
Remember though, each social media network is different and so are the video lengths allowed. Here’s a quick reminder:
- Maximum video length: 240 minutes
- Optimal video length: 15 seconds to 3+ minutes
Facebook suggests keeping your videos less than a minute long (and under 20 seconds for stories). But for longer videos like series, the site says 3+ minutes is best to maximise views.
- Maximum video length:
- IG story: 15 seconds
- Grid video: 60 seconds
- IGTV: 10 minutes*
- Optimal video length:
- IG story: 1 – 7 slides
- Grid video: 60 seconds or less
- IGTV: 2 to 5 minutes
IGTV allows you to send users to a longer, more comprehensive video experience. Utilise that to get your people further down into the funnel.
- You can upload 15 MB videos on TikTok.
- You can also combine story videos and upload videos up to 60 seconds (rumour has it this is extending to 3 minutes in 2021)
- You can also use caption in TikTok videos.
Remember that if you want to reuse TikTok videos on other channels the dimensions are different. For example, captions at the bottom of Tiktok videos will be cropped out in Instagram so be sure to centre them.
Don’t use TikTok for boring videos of your CEO talking about USPs. Be creative, have fun or choose another space. Follow me on TikTok for writer problems, poetry and literature.
- Maximum video length: 140 seconds
- Optimal video length: 43 – 45 seconds
A recent study found that videos between 43 – 45 seconds were more likely to be featured by Twitter and had the highest engagement rates in-feed. Keep it short and sweet.
- Linkedin Stories: up to 20 seconds, and once you upload it, the video is available for people to see for 24 hours
- Native video: 10 minutes
- Video ads: 30 minutes
- Optimal video length: 30 seconds or less
LinkedIn suggests users keep videos built for brand awareness under 30 seconds, as videos at that length reported a 200% lift in completion rates.
- Maximum video length: 15 seconds
- Optimal video length: 6 – 15 seconds
Pinterest is transparent about video pin best practices on their site. While the minimum video pin length is 4 seconds, the Pinterest team suggests boosting your length to land between 6 and 15 seconds for maximum impact. Social media in 2021 is better with Pinterest!
#2 Use the Perfect Caption
A good caption explains what the photo is about, tells your followers to take action and makes your content all the more shareable. If you think that captions don’t matter, you’re losing out on an opportunity to convert potential clients and build a strong following. As businesses move evermore online, it’s essential that your captions speak to your audience. Here are some tips to help you write better Instagram captions.
How to create the perfect caption?
- Important info goes first
- Tell a story with your brand at the centre
- Use questions so the reader is engaged
- Include emojis
- always use relevant hashtags
- Utilise mentions to increase audience reach
- Always include a CTA
Take a look at Fat Face’s post which does all of the above. This is a short-but-sweet post that uses a question to engage and involve the consumer into the narrative. The CTA is obvious (summer sale now on!) but isn’t overly pushy — nice work Fat Face.
Social media in 2021 needs to have killer captions. Either pay closer attention or hire a copywriter, it’s important enough.
#3 Give Back
49% of consumers believe that brands should use their social media accounts to raise money for charity. Sprout Social also reports that consumers hugely value positive contributions to society from brands. What does this mean for your business? It means that your customers want to see more than just great marketing on social media — they want to see the positive impact your business socials are having on the community.
Speak to our team today about how your business can embrace corporate responsibility on your socials in 2021.
#4 Be Responsive
Whether it be DMs, comments, tags, mentions, or Tweets, a recent study (The Social Habit) found that 42% of consumers expect a business to get back to them on social media within one hour. Researchers also found that even when queries are logged outside of business hours, 57% of consumers still expect to receive a response in the same timeframe as usual. On a global level, consumers increasingly expect their needs and wants to be attended to instantly. A slow response time will inevitably cost you.
2021 marketing strategies absolutely MUST include customer support on social media or via live chat. This goes for banking, government and of course retail.
#5 Stay Current
Maybe you never miss a DM or comment, and you fire-off multiple Tweets, stories, and posts a day. But, if you’re getting a luke-warm response, something is missing the mark.
Social media shifts and changes rapidly. The European Business Review magazine found that using the latest social media tools is key to engaging audiences. The use of current social media trends, like Instagram reels, newly-introduced emojis, slang terminology, and new platforms, are critical in showing your audience you’re not out of touch.
For example, TikTok was first launched in 2016 but has exploded in popularity within the past couple of years, and solidified itself as a credible social platform. Advertising on TikTok only became a possibility recently, and some businesses have been slow off the mark to include the social giant in their campaigns. Read my article published at Agorapulse for more TikTok marketing tips.
The point is, in 2021 you need do check your social media channels against your demographics. What’s working and what isn’t? Don’t be afraid to pull back on spend for anything that isn’t working.
#6 Be Human
Partnership Director of Kicks Digital Marketing, Brooke Heffernan, tells us the importance of relating to your audience on a human level. Brooke says,
‘If you’re exclusively fact or data-based, you’re missing out on the great big wide world of grey area that’s called humanity.’
This goes beyond using the latest and greatest technology available on social media; it’s about how your business is received on a personal level. Do customers find your presence on social media captivating, relatable, cutting-edge, funny, helpful? Here’s Wendy’s fast food restaurant taking a cheeky shot at McDonald’s for apparently posting a Tweet still in the editing stage, back in 2017:
Wendy’s humorous retort to McDonald’s gaffe was popular among consumers. Realising their mistake, McDonald’s made an on-brand comeback to their social media blunder by following up with this next Tweet:
The use of humour in marketing is no trade secret — it’s been used in advertising (particularly television) for decades. Journal of Marketing published a study way back in 1993 which found humour is ‘more likely to secure audience attention, increase memorability, overcome sales resistance, and enhance message persuasiveness.’
Audience priorities shift, but humour and relatability are a constant. Regardless of your sector, there is scope for humour or relatability. It’s just about finding that sweet spot.
#7 Stay On-brand
LucidPress found in their 2019 annual brand consistency report that staying on-brand has become a fundamental trait of savvy businesses.
They asked businesses to answer how important consistent branding was to various activities. Over 60% of respondents find consistent branding is ‘very important’ in communicating to existing customers, generating leads, nurturing leads, and closing sales.
Before posting anything on your socials, you must ask yourself ‘How can I keep my brand consistent?’ Marketing specialist at MerlinOne, Petra Šestak, says,
‘It is necessary to understand that your business has its own persona. Every brand should be treated as a living being, and you must define its characteristics and voice in the first place.’
Starbucks’ Instagram is one example of a business that is killing it on brand consistency.
Notice how the Halloween/autumn colours shift into a holiday theme, all whilst keeping the same general branding and style. Each post is instantly recognisable as belonging to Starbucks’ brand. If you want to see repeat custom and new leads, your socials should aim to achieve that same level of recognisability.
#8 Utilise Micro-influencers
Micro-influencers are influencers who do not have a huge number of followers. While there’s no specific criteria, anyone with less than 10,000 followers is considered a micro-influencer. Companies do not currently pay much attention to micro-influencers but it looks like things will change in 2021 as they are proving to be effective in helping brands find a foothold.
In the past few years you may have noticed more and more brands turning to influencers to market their goods and services. Big names like Audible, Paypal, and Coca-Cola have cashed in on influencer marketing.
Big brands typically collab with bigger influencers since they demand a higher fee. But no matter the marketing budget of your business, you’re likely to find a good match with an influencer on a smaller scale aka a micro-influencer. Take a look at the top 10 influencer marketing facts.
Micro-influencers can be great for small or local brands as they typically have a limited reach and they’re also more affordable to work with. I expect more brands to work with small influencers, businesses to team up and travel influencers to find a new purpose.
#9 Prioritise Landing Pages
You’ve got a dazzling social campaign that is reaching huge audiences and enticing leads — but what happens when they click your link?
Firstly, you should pretty much always be using a landing page. Only direct traffic to your homepage if there’s a specific reason. In fact, the more landing pages you have the better.
As you can see from HubSpot’s most recent study on lead generation, the number of landing pages makes a big difference. Sites that have over 40 landing pages see the biggest relative gain in leads. Ideally, every ad you post should have a relevant landing page. In 2021, online acquisition is likely to become incredibly important. Retail businesses need to be able to track leads and the effectiveness of each campaign. Now’s the time to get those landing pages up and running.
Some landing page tips:
- Include Video. A video on your landing page can help you better connect with viewers and educate them on the benefits of your product or service.
- Use ‘FOMO Words’ in your content like “only 50 left”, “free shipping when you order today” or “spend over 100 dollars to get a free gift”.
- Craft a Killer Call to Action. A strong CTA tells the reader what to do next. There’s no space for waffling on this one.
- Utilise Colour Psychology. Green means go and red means stop as a rule, although orange is increasingly effective.
#10 Rock Promo Codes
Of all the reasons customers buy something, saving money is near the top of the list. This need to save is why discount coupons have become a bigger part of running a successful ecommerce business. Studies show that customers spend 25% more money with a coupon than without one.
You can use online coupons to incentivise a signup, subscription, an immediate purchase or a higher value purchase. You can also use them to personalise your online relationship with your customers. For example, a $10 voucher on the customer’s birthday. In 2021 people will more than ever crave brand personalisation.
Sharing a promo code on your socials for customers to take over to your site, is a great way to secure leads. Take a look at Beambox’s fast facts on promo codes for 2020.
With most people’s disposable income seeing a hit this year due to the global pandemic, consumers are becoming increasingly drawn to a good deal. By 2022, Beambox estimates total digital coupon redemption will reach a whopping $91 billion.
So that’s my 10 Unmissable Social Media Strategies for 2021 in one quick hit. Which one(s) will you be running with? Get in contact for 2021 savvy social media and content marketing for your brand.