26th Jan2021

How to have strong social media game in 2021

by James Smith

To say social media consumes a good chunk of one’s day would not be any stretch of the imagination. Not in today’s world, where a global pandemic has changed how we shop, work, interact with friends, and seek entertainment. These platforms have become an integral part of the lives of many. Some hopelessly addicted to the daily routine of checking their social media feeds.

Given the relevance of social media in consumers’ lives today, it’s no surprise marketers and businesses alike flock to social platforms in an attempt to connect with their target customers. However, social media finds itself overloaded with content, with competition for visibility at an all-time high. It’s nearly impossible to stand out from the crowd without a clear social media marketing strategy. Staying updated on the latest social media trends can elevate the effectiveness of your strategy. Here are some pro tips to take your social media game to the next level in 2021.

1) Don’t get left Reeling

Short-form video is where it’s at for 2021. Instagram Reels particularly takes advantage of ever-shortening attention spans to compete with increased competition from rival social media platforms, such as TikTok. You can rest assured that this fast-paced video content is here to stay.

We’ve seen this sort pattern before when Stories were introduced in 2016. Engagement and reach for feed posts plummeted as Instagram shifted our attention to 24-hour disappearing Stories. Now in 2021, we’re seeing the next insta-evolution take place – reach is dropping for Stories and feed posts but skyrocketing for Reels. I’m talking about 10 times the number of expected views from that of your stories or feed posts.

Dynamite certainly does come in small packages when it comes to Instagram Reels, these 15 or 30 seconds long clips are stories on steroids which makes now the opportune time to embrace short-form video marketing. I’ve noticed that 15-second content pieces perform better than their 30-second counterparts, as the preview is limited to 15 seconds before people need to click to view more. Stick to creating Instagram Reels content that is 15 seconds in length so that the full video plays on Preview mode.

Reels have many features, but the Green Screen effect is particularly potent for small businesses because it allows you to share photos, screenshots, or videos in your reel. Photos can be used as before-and-after images illustrating the transformation that your business provides. You can showcase questions your business receives via email or Direct Message and answer them as a “talking head” in front of the screenshot of the message.

The options are endless (and far better explained visually!), but I do recommend getting well acquainted with the Green Screen effect in Reels sooner rather than later if you want to watch the views, leads, and customers roll in.

2) Use SEO to Drive Organic Instagram Visibility

I’m no SEO expert, but I predict Instagram SEO to be one of the most important social media marketing aspects of 2021. The introduction of keyword search in November 2020 provides users with another avenue to discover new content, without touching a hashtag. Instagram just got a whole lot more search-friendly, and the move reflects the more general trend away from 1- or 2-word search queries to users inputting full phrases and questions – much like what we’ve seen on Google.

At present, keyword search results only display Instagram feed posts, but it’s likely to imagine other content with captions, such as IGTV videos and Reels, will soon be added. This game-changing feature for marketers will see more opportunities for increased reach on posts. My recommendation would be to take early advantage of this update and make sure your captions include relevant keywords to help Instagram identify what content you’re posting.

3) Humanise your brand

Humanised businesses understand that being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is sensible marketing in 2021. People connect with people, suggesting brands need to be personified in a way that reveals what represent. Get more faces out there, create more video, and discuss what matters to your core tribe. I get direct mail promotions daily, but I have never received a handwritten letter from a company trying to connect. The pendulum is swinging towards personalised experiences and human connection in 2021 marketing.

4) Call for backup

Is the demand growing for your brand to be an ever-present on all platforms, while constantly releasing engaging content to your audience and staying up to date with the latest trends? Or are you simply needing to get your pages up and firing, but don’t have the precious time to spare? Either way, it could be time to call in the cavalry. I’d suggest you hire a virtual social media manager.

Virtual account managers are expert remote freelancers that have your social presence covered. They have become increasingly popular thanks to their flexibility, pricing, and growing expertise across verticals. In 2021, it’s predicted that 25% of digital workers will use virtual assistance every day; this is up 2% from 2019. In today’s world, not paying attention to your social media presence is like jumping out a plane without a parachute, a terrible and often fatal decision. With the help and guidance of a social media VA, your small business could enjoy the same advantages as a large organisation. A virtual assistant is a brand ambassador who communicates and reaches out to your leads, consumers, and other subscribers, requiring little involvement on your part.

A healthy mix of these pro tips implemented correctly could see you dominating the social space in your industry and region for 2021. Get creative and make use of my suggestions to keep your social game strong this year!
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