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Having a coherent, clear social media strategy became even more essential during the whirlwind of 2020. Since social media is constantly changing and evolving, the methods in which we make our company’s events, initiatives, and information available to our audiences must constantly change as well. As the world of social media marketing grows, it is more important than ever to have a robust strategy in place to try and ‘woo’ your audiences on a consistent basis and grow their trust as part of your social media strategy in 2021.

While there are many things to consider, the experts at South Coast Social provide an overview of 5 important tips to ensure you start the year on top of your social media game…

1. Prioritise quality and authenticity

This should have been your number one priority since day one, but it can never be said too much. As tools for creating engaging content become more popular and readily available, more and more companies are upping their game, making it harder to “stop the scroll.”

As consistently as you can, post high-quality, engaging visuals. If you have an important message for your audience, do not sell yourself short with easy or poorly executed content. Go the extra mile to acquire scroll-stopping videos, images, and relevant captions….

…Especially video! According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, it was estimated that around nearly 80% of all internet traffic is now video. Social media platforms are increasingly prioritising video, as this format appeals across all demographic lines.

Authenticity? This goes hand in hand with quality. Users are growing tired of fake content and while more is being done to prevent the spread of misinformation since the Covid-19 pandemic began, it is more important than ever to be authentic. We know that creating authentic content isn’t always easy, but it will encourage your audience to have a growing trust in your brand.

2. Do a Content Audit

A content audit is the process of collecting and analysing all the assets you have available on your website or otherwise, in this case – any relevant for social media use. When planning social content, knowing what is already readily available will save you time and effort and will help inspire you in creating new content, or knowing when to invest in a professional photoshoot (or start experimenting on your own!)

Assess what can be repurposed, tweaked or deleted, and then categorise each of them by where that content falls in the buyer’s journey. Don’t forget to add notes, as context is always key.

3. Utilise stories… like there’s no tomorrow

Most social audiences (not all, but most) are on Instagram. If they are not on Instagram, they’re definitely on Facebook. Instagram and Facebook have few things in common, but one stands out screaming, “Hey! Look at me!” – and that’s Stories.

Stories have legitimately taken over social media since their launch in 2016, with over 500 million users watching them every day. One third of the most viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses – and you absolutely want to ensure you are part of that percentage! If you are having a hard time deciding what type of content to post to Stories, think quick, easily digestible, and memorable. Any content that requires your audience to ‘lean in’ and digest should be a Post. Everything else? Post that baby to a Story (and then add it to a Highlight!).

 4. Spend time online

Conversations online spread like wildfire. It’s likely that you won’t be able to keep up with all the topics of conversation around your niche that occur on a daily basis, but it is important to keep an eye on them, if and when your audience is taking part in them.

If you are utilising a social content scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, it is essential to check in weekly – if not daily – and make sure that the content you have scheduled is still appropriate.

You do not have to be on all social platforms!. With several big-name options to choose from – including LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube, it is not feasible in terms of time or resources. Focus on the platforms your target audiences may be using…. 

LinkedIn: Most users have a college/advanced degree, and their incomes tend to be higher.

Twitter: 63% of all Twitter users worldwide are between the ages of 35 and 65.

Instagram: Instagram skews more towards younger users:

– Age 18-29: 67%

– Age 30-49: 47%

– Age 50-64: 23%

– Age 65+: 8%

Snapchat: Most users are under the age of 34.

Facebook: Facebook, while not as popular as Snapchat or Instagram with younger users, does span a wide range of ages.

Pinterest: 25 percent more women use Pinterest than men.

TikTok: Although TikTok is fairly secretive about its user demographics, one analysis revealed that 40% of TikTokers are under age 20 and another 26% are under 30.

YouTube: Everyone seems to use YouTube! Set up a channel if relevant to your business.

By being aware of your platform selection’s most prominent audiences, you can make the most of your time and effort – and reach the right people in the right places with your social media strategy. Don’t forget to keep up to date with the latest trends for each platform.

5. Meet to discuss ‘Crisis Communication’

This is not exactly a revolutionary social media strategy. However, it is a fundamental one. 2020 has taught us many things but if there is one we need to take away for the upcoming year, it’s that a timely response is absolutely paramount.

Now, more than ever, what your company stands for is incredibly important to your audience. Try planning an internal meeting or a team Zoom to discuss the issues that occurred during 2020 and how you could have responded better socially. Based on what you find in that meeting, decide your company’s stance and plan ways to communicate quickly about similar issues. You may never need to use these responses externally, but knowing these things will help your brand’s focus either way.

This list only scratches the surface, but if you follow the five steps outlined here, it is highly likely that you will have a robust social content plan matched by an audience that trusts both your online presence and your brand in 2021, but we know it can also be rather time consuming…

See more from South Coast Social here – Consider hiring a social media agency for your business today.

 

Social media isn’t exactly a new thing, but sometimes people still get confused as to what a Social Media Manager actually ‘does’… After all, social media jobs are just young people having fun at work, taking selfies and ‘gramming their lunch right?

Building a loyal brand following on social for a demanding client can be gruelling – it’s a tough, demanding job with a lot of pressure. The team at South Coast Social shared some of their most asked questions – and the ones they LOVE to hear instead! And yes, they still do ‘gram their lunch…

1. Can you post this right now?
Your Social Media Manager isn’t sitting around all day posting about whatever pops into their head – there will always be a strategic method to their madness! The content they choose to post, how they interact with your brand followers, what they retweet or share, the number of posts sent out each day – everything is done with a clear rationale and based on the analytics provided from each social network. Asking a social media manager to post something out of the blue will likely clash with a strategically planned out schedule, although of course they’ll always want to be as reactive as possible! Frequency of reactive content is something you might want to discuss when you first start working with an agency to ensure you’re both on the same page!

What we’d LOVE to hear: Do you have room in your schedule for this, and how soon can we get it implemented?

2. Why don’t you just message *insert celebrity* and ask them to talk about our product? They’d love it!
Social media influencers have dedicated and engaged followings and an endorsement can be a big boost for your brand. However, influencers are no longer just celebrities. They range from industry experts, to content creators and local entrepreneurs. That’s why finding the right influencer isn’t about the most likes or follows, but their relevance to your brand. A quick, one-off endorsement isn’t how influencer partnerships work and they’re rarely free. It can take months to finalise a plan that suits both the brand and influencer. So the chances of Leonardo Di Caprio reading your message and deciding to chat about your product on his Stories is, let’s just say, slim – however talented your Social Media Manager is and however amazing your brand!

What we’d LOVE to hear: Do we have the budget for an influencer as part of our campaign, or can we investigate relevant influencers in your niche and entice them with a great offer or product?

3. Can you make this go viral please?
Ah – the classic!! And yes – we’ve all heard it! When a post goes ‘viral’, it is usually down to pot luck – but let’s talk about what happens when it does happen. Viral posts will usually see a big spike in social engagement and may even experience an increase in website traffic. Then, within a few days, everything will return back to normal activity. If your content isn’t created to provide long-term value for your audience, then it won’t have a great return on investment. That’s why Social Media Managers always focus on creating relevant, quality content that meets the business goals of their clients.

What we’d LOVE to hear: Let’s chat about how we can we measure a post’s success and continue to build on it long term!

4. Why aren’t we on *insert new social network*?
Short answer: Your audience isn’t on there either!

Social Media Managers are busy focusing on developing quality, strategic social profiles and an online presence on the right channels for your business, not the ‘trendy’ ones (remember FriendFeed or YikYak anyone?….) Each network has its own audiences and differences they have to be attuned to. It’s about quality, not quantity. It’s far more beneficial to master two social media channels than have profiles on five networks if the extra three are not meeting your objectives. Each additional network adds a new layer to your social strategy, plus needs resources and time to devote to managing it. That said – your Social Media Manager will have years of industry experience, and if there IS a relevant new social network your brand could capitalise on, they’ll be the first to let you know!

What we’d LOVE to hear: Is this (new social network) a good fit for our marketing efforts? What are your thoughts on it?

5. Let’s post something fun for *insert national holiday*
If there’s one thing Social Media Managers are fully aware of, it’s all of the national holidays. All Social Media Managers will be equipped with a calendar and will be strategically choosing which national holidays are relevant for your campaign. The choice to omit something from your company’s feed – like National Egg Day for example – is intentional!

Jumping in on conversations without intention can actually devalue your brand and annoy followers. Your Social Media Manager will know when and how to engage in trending topics without forcing relevance. One effective way of utilising national holidays is to incorporate a company offer to customers for ‘one day/week only’.

What we’d LOVE to hear: You mentioned its National Women’s Day this week – how can our team get involved?

In the end, trust that your Social Media Manager knows best when it comes to your brand’s social media profiles or even ask for a quick review of the strategy and tactics. They will always be happy to walk you through their plans and content calendars.

Bournemouth-based digital agency ETHICLY launched last week, as the world celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Since 1970 the Earth Day movement has been driving towards widespread, global change for good. All this stems from a clear and central mission; ‘to build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet’.

ETHICLY has a clear mission ‘to Make A Difference with Digital’ and, as such, the agency is uniquely targeted towards ‘brands for good’.

Founder Nikki Webb developed her skills in digital over 20 years working for and with major retail, telecoms and technical brands. In the last 5 years, running her own digital consultancy she has found herself gravitating more and more towards projects where the client’s values resonated with her own. Now as the world survives lockdown, the Coronavirus crisis calls on us all to draw on our innate values of supporting local communities, human kindness and global health, Nikki has launched ETHICLY. This is a Digital Agency that specialises in delivering expert guidance and change to brands, who embody these values: human-centric, earth-conscious, ethical sourcing, carbon neutrality and, in general, striving to ‘do good’ in what they do.

Drawing from the collective wisdom of a tight network of specialists, ETHICLY provides a full spectrum of digital services – from Nikki’s strategic direction and brand development skills, to website build, copy and content, social strategies and execution, and – of course – marketing across the breadth of the digital world.

Nikki told us: “It may seem like a strange time to launch a business, but I can’t think of a better moment to start ETHICLY. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of World Earth Day, and see the positive impact of lower emissions on our planet – as well as the kindness and generosity of the human spirit around the globe – I feel even more passionate about using my digital skills and experience for good. To connect people, drive awareness and change, bringing results to brands who are fighting to make a difference.”

Nikki went on to say how excited they are to be working with CTX Global – towards carbon neutral status, and they’ve pledged to plant trees for every project undertaken. The aim is to live the values that they and their clients hold dear.

“At ETHICLY we are conscious, fearless and authentic in our approach, with lots of heart and soul thrown in for good measure!”

You can find out more about ETHICLY at https://ethicly.co.uk/