Social Media Marketing in 2021 and Beyond
Without a doubt, the free and best tool in 2021 and beyond to grow your business is Social Media Marketing. It’s the perfect platform for the starters and pacers to attract enormous organic as well as paid traffic to gain popularity and conversions.
Looking for expert insights and ways to help you get your marketing plans on the right track?
Stay with us.
What are the Social Media Marketing Trends in 2021?
For 2021 marketers can take advantage of two things: SEO and Reels
It was officially announced in November 2020, that Instagram would become more search-friendly. What that means is without the use of hashtags, if you search for a keyword in the search bar, relevant videos, profiles, and posts will appear. That’s a brighter green light for businesses aiming for organic Instagram traffic.
SEO is what you should be focusing on even more to increase visibility. Easy tips you can start today to improve SEO in Instagram are:
- Ensure your captions include relevant keywords that will help Instagram identify what’s being shown or discussed in your post.
- You should consistently post content that’s relevant to your business.
If you run an Instagram account for your clothing business, you should focus on posting different clothing content and avoiding content that strays into an unrelated category.
- You can also show up in search within your category by following other similar accounts and adding a relevant keyword to your name in your bio (i.e., UFO |Clothing Store ).
Instagram has launched Reels to compete with TikTok. It is yet to come to Nepal but it will soon be launched so get ready to hop on the platform as soon as it gets launched.
You can view what is working for others and replicate it through your own content. Generally, it’s found that 15 secs reels perform better than 30 secs.
Also, make sure, you add text to your video content to increase watch time, and also add a caption with a value to encourage viewers to share and save. This will help your content perform better in the algorithm.
By taking advantage of these added Instagram features, you can market your business more efficiently. Consistency is the key to success so remain consistent with your strategies and stay updated.
Instagram Hashtags Game
Using hashtags is super essential during Instagram marketing. At most 30 hashtags are allowed to be visible in an Instagram post. But should you put all 30 hashtags? You can if you want but 15-20 hashtags should work fine.
It is not about using as many hashtags as they allow but using accurate hashtags that will keep your business profile and posts visible to the targeted audience.
For appearing in search results when customers search for something related to your business, you should combine a variety of hashtags. A quick guide for using hashtags in an Instagram post is as follows:
- 3 – 5 very Popular Hashtags (around 300k to 1M posts): This gives an initial burst of activity from non-followers but your content will get buried in archives of popular hashtags.
- 3 – 5 Moderately Popular Hashtags (80K to 300K posts): This can give you hours to days of activity.
- 3 – 5 Niche-Specific Hashtags: This attracts the actual potential customers to your post and profile. Your post can start ranking as a top-performing post and can stay in top placement for months. This generates leads and followers and eventually customers that contact you for your service or product.
- 1 – 2 Branded Hashtags: These are hashtags that represent your brand. It can be your brand name or your tagline
There is also always a big debate about whether to put your hashtags on your caption or your comment. Well placing hashtags in comments or captions doesn’t affect the Instagram algorithm differently.
The main thing you need to note is that the hashtags must be relevant to your business so that Instagram can get an idea about the profile and posts and the algorithm works in your favor.
Also, pick the hashtags for the audience not only from your business perspective.
You must be able to deliver quality content and use hashtags to attract the target audience to your business.
Using hashtags in your Instagram stories is a different game. As stories only last for 24 hours, hashtags for stories must be very popular and broad to access larger audiences in that time window. If you are using a hyper-specific or even branded hashtag, the chances of you being found in 24 hours by the non-followers are very low. It is the opposite of what we do in the Instagram feed.
Choose a singular word that gives a broad sense in your business industry to attract a wider audience and establish relevance too.
For illustration, #socialmedia, #science #clothing is a broad hashtag that can be used in the stories. A hashtag can be kept through a hashtag sticker or in a text box and make sure it is underlined for it to be clickable by viewers.
One exception to this rule is that, if you are at a live event or a venue or a contest, you need to use a narrower hashtag, specific to that event, venue, or contest.
Eventually, search results depend upon the individual’s interests and your post-performance due to the huge number of stories available under the same hashtag.
Using a specific location tag is a hack to be seen in more tag locations. Using @mention stickers to mention your business associate or someone related to your business can lead to an increase in viewers of your story if it is reshared in their story.
Humanize Marketing Strategy
Brands and businesses must target marketing strategies toward humanizing it. People don’t connect with the product, people connect with people.
Make brand communications a part of the daily conversations and lives of consumers.
In the context of Nepal, Pathao a ride-sharing application is a perfect example of it as they incorporated the stories of their riders as part of their marketing efforts
Being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021. Showing as many faces and creating video content will surely sparkle your business in a short time.
The other way is two-way communication which is best for boosting your organic posts to the top of your audience’s social feeds. Share behind the scene stories, host live sessions, do Q&As, get engaging in the comment section, personalize your message replies. All in all remember, behind every like, comment, follow and message is a real person.
As we know, ‘the function of a social media algorithm is to deliver relevant content to users’, alongside targeted paid ads.
Try engaging the consumer community through likes (good), comments (even better), and shares (super!) for amplifying your content on social media.
Understanding Customer Lifecycle for Facebook Advertising
Accurate assessment of the customer life cycle and average customer value is vital for determining the advertising budget for a lead and remain profitable. The statistics and records of the past customers must be reviewed to identify customer nature and behavior.
You must have a sense of how leads are converted, the period is for someone converting to paying customers, and how much your average customers spend.
Using the extracted information you can build a projection and plan a Facebook advertising strategy that reflects your true customer data. Then you can move into developing innovative ad campaigns that will help the business grow.
Video ads tend to perform better than still images. You can test videos, GIFs, and Reels in your ads to see which performs best with your ideal customer.
2020/2021 is complicated by the global pandemic with unprecedented economic impact. It has already taught us to be prepared for unprecedented changes because success is for the agile and resilient.
Understanding Facebook Ads fundamentals and planning with flexibility should be your strategy to succeed through Facebook.
Facebook Ad Creativity
Advertising on Facebook (and Instagram) will see more ingenuity than ever before in 2021.
Facebook ad creative trends to experiment within 2021 are as follows:
- GIFs: GIFs are very easy to consume and effective content materials. It is better and appealing than images, but cheaper and easier to create compared to videos. Moreover, it helps to communicate more information to your audience
- User-generated content (UGC): Sometimes your most creative and persuasive content can come directly from your actual customers and clients.
More and more marketers are recognizing the power of UGC and finding clever ways to encourage it among their customer base for use in their marketing. Advertisers make sure they have permission to use UGC and then use it in their ads. This will become increasingly central to many advertising campaigns moving forward as companies recognize the ROI.
- Collages: Collages are making a comeback in a big way right now. They’re eye-catching and encourage people to pause their scroll to check it out.
That pause can be all that’s needed to float the eye through the remainder of the ad (from the copy to the headline) and cause the click. So try your hands at some on-brand collages for your company and see how they do.
- More text-heavy ads: Facebook has removed the rule discreetly that limited text space on ad images to only 20 percent. You see more advertisers playing with larger, bolder text ads. Think about how popular quote cards have been on Instagram for many content creators. Why not play with some of those same styles for your ads? See how they do.
Display your ads on a lighter tone and cheerful vibe in 2021 to spread some positivity and hope. Go with the natural tones and pastel colors for the light vibes. The world needs it and your ads can succeed in that way too.
Of course, you’ll always want to put these techniques and others that you come across through a thorough testing process to ensure that you’re seeing results and ROI, but since the algorithm is increasingly favoring fresh content, why not give some of these ideas a try?
YouTube for Leveling Up
YouTube is the OG in digital marketing. It’s a social media platform, it’s a video platform, it’s a search engine, it’s a community, it’s so much more than we normally perceive.
YouTube’s user-friendliness, combined with the popularity of video content, has made it the second largest search engine behind Google. With 3 billion searches per month, YouTube’s search volume is larger than that of Bing, Yahoo, AOL, and Ask.com combined.
It is such a platform that can spike your business in one night. Many channels, even newer channels are seeing exponential growth right now.
Amid this growth, differentiation will be key to standing out and reaching your ideal customer. As YouTube becomes more saturated with topical niches it’s also becoming more personality-centric. This means your most valuable differentiator is your unique personality—the way you speak, the way you explain concepts, etc.
Leaning into what makes you different and injecting that into your channel from day one will make it easier to attract and build loyalty with a new audience on YouTube.
Marketing campaigns on YouTube have been very effective in recent times. Every business is creating video content for YouTube. This raises awareness but also encourages them to be involved in the business. Being visible on all leading platforms is one of the fundamentals of marketing in 2021.
Also, don’t forget to incorporate SEO into your YouTube descriptions. Include keywords where possible, add links to your other channels and make use of the 600 words limit the description provides.
Misinterpret LinkedIn no more
LinkedIn is often misinterpreted and businesses tend to lose interest. Where one business lacks, its competitor will leverage the shortcomings to increase its profit. Here when we are talking about social media marketing, LinkedIn has its importance and benefits.
To engage in Linkedin for marketing as well as business benefits, a company should identify the goals it wants to accomplish on LinkedIn.
Will you use LinkedIn for business hiring, social selling, connecting with customers, or all of the above.
Should your LinkedIn marketing budget include ads?
You must be prepared with all the fundamentals here as well.
Since the 2020 pandemic, there has been a shift in the working culture globally and remote working from home has been preferred and sometimes is the only option available.
Professionals working remotely are engaging with conversational content because it mimics the team environment they’re missing. On the personal brand side of LinkedIn, you’ll want to focus on mastering conversational marketing.
Create polls that your audience will want to vote on, ask irresistible open-ended questions in updates, share candid photos from your workday in stories, or post about celebrating career milestones.
The LinkedIn team is looking for ways to appeal to SMBs like never before with the rollout of upcoming features that will help small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) build a community of raving fans around products or services.
Many businesses are already taking full advantage of the interactive new features available.
For both the personal and corporate brand, conversations on LinkedIn, typically a place where conversation centers around business, have been focused on public, political, social, and economic issues.
Why does this matter?
Because this shift is forcing professionals and brands alike to speak up and share their values.
In 2021, marketers should focus on building relationships rather than collecting connections whose sole purpose is to drop a sales pitch after two interactions.
Real 1:1 connections begin when the connection request is customized for the recipient, making them feel valued.
The sophisticated social media marketer will put effort into building meaningful, long-term relationships on LinkedIn that aren’t perceived as transactional.
The effect will be not only stronger relationships but the ideal target audience will see and interact with your posts and those relationships will continue to add value to your career for far longer than a current campaign.
Following few tips can help you market on LinkedIn better.
- Share posts with image and videos
- Post at the right time
- Optimize your posts for reach and impact
- Leverage it to share news, blogs, and stories
- Learn from LinkedIn Analytics
- Use Linkedin marketing tools
- Target the right audience
If you want to be successful on LinkedIn in 2021, be prepared to adopt transparency and build relationships through your marketing efforts.
These were a few fundamentals you must know and utilize for marketing your business in 2021 through social media. Now let’s move on to the next section about the social media marketing campaign that plays a vital role in your business growth online.
What is Social Media Marketing Campaign?
A social media marketing campaign is an organized course of action according to the marketing strategy adopted in all social platforms where the targeted customers engage with a business for enhancing the conversion rate.
Marketing Campaigns can be various based on your target audience, your objective, and the type of content you create.
To begin a campaign you would need to recognize your customers, their needs, where you can locate them, and predict their activities in near future. As a business, your customers can be dispersed in multiple channels so establishing a link to connect the campaigns across all platforms.
Companies can use social media marketing campaigns for various purposes such as increasing brand awareness, selling a specific product, or informing them about your new product launch. It is one of the cheapest forms of marketing campaigns which also provides a stage to understand customer behavior in real-time so its effectiveness is on the next level.
Few illustrations of how social media marketing campaigns can work for a brand or a business
Back in 2013, Mercedes Benz launched a campaign where they hired 5 top Instagram photographers the campaign. The photographers were to hit the road for 5 days and take the best pictures of the car. The one with the highest likes would win the car. Mercedes Benz was targeting a younger audience with this marketing campaign and by the end Mercedes received:
- 87,000,000 organic Instagram impressions
- 2,000,000 Instagram likes
- 150 new marketing assets (stunning photos)
That’s a win-win situation.
- Signature Tune Contest – Arna Beer
In 2020, Arna Beer launched a contest for creating music promoting Arna Brand with a 1 million cash prize for the winner. The winner was announced and a music video for the song was released on Youtube. Then Arna Beer ran another contest focusing on the trending platform TikTok called “ARNA Chiso Chiso Pani TikTok Challenge” with a 1 lakh prize under two categories and 25000 under 5 categories. More than 3.5 lakhs of videos have been made due to the contest and the hype for the brand has reached the next level compared to its competitors.
These were the campaigns directly encouraging customer’s involvement in the brand’s promotion luring them with some kind of prize.
Regular posting of interesting graphics and video content is a campaign strategy too. If you are selling a food product your regular posts should drive people to taste your product at least once. The campaign strategy must be thought thoroughly and a lot of creative effort goes on to promote your products with such conviction and art.
Other forms of social media marketing can be through advertisement. You can get as inventive and welcoming in an advertisement. An advertisement video can change the whole perception of the public towards your company.
The Duck campaign was launched by the American Family Life Assurance Company in 2000. The company had been in business since 1955 while having only a 12% brand recognition rate before the campaign launched.
The company used the Kaplan Thaler Group to improve its name recognition. Kaplan created a new character, the Aflac Duck, who appeared in ads featuring customers who had trouble remembering the insurance company’s name. In the ads, the duck appeared in the background and quacked the name “Aflac”.
As a result of the long-running campaign, Aflac’s brand recognition jumped from 12% to 90%, and increased sales brought Aflac to top ranking in its field of business.
In 2013, the campaign kept evolving. The duck got hu, and people could use Facebook to send the duck get-well card.
Large consumer marketers like Alfac typically use ad agencies (both traditional media and digital media agencies) to design their campaigns creatively, handle the media buys, and track results. These are often million-dollar endeavors and have brought us many memorable advertising campaigns such as:
- “Just Do It” – Nike
- “Positively Overnight” – FedEx
- Oreo with the “Dunk Challenge”
- “Red Bull Gives You Wings” – Red bull
- “Chiso Vanekai Coca Cola” – Coca Cola (Nepal)
- “J Aauxa Majale Pachauxa” – Hajmola (Nepal)
Marketing campaigns should be brought into everyday practice by marketers. It’s a tool for branding a company. A single copy can change the future of a business.
Why use social media for your business?
The social media benefits are as many as you may explore. Some advantages are:
- Brand awareness: Being visible to your customers regularly makes you stand out and remain in their heads. Organic increment in social media followers is proportional to increment in your paying customer list. Your business gets a platform to communicate virtually and build your brand awareness.
- Connect with customers: Social media opens the lines of communications between you and your customer base. This helps the public to connect with the service or product you are offering. You get to inform the public about your business and your newest offerings and they get to like, dislike, and comment on your offering. A connection between a company and its customers is vital for a business.
- Boost Your SEO: Search engine algorithm also depends upon an individual’s preference in social media. By promoting your content on socials, you can get more likes, views, shares, and engagement with your content. Then, you’ll drive more traffic to your site which boosts page views. These are all positive signs to search engines like Google, and these factors help improve your SEO.
- Data Analysis: Social media helps you encourage people to engage with your content and advertisements. Different campaigns are run every month to promote product, engagement, and ultimately conversions. Being active and posting regularly on social media not only helps you connect but gather detailed data about consumers, their requirements, and behavior. Reviewing this information can lead your company toward better decision and strategy making in the future.
- Revenue Generation: The ultimate goal for a business organization is to earn revenue in return for their service. Each of the advantages listed above leads to the same thing; leading customers down your sales funnel and generate more profit for your business.
Despite all these advantages, not all businesses have used social media to its potential. Sometimes strategy may not work, or your audience may not be present where you are seeking them.
Which Social Media Platform should you choose?
Social media is a part of our daily lives and everyone with mobile has accounts in at least one or two socials nowadays.
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, Pinterest, and Quora are some of the most popular social media in current times.
Social media can be one of the highest profit-generating platforms for businesses small to big. It’s an excellent way to build brand awareness, connect with the existing customers, and generate new leads to push ahead.
The question here is which social media supports your business to the fullest.
Let’s discuss some of the most popular social media pros and cons and help you decide for yourself.
- Large audience reach
- Targeted advertising
- Customer interactions
- Powerful analytics
- Ads require a high budget
- Requires consistent efforts
- Little to no control if the page is suspended
Facebook has grown to become such a tool that is right for any kind of business. Though paid ads require analysis and are expensive, it’s optional. The easiest thing you can do here is to be visible and in touch with your customers. If you want to get invested in it learn to use Facebook Pixels to grow your list.
- More popular than Facebook among youth
- The highly appealing visual aspect
- Mobile friendly
- Perfect for showcasing products in a fun way.
- Followers count doesn’t promise total engagement
- Requires aggressive posting schedule
- It isn’t for every niche.
- It isn’t for every age group.
Instagram is great if your audience is younger and typically using mobile. Instagram is fully set up for eCommerce too. It is a great platform to be on if your industry is ‘Instagram-friendly’. There is a lot of work involved, but it can be very rewarding.
- Videos drive more conversions
- Great way to build a brand’s personality
- Videos complement other marketing strategies
- Videos take longer to create
- Users have high expectation for visual/ audio quality
- Ranking your video can be hard
YouTube is a great social media platform for business in 2021 and beyond. It is the second largest search engine and carries a large potential for any business. But it’ll take time to learn how to shoot and edit videos that meet users’ expectations, but of course, you don’t need a filmmaking budget. Many YouTubers are doing great with their mobile phones which are more than capable of recording high-quality videos.
- Great for promoting business-related content
- Perfect for networking
- Makes it easier to recruit talent
- Not designed for eCommerce
- Better for home business or freelancers
- Less active users compared to other platforms
LinkedIn may not be for everyday purposes but it is a platform your business should be active on. While you can show off your brand with a LinkedIn business page, its core function is tailored to individual users and expanding your professional network.
What is Social Media Marketing Strategy?
Until now you must have cleared many doubts about Social Media Marketing. Now let’s dive deep into this topic with a simple comparison between marketing strategy and marketing campaign.
Marketing Strategy VS Marketing Campaign
The term “campaign” is often thrown around in the marketing industry. Some people get confused between marketing campaigns and marketing strategies so do you understand the difference?
A marketing strategy is high-level and associated with brand and organization imperatives based on the company’s objectives over time. A marketing campaign is moreover focused on tactical initiatives to achieve a specific marketing goal within the strategy.
Marketing campaigns require careful planning so that each step of the process is understood before it is launched. Because a campaign is tactical and specific, you need to map out the process from the initial promotional tactic to the ultimate result.
Social media is more competitive and complex than ever before so you would want to develop a strategy to market your business with outstanding marketing campaigns to win over the competitors. Few questions are to be addressed before heading to getting ready with a social media marketing strategy.
1.Why do you want to be on social media?
2. Who is your target audience?
3.What are you going to share?
4. Where are you going to share?
5. When are you going to share?
For this, you gotta give some time to identify some fundamentals specifically before developing a social media marketing strategy.
- Objectives of the business: Identifying a set objective for your business helps you derive strategy and sort much-unwanted noise from the equation. It provides the direction where you aim for your company and want to portray your image through social media to your customer.
- Targeted Audience: It is one of the most important parts of marketing because without targeting a specific audience you can never succeed. It would be like throwing stones in the dark, with very low chances of hitting the spot. This also helps in identifying which socials should you focus more on.
- Engaging, Advertising, and Promotional Content: Studying the trends going on, new ones and those which were in the past is very important to know for diving deeper into the kind of content that suits your product and service. There are various kinds of content types and knowing the ones that will be perfect for your business is very essential. After figuring this out, you must mix it up to make your customers prefer your content and take action.
- Social media metrics:
- Reach: Post reach is the number of unique users who saw your post. Does it tell how far your content is reaching the user’s feeds?
- Clicks. This is the number of clicks on your content or account. Tracking clicks per campaign are essential to understand what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy your products.
- Engagement. The total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions. This sheds light on how well your audience perceives you and their willingness to interact.
- Hashtag performance. What were your most-used hashtags? Which hashtags were most associated with your brand? Having these answers can help shape the focus of your content going forward.
- Organic and paid likes: Beyond a standard Like count, these interactions are attributed to paid or organic content. Given how organic engagement is much harder to gain traction, which is why many brands turn to ads. Knowing these differences can help you budget both your ad spend and the time you invest in different formats.
- Sentiment: This is the measurement of how users reacted to your content, brand, or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What type of sentiment are people associating with your campaign hashtag? It’s always better to dig deeper and find out how people are talking about your business.
Always remember, an effective social media marketing strategy is rooted in numbers. Thus, those numbers need to be put into a context that circles back around to your original objectives and periodic targets.
It’s Easy If You Do It Right
To conclude, we would like to remind a few basics again, Goals, Target audience, Content, Advertisement, Timing, and Customers need.
Social media has come a long way in 2021 and its influence and impact on our society is today’s reality. Today’s youths, influencers, and every smartphone user is intact to it so the benefits and advantages are beyond expectation from a business point of view.
It’s the new marketing model in the new normal. Using them strategically and analytically is the key to growing your business through social media but your foot needs to be grounded to each fundamental of media marketing not only in theory but also with the necessary skill-set. Finally, we want to thank you for reading till the end and hope it was of help.
Wishing you good luck with an invitation to our company for our services to grow your brand.
“Boring Will Keep You Out Of Business. “