2020 has been a rather transformative year in every sense. We saw more people than ever being active on social media to stay connected with everything happening around the world, as they were forced to stay home due to government-mandated lockdowns.
In 2020, over 3.96 billion people used social media which was a 10.9 percent year-on-year increase since 2019.
However, 2020 was also one of the most difficult years which saw many businesses struggling. This huge increase in social media usage and decreased in-store sales due to lockdowns has led brands to level up their social media strategy. Moving into 2021, it has now become clear that brands that ace the social media game will grow and ultimately become successful.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the main strategies that can help your brand stand out on social media in 2021.
#1- Get On the Instagram Reels Train
Instagram Reels, launched in late 2019, are 15-second multi-clip videos that have text, filters, special effects, audio, music, and more. Unlike Instagram Stories, these don’t disappear after 24 hours. You can check the reels posted by a user by going to their profile page.
Even though Reels were launched as a direct competitor of TikTok, they have quickly gained popularity and they are now the biggest growth hack for brands to go big on Instagram in 2021.
That is because Reels don’t just stay on your profile. There are many ways through which your target audience can discover your Reels. These include:👇
- The Explore page where top Reels now take the very first spot
- The Reels tab on the new home screen navigation
- Home feed of people that follow you
You can use Reels to take your followers behind the scenes, create how-to videos featuring your products, or answer the most common questions people have about your business. You can even create marketing videos that directly promote your products. These could be organic or ad videos.
For instance, the global beauty and makeup retailer, @sephora uses Instagram reels to share how to use the different makeup products that are available for purchase.💰
For the best outcome create a posting plan where you decide beforehand how many Reels, IGTV videos, feed posts, and stories you will publish in a week. A good combination of the different post types will get you the best results.
It can get chaotic to plan and publish all these posts in a week. Make sure you use a good Instagram post scheduler and planner to assist you.
#2- Take Shopping to Social Media
The attention span of internet users is decreasing with every passing day. If a person sees your products on their social media feed, they may not want to go the extra mile to open your website and make a purchase, even if they are interested in your products.🛒
To decrease the number of touchpoints, brands are now leveraging the power of shoppable posts, social media post scheduling, and ads available on both Facebook and Instagram.
You can directly integrate your online store with your Facebook and Instagram profiles, or even upload your product catalogue to give your target customers a more unified shopping experience which is going to help you make more money online. For instance, when you upload a product picture or video on your Instagram page and tag it to the respective product page on your online store, users will be able to directly see the price of the product and its other details. They will also be able to make payments without leaving the app which will directly lead to a better end customer experience and higher sales.
Moreover, this can be especially useful for new small businesses around the world that have limited marketing budgets to attract new customers to their website.🌐
For instance, @hobbslondon, a clothing brand based in the UK tags their products directly in their Instagram posts to make it easier for interested customers to quickly find them.
Use unique colourful backgrounds to make your posts stand out.
Shoppable posts are easy to set up, especially if you build your ecommerce store with a platform like Shift4Shop.
#3- Share Educational Content to Drive Engagement
Just blatantly marketing your products on social media will never give you the kind of engagement that you want. Social media users are now bombarded with sponsored and paid content everywhere and as a result, they have become exceptionally good at ignoring posts that are trying to sell them something.🧐
According to tech blogger Antoine Bechara, “To truly grow engagement and improve brand awareness in 2021, you need to focus more on creating educational and informative posts that your target audience is bound to find interesting.”
For instance, @theinkeylist, a skincare brand has been using Instagram Guides to share in-depth guides about different skincare issues and ingredients, which has been well-received by their audience. While the guides feature their products, they focus more on sharing information instead of just directly selling them.
#4- Stay Relevant With Memes
It’s 2021, and yes, memes are still here and very relevant. But brands aren’t just using memes for some much needed comic relief. When used strategically, memes can help brands boost engagement and grow their audience as well.
Though it’s important to share memes that are relevant to your brand and your target audience as a whole. Just reposting the most popular memes on the internet can make your brand lose its unique voice.
Instead, you should spend some time coming up with some original memes that your prospective customers may find funny. You don’t have to try coming up with memes that are universally funny and have the potential to go viral, they just have to be relevant and funny to your target audience.
For instance, @sparknotes_, a platform that offers study guides for famous classic literature novels and poems, uses its social media platform to share memes related to classic English literature books. Their memes are original, highly relevant to their target audience, and funny as well.😂
Go For What Works For Your Brand
When it comes to social media strategies, there are a million ways to go about it — each way different than the other. But the right social media strategy for your brand will depend on your overall marketing goal and target audience. Start by identifying which social media platforms your target audience uses the most and then try to find the best ways you can reach out to them and get their attention on those platforms.
Set actionable goals for all of your marketing campaigns and don’t be afraid to experiment with new trends because that’s the only way to stay ahead of the curve.