It is no secret that social media strategies were flipped upside down and then some in 2020. We all began the year as we would any other, but then came COVID-19, millions losing their job, businesses shutting down, our children not being able to go to school, the Black Lives Matter movement, raging wildfires that impacted us here at home, and the election. The occurrences of 2020 have not only changed our lives but the digital landscape forever.

With the adaptations of business models and strategies this year, how has the events of 2020 changed your digital strategy? Social media changes almost as often as the stock market, so it is important to stay on top of new trends and features launching in your most used platforms. As we say goodbye to 2020 and all the madness it brought us, here are a few trends we’re paying close attention to for next year.

#1 Diversifying Efforts

If you still believe posting to your Facebook business page a few times per month is providing you with any tangible benefit, allow us to update your perspective. Social media was traditionally used by businesses to promote their products and services, however now more than ever, social media marketing is used to connect people to brands through thought-provoking, creative content strategies. It is also about choosing platforms where your audience is most active and developing more robust strategies within those platforms versus doing the bare minimum.

TikTok took the world by storm this year, growing to over 850 million monthly active users. This surpasses platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Although not every business fits into the TikTok craze, other platforms like Instagram have enhanced their features in 2020. For instance, Instagram Reels was launched in August 2020 and became a direct competitor to TikTok.

If your audience only lives on Facebook, that’s okay! You can still utilize your top performing platform in a way that escapes the monotonous wheel of basic social media. Here are a few features to give a try:

  • Add automated message responses to frequently asked questions about your products/services.
  • Update your cover photo.
  • Create a Facebook group for your core customer group.
  • Set up a Facebook shop if you sell products.
  • Add your services to the ‘Services Tab’.
  • Integrate your Facebook Messenger to your website chat.
  • Post a poll to see what your customers want from your social media posts.

Be sure to keep in tune with who your online audience is during every strategy session and utilize social platforms your audience is most active on. If you only work with a few platforms, become experts in posting to those platforms to take full advantage.

#2 Leveraging SEO for Social Media Posts

Long has been the question “does social media help SEO?”. In short, yes, but can SEO now help social media? It was just a few short years ago when Google started indexing Tweets on Twitter. These Tweets were then able to be displayed in Google search for particular keyword searches. From there, Pinterest made it known that utilizing hashtags and keywords in post content helped improve their performance. And now, as of November 2020, Instagram is allowing users to search content based on keyword phrases, where previously you could only search for hashtags, accounts, or locations.

To take advantage of this, ensure your SEO and Social Media campaigns are in-synch and pushing keywords that users will be searching for. Not only should your social media content contain relevant keyword phrases, but you should also ensure your profiles are optimized with the main keyword phrases for your business. Lastly, ensure all videos posted have closed captioning to help users stay engaged and watch more of your videos.

#3 Social Messaging Will Continue to Grow

Social media giants, like Facebook, are still working on perfecting their messaging apps. Recently, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct merged their messaging efforts giving businesses the ability to connect with users through easier means. And more recently announced is Facebook’s purchase of the customer service business, Kustomer, for $1 billion. This acquisition continues to prove that Facebook is doubling down on customer service capabilities with social media marketing.

Facebook Messenger has over 1.3 billion users and many consumers are utilizing this over contacting a business directly via phone or email. As you think over your 2021 social media strategy, ensure messaging is at the forefront. Whether that means updating your Messenger to include automated message responses to FAQ’s or to provide contact information or you’re looking to initiate the conversation, Messenger has endless possibilities.

#4 Brick & Mortars to Embrace the Online Shift

Our brick and mortar storefronts took the biggest hit in 2020. Restaurants made some of the biggest adjustments having to limit dining capacity and offer more delivery options, but product-based storefronts are continuing to struggle.  As we become accustomed to the “new normal”, businesses need to pivot their efforts to ensure sales keep coming in and numbers don’t continue to nosedive.

Keep an eye out for businesses like gyms & studios offering more online classes as well as your small brick and mortar stores looking to eCommerce solutions to continue selling their products and expanding their marketplace.

#5 Invest in Professional Help

Many digital marketing components can be done in-house, but social media is one of the most challenging for businesses to handle on their own. With outdated views of social media, businesses aren’t understanding that it is necessary to want to collaborate with your social media followers vs. pushing products and services to their newsfeed.

If you want one person who is consistently up to date on the latest social media trends and features to effectively develop social media strategies, our gurus at Mountain Air Marketing can help! From managing your social media platforms and posting relevant, consistent content to developing robust advertising strategies to accomplish business goals, the social media team at Mountain Air Marketing is ready for you! If you’re interested in seeing how Mountain Air Marketing has helped other businesses, check out our reviews on Google or our social media testimonials!

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