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THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN 2021




Throughout the last eighteen months, the effort that small and large businesses put into their digital strategies increased exponentially. The coronavirus pandemic accelerated this massively, however, it only highlighted further the importance of having a good online presence. Right now, there are over 4.2 billion social media users across the globe. That’s almost half of the world’s population that can be reached through your marketing efforts. Using social media is one of the quickest, inexpensive, and effective ways your business can reach new audiences in 2021.


Social media will help you hone in on your target market, engage with customers, and experiment with new audiences. This can result in massive growth for your business.


Our top 7 reasons to be on social media in 2021:


  • Increase brand awareness

  • Stay top of mind

  • Increase website traffic

  • Generate leads

  • Experiment with influencer marketing

  • Make your brand more accessible with customer & audience engagement

  • Do more of what’s working using reports & analytics


Increase brand awareness


Do you think that because you are a small start-up that no one will buy from you? Think again. 83% of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform - your product/services could be next!


Stay top of mind


How many times do you check Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, or Snapchat per day? More times than you’ll admit we bet 😉. On average, people spend nearly 2.5 hours on social media every day. That’s a 62.5% increase since 2012. Can you see the opportunity here? By creating informative and entertaining content you can stay in front of your ideal audiences and always be front of mind when they are ready to make a purchase.

Increase web traffic & decrease bounce rates


A blog post on your website is a great way to share longer-form text content and articles. Sharing snippets or ‘best bits’ from blog posts on your social channels is a great way to increase traffic to your website. Don’t stop there though, make sure to include links to other articles, social channels, and products. Bounce rate heaven 😉!!


Top tip: Instagram doesn’t let you post hyperlinks within captions, however, you can direct audiences to a ‘link in bio’. Even better, why not set up a linktr.ee to house all your important links and content.


Generate leads


Social media is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to generate leads for your business. Give away snippets of your knowledge through social media posts, videos, PDF downloads, Ebooks, blog posts, and any other medium you can think of. Simply ask for a user's email address to access the free content via a landing page (these can be set up easily using MailChimp or WIX). Voila, you have just generated a new lead that you can target with an email sequence to push them further into your sales funnel.


Experiment with influencer marketing


Influencer marketing is a method used by brands that leverage large audiences of other individuals or social media accounts. The influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth over 10 billion dollars in 2021. If done properly, it is useful, effective, and well worth the investment. When people talk about and promote your brand on social media you build awareness, credibility, and social proof that can help you generate more sales. Partnering with an influencer is one of the most effective ways to do this.


Customer and audience engagement


Unlike traditional media marketing efforts, social media lets your customers and audiences interact directly with your brand. By responding to comments and questions on your own social media posts, you can build further trust with your audiences and make your brand accessible.


Reports & Analytics


Social media platforms provide you with detailed data insights about your posts and customers - in real-time. You can then use that information to make smarter business decisions and do more of what’s worked in the past. That funny dog video you posted advertising your new product - do more of that 😉.




Why using a social media content scheduler can streamline your marketing efforts


Creating a social media posting schedule is essential for busy social marketers (or you, since you wear all the creative hats in your business 😉).


How many times have you posted ‘anything’ just to tick off ‘done’ on your social post for the day? These thoughtless posts can harm your engagement numbers in the long term, so try to stay away from them. Instead, put aside some time on a working day (or even weekend) where you can plan out your weekly (or monthly) social posts and batch create them all in one go. You can then schedule them all using a social media posting tool such as Facebook business suite, Hootsuite, Buffer, Later and a plethora of other paid and free options out there.


In addition to making your working week less stressful, planning and scheduling content can help eradicate typos and other mistakes. Being able to look at a monthly scheduler can help you spot gaps and trends within your content. You can time your posts to perfection, when your ideal audience is online, without having to worry about being online at the perfect time every day.


Social media moves at an incredibly fast pace, so we recommend not to plan too far ahead; allow yourself the flexibility to post reactive content that accommodates current trends and daily news. Including a mix of content is the best way to stay relevant which might even give you the chance to go ‘viral’.


Your weekly social calendar - 7 must-haves:


  • Separate your daily posts by the specific network to save confusion

  • Include the specific time the post is going out

  • Make sure to include the topic type and title

  • Include the posts caption/copy

  • Make sure to include all relevant hashtags and emojis

  • Include links that you will be sharing

  • Colour code your calendar by the network, content type, etc



A scheduling tool: Facebook Creator Studio


Creator Studio is Facebook's own scheduling tool that allows you to plan out content, track performance, and gain a deeper connection with followers on both Instagram and Facebook. Think of it as a one-stop-shop for the desktop. If your business is mainly active on Facebook and Instagram, creator studio can be a great and inexpensive tool to stay on top of your content schedule.


Scheduling


Probably the number one thing that people use the creator suite for - scheduling posts. From directly inside the creator studio, you have a plethora of options to create posts, add stories, upload videos, upload multiple videos (series), go live or post video across pages.

One of our favourite features is the possibility to schedule posts on Instagram (one of the only free ways to do so). One bonus is you have the ability to type up Instagram captions on desktop - previously only doable within the mobile app or third-party (paid) scheduling tools. The scheduler works for feed posts, IGTV, reels, and stories but please bear in mind that you cannot add engagement boosting things like stickers or polls when scheduling 😒.


Managing engagement


Within the creator studio, you can manage both your Facebook and Instagram inboxes, comments, shares, and tags. You can also respond to comments directly within the Creator Studio. Being able to set up automated responses to messages is another great feature that you can toggle on and off when you are away from your desktop/phone or on holiday. You can also set up answers to common questions your customers may have to free up more time for your team.


Hot gossip: Facebook is currently trialling an email management system so soon you will be able to manage your CRM and email communication within Facebook.


Enhanced video tools


Creator Studio puts a heavy emphasis on video. Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, wants users to upload more videos. He sees it as a way of keeping people entertained on the platform for longer (which in turn increases their chances of clicking on ads). Ideally, your content mix should consist of 70% video, 20% images, and 10% links. However, these recommendations are niche dependent (of course) and we always encourage you to experiment to see what works for you.


Creator Studio gives you the option to create shorter clips of your longer-form live videos and re-purpose them. A great tool for people who don’t have access to video editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro. There is also the option to turn clips into ads that can direct viewers back to the longer video or separate landing pages.


Insights


Unlike normal page insights, Creator Studio only lets users view data for video and stories. You can view insights such as minutes viewed, 1-minute video views, 3-second video views, engagement, and net followers. Please bear in mind some of the insights within the Creator Studio are only available to accounts with a certain number of followers.


Hot tip: You can now track followers’ loyalty. How much of your audience is coming back to view your videos time and time again? Facebook recently changed its algorithm (again) and is rewarding more reach to videos with a high loyalty rate. Try to concentrate on creating videos that are entertaining and ever-green so users come back time and time again.



Other scheduling tools (paid & free)


Hootsuite


Hootsuite offers 4 different plans with the professional plan coming in at £39 a month. You also get a free 30-day trial so you can try it before you buy. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts in advance to a wide range of social accounts (depending on the plan you choose). Hootsuite supports personal pages as well as business pages. The free plan enables you to post up to 30 posts across three social accounts per month (ideal for getting started).


Find out more info here


Loomly


Loomly is a truly powerful social media scheduling tool that has a great user interface and offers a 15-day no-obligation free trial. If you have fewer than ten social accounts you can choose the $20 a month plan.


A key feature of Loomly is it lets you manage comments, messages, and track social mentions all from within one place (Similar to Facebook Creator Studio), ideal if you want some time away from your regular social media apps.


Another highlight of Loomly is the ability to set calendar workflows (if you have more than one collaborator). The default setting includes draft, pending approval, requires edits, approved, scheduled, and published. A great tool for multiple employees to collaborate on social schedules and posts.


Find out more here


Buffer


Buffer is a simple and easy to use social scheduling tour that offers a freemium service alongside paid plans that allow unlimited scheduling. When using the free option, you can schedule up to 10 social updates per month.


Buffer also provides an app - great for those last-minute edits on the go (social media managers, you know what we are talking about, right!? 😉).

Finally, Buffer has a cool tool that suggests the best time to post and provides analytics for deeper analysis of what posts are working and what posts aren’t.


Find out more here


Need help with social?



Are you looking for help with social media? Do you need content creation services or simply need help creating a social schedule that converts?


Get in touch with us





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