The landscape of social media grows constantly. It can feel tough, even overwhelming, trying to keep up with those changes. When it comes to marketing your small business on social media, you need to be mindful of what’s working now and what no longer works – mainly to save yourself from wasting time on platforms.
Let’s take a look at the most up to date themes to be mindful of, so that you can keep your small business marketing effective. Here are the new social media rules for small business marketing in 2021.
Back up ads with content and reviews
Gone are the days of relying on social media advertising alone to make your sales. The most recent consumer data shows that people stopped trusting ads some time ago, and now they need more evidence that we are who we say we are.
We can work with this by making sure that our ad campaigns do not run in isolation. Our social media accounts need good quality organic content, real interaction, and reviews too.
When you are sharing content, perhaps from your blog or YouTube channel, make sure your branding is clearly displayed. There is little point creating quality content if it isn’t promoting your brand and also backing up your ads by showing a real, human presence.
Make your logo visible throughout, displaying it on blog content and layering it over a corner of your videos. This will develop an association with your brand that will help people to trust your sales and marketing messages.
If your logo needs an update then try a free tool like Logo Creator.
Step up your engagement
You can’t have been using social media for marketing purposes without noticing how the algorithm is affecting your business pages. Facebook and Instagram especially have led the way for the rules about engagement and relevancy – and we just need to play their game.
So we can no longer just drop a link to a product and hope people see it, because they won’t. We need to be actively working on keeping our engagement up, so that the algorithm will show our content to our page fans.
This is best done by posting quality content and by being conversational. So instead of those product-focused posts, try a more people-first approach. This is a key social media trend for 2021, as surveys show that fans and followers want to talk to the brands they support.
This gives us a great opportunity to grow our engagement. We want to engage our customers, and they want to be engaged. It’s a win-win situation.
How do we do this? It’s quite a simple strategy. Change the tone of your posts from telling to asking. For example, instead of telling people that they need a new vacuum cleaner, ask them what they find most annoying about vacuuming.
As well as a long list of entertaining comments from consumers, and some handy insights into your customers’ lives, you will get a conversation started. The image or video with that post can promote the product you are marketing, like the vacuum cleaner in this example. But your conversation is social and people-first, and that’s how this trend works.
Closed captions in all videos
Speaking of videos, this is a simple hack for boosting your engagement with them.
Do you ever find yourself frustrated that you spent time creating video content, to only receive a few views? Well, did you add subtitles to your video? Try adding them. You will be amazed how your engagement suddenly shoots up.
The reason for this is simple. Most people watch videos on social media while they are doing something else. They are also watching TV with the family, or they are supposed to be working. They may be in bed and trying not to disturb their partner. Or they may be in the bathroom, trying to pretend that they haven’t taken their phone in with them.
Whatever their reason, if you make it easy for them to watch in silence, then you will pull more viewers in. Facebook and YouTube both have free built-in tools for adding closed captions. For Instagram, you could try a pay-as-you-go tool like Zubtitle.
Be ready for the next relevant trend
The final ‘rule’ is simply to be aware that the rules are not static, they are always evolving. So what is working for your business now may change in 6 months, and as business owners we have to grow and change along with social media.
If you are running an ecommerce business for example, then you will want to be ready for the social commerce explosion that is coming this year. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are rolling out in-platform stores on a much bigger level. If you sell ecommerce-style, then start looking into this as soon as possible.
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As an alternative example, if you might have a relevant use for Facebook’s upcoming Virtual Reality platform, then plan your strategy now and get in from the ground level.
Big changes are coming this year and next, and it pays to know what might be next for you in your own social media marketing strategy.
Certainly, you don’t need to be across all the trends. Many won’t be relevant for your own business, and so you don’t want to spend time on things that won’t serve you. But do be mindful of the trends and new tools that you could make use of. If you don’t capitalise on these things, then your competitors will.
There are a lot of exciting opportunities ahead, so let’s look to the future with positivity and new energy.
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