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Social media practices you should let die in 2021
November 9, 2021
To help you maintain only the best social media practices, Depositphotos - a content marketplace with over 220 million stock files - prepares a list of things that SMM managers, brand marketers and content makers should stop doing in 2021.
Don’t: Post the same content on all social media platforms
Initially it was a go-to practice to create one piece of content and then share it wherever you could. For a while, it worked. Social media channels were pretty empty and people weren’t exhausted from informational overload yet. However, this is not the case anymore. If you just keep on reposting the same stuff without making it platform-specific, your level of engagement and number of followers will keep on decreasing.
Do: Repurpose high-quality content on various platforms
We’re not saying that you should post something on only one of your channels. Of course not. You can use your resources in a more efficient way by repurposing content. However, you need to figure out what formats work better, and how your audiences differ depending on the platform.
Let’s use Casper, a sleep product company, as an example. On Instagram, they share authentic user-generated content, professional photos featuring their products, beautiful sleep-related images, and TikTok videos that are both funny and informative.
They do not have an account on TikTok, but they collaborate with TikTokers who create original and engaging content for them. Those content creators post videos on the app, and then Casper’s social teams repost them on their Instagram and Twitter accounts. Many other brands also choose to not be present on TikTok directly, but invest in similar collaborations.
And when it comes to Pinterest, Casper has various inspirational boards: Lazy Sunday, Wake up with a view, Make your bedroom bedder. The images you see do not include Casper products, but they are highly relevant for their target audience. The strategic plan here is that they might start looking for lifestyle or design inspiration, and end up buying a Casper mattress.
Don’t: Overuse a playful tone
Articles about the best practices on social media often include examples of marketers being outspoken, naughty, and sometimes even arrogant. But it’s a slippery slope, and not everyone can do it. Moreover, not every brand needs that kind of communication or can afford such a risk. Whenever you want to publish a punchline, ask yourself: does it fit our values and brand strategy? Is it respectful? Will it help us achieve our goals? If you have any doubts, give it up.
Burger King UK experienced one of the biggest communication failures on social media in 2021. On International Women's Day, they tweeted, 'Women belong in the kitchen', which was deleted soon after.
As they explained afterward, the idea was to bring attention “to the fact that only 20% of professional chefs in UK kitchens are women”. The intention was good, but the execution was bad and fell flat. It’s important to point out that Burger King is known for daring communication. They also have a support system - financial, legal and reputational - that can help them deal with these situations. Keep this in mind.
Do: Choose a tone that’s right for your brand
Defining a tone of voice and sticking to it is a complex challenge that requires time and effort. Dive deep into your brand values and research your target audience. Then find a way to be loyal to both through your communication. Make a clear guideline so that other team members can easily follow it. And don’t let memes distract you.
Oatly is one of those brands that keep on surprising both the general audience and experienced marketers. And they’re also one of the reasons why being daring in your social media communication persists. However, they didn’t find their voice right away, and they do tone it down from time to time.
Don’t: Pay for followers, likes, or comments
At some point, numbers on social media platforms gave brands a level of credibility that was hard to question. However, this trick stopped working after click farms became a thing. Who cares if you have hundreds of thousands of followers when they’re not real people interested in what you do? One doesn’t need expensive marketing software to figure out whether your following is real, based on the number of likes and comments. Some extra reactions under your posts might be cheap, but your reputation shouldn’t be.
Do: Build a brand community
Pay less attention to quantity and focus on quality. Instead of growing your following, focus on building your brand community. Take more time to engage with them - ask questions, respond properly, adjust your social media strategy based on what you discover. At some point, you might discover that your brand already has genuine ambassadors who can take active participation in your community. Yes, this approach will require more resources, but the results will pay off.
Glossier is a brand with one of the most loyal communities out there. They sell beauty products and call themselves a people-powered beauty ecosystem. The community was a major priority for them from the get-go, and this strategy paid off. Their social media team interacts with customers and followers in a very personal way. The community’s bond with this particular brand is so strong, that some of its members even created Glossier costumes for Halloween.
Don’t: Rely on organic traffic only
So many marketers are still obsessed with organic traffic. They see it as proof of them doing something right. Plus, it doesn’t require additional expenses, which is always great. However, it isn’t enough if your goal is to keep on growing your business. Organic reach is getting harder to obtain, so stop limiting your brand’s potential.
Don't wait until your target audience finds you - it might take a while or it might not happen at all. Instead, benefit from the possibilities that social media platforms provide for ads: reach specific segments of your target audiences, use different formats, get new insights about your potential customers.
Do: Work with ads effectively
According to Statista, 35% of respondents claim that social media ads impact their purchases. Depending on the demographics, this number can vary, but the key takeaway is that ads work, and they don’t have to drain your budget. Moreover, the cost-per-click can still be significantly lower on social media compared to Google AdWords.
Use all the resources that are available to you online. Navigate the world of ads to combine organic and paid traffic. For example, look at the social media fact sheet by the Pew Research Center. It can help you understand your target audience better and then decide where to get ads. And don’t forget that in 2021, 70% of users purchased from a brand after seeing their ad in a YouTube video.
Don’t: Ignore video content trends
Video has been dominating social platforms for years, and it will continue to do so. It’s not a question of whether you need to create it; it’s a question of how you should do it. Long-form video is losing relevance and its appeal due to the overwhelming presence of snackable clips. Don’t waste your resources on something that’s not working well anymore.
Do: Create relevant video content
Look at what’s going on with TikTok, reels on Instagram, Snapchat, stories on Facebook, and shorts on YouTube. Short-form video is everywhere. It’s time to find the most appropriate way to represent your brand in this particular format. It doesn’t mean that you should immediately join TikTok, even though it reached 1 billion active monthly users back in September. But we do recommend choosing platforms and formats that are relevant to you.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to shoot everything, because there are high-quality videos available on marketplaces like Depositphotos. You can also make your clips even more ambient by adding thematic music or sound effects.
Don’t: Mention every major event or subject
There is either a celebration or a crisis of some kind on a daily basis. Usually, both at the same time. It might seem like you have to comment on every single thing that happens and attracts attention, but that’s unrealistic and unreasonable. Don’t chase every single news report, holiday or meme. It will exhaust both your team and your community, and it won’t serve your goals. Figure out which occasions are important and relevant to your brand, and then focus on them.
Do: Implement situational marketing
This is an approach that involves creating content around a particular event, holiday or a viral piece of content while the topic is still hot. This is usually a powerful opportunity to grab the attention of a much wider audience. And even though you can’t foresee or plan these circumstances, you can prepare based on what you know about upcoming events or releases. However, the best results happen in the moment.
You may remember that on October 4, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down. It caused a lot of trouble, but it also gave everyone a reason to interact and have fun. A short tweet on the official Twitter account started a thread that could eventually become a whole stand-up show on its own. Here’s McDonald’s response to that very tweet. This is a great example of great situational marketing.
In 2022, brands will invest in marketing even more. To keep your online-presence strong, it’s important to implement the best practices on social media. In short, repurpose high-quality content on various platforms, build a brand community, and create video content when it makes sense. Bookmark this guide to help you develop the best social media marketing strategy and implement it successfully next year.