As the Coronavirus pandemic and the drama surrounding the US Presidential election unfolds, the year 2020 has seen us glued to our screens more than ever. In fact, according to one study, the peak of the initial wave of Covid-19 in April had Americans spending 4.3 hours a day on their phones alone. The same study showed that advertising placement for mobile devices rose by 70% in just the first half of the year alone.

Accessing social media from smartphone

And while this year has been marked by its unpredictability, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start planning ahead for what we expect to see in 2021, especially in terms of approaching an evermore connected audience. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to ensure that your business is visible on social media, using techniques that help you to stand out from your competitors.

Read on to learn our top tips for winning at social media marketing next year.

Stay sensitive to Coronavirus

Even though some extremely positive signs have been made about the possibility of a vaccination being released to the public before the end of 2020, there is still no clear sign of when the pandemic will officially be declared over. That means that you can’t overlook the impact Covid-19 could potentially still have on your customers once we enter 2021 and will still need to be mindful of the kind of content posted on your business’s social media accounts.

Despite some level of fatigue setting in with the constantly changing protection measures — whether they involve opening hours or even how we are able to safely interact with each other — you should still put across a level of empathy in your posts.

Use your content to reach out rather than be solely promotional, and avoid posting anything that’s purely salesy. Even with the light at the end of the tunnel seeming brighter by the day, a little sensitivity still goes a long way.

Step up your video content

With mobile usage up so steeply, you should tailor your social media marketing content to fit the ways people spend time on their devices. According to the animation studio Frantic, “social media videos are around 1200% more widely-shared” than text or image-based posts, so not devising a video element to your social media marketing efforts in 2021 will be a serious own goal.

Furthermore, a Cisco study has suggested that, by 2021, 80% of all internet traffic will involve video. As a result, a well-considered video marketing campaign, formatted and edited to fit all of your social media profiles, will have a much greater chance of successfully converting viewers into customers.

Using music, animation, narration, and calls-to-action all offer separate and equally-effective ways to grab people’s attention as they scroll through their feed, while the content can be as versatile as testimonials, explainer videos, or teasers for forthcoming products.

Creating video content

Dare to be different

This is the hardest balance to strike when starting a new social media video campaign. After all, the easiest starting point will be to see what kind of videos work for your competitors and put your own spin on them. However, the social media ecosystem works so quickly that, by the time you’ve uploaded your finished video, your customer base may well have moved on.

Rather than copy the content or style, try and identify the intent between the kinds of videos your competitors that make them stand out. Whether it’s a sense of irreverence, shared values, and ethics, or an enviably subtle approach to promotions, keep an eye on what’s trending, determine what resonates with you, and then pick out the tactics which you can apply to your business.

Make your posts hospitable

On a somewhat more practical level, one final way to improve conversions from your social media posts is to simply embed a link to the item in your brand’s own webstore. The likes of Pinterest and Instagram have now incorporated shoppable posts into their user experience, turning the products in these aspirational platforms’ advertisements into functional, easily attainable e-commerce opportunities.

To activate shoppable social media posts, your profiles will need to be verified, and the products you advertise must be in line with the guidelines of each of the platforms in question. From there, however, you’re free to advertise as you want, so take the opportunity to A/B test images and video to see what encourages the best conversion rates, and then simply increase your ad spend for the best results.