Digital & Social Media

5 Things 2020 Taught Us About Social Media

As 2021 begins, you’re probably anxious to dive into your customer service care plan and continue communicating with your customers. But it can be helpful to look back on 2020 and see how social media may have impacted your sales. The truth is, social media has been around a while, but in many ways, it’s still the Wild West. The complex ecosystem of social media looks different now than it did in January 2020, especially the way you utilize it in a customer service setting.

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Algorithms Require Frequent Posting

Near the end of the year, Instagram changed its algorithm once again. In short, less and less of your content is being seen by your followers, particularly if you have a business account. Is this cause for concern? Yes and no. On the one hand, if social media is your primary way of communicating with customers and an essential funnel into your business, you’re going to need to up your posting game in order to keep up with the algorithm and ensure eyes on your posts. But on the other hand, if you’ve never experimented with using social media to try and get your followers off social media and onto your e-mail list, now’s the time.

Focus on building up a list or making contact with your customers offline altogether. That way, Instagram and the powers that run it aren’t in charge of your contact with customers—you are. You want as much control as possible when it comes to speaking with your customers, and you don’t have much on social media algorithms. Furthermore, after a year in which politicians were highly critical of social media conglomerates and the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma took viewers by storm, many people are intentionally trying to spend less time on social. The only thing we can know for sure about social media algorithms is that they’ll be constantly changing, so the best way to get ahead of the game is to not give them too much time or attention.

(Different) Content Is King

In terms of what content does get seen, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that diversifying your content strategy is the key to showing up in feeds. That means focusing on just beautiful Instagram photos or just witty Facebook statuses isn’t going to be enough. You also need to prioritize aspects of the platforms like reels, lives, and stories. If you didn’t diversify your content strategy in 2020, the time to do so is now. Brainstorm with your team how you can utilize all aspects of a social media platform, not just the parts that are easy or what you’re used to doing.

Play around a little—perfection doesn’t need to be the goal! See which types of content perform the best for you and where your customers seem to be the most engaged before putting in too much time, energy, or resources. Also, keep on top of new things social media platforms are working on, like Twitter’s Audio Spaces or Facebook’s fully immersive augmented reality push.

Repurposing Is Essential

If you’re going to be creating a wide variety of content, repurposing should be your new best friend. Because expanding into different forms of media on each platform is going to be important, it will be almost impossible to beat the algorithm game without repurposing. Think of how you can take a topic and turn it into a wide variety of media. For instance, if you’re answering your FAQs in a blog post, could you turn that into a Facebook Live where people can pop in with questions of their own? What about a Twitter hashtag? Could you create Instagram stories based on the different questions and save them as highlights?

By repurposing your content, you’re able to reach a wide pool of customers in terms of both showing up in their feeds due to changing algorithms and reaching customers who are more likely to utilize one particular aspect of a platform. Every time you post a piece of content, try to find at least two ways to repurpose it in another form. If you’re struggling to fill your editorial calendar, repurposing your content can be an easy way to fill it in. Look over 2020, and see which pieces of content performed the best for you—perhaps that’s where you could start with your repurposing brainstorming session.

Ads Are Cheaper, but Proceed with Caution

In 2020, many companies had their marketing and advertising budgets slashed. This was likely due to the global pandemic and general upheaval in the world—companies were left scrambling to pay employees, and spending money to bring in new customers fell a bit on the scale of importance. That meant that advertising costs for platforms like Facebook and Pinterest dropped dramatically.

However, conversions are down, as well, meaning that fewer people are clicking links and utilizing advertisements as a way of shopping. So feel free to put some money into your ad spend and experiment, but know that your conversions may not be where you’d like them to be at the moment. You could also consider boosting your popular posts to reach more of your followers—videos that answer a specific question, for example, can help serve your customers while cutting down on calls into your call center.

Diversity Matters

Lastly, diversity was a huge topic in the national conversation in 2020. Take a look at the photos you use on your social media profiles. Do they feature people of different ages, skin colors, and abilities? It’s totally acceptable to have a target market, but within your target market, how can you make sure to appeal to a wider customer base and help your social media feeds reflect the real world we live in? Take a quick audit of your 2020 content, and think of ways you can incorporate more diversity moving forward. Part of serving your customers means making an effort within your marketing material to encompass the wide range of physical features and abilities among your clientele.