As we draw closer to the final months of one of the weirdest years in history, it's time to think about the best strategies for ending the year strong with great social media ideas.
So much has changed in 2020. It feels like everything has changed. The way we socialize and communicate has transformed more than anything, and this is precisely why social media is so important right now.
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Has anything been working in 2020? I joke. We have to, right? Of course, there have been so many amazing success stories in the midst of all this uncertainty and struggle, and there are plenty of opportunities for ending the year strong with great social media ideas.
One thing that has been very consistent in 2020 is the need to be human when approaching social media strategies and communications.
Things have been moving in this direction since before the pandemic, but it's become increasingly important for brands to step up and lose the corporate speech that no one wants to hear - ever.
How do you humanize your brand? It's kind of a weird question, no? We're all humans. We're all in this together. We've all had a friendly, casual conversation with another human; that's essentially what you should be aiming for.
Stop selling products and start telling stories that relate in some way to your product. People buy your product, hopefully. That means there are stories to tell.
What do they use it for? How does it affect their life? How does it make them feel?
Social Media Storytelling and Thought Leadership
Here at Honeypot, we kind of love telling stories; we have an incredible team of very talented people who specialize in various fields, so taking a thought leadership approach and sharing knowledge is a great way to help our community and a greater global audience.
For example, these blogs are a great resource for businesses of all sizes and even other marketers. We try to pack as much useful information into them while keeping a casual, conversational tone.
We don't want to bore you to death with long technical pieces that only an engineer can understand.
If you'd like more examples of our blogs using casual, conversational tones, we're happy to share. Check out these 3 that also have even more great insights for social media marketing.
- Recipes for Writing Copy That Captivates and Converts: The Awesome Sauce
- New Normal Marketing: Cutting Through the Noise Using Social Storytelling
- How to Bridge Organic with Paid to Reach Your Customers Everywhere – Wonder Twin Powers Activate
Creating Two-Way Conversations on Social
The same goes for our weekly Live at the Hive video series, which these blogs serve as a companion piece. It's a great way to share content freely with the community and help businesses struggling with their digital marketing efforts.
And, it's an opportunity for us to have some fun, engage in conversations, and even turn ourselves into awesome anime characters, because we're nerds and we love it.
Instagram stories are also a great way to expand your reach and share information with your audience.
Every week we do a Hive Hack that serves as a quick tutorial on a specific feature in stories, that helps people learn to use the tools available and take advantage of the many opportunities possible on the platform.
Polls are another great way to drum up engagement and start conversations - and they're easy to put together on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We use them all the time because they're great.
With the tools available on social media, there's plenty of opportunities to get creative and engage with your audience, whether it's IG stories, polls, or even a video tips series.
All of these options work great and are far more likely to attract views and engagement than a standard product promotion post.
Creating a Brand Purpose and Communicating that on Social Media
Brand purpose and employee activism have become buzzwords in 2020. The world is divided, and trust has fallen off the map like a sadly built sandcastle on the edge of a rising tide.
With so much fake news, intentional misinformation, and big corporations self-congratulating themselves for their COVID-19 efforts, it hard to know what to believe - so how does ending the year strong with great social media ideas amidst so much uncertainty even work?
Well, that's why brand purpose and employee activism have become so important. Businesses making a genuine effort to communicate and help their customers and communities stand out in all the noise.
These businesses that took action, donated services and equipment, and pivoted production lines to help the community were applauded for stepping up and putting their brand purpose into action.
They showed their customers that they're not just serving their shareholders, and they actually care and are part of the community, echoing the sentiment that we're all in this together.
These are also the companies that have the greatest success stories during these times. Just take a look at these stats.
Brands that provide a positive impact on people’s lives:
- Grow 2.5 times more than brands with a low impact.
- Have happier employees (9 in 10 employees would take a pay cut to have more meaningful work).
- Outperform the stock market by 134%.
Staying Authentic on Social Media
With this in mind, it's vital to remember NOT to treat brand purpose as a marketing campaign, or you risk falling into the same lot as the businesses patting themselves on the back for merely posting their baseline efforts for COVID-19 without any real action.
If your efforts are not sincere and genuine, people will see right through it. Jumping on the bandwagon of a popular cause is not exercising brand purpose, and it's painfully obvious.
Businesses that perform the best have brand purpose integrated into everything they do - because they genuinely care; this is what people want from companies in 2020. Honesty. It's really that simple.
Playstation does a great job of drumming up engagement on their posts by encouraging User Generated Content (UGC) that coincides with current events, even if they're small. Such as this example:
Another excellent example of authentic content that resonates with the audience is local sauce guru Phlippen's Sauce. They have great posts with lots of humour, puns, and support for the local community, and their audience eats it up, literally. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I'll show myself out.
The Changing Face of Social Media
Social media seems to change daily. Every time you think you have a handle on how things work, they go and change the algorithm, and we're all left scrambling and adjusting to the new parameters.
Facebook and Instagram recently changed their algorithm, for example, so that family and friends show up in feeds more than businesses, which has been a real challenge for marketers. You can't rely on great organic content anymore and hope it gets seen.
It's become more of a pay-to-play game now, so we've had to adjust our strategies to accommodate these changes. Is it better now to focus on fewer posts and bigger spends? Maybe.
The good news is that you can boost your organic posts for less than the cost of a pizza. Simply adding a $20 boost to your post will increase your reach dramatically from a handful of people to thousands.
The beast that is TikTok was recently named "the social media sensation of lockdown," and the controversy with the US doesn't seem to be slowing it down much. With nearly a billion users, that's not much of a surprise.
Instagram recently jumped on the bandwagon with its new Reels feature, looking to cash in on the magic of TikTok, but it remains to be seen if it will catch on. It has been widely successful with its stories feature, that they "borrowed" from Snapchat, so the potential is there.
7 Social Media Ideas that will Rock your 2020
Here's a handy little list of tips that will help with ending the year strong with great social media ideas:
- Create your dream customer Persona. Once you do this, you'll be able to truly understand what kind of content will click with your audience on social.
- What are the qualities of your ideal customer?
- What makes them tick?
- What makes them laugh?
- What annoys them?
- What are their pain points?
- Use video. Go live and stick to your schedule.
- Publishing content isn't easy, but it can transform your business.
- Quality is better than Quantity.
- Stop Stopping!
- Create free UGC contests throughout the remainder of 2020, leading up to Christmas.
- Give away products or free services weekly to your followers.
- The winner agrees to take a short unboxing video that they'll send to you.
- Post that content and tag them. Generate kinetic energy.
- Balance public feeds with more private or 1-1 engagement: Stories, Reels, Groups.
- Get on TikTok, post daily.
- Stop broadcasting. Start engaging. Use private messaging and bots (MobileMonkey or Manychat).
- 44% of senior marketers cite ‘driving conversions’ as a top outcome for social in 2020. Ouch. 🤦♂️ Stop using the 18-year-old move and going right for the sale. You're not a drunk kid in a bar professing your love to a stranger. Take time and put effort into building relationships. Think bigger than the conversion.
Ending the Year Strong With Social Listening
This is where tracking your analytics can come in very handy. It's an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations online by monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, or products.
These reports help you understand what people are resonating with and where your focus should be.
If you don't know already, vanity metrics are pretty much useless and not at all a measure of success. You want engagement, and you'll get it by playing your part in the community and being an active member.
If you're not using social listening, you're missing out on a ton of valuable insights and potential conversations people are having about your brand.
Your customers are telling you what they want if you're listening.
Answer the Public is also a great resource for finding topics that are trending and questions people are asking, and it's free to use.
Be Real on Social - Be Part of the Conversation
Ultimately, this shift to virtual socialization has essentially made social media the most important communication channels on the planet. It's also changed the way we communicate with each other on a fundamental level.
We're all looking for any glimpses of positivity and hope in our social feeds. Everyone is looking for real, human interactions online without in-person hangouts, which has driven home the need to be authentic and conversational.
That's the big takeaway here for ending the year strong with great social media ideas. Be real.
And that's a wrap, folks! Let's summarize all this with a fun infographic!
And some more links from the show, for you thirsty ones out there. Drink up the knowledge and we will rule this galaxy together.
- How 2020 Changed Social Media - A great article that goes through social media predictions for 2020 and details what came to pass and why it's important.
- 30 brands with excellent social media strategies - Real word examples of brands doing great things on social media. Find out what strategies and tactics the big dogs are using to stay on top!
- A Story of Zero-Click Searches and SERP Features - Not an article but an awesome talk by Kevin Indig. You'll want to register and check it out. It's worth it.
- How to master the art of inhouse SEO - A thorough look at SEO and the pros and cons of taking it in-house.
- Ahrefs Launched Webmaster Tools - Again, not an article, but an amazing resource for Ahrefs new Webmaster Tools. Check it out!
- Baymard.com Gives Us 162 eCommerce Design Examples Manually Annotated by Experts - If you're looking for eCommerce design inspiration, this resource has a ton of content for you.