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2020 was a year of digital trial and error for many businesses. Along with the challenging landscape that companies were presented with, the integration of new social media platforms and the shift in the way we use them caused a whirlwind of change in the marketing world.

As we move further into 2021, understanding the successful trends that were either created or enhanced a company’s social media presence will set you on the right foot. It is important to recognize that social media is ever-changing and joining the movement now rather than playing a game of catch up in the future will help avoid any potential disadvantages and continue to propel your business. The following are three highlights that should be considered when planning your upcoming marketing strategies:

Your Audience is Changing

Consumers’ focus and brand deciding factors have changed. Socially aware audiences are on the rise and businesses need to not only be aware but potentially showcase their stance.

This past year companies have started to speak out through donations to organizations with aligning values, investing in influencers that share the same voice, and simply altering their marketing messages through posts. But while giving your company a personality and passion can encourage like-minded consumers to support and purchase from you, it is important to go about it carefully.

Choosing topics that align with your target audience and not sporadically commenting on other issues will help form a unified voice for your brand that consumers can rely on.

Gaining Trust

Unfortunately, convincing audiences to trust you and the information you produce in today’s media climate is not an easy task. Just because you post something does not mean that it will be believed and more importantly, presents itself as a target for questioning and judgment.

With the rise of the pandemic, multiple elections, and other various events this past year, consumers have been flooded with information that is often misleading or completely wrong. The label “fake news” has been plastered across news and social media outlets, resulting in suspicious readers.

Learning how to navigate the field of misinformation is vital this upcoming year. Companies and businesses should hop on the open and honest information train and take active steps to gain back and reinforce the relationships they have with their followers. Using sources and testimonials in posts is a great way to verify your information and pull in real people.

The road to recovery for trustworthy digital information is not traveled alone. Monitoring and reporting any false information that other outlets or competitors may be publishing about you helps to keep your image clean and make consumers aware of unreliable sources. Social media is a platform that must be tracked 24/7 in order to avoid anything slipping through the cracks and potentially harming your business.

The Way You Speak

Gone are the days of posting a message and never looking back. Consumers desire conversation.

No matter the size or focus of your business, audiences look for a human touch. While purchasing a product is a goal of the customer, it is no longer the only goal. Receiving a positive and interactive experience from the moment the website is entered to the final step of clicking “order” is greatly influential in their decision to continue shopping with you.

This conversation is not as easy as a chatbot or automated direct message. While automated services may be necessary at times, especially with large influxes of messages on social media, a personal encounter should be provided at some point. People crave genuine interactions, which also aid in building a strong relationship, and create a robust customer experience.

When it comes to social media, creating posts that facilitate conversation and are engaging is a great way to receive honest responses from your followers.

The way that businesses interact with their audience is changing. As we move into 2021, this shift is not going to slow down. Researching and embracing the way your brand can spread their message and build a community will help keep your business afloat. Customers want to be prioritized and the center of every interaction, after all, they are paying the bills.

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