The pandemic of 2020 drastically changed the way marketers used their digital channels in reaching out to customers, especially social media.
The use of social media in particular, above other channels of communication like video calling apps, surged and reached an all-time high over the past few months owing to the lockdowns.
According to statistics, since March of last year, there has been a noticeable 21% increase in social media usage
People have been using social media not only to keep in contact with their loved ones, but also to research for products and shop line. Since meeting people and going shopping pretty much became impossible these past few months, companies have also upped their digital sales with attractive discounts and deals offered online. This definitely keeps customer further hooked online, not just in B2C but also B2B.
Social media usage on the whole has been increasing quite rapidly over the past years. With over 3.6 Billion people using different platforms in 2020, it has become one of the most popular online activities now, and is expected to reach almost 4.4 Billion by the year 2025.
Whether or not we’ll have to deal with crisis’s by then, we don’t know yet. But one thing we’ve learnt from 2020 is that, no matter the socio-political adversities we face in the physical world, social media usage not only continues, but in fact steps up.
"The new normal requires every company to put extreme importance on all things digital marketing. While search and email are two major components of digital marketing that can be done in-house, social media is both the most popular activity people do online as well as the most challenging for businesses” - Neal Schaffer
Companies are needless to say brainstorming new ways to engage with customers and convert leads into sales this year, in order to quickly take advantage of the new found surge. Brands are also looking for more efficient ways to offer consistent customer experiences across digital platforms.
And one of the major steps taken by companies is adopting an efficient social media scheduler. It helps companies consistently stay on top of their social media game.
What is a social media scheduler?
A social media scheduler is essentially a digital tool that marketers use to create, post and schedule content on social media, among a number of other things. Some of the best social media schedulers feature well-designed tools to manage subscribers or followers as well, along with intelligent social listening tools and analytics to enable marketing team leaders to see how their teams are doing and make necessary changes.
By providing marketers with all the essential tools to manage social media marketing as a whole, social media schedulers facilitate the generation of high quality leads, prompt and effective lead nurturing as well as conversions. It allows executives to effortlessly manage content across multiple active platforms as well.
For example, Hipsocial is one of the best social media schedulers in the market today, featuring a user friendly content scheduling tool. It allows you to integrate multiple platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and WordPress into a single dashboard from where you can create, post and schedule content across all platforms at the same time. It comes with a manual time zone selection tool as well, that lets you figure out the best times to post for different target audiences around the world, and generate maximum engagement.
Apart from content scheduling, it also comes with a cutting edge social listening tool where you can monitor streams across all your favourite channels and stay on top of community conversations. In addition it features, social engagement boosting tools as well such as a Smart Finder, that lets you find the most relevant people for your company to connect with.
Lastly, it also comes with an in-built analytics tool with insightful report generation and URL tracking features to help you crack the numbers in your social media activities.
Social media schedulers evolve…
Now the best social media schedulers in the market are flexible and easily adaptable to changes happening in social media algorithms as well as external stimuli. Technologies inevitably need to change as people evolve and as the social-political and economic scenes evolve.
These changes make it essential for businesses to keep up with the latest trends and best practices in the industry.
Alexa.com talk about some of the major social media trends that they think are going to be major factors in 2021 including some amazing ways to include them into your marketing strategy in this post.
On that note, here are the top 12 trends in social media determining how social media schedulers are changing in the coming years.
How best social media schedulers are changing in 2021
Organic is the name of the game
With the number of fake follower generators, spam "like" generators and audience buying services increasing by the day, surprisingly enough, people are getting all the more inclined towards organic growth and organic content.
By all means, organic is the name of the game, as it is the only reliable and solid foundation upon which you can achieve actual growth. User generated content and promotional posts are good too to a certain extent, but in order to establish trust and improve credibility, businesses absolutely need to take the effort to create authentic original and organic content, and generate organic traffic.
According to recent statistics:
As much as 75% of people don't accept advertisements as completely reliable or as the truth.
Almost 63% of social media users feel that consumer ratings are the number one most helpful contributor to make purchase decisions easier.
And 70% of consumers believe and rely on customer opinions; which happens to be more than double those who trust advertisements.
These numbers make it clear that there are no shortcuts to genuine positive customer experiences, which should be the ultimate goal of every social media marketing campaign
Content beats everything
As an extension of the previous point, content is always King. There is nothing that beats or surpasses good quality content on social media. Whether you wish to increase followers, or boost engagement or increase conversions, the first and most important thing you need to do is put out valuable content that users can take advantage of every time. You also need to brainstorm ideas to create unique content – ones that resonate with customers, in order to stay ahead in the competition.
Some of the best social media schedulers like Hipsocial, allow you to create and post content easily across multiple channels. You can ideally create long form posts and break it into shorter shareables to post on different channels.
Conversation is a two-way street
It is all about continuous and prompt customer experiences these days, which necessitates solid conversations. Customers need more transparency and more information to make worthy investments in products and services. Hence, rather than pitching products directly, companies have to offer full blown conversations, as demanded by customers along with insightful content.
The best social media schedulers like Hipsocial offer engagement tools to strike conversations and sustain engagement for the most wholesome customer experiences.
Attention spans are going down
Customers are more interested in ultra-short snippets of content these days, as opposed to long form content even in videos. This is probably what led to the raving popularity of Tik Tok videos and Reels on Instagram. These platforms have generated billions of users and followers because of this very feature.
Clearly, attention spans are going down, and marketers are utilising social media schedulers to post short form content.
Video continues to dominate
Video content continues to grow in relevance and popularity. As expected platforms like YouTube facilitating valuable video content is still preferred by customers for important information.
HubSpot's Not Another State of Marketing Report further revealed the fact that video was the most commonly used marketing content by companies. It was also the second most engaging type of content on social media.
Hence it is important to use social media tools and schedulers that support the creation of ample video content.
Live streams gaining popularity
The live stream features of all social media platforms are unsurprisingly very popular, as it establishes a direct and real time connection with relevant people in companies. This means it is crucial for marketers to make use of these features in the social media platforms that they use to increase engagement and boost growth. Customers simply love an authentic and transparent brand.
Social listening is the more important than ever
Social listening has come to be one of the most important tools to have for businesses. It allows marketers to keep up with the conversations that happen in their community, relevant to their business. It also allows them to identify potential markets gaps, using which they can ideate new products and services. It essentially helps them keep a keen eye on likely competition. Hence, it is important for companies to use the best social media schedulers that come with intelligent social listening tools as well, like Hipsocial.
More channels to improve ROI
Companies are likely to be using more channels in social media to improve ROI. It definitely makes sense, as any investment in social media is known to generate almost 4 times revenue. It is indeed important to leverage more than one channel and cross post relevant content in different ways across the platforms, as you never know where it will do well.
The best social media schedulers like Hipsocial facilitate the creation and posting of content across multiple channels all at once, making your job a lot easier.
Baby boomers are an important target
It is no longer just Gen Z that uses social media. New found statistics have revealed that baby boomers are enjoying social media just as well these days, especially since the lock downs. Apparently, boomers spent more time online in 2020, using digital channels like social media, digital video platforms, gaming and mobile payments.
In terms of purchases too, almost 70% of users aged above 55 have apparently bought something online in the past one month, out of which 37% of them plan to continue purchases more frequently in future.
Data driven engagement boosters
In today’s highly competitive B2B market, it is important to make data driven decisions to boost engagement levels. Gathering relevant engagement analytics including UTM parameters are not only important but also inevitable to boost engagement, retain followers and achieve growth.
Naturally, companies are turning towards comprehensive social media schedulers that provide analytics to take data driven decisions.
Humanize, humanize humanize!
Going along with the concept of transparency and authenticity, customers naturally trust more human faces associated with brands. Hence it continues to be important to show human elements in your social media. You can take audiences behind the scenes, post personal office based content etc. so that your customers can resonate with your brand. At the end of the day, customers will only buy from a company that is transparent and that they can trust.
Comprehensive solutions are the best way to go
Last but not least, companies are adopting more of comprehensive social media solutions that do more than just post content. Some of the best social media schedulers in the market today offer combined benefits of social listening, engagement and analytics as well, in a single platform, much like Hipsocial.
Out of all the above trends, one thing appears crystal clear – that it is extremely important to use the best social media scheduler for your business and to adopt relevant best practices to make the most of social media marketing campaigns. Since quite evidently, social media is one of the most influential channels to reach out to customers these days, investing in the right solutions will most definitely pay off.