Editor’s note: We are re-running the top stories of 2020 as part of our year-end countdown.
This year has caused us to adapt and change in ways we never imagined–including the way we work and use social media.
Five crucial social media trends are highlighted below.
1. Adapting the content calendar process
Most social media managers have been trained to prepare content weeks or months in advance, but that approach will either result in outdated and off-tone content, or will require you to scrap everything you created and start again. Both are far from ideal.
Successful social media management today sees brands shifting from far-in-advance planning to a more flexible model with content created only for the near future. For dates months or quarters down the road, try only drafting outlines with plenty of gaps and flex space for changes.
2. Prioritizing social media listening
High-quality content creation begins with intent, intentional listening on social media channels. Up until now, brands have “gotten by” with skipping the social media listening process and going straight to content creation. That’s just not good enough anymore.
Imagine not listening on today’s social media channels before creating content. Social media posts would be tone-deaf and uproar would ensue. Instead, social media managers should take time to listen to their customers who are experiencing profound changes that are impacting how they feel, shop and engage. The more you listen, the more clues you’ll receive to improve your social media content business decisions.
3. Taking a stand
Public relations and social media professionals have typically adopted risk-averse approaches to work. Many companies still fear a negative backlash and don’t want to say anything that might alienate fans.
However, today’s customers expect brands to stand for something beyond their bottom line. You can’t or won’t please everyone, but taking principled stands can build a loyal, passionate customer base. Just make sure your company is prepared to back up your words with action.
4. Cancelling self-promotion
Pre-2020, social media channels were largely used by businesses to show off products and services and generate sales. Times of crisis are not a time to be self-promotional. Today, brands and influencers are using their social media presence as a platform to amplify voices, help others, engage in the healing process, and build relationships for the future. Right now, the more you give the more you will get–even if it’s just goodwill.
5. Focusing on the human element
People are craving sincerity, connection and community right now. Instead of focusing on products and services, brands are shifting their strategies to focus on employees and customers. For example, companies are showing how employees are working from home and what their new routines are, or highlighting heartwarming customer stories that spread positive vibes. Humans have always cared and trusted people more than businesses, and now businesses are learning to shape their marketing strategies around human storytelling rather than bland product descriptions.
Devon Gardner is the founder and CEO of Devon Victoria Communications.
Get up to speed on top social media trends, tips and tactics at our Social Media & Digital Communications Virtual Conference June 18-19.