February is already here: Have you stuck to your small business resolutions for 2021? Or, do you find yourself among the 80% of folks who stop pursuing their New Year’s resolutions by the second week of February?

2021 has only just begun, and it’s hard for most folks to kick old habits in any regular year ‒ and presently, we find ourselves in anything but normal circumstances.

If you’re ready to get back on track to a successful year, there’s no better place to start than your social media marketing strategy. NEXT! Ad Agency is here to explore everything you need to know about social media and how to use it to your advantage in 2021 and for years to come.

Let’s get started!

Expand Your Audience with Social Media Marketing

Stay-at-home orders are still in place across the country, and consumers may not be frequenting brick and mortar businesses as much as they used to. Do you feel disconnected from your customers due to lockdown restrictions and social distancing?

In the spring of 2020, just months after the outbreak of COVID-19, up to 51% of American consumers reported spending more time on social media, including those between the ages of 35 and 65+.

With consumers spending more time at home, social media has become a means for small businesses to engage with both existing and new followers across wider demographics. And as described by Shaylyn Traver, a social media coordinator at NEXT Ad Agency, this has become “a lifeline” for small businesses:

Social media for small businesses has always been important, but 2020 made it essential. The pandemic continues to take a financial toll on small businesses, and social media can be a lifeline.

‒ Shaylyn Traver

There may be physical distance between businesses and consumers. But with technology and social media, you can still generate interest in your brand (all while giving it a modern edge), engage with existing followers in your area, and even connect with a broader audience outside of your region.

Position Yourself for Post-Pandemic Success

Are you looking forward to when the newly-vaccinated world opens again?

We are, too. And fortunately, a rebound for the US economy is already underway, and financial experts are predicting that the economy will continue to improve well after the first quarter.

But even as warmer weather rolls around and the public opens again, consumers will continue to spend time on social media, just as they did before and during the pandemic. You can draw in new business NOW by engaging with consumers on social media, and by doing so, you can give them a taste of what to experience in a post-pandemic world, as well.

According to Shannon van Niekerk, an account manager at NEXT Ad Agency, staying ahead is going to be essential for small businesses:

Although social media may be intimidating, you don’t have to be an expert at it. Keep thinking ahead on how you’re going to stay better than your competition and position yourself better than them for when things do eventually go back to normal.

A lot of businesses now are just trying to stay afloat. Now would be a great time to develop a social media calendar or strategy and get connected!

‒ Shannon van Niekerk

So, what kinds of social media marketing strategies can help you connect, drive business, and set you up for future success? How can you create social media content your audience will love? We’ll explore those next!

Know Where Your Audience Spends Time on Social Media

Knowing which social media platforms your audience uses are key to getting in front of the right customers.

According to Shaylyn Traver, “When you’re a small business, you might not have the manpower or the time to be on every social media platform. Focus on what your goals are and what is relevant to your customers.”

Not sure which social media platforms your customers use? Here are some questions to familiarize yourself with your audience’s social media habits:

  • How old is your ideal customer?
  • What type of customer do you want to attract?
  • What kinds of content do your followers engage with the most? (Video, shared posts, etc.)
  • Which social media platforms does your competition use?

Social media demographics vary from platform to platform. Facebook, for example, is the go-to platform for users between the ages of 35 and 64. Meanwhile, 13 to 29-year-olds are more active on Instagram and Twitter.

If you’re in doubt about which social media platforms to use, it never hurts to get on Facebook ‒ or rethink your Facebook marketing strategy if you already have a page.

Facebook has the most monthly active users of any platform. Consumers now expect that a business will have a presence on the platform. You can easily engage your audience and collect reviews (which you can’t do on other platforms). Plus, an active Facebook page can even increase your search ranking!

‒ Shaylyn Traver

From promoting new products and socially-distanced services to publishing photos or giving your followers a live-stream-peak behind-the-scenes of your brick and mortar, there’s no shortage of ways you can grow your social media presence on Facebook. But how else can you use Facebook and other social media platforms to your advantage in 2021?

Build Community Around Your Brand

Though we may be physically further apart, starting conversations on your social media page is an opportune way to build a community around your brand.

Shaylyn suggests, “When someone posts a review on your Facebook page, take the time to like or comment on it. Customers like to be seen, heard, and recognized.”

Keep your branding consistent across your social media pages. You can achieve this by using the same logo, colors, and fonts on all of your social media content. Make sure your pages follow a common theme so users can easily recognize your brand, and you can even make it consistent with your website design!

Most importantly, staying active on social media is the surest way to help your social media community thrive! Whether you’re giving a shout-out to an employee or customer, promoting a service, announcing new hours, or sharing content your audience will love, make it a goal to post on your social media pages weekly or bi-weekly.

How Will Your Business Stay on Top in 2021?

You don’t have to be an expert at social media, but take the step to get things set up and established and set small goals for yourself as to how you’re going to engage on those platforms.

‒ Shannon van Niekerk, Account Manager at NEXT Ad Agency

Are you ready to get back on track with your small business resolutions for 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?

It’s not too late to take on new social media strategies that will help you survive and thrive in 2021, and NEXT Ad Agency is here to help. If you would like to learn more about social media marketing, get in touch with us today!

Looking for other ways to come out on top this year? In our last installment of 2021 Digital Media Resolutions, we explored the benefits of video content and how it can help small businesses connect with their audiences and stay in front of the competition. Take a peek and let us know what you think!

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