The 2021 Guide to Social Media Marketing: Trends and Best Practices

The 2021 Guide to Social Media Marketing: Trends and Best Practices

Over 53% of the world’s population uses social media. In fact, many people use their favorite social media apps for 2 hours and 25 minutes every day. If your brand isn’t using social media marketing, you’re falling behind. Instead, you can follow the latest social media marketing trends to remain relevant in front of your target audience. Not sure where to start? Here are the 11 social media marketing tips you need to succeed.

By following these best practices, you can stand out from the crowd and boost your brand awareness. As more people recognize your business, you can start building trust and loyalty, too. Retaining long-time, loyal customers can boost your ROI, allowing your company to grow!

Sound like a plan? Keep reading to discover the 11 social media marketing best practices you need for success today!

1. Know Your Goals

Before you start following the latest 2021 social media marketing trends, you need a plan. Understanding your goals will help you accomplish those goals. Otherwise, you might follow social media marketing trends that fail to benefit your business. 

The 3% of graduates who wrote down their goals earned 10x as much as the other students put together.

What do you want to accomplish by using social media marketing? Do you want to generate more followers, leads, or website traffic? You can use different social media marketing best practices to accomplish these goals.

Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Driven, and Timely goals. For example, you can set a goal to attract 100 new followers on Instagram by the end of the second quarter. 

It’s important to set realistic goals for your team. Otherwise, you might put unnecessary stress on yourself.

Try to set a separate goal for every social media platform. Each platform (and the audience on that platform) is a little different. If you use the same approach for every platform, your marketing strategy might fall short.

Here are a few goals you might want to consider for your business. As you establish each goal, consider the key performance indicators you want to track. For example, you can track clicks, reach, impressions, and engagement to ensure you’re meeting your goals.

Increasing Brand Awareness

Consumers won’t choose your business if they know nothing about you. You can boost your brand awareness with unique, branded posts.

Make sure to keep your brand consistent as you start marketing on social media. Your brand should remain consistent across every marketing channel. Otherwise, people might confuse your business with another one.

When someone clicks on a social media post to visit your website, the branding should match.

Focus on creating content that can help communicate your company’s personality and values. Give people a reason to choose your business by highlighting your unique value proposition. Your unique value will set you apart from other competitors in the industry. 

Boosting Leads and Sales

You can also use social media marketing to generate leads and sales.

Think about the specific actions you want people to complete. Do you want them to fill out a form on your website? Would you prefer they make a purchase through your e-commerce store or in-person?

Don’t create social media posts with sales tactics in mind. Instead, educate your target audience. Help them learn more about your products or services.

You can tease new products, create demos, or post tutorials.

People will see the value you have to offer and want to choose your products.

Attract New Followers

As you boost your brand awareness, you can also find new ways to grow your audience.

For example, you can improve your customer service to help people learn more about your brand. You can encourage more people to subscribe to your email newsletter, too. Email marketing can help you remain top-of-mind with your customers.

Posting regularly on social media will help you stay top-of-mind, too.

You can also use social media monitoring or listening. As people discuss your business, you can respond to their questions and needs. 

2. Pinpoint Your Audience

Once you establish your goals and key performance indicators, learn everything you can about your target audience. If you don’t know who your customers are, you’ll fail to create content they want.

Every social media platform is different. For example, you’ll likely find millennials or Gen Z consumers on TikTok. If you want to reach an older audience, focus on LinkedIn.

When establishing your target audience, break your larger audience into personas. You can use demographics, behaviors, and interests to set your customers apart. For example, you can create personas based on:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Marital status
  • Interests
  • Buying behaviors
  • Pain points

Use an analytics dashboard to learn more about your current social media audience. Then, establish a buyer persona for each group.

Buyer personas will help you create content with each target audience in mind.

3. Research the Competition

As you start using these social media marketing best practices, consider your competitors.

Are they engaging your target audience? What type of content are they creating? Where does their content fall short?

Look at the platforms they’re using, too. Are they neglecting an audience? Which hashtags are they using within their posts?

It’s important that you avoid copying the competition’s social media marketing strategy. Instead, learn from what they’re doing. 

Studying your competitors will help you recognize opportunities and challenges you’ll face with your marketing strategy. 

4. Create Engaging Content

It’s not enough to keep up with the latest social media marketing trends. Your entire social media strategy will hinge on the content you create. Make sure your content helps accomplish your goals and communicates your brands.

Consider working within a theme. Using a theme can ensure your content remains cohesive. Your content might start to look more recognizable, too. 

Make a list of the types of posts you want to create. For example, do you want to post company culture photos, product images, animations, or memes? What content suits your brand?

To start, you might want to experiment with different content formats. 

You can create stories, which leverage the fear of missing out (FOMO). Many stories are interactive. They’re also time-sensitive, which encourages people to take a look right away. 

Make sure to create content your customers want. For example, Instagrammers spend about 70% of their time watching videos. The most popular formats are product tutorials and behind-the-scenes content. 

Meanwhile, 85% of millennials end up buying a product after watching a video about it. 

You can use your competitor research to get a better sense of what content appeals to your target audience. 

5. Establish a Schedule

Timing is everything! If you want to use these social media marketing best practices successfully, consider your timing. When are the majority of your followers on social media?

Review your current social media data. When do your posts have the highest reach? Consider the day of the week and time as well. 

Then, start scheduling your posts around these times.

As you start using these social media marketing tips, avoid posting every day. Try every other day instead. Posting too often could annoy your followers. 

6. Align Your Social Media and SEO

Over 90% of marketers say the top benefit of using social media is boosting their exposure online. Search engine optimization (SEO) can also help you boost brand awareness. In fact, SEO and social media marketing go hand in hand.

As people click on your content and visit your website, Google will take notice. Attracting more traffic to your website tells Google people want your content. It could boost your search engine ranking as a result.

A higher ranking can boost your brand awareness, traffic, leads, and credibility.

To align your social media and SEO strategy, make sure you’re posting high-quality content. Try to post content that aligns with the user’s search intent. What content do your followers want and need?

Google uses the consumer’s search intent to determine what search results to display.

Make sure it’s easy for people to share your website content on social media, too. You can add social share buttons to your site. As people share your content, your online presence will grow.

7. Keep Engaging Your Audience

As people start commenting on your posts, make sure to comment back. Consumers expect fast, immediate responses to their questions. Let them know you’re listening. 

Take the time to respond to your audience. You’ll show them you care about their needs. At the same time, you can use social media to learn more about your customers.

What concerns do they have? What questions are they asking?

You can use this information to better meet the consumer’s search intent. 

Are people posting about your product or service? Use their posts as part of your social media marketing strategy. User-generated content (UGC) can help you build brand trust and loyalty. 

Consider working with a social media management team for help.

8. Work With Influencers

Brands could start spending up to $15 billion on influencer marketing by 2022. About 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective. Influencer marketing can help you boost brand awareness, credibility, and sales. 

Social media marketing trends like influencer marketing aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Consider working with an influencer in your niche. Make sure you find an influencer with a strong following. Then, have them discuss your product or service.

Influencer marketing allows you to leverage someone else’s existing brand trust. Your customers already rely on influencers for product suggestions. They’ll listen to what the influencer has to say.

As the influencer mentions your brand, consumers will start looking at your business.  

9. Choose Your Hashtags

As you start posting on social media, make sure to choose your hashtags with care. Which hashtags are your competitors using?

Don’t stuff your posts with too many hashtags. Instead, use a select few for each post. Make sure these hashtags are relevant to the content you’re posting. 

Create a unique branded hashtag, too. A branded hashtag will make it easier for people to find your content.

10. Track the Trends

New social media marketing trends pop up throughout the year. Keeping up with these trends can help your business look relevant. Otherwise, people might think you’re behind the times.

Try different 2021 social media marketing trends to determine which ones appeal to your target audience. 

Live Streams

With social distancing, face-to-face meetings are now virtual. Use this to your advantage! Start posting live videos to connect with your target audience.

You can use live streams to answer customer questions. You can even post live tutorials. 

More Stories

Instagram and Facebook stories are becoming more popular, too.

Find ways to make your stories interactive. For example, you can add a poll or quiz to your next story. You can even use polls to learn more about your target audience.

Then, you can continue creating content they want and love based on their responses. 

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is another great way to overcome social distances. You can create unique, interactive experiences for your audience. For example, you can use Facebook Horizon to interact with your customers in a virtual world.

Augmented Reality

You can also use augmented reality to boost engagement. Try creating your own AR filters using Snapchat. These filters can encourage interactions while keeping your customers engaged. 

You can also use them to draw customers to specific promotions. 

Social e-Commerce

Consumers can explore your products straight from your Instagram posts. You can use product tags to make it easy for people to buy your products without leaving Instagram. This ease and convenience could help you boost sales.


As you follow these social media marketing trends, keep your customers in mind. Your customers are individuals. They want to know you care about who they are.

Invest in your community. Understand the issues your customers are passionate about.

Otherwise, they might take their business elsewhere.

Authenticity and Transparency

Remaining authentic can help you build deep, meaningful connections with your customers. Consumers want to choose brands they can trust. Remain transparent about your products and operations to build that trust. 

11. Analyze and Adjust

As you use these social media marketing best practices, review your data. Which tactics are working? Which fall flat?

Analyze the data and make adjustments to your strategy. That way, you can boost engagement and your ROI.

Staying Social: Your 2021 Guide to Social Media Marketing Trends and Best Practices

Stay social this year! By following these social media marketing trends and best practices, you can get ahead of the curve. Give your business the boost it needs with these 11 social media marketing tips today. 

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