2021 social media planning checklist

Can you quite believe that we are a mere few weeks from the end of 2020! For many, it can’t end quick enough, but for brand marketers, we KNOW there’s never quite enough time to plan for the year ahead.

We’ve just launched our Industry Benchmark report, and from that, we’ve learned the key challenges for digital marketing peeps. It’s nearly the season of giving, so here’s a checklist for your 2021 planning, all linked back to these key challenges.

Defining and measuring KPIs in social

We found that 88% of brands say they are unable to demonstrate ROI from social media activity. But it’s not always about ROI – there are other business propositions which deserve attention, such as

  • Building trust in your brand
  • Gaining awareness among your target and new audiences
  • Introducing new products and services

These don’t have a direct ROI, so avoid narrowing what you agree to report back to your business on in this way. Only a third of brands are linking social media goals to business goals – madness. At the outset, understand the business goals and ensure your 2021 planning for social aligns to these. It’ll build your confidence and the confidence of the business in the value of social media.

Define a varied media mix

In our report, we recorded a positive figure of 67% of marketers saying that social media was “important to” and “integrated into” the wider marketing mix – great! However, on the negative slant, 1 in 5 are only considering social after a marketing campaign is in place .

Social cannot be ignored – half the worlds population is on it, and to be honest, with many other media facing challenges in reaching audiences right now, digital marketers really need to spend some time integrating social into early planning.

Invest in paid social

Over 50% of marketers we surveyed said brand awareness is their leading objective – so it’s crazy to hear that under 10% of marketing budgets are spent in paid! For B2B marketers, the opportunity to target precisely and with specific messages is a huge benefit – and for all marketers, we’d urge you to remember that paid doesn’t just give you a targeted group, but the mass reach of a new audience you’ll need to grow.

Take your time with content creation

We were thrilled to see that 90% of brands are using their social to connect better with their audience – understanding what they care about, their motivations and their sleepless nights is the key to creating engaging content.

We can see that marketers are feeling the pressure here, perhaps feeling obliged to churn out high volumes based on a warped view of how many posts should go out per week, or constantly being pushed to react to news and trends.

If you can take a breath, here’s what we recommend:

  • Messaging hierarchy – what are your key topics, themes and the actions you need your audience to take?
  • Brand values and tone of voice – clarify what matters to you, define your raisons d’être and your audience will understand you better and trust you more
  • Visual style – create a niche, a content tilt which is recognisable and works alongside your main brand visual and guidelines

Upskill or hire specialists

The job of a social media marketer isn’t getting easier, by the way, just in case you hadn’t heard!!

In our report, 45% of brands say they have only one person or very little specialism across their social media resource. No wonder there’s so much wallpaper content out there!

Finding a single person to be a strategist, designer, copywriter, admin whizz, salesman… it’s like finding a unicorn. So don’t feel the pressure to grow a horn – hire, outsource, upskill if you can.

Remember, you’ve got this

Social media marketers – have confidence. If you’re making incremental improvements to your planning using this blog, you’re already doing a better job than some. Build your confidence and then work on being brave – if you can… break the social boring.

For all the insights in our report, go to https://bit.ly/SocialValueBenchmark

If you want to get us involved for an initial chat about your 2021 plans, just get in touch via the website or DM us on social, we’ll be happy to help!

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