If you’re not storyboarding your social media then you’re set for 2021 failure. Brands who continue delivering arbitrary social media face a significant challenge ahead. Against the backdrop of a brutal 2020, some will think my comments harsh and not what they want to hear. My counter, as I say to all of our clients, my role isn’t to tell you what you want to hear, but ensure you’re told what you need to hear. I’m a consultant and a problem solver. Clients pay us healthy fees to ensure they receive progressive and revenue-impacting social media advice (and content). Undoubtedly, that means calmly and politely charting awkward conversations. The purpose, and subsequent outcome, is to ensure the client is better equipped in facing pending challenges than before our conversation commenced.

My gift to you this Christmas is in the sharing of a harsh truth about a pending reality. A challenge that you can overcome; a pitfall you can sidestep; a hurdle that could actually be the steroid to your social success. In 2020 we faced an awful pandemic. Amidst that turmoil, we all found ourselves to possess problem-solving skills that perhaps some didn’t realise existed. Entire businesses pivoted to homeworking. Enterprise organisations tore down red tape and made the impossible happen. My point? When we focus on a problem or challenge, we can find swift and impactful solutions. As a business leader, I embrace challenges. Problems are there to be fixed. When I’m overcoming issues, I know our business is improving and stepping forward.

In 2021 many companies need to alter their ways of working across Social Media. Too many organisations have an arbitrary approach to content creating, leaping from moments to trends all initiated by forces beyond your organisation. That lack of focus and clarity around what you want to be known for and who you wish to influence means a scattergun approach to content exists. Feeds lack themes and topics, and critically they’re missing the integral ‘first-thought’ you wish audiences to conjure when consuming your content.

2021 will be the busiest content year in Social Media history. Companies, fresh from surviving 12-rounds of boxing COVID, will race into 2021 intent on making up lost ground and revenue. A cursory look at inboxes and DM feeds in social right now will evidence how active salespeople currently are, desperately pushing to influence their wounded year-end numbers. When the starters flag waves on the 4th January 2021 businesses will look to how they can impact industry and do so swiftly. A volume of boring and random content will sadly be published and lost to the noise of social media. Publishers will believe their 2020 revenue-influencing campaigns are underway, unaware that their lack of standout content is floating like a boat adrift.

Conversely, there is much to be excited about and good reasons for boardrooms to be heartened by the opportunities presented on Social Media. By delivering smart structure and framework into your business, a robust and purposeful content engine can be built. An engine primed to drive the delivery of the right content, displaying the right message and critically encompassing the all-important ‘first-thought’ triggering action. CEOs and alike should be heartened by the knowledge that by having these smart elements in-situ and possessing access to experienced social media marketers, then shaping revenue-impacting content is relatively straightforward. Like anything, once you have the right building blocks in place taking purposeful and tangible action is the fun and easy bit.

In 2021, the fun bit should be seeing your brand’s content rise above the plentiful boring social proliferating your category. You should be able to enjoy observing how content created with the right Content Tilt, and possessing the right thought-provoking message and visuals, delivered using the most impactful and engaging of adverts in Social Media is delivering tangible success. Sometimes this means doing less, but far better quality. Other times it means understanding the importance of a sustained ‘nudge nurture’ program that will deliver a multi-million-pound attributed pipeline. Other times it means stepping back, realising your arbitrary approach is not fit-for-purpose, and seek advice around building a new engine. The chassis and bodywork of your content vehicle may be in good shape, but perhaps you’re lacking the social-first engine to ensure pole-taking results. OK, enough with the car and engine analogies. You get my drift (pun intended!).

Simply put, if you want to excel in 2021 then you need to understand that boring content will not stand-out. The need for high-quality and impactful content is a pre-requisite if you’re to avail of social success. With homeworking likely to continue until winter’s end or the majority of society have received the vaccination, Social Media will continue to be the prime channel your target audience are active in. They won’t be picking up event brochures, they won’t be watching back-lit billboard displays and they won’t be viewing cinema ads or listening to radio stations during their commute in. Social Media, as it has been in 2020, will be the primary channel to reach your audiences.

Understanding how to tilt your social content to truly stand out and influence consumers or key stakeholders is a primary task. Engineering content built to deliver against social goals is essential. Standout and category influencing content are achievable. It just needs to be storyboarded and planned.

Stop with the arbitrary and begin with the strategically smart route to social media success. I promise, your board room will love you if you do so!

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