2021 Guide To Social Media: Content Calendar & Trends
Brands and businesses have used social media as part of their marketing strategies for years to focusing on building customer engagement and brand awareness. Now in our digital era, social media marketing is a key tool for businesses across of range of industries to reach out to their audiences and attract new customers.
As we enter 2021, Absolute Digital Media bring you a guide to two key aspects of social media – content planning and monitoring the trends of how people use social.
- Stay in control with an organised social media content calendar; use either a spreadsheet or scheduling software to plan, create and monitor your social content.
- To reap the real rewards of social marketing, social media marketers and businesses need to be savvy with their content planning to deliver target posts, an aesthetic feed and build a distinct presence on social media.
- Build a content plan by reviewing your current social metrics, assessing your target audience, identifying what content works well and implementing your brand values.
- Download our national days’ social media content calendar below to fill out your content schedule and connect with new audiences!
- Top social media trends for brands in 2021 include: Building value focused customer relationships, channelling ROI-focused social strategies and mindful brand involvement in social discussions. Find out how to engage with these below!
Table of Contents
- What Is A Social Media Calendar?
- Why You Need A Social Media Content Structure
- Where To Start With Your 2021 Social Media Content Plan?
- National Days Social Media Content Calendar
- Social Media Trends For 2021
- Final Reflections
Dive into our 2021 guide to social media content planning, as well as our top tips for how to navigate the modern social sphere in an age where brand presence and accountability are so important.
For more information or to discuss your social media marketing needs, call us today on 0800 088 6000.
What Is A Social Media Calendar?
Your social media content calendar could be a spreadsheet, app or notes on your phone calendar – it’s totally up to you! Whichever format you choose, a social media content calendar is a tool used to plan your social content in advance. We recommend being at lease 2 weeks – 1 month ahead in your content planning, but brands can benefit from long term social media content plans, even scheduling content up to 6-months in advance.
To stay on top of your business’ social content, we recommend using a digital content planning tool, be this an external software service or a content spread sheet. Building a content spreadsheet is a great way to personalise your content schedule and start your initial content plan. However, if you’re managing multiple social platforms, a content planning schedule application such as Later, Hootsuite or CoSchedule will make your content planning a lot easier.
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Why You Need A Social Media Content Structure
Being organised and outlining a clear strategy is the first step to every digital marketing pursuit, and social is no different! Social media is excellent for instant posting and fast engagement, meaning that the planning and strategy behind social often gets left to the way side. However, to reap the real rewards of social marketing, social media marketers and businesses need to be savvy with their content planning to deliver target posts, an aesthetic feed and build a distinct presence on social media.
By fine tuning your social media content plan you will get a better view on how to build value-filled relationships with your audience and consumers which will in turn lead to an increase in social impressions and engagement.
Having a clearly planned social media calendar will give you control over all your social platforms and remove the chaos around last minute posting. Take the stress away with an organised and structured plan so you can track exactly what content, captions and hashtags are needed for each post and when that post is going out.
A content plan will help you judge, realistically, how much content you can produce and share with the world within this timeframe, helping you to manage your workload and not over promise. Is this incredibly important for brands looking to deliver exciting social campaigns or launch a new product on social; taking a moment to schedule exactly what content is needed and then pre-planning how and when it will be posted will ensure that the launch or campaign A) goes smoothly B) hits your targets and C) is created with enough time and resources afforded to your social team to make it look awesome.
Armed with your content schedule, you can plan projects, set content deadlines and track your social posts all in one simple tool – meaning you can save time that would have been spent frantically trying to get a social post out or twiddling your thumbs not knowing what to post!
Perhaps most importantly, having a structured social media content plan will enable you to better track and measure your social media metrics and see what posts are successful. Firstly, you can monitor which posts at what times perform the best. From this, you can build a time focused content plan, honing in on when your followers are most active, which posts perform the best and then replicating similar posts to build on your success.
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Where To Start With Your 2021 Social Media Content Plan?
So, you’re sold on the idea of building a social media content calendar – who wouldn’t be? Although you can jump into strategy planning at any time, thankfully for you we’ve just entered a brand-new year – 2021 – full of opportunities, plans and ideas, so now is the perfect time to ace your social media content calendar and make the most of a new year.
First, you need to review your current social media platforms – what content is working well? Who engages with your posts? Who is your target audience? Pulling as much data, information and insights about your current social marketing into your initial content plan is the best way to plan for future content which will be successful.
Start with your top 10 best performing social posts and review the content in the post, the time of day you posted it, the day posted and ask yourself why did this post perform well?
Next, review your social media audience. Each platform will have an insights function wherein you can review the demographics of your audience; this will tell you key information about your social users’ age, location and gender which you can channel into you content plan. When planning your content, you should always have your followers in mind and reviewing your insights will help you understand what it is they want to engage with.
Now your foundations are laid, you can begin to fill out your content calendar and start planning, creating and scheduling the content you will be posting. This is a big step which can seem daunting when you’ve got 12-months of a content schedule waiting to get filled up! Don’t worry – we’ve got your back.
Start by adding in any key dates related to your business such as your brand’s birthday. From here, you can move on schedule in content related to any projects or products you’ve got coming up and start to build a brand focused feed. However, social isn’t all about pushing your brand’s content, you need to be participating in industry related conversations and events to build your audience reach, gain more traffic and demonstrate your brand’s expertise and personality.
Enter Absolute Digital Media’s key days and events for social media content 2021 calendar!
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National Days Social Media Content Calendar
Let’s face it, there’s a day for everything and people love to get on board with the trending topic or event of the day. We’ve compiled a calendar of all the national days, weeks and months your brand can get involved in on social so you don’t have to trawl the internet for hours on end to find them. A full 12-months, downloadable national day calendar for you to follow. (You’re welcome!)
Each day or event comes with its own high traffic hashtag which will bring post users the potential for a boost in engagement and impressions when they join the social conversation. This is fantastic for brands looking to build brand awareness, showcase their expertise or just get involved in some light-hearted fun on social media to showcase their personality! There are days, weeks and months suitable for businesses across of range of industries and sizes and getting involved will benefit your social media pages of all shapes and sizes.
Take September, for example, here are some of the national days you could get involved in:
All of this, plus it’s ‘Wilderness Month’ and additional week long campaigns such as National Suicide Prevention Week from the 5th – 11th of September. Across the year there are a whole host of meaningful, informative or fun campaigns that you can get involved in and they’re totally free to contribute to.
Getting involved in these social media campaigns will showcase your brand to a wider social audience, highlight your core brand values and help boost your social media insights. So, it’s a no brainer really! Add relevant national days, weeks, months and events to your social content plan to grow your social pages and reach new potential customers.
Download the full social media calendar here.
Social Media Trends For 2021
2020 was a wild year and it taught social media managers to expect the unexpected. It also showed us the true power of social as we went into lockdown social media became our main means of connecting with the world; with 2020 behind us, what social media trends can we expect to see in 2021 and how should brands embrace this new era of social?
The Importance Of Building Consumer Relationships
At its heart, social media is social and brands need to keep this as one of the main focuses for 2021 social media posting. Your business’ social media platforms need to be delivering valuable, useful, relatable and inspiring content that your followers will want to stop and engage with. This is the fundamental principle behind the social media value chain which demonstrates how brands can use social to build valuable customer relationships which will convert into a valued customer base.
Fostering a strong relationship with your social media followers through consistent brand posting, contribution to area specific conversations and events and responding to user’s comments and content will increase the rate of customer conversions you gain from social.
For more information, read Why Your 2021 Social Strategy Needs To Focus On Customer Relationship Building.
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How Social Can Boost Your ROI
There are two main focuses for social markets looking to promote their business through social. Social enables marketers to deliver short-term ROI targeted tactics to drive consumers to their website, but the long-term goal is to deliver an innovative digital experience to win long-term customer loyalty through valuable information, connectivity and by being a social page people enjoy interacting with.
In a study conducted by Hootsuite, marketers claimed that their primary goal for social media was customer acquisition. Clearly, there is pressure on businesses to use social to drive new customers through their doors – especially following the financial hit experienced by many businesses because of the pandemic. Driving customer conversions might seem difficult, but it is achievable if you implement a strong social strategy. The best way to draw new customers to your business is to deliver a valuable digital experience for your followers and build trust with your audiences. Trust and transparency are two key goals for 2021 social marketing and trust is how you will convert your social marketing into ROI-focused results.
Now is your opportunity as a brand to be inventive – followers and consumers are always looking for the next best thing and a way to connect to their interests and hobbies. As a brand, you can provide this channel. For example, Instagram Lives where you demonstrate how to use a certain product is a fantastic avenue for eCommerce and retail businesses to engage with their online audiences and answer any questions they may have. This will showcase your brand expertise and usefulness through a tangible and relatable social manner which resonates highly with social users.
Tactics like these help drive your social ROI because followers will start to view your social media page as a source of authority and expertise. As they revisit your page and engage with your content, they will be more likely to trust your business and place their consumer trust in your product or service as they convert into loyal customers.
Mindful Brand Involvement
So, we’ve covered trust, now let’s review the other ‘T’ – transparency. As a social network, social media is a place for conversation and connectivity between friends, families and shared communities, and brands needs to remember that. Often, people don’t want to see businesses on their feed. As dramatic as that sounds, this doesn’t mean scrapping your whole social media plan and ignoring all the excellent attributes social media can offer businesses – hear me out.
Brands need to be aware of their corporate face on social media and be mindful of how they appear on their followers’ feeds. This means balancing ‘brand heavy’ content (eg promotions and products) with value focused posts which demonstrate the personality of your brand.
As well as balancing your content, brands need to be transparent and mindful of how they interact with sensitive social topics. 2020 saw a lot of big social topics being discussed and social media was the main playing field for these conversations. As a business owner or social media marketer, you need to pause an ask yourself, how will my brand adding to this conversation add value to my followers feeds and add value to the discussion?
People don’t want to see bland brand statements put out there for the sake of it. If you do feel your brand has something useful to contribute to the discussion, be clear with why you are joining the discussion. If not, silence is golden.
At every point, be mindful of how you showcase your unique brand values and keep this at the centre of your social media content.
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With the factors of social media marketing for 2021 signposted, it’s time to get cracking with your tailored social media content schedule!
If you haven’t already, download our social media national dates calendar here to form the basis of your content review and you’ll be on your way to a high-quality content schedule with brings value to your followers, gets you seen my new users and promotes an ROI-focused results.
For more information, or to develop your social media strategy, call our expert social media marketers today on 0800 088 6000.