Social Media as a marketing channel levitated to a new stage in 2020. It took on a new dynamic with audiences and created a space for information unlike any other seen before.
With the advent of COVID in 2020, it changed social media forever. Social media finally took its mantle as being the driving news source for its audiences. It also became the news source for other media channels also. This is a unique position as a point of information. It was the supplier of the ubiquitous.
Business marketing went firm on digital in 2020, and with that social media was the place to push messages out.This created challenges with sharing messages in a crowded platform. The volatile news cycle, of both the media and people’s connections, stifled promotion. Penetrating the noise with business touch points for promotion was difficult at best.
Our partner Attention Experts have built insight into what worked and what didn’t in 2020.
What didn’t work?
Let’s start with cancelling out what didn’t work in 2020. First point I’m going to bold is self-promotion. In a year where it was dismissive to be self serving, businesses were no different. Employees and business owners didn’t know where their futures stood (and many still don’t), you telling them they have taken on your product or service was often met with denial. These businesses fared worse in their marketing efforts.
Second, would be not communicating enough. Issues brought about in marketing campaigns of not understanding communication frequency to market. In 2020, you had to communicate more not less. And there were many that didn’t communicate more, and went into communication hibernation. The only successful way to penetrate the volatile news cycle was to communicate more.
When assessing what worked in 2020, this first point was a firm winner. That point is, thought leadership. A company or business that had advice, value add and a positive message, won. In fact, across many industries, these businesses were ahead at the end of 2020 compared to the start.
The second point that was clear, and this is something that will be clear long in future is: empathy. Being genuine and empathetic shaped relationships with businesses, and through social media, created far more engagement than pure promotion.
Empathy and thought leadership became the promotion. It created discussion which created business. Businesses that intertwined this theme, created more dialogue around themselves. More importantly, they showed ROI easier.
Where touch points are one of the markers for success, being able to create valuable touch points, at a good frequency is a key to success. In 2020, we saw social media truly move away from slapping a few posts on a page, to become a strategic marketing play for any serious business.