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Guide to Social Media Marketing in 2021

Jan 01, 2021   |   Getting Social
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Recent trends in social media usage have evolved more than ever; Statista found a 21% increase in users around the globe as a result of 2020 events. So, whether it’s for Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Customer (B2C) purposes, devising an effective social media marketing plan for 2021 is the key to success.

Prevailing business tipsters Oberlo and Hootsuite have gathered a range of important social media statistics to aid in predicting how businesses should be managing social media channels going into 2021.

For one, while there are 3.5 billion active daily users on social media, Facebook dominates around 2.6 of those users making it the market leader and one of your first targets for a wide-spread customer demographic.

At Milestone, we want to help you understand the ins-and-outs of devising and managing social media channels for an effective reach campaign in 2021. We’ll not only be sharing core statistics that will drive the direction of your campaign, but we’ll go through a range of relevant platforms and how to address them for your needs all before touching on the Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) that aren’t normally answered.

So, with this definitive guide to social media marketing in 2021 for businesses, we’ll be telling you how to tailor your social media marketing to adapt to 2021 trends while giving the intricacies about converting them into social media success stories.

Have a look at what this guide entails:

  1. What Does Social Media Marketing for 2021 Mean?
  2. Some Key Statistics of Social Media that Can Drive a 2021 Campaign
  3. Looking at the Objectives and Planning Needed to Begin
  4. Scheduling the Social Media Workflow
  5. The Top Tips for Social Media Success
  6. Knowing Which Platform Will Effectively Target Your Audience and Reach Your Goals
  7. How You Can Best Track and Report Social Media Success
  8. Fitting an Omnichannel Solution to Managing Social Media
  9. The Brands Who Are Thriving and Providing Key Insights
  10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we get started, there’s one thing you simply can’t neglect in your journey to creating effective social media synergy between you and your clientele: your website.

When it comes to driving a campaign, it’s not just your social platforms that need attention: your website needs to be tailored to link to your current campaign with up-to-date branding and a key drive into the campaign goals.

When you’re sure on your site, it’s time to branch out into the realm of social media marketing to reach your audiences and generate leads for conversions.

What does social media marketing for 2021 mean?

When a company refers to social media marketing (also seen as SMM), it doesn’t always mean you have to have a photoshoot and start paying social media platforms to exhibit images to anyone and everyone who will see.

In fact, social media marketing is much more of a tailored approach to access targeted audiences that are more likely to see adverts through social platforms than through regular channels such as banners, TV advertisements, posters, and so on.

With said 3.5 billion daily active users across the globe, managing social media platforms is the most effective form of marketing to a modern world; and, 2021 is no exception.

According to the Hootsuite Resource Center, public feeds on social platforms are a hub for 52% of the world’s consumer brand discovery. Meaning, your brand is far more likely to be noticed by new consumers through online mediums.

Engaging in a social media marketing campaign is the act of using various social media channels in order to reach a marketing goal like any other. These social media channels provide the space to share images, thoughts, products, communication, videos, blogs, news, and more.

Here’s a list of some of the achievable functions from social media success:

  • Increased
    • brand awareness
    • website traffic
    • ease of distribution
    • content distribution
    • speed of access
    • interactivity for B2B and B2C deals
    • knowledge of competitor performance
    • community engagement
    • valuable feedback
    • customer retention and loyalty rates
    • viable consumer demand trend knowledge
    • sales and lead generation
    • key performance indicators (KPIs)

Some key statistics for social media that help build buy-in and great campaigns in 2021

As mentioned, online technology sourcing giants such as Oberlo, Hootsuite, and social bakers have been at work in recent months gathering relevant statistics regarding social media activity around the world and how they can benefit 2021 campaign release.

Take a look at the most important statistics to help you drive your 2021 social media marketing:

  • The most active time of day for social media users around the world is at 11am.
  • TikTok has risen to achieve over 2 billion app downloads as of November 2020, succeeding social leaders such as Facebook.
  • 73% of businesses experience increased success of reaching campaign goals when Instagram Stories are incorporated.
  • 64% of polled users in an Instagram study noted looking to the metaphorical streets of the online social media market in order to source their newest purchase rather than traditional avenues of catalogues or TV advertisements.
  • 55% more people retain online adverts with captivating and snackable visuals from a video than without.
  • Over 800 million consumers in over 70 countries use Facebook Marketplace.
  • The average American spends around 2 hours each day scrolling through social media platforms. On a global rate, each individual spends an average of 3 hours on social media.
  • 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand through their social media channels are more likely to buy and recommend the brand to others.
  • 85% of companies who integrate social data into overall business operations have heightened confidence in understanding the Return-on-Investment (ROI) of social media success.
  • 68% of all adults in the US reportedly use Facebook everyday as of the third quarter of 2020, making it the market leader of social media platforms.
  • 90.4% of Millennials use social media, 75% of Generation-X use social media, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers use social media.
  • 49% of consumers are said to depend on influencer ratings and recommendations when looking to buy new products either online or offline.
  • Over the past two years, Instagram Stories’ user-base increased from 150 million to 500 million making it a pivotal access point for new communication streams.
  • 91% of social media users access their accounts through mobile devices demonstrating the key notion of optimizing posts and content for cells.
  • Using influencers within a marketing ploy to extend the accreditation of a product of service is a growing trend year-on-year (YoY).
  • Consumer spending through Facebook Marketplace has recently increased by 57% due to current events and competitor ecommerce sites.

Looking at the objectives and planning needed to begin

Here at Milestone, we help businesses thrive through multi-channel media management while offering tailored Content Management Systems (CMSs) to help order, understand, and achieve. And, in our experiences we understand that each business needs an altered approach to target their specific audiences through goals and objectives.

So, let’s take the hotel business as an example. If you own or run a hotel and are looking to increase conversions by mastering your 2021 social media marketing campaign, you’ll need to first identify your core objectives and plan for the seasons ahead, much like any other marketing campaign.

As we’ve already mentioned, social media is a key investment technique for advertising and reaching new audiences to fill your rooms and the hotel bar. Yet, understanding which channels of communications will help you attain a specific objective will speed the process and find more leads likely to convert.

Your first food for thought: goal. Are you wanting to reach out to potential customers, partnerships, stakeholders, investors, or simply aiming to generate wider brand awareness?

Knowing whether you’re after B2B or B2C social media success will help guide your decision making for your choice of platform and the way you use the top three predicted trends for managing social media throughout 2021. For example: you may want to use emerging platforms such as TikTok to generate brand awareness for your hotel or you may want to increase and humanize your presence on LinkedIn when trying to reach other industry professionals.

Scheduling the Social Media Workflow

Given heightened activity of all social media channels in the dues of 2020 events, the demand for new content at a constant rate has also increased. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to manage a content workflow through omnichannel distribution.

We’ll refer back to the meaning and methods behind omnichannel distribution later in this article but, in this moment, it’s key to consider how using a systemic and pre-planned approach to social media will help your campaign thrive.

The first port of action would be to accumulate a social media content queue. Then, when you know what message you’ll be saying and when, you can use queueing software such as Tweet Deck for Twitter in order to release your content at a specific time and date without needing to be on-hand to press the big red release button.

The Top Tips for Social Media Success in 2021

Social media is ever-changing and tips to succeed will evolve alongside. However, for the 2021 online audience, our team here at Milestone have isolated three major targets for a prosperous social media campaign. All of which have not been a requirement in past years, but the popularity and trend of these actions have led them to becoming the strongest method to lead convergence.

  1. Humanize Your Social Media Success

As more and more people find themselves glued to their screens with full autonomy of skipping adverts, it’s important to grasp your audiences in a way that speaks to them.

For example, Instagram Stories: if we continue with the case of a hotelier, you would be able to upload snippets of behind-the-scenes ongoings much like introducing the team and following a staff member around for the day, asking FAQs along the way. Inconspicuous advertising techniques such as introducing viewers to the tribe or engaging with popular trends or challenges will become increasingly popular as 2021 progresses.

This is because it allows viewers to get to know the staff, feel more comfortable and become more likely to book a room in a place that ambiances familiarity and friendliness. To achieve this, you’ll need to speak with your audience, expose an unseen part to your brand, and involve your viewers in your overall narrative with videos or pictures.

Instagram Stories have already proven to be a successful platform for businesses when managing social media content in this regard; however, it’s key to stay on trend. For example, TikTok has grown to become the most downloaded app on the app store (ever) making it a viable location to promote your brand, services, and products.

2. Shift Consumption Methods to Your Social Media Platforms

It’s important to change the natural assumption of social media marketing from only being a place for increasing brand reach and recognition. In current times, it has become a space to engage audiences and create short channels of consumption.

The effects of shifting consumption to social media platforms reduces the B2C journey for each customer. An effect commonly utilized by charities such as UNICEF, the aim is to allow potential spenders to spend without needing to click here and there or even losing their custom altogether. Either use the marketplace on the social media platform or have a link taking the viewer directly to a full cart on your site.

Knowing the increase of ecommerce through social media platforms from recent statistics atop understanding that videos are the most captivating form of content, you need to enable your social media marketing team to make use of current trends. For example: using Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, Google News, and Yelp to upload video content that directly navigates viewers to a marketplace or your website’s checkout.

This also links back to the first sway of 2021 social media success; humanize your content with videos through platforms like Instagram Stories and then enable a short consumer journey.

With a hotel business, you’ll want to ensure customers are able to view your adverts and go directly to booking. Customers will feel happier knowing they’re ahead of the crowd when looking for the perfect booking dates.

Sticking to the analogy of the hotelier, you’ll need to exhibit at times where your target audience is active and ensure your social media success videos are ready and rearing to go for the holiday seasons such as: Spring Break, Thanksgiving, or New Year celebrations. Yet, with a Marketplace 5% commission fee, it’s important to strategically place your adverts for best-selling services, new services, or services relating to the seasonal trend.

3. Invite Your Digitally Savvy Audience to Communicate

As we know, the average American spends 2 hours each day dedicated to tactical enticers like the infinite scroll, engaging with your audiences in their native environment is a key part to securing their loyalty.

Entering 2021, popular platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook share a majority audience of users between the ages of 18 and 24. Atop this, platforms are constantly adjusting their algorithms to ensure users are only exposed to content they’ll engage with in order to lengthen the average screen time. The biggest contenders for this include Instagram, Google News, TikTok and Medium.

But, it’s on businesses and content creators to generate such content that increase social interaction and positive experiences likely to create the goal ROI.

There are many ways to invite your audiences into the behind-the-scenes operations for a closer and more personal connection to your brand. Here are some examples most commonly used with the aforementioned Instagram Stories.

  • Use an “Ask Me Anything”
  • Ask “Yes/No” polls
  • Include “Test Your Knowledge” games
  • Invite viewers to an interview
  • Take viewers on a live tour
  • Involve “Share Your Opinion” blocks
  • Use a “Rate Meter”
  • Get on board with trends that forward the challenge onto the viewer

This type of content is used to generate brand loyalty likely to keep customer interaction and consumer purchasing on both the B2B and B2C level. Therefore, managing social media marketing in 2021 using this method will be a very hands-on profile requiring full-time staffing dedication and a content calendar or queue.

For example: For your hotel, you could generate a series of Instagram Stories where you quiz viewers about their knowledge of hotel secrets before giving hints to upgrade a room. At the end of the Instagram Story, you can offer a small consumer journey by linking directly to the best room deals you have on your website or through Instagram Marketplace.

Guide to Social Media 2021 -, Milestone Inc.

Knowing Which Social Platform Will Effectively Target Your Audience and Reach Your Goals

Looking at the Milestone diagram of social media platforms, there are eight different types of platform you could make use of. While it’s not necessary to make use of every single platform or even every platform type, as the saying goes: “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.

Take a look at the differences between each platform trope and consider how they could benefit your brand identity and help reach your target audience whether on a B2B or B2C capacity. We’ll also include the examples of each platform type for you.

  1. Social Groups

These are the platforms that will have the most variety in the content that is published. All of these, in the case of hotel marketing, can be very useful in the B2B sphere as they can be seen as more professional (especially in the case of LinkedIn). You can share press releases and other news at length with audiences.

  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Slack
  • Tumblr

2. Image Boards

Image boards are what they say on the tin. However, it’s important to know the difference between them. For example: with Flickr, 500px, and Pinterest, you’ll need accounts to upload images into relevant categories and tags sought-after by your target audience. Google Images, on the other hand, is an automated system acquiring your images from your website and social media accounts.

  • Flickr
  • 500px
  • Google Images
  • Pinterest
  • Social General

These are the most common social media sites that are active contenders for the tailored approach to 2021 marketing. Audiences are daily users, and they provide a place for you to express your brand in the most humanized way. However, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will be the best platforms for reaching unknown audiences while Snapchat and WhatsApp are spaces to connect with pre-established followers, subscribers, audiences, and partners.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Snapchat
  • WhatsApp

Video Platforms

Again, these social media boards are designed to optimize and promote video content and their titles. Written content, while a necessity for the description and the pinned comment, is not what viewers are searching for. These platforms should be in practice when younger audiences demand ‘how-to’, informational content, or visual tours.

  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • TikTok

Ratings and Review Sites

These social sites provide your clientele space to take the floor and do the organic marketing for you with User Generated Content (UGC). You can create a business profile for each of the platforms, make a few news updates and request clients review your hotel rooms and service. Though, it is up to the guests to tell future guests what they can expect when walking through your doors. These can be the most reliable form of organic marketing to new customers as there is non-liable trust involved.

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • G2 Crowd
  • Trust Radius

News Communities

Using search engine news outlets can increase your own website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as part of your content strategy to reach new audiences. These are best to portray positive news from reliable sources with press releases and newfound information before any negative news can be released.

However, knowing how to submit is an entirely new matter. For example: if your hotel wanted to spread word of a new renovation on Yahoo! News, you’d have to submit through Yahoo! Channels such as Tumblr or the group of Yahoo Yodelers.

  • Yahoo! News
  • Google News
  • Medium
  • Digg

Question Communities

Question communities and FAQ boards are the epitome of SEO whereby the search criteria are answered directly. To become authoritative and trusted in your field, you can begin to answer people’s questions. For example: if you were to choose Quora as a social media marketing tool, you can create a profile for your hotel and give direct answers to individuals asking about your hotel, hotels in general and just about anything else relating to your brand.

  • Quora
  • Answerbag
  • Yahoo! Answers

Presentation Decks

Thinking about a social media campaign as something that only revolves around spreading content directly through social platforms in the hopes that tags and SEO will gain the right target audience; it’s just as important to remember behind-the-scenes operations, too.

For instance: a hotel business can use SlideShare in order to present new campaign ideas that stakeholders might also find of interest. Then, these presentations and online decks can be directly embedded into other channels such as your hotel’s website or LinkedIn profile.

  • SlideShare
  • Speaker Deck
  • Issuu

How You Can Best Track and Report Social Media Success

There are certain metrics that can determine the level of synergy your campaign is having with your audiences beside looking directly at views or new profits.

The importance behind doing so is the freedom the results can give for being flexible within your campaign. When conducting mid-launch research into social media success, you are able to see which channels of communication are performing well and which can be adapted for the circumstance and your specific audiences.

As a hotelier, you may find that campaigning with a certain platform is causing a non-ROI as impressions are not converting into rooms booked. Therefore, it may be best to change platform and alter the content released to be optimized to your new choice of platform. You may find sales increase with an audience more visually orientated on TikTok than when publishing written content through Facebook.

With this, the team here at milestone want to share insights to help you understand exactly how a digital marketing firm would measure a social media campaign’s success upon release:

  • Monitor ‘Hashtag’ engagement
  • Look at subscriber and follower volume
  • Consider the number of ‘mentions’ you are receiving
  • Google your business to determine the SEO rating
  • Use CMS tools such as Milestone CMS
  • Use SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEM Rush
  • Compare reach with paid content and organic content
  • Conduct online surveys
  • Measure engagement of comments, likes, shares, and saves
  • Understand growth VS content publishing
  • Track audience demographics to see is targets are being met
  • Be active with reviews and replies
  • Check competitor performance
  • Compare impressions with click rates and lead conversions

Fitting an Omnichannel Solution to Managing Social Media

A dynamic approach will always be well received by ever-evolving audiences on social media. One way to do this is ensure you feature an omnichannel solution to managing social media. Meaning, you should be customer-driven through multiple channels of communication at once. A good idea would be to choose at least five different social media platforms mentioned above.

These platforms will be chosen depending on your target audience. For example, the statistics measured throughout the fourth quarter of 2020 showed a predominantly millennial culture on platforms such as TikTok. Yet, we are also aware that Facebook remains the most popular daily social media go-to across the world, making it a highly relevant channel of choice when reaching a wide demographic as a hotelier.

Using an omnichannel solution will ensure customer satisfaction is optimized. This is due to communication being held with audiences on the platform they feel most comfortable. This method is also perceived as a holistic strategy of audience reach; however, it is not always a service of many digital marketing providers.

The Brands Who Are Thriving and Providing Key Insights

In 2020, there are three brands that stood out as social marketing winners after capitalizing on 2020 events while making the best use of social communication channels (and social communications, only).

The first is the Starbucks #WhatsYourName campaign, then it’s the Pantone #BigGameColorCommentary, followed proudly by the Coors Light #CouldUseABeer campaign.

Before heading into the specifics of each brand campaign and what drove their success, we need to observe the campaign names; they all begin with a hashtag. This is to account for omnichannel reach; a hashtag is the universal language of online platforms. They are used by algorithms to boost, find, and share content to new faces.: they are the memorable catchphrase remaining on people’s lips. So, as you begin the process of creating the first groundbreaking campaign of 2021, remember to use the universal language of the online crowd.

Starbucks and the #WhatsYourName Campaign

At the debut of 2020, Starbucks partnered with Mermaids to campaign about the inclusivity of transgender people. They featured a new mermaid-shaped cookie and promoted the idea of your name being your identity rather than a label conforming to gender at birth. They used omnichannel reach through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and a TV advert. While brands normally steer clear of political intricacies, Starbucks found an opportunity to celebrate people as they were, allowing their brand identity to thrive with positivity.

Pantone and the #BigGameColorCommentary Campaign

Another starter for 2020, Pantone decided to launch their campaign tied to the emergence of the 2020 Superbowl. Inspired by a coincidence where two teams were dressed in the same color, Pantone released a campaign to demonstrate the color of each team in the Superbowl. The aim was to then engage fans to share the color of their favorite team and increase brand recognition. While the company only used Twitter in their campaign, the use of the hashtag took to other platforms. The big take-away being to experiment with the fun, the exciting, and the relevant to connect with your audience.

Coors Light and the #CouldUseABeer Campaign

While we don’t want to place too much of a focus on the topic, Coors Light certainly did. The infamous events of 2020 led many feeling isolated and out of control. So, capitalizing on the scenario, Coors Light released a campaign giving away a full sixpack of beer to whomever used the #CouldUseABeer hashtag in Twitter. The limited campaign lasted between April 28th and May 1st, ultimately giving away over 500,000 beers. The campaign looked toward using the heightened number of social media users during the initial shut-ins using Twitter as their lead platform to generate increased brand recognition. The lesson being to use a speed-response to social media usage trends.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As this is the definitive guide to social media marketing in 2021, the team here at Milestone also wanted to address some of the most common FAQs we come across as a performance marketing provider.

Can I post the same content on all of my social media channels or do they all need to be different?


When you’re playing out a campaign, your content needs to be consistent across all platforms. This can increase your reach to various target audiences while increasing memorability if someone were to see similar content on two or more social media platforms.

However, each platform needs to be optimized for its own algorithm and interface. For example: if you were to post a news article on Yahoo! News, you’d need to reduce it for other social media sites like Facebook. Similarly, if you are going to upload a Q&A onto YouTube and LinkedIn, you’d need to trim it into a 60 second snippet for the likes of TikTok and Instagram.

Pay Per Click (PPC) VS organic optimization: which is best for social media marketing?


When it comes to deciding between PPC and organic reach for audiences, it will entirely depend on your current brand recognition, your budget and your intention.

Well-known brands are more likely to be trusted by scrollers than seeing sponsored content for an unheard-of brand. As well as this, it’s important to see the passive investment opportunities available through organic means.

If your social media channels and profiles are optimized and have pre-existing audiences, being able to communicate and release new content will not require paying for a new PPC campaign. An example would be an influencer or celebrity; their star power means audiences will flock to their newest content rather than them needing to pay for advertisements or endorsements.

The biggest social media marketing mistake: what not to do in a social media campaign.

There are two big mistakes that companies can face when heading into social media marketing for the first time without a proper omnichannel solution or planning deck in place.

The first is spamming. When a company has too many accounts it is classed as spamming audiences and can be seen as negative, needy, rude, confusing, and untrustworthy.

The second mistake is content inconsistency. This leads on from the first FAQ, it is very important to remain consistent in goals, tone, rhetoric, target audience, publishing, and content. Don’t platform hop unless you’re consistently using multiple platforms and don’t post a considerable amount of content in a week only to neglect social media for the following month. Keep audiences captivated through consistent attraction of content.

Knowing this, you can begin managing social media marketing strategies with a projection for an ROI success story in 2021.

Yet, the best approach to ensure effective social media marketing in 2021 would be to contact a specialist such as the team here at Milestone. We work with industries including hoteliers, banks, mortgage suppliers, software companies, healthcare providers, and more. The aim being to maximize the bearing of social media marketing and generate a positive business impact through conversions.

Discover your 2021 social media marketing plan with Milestone.

Check out Milestone’s other digital marketing guides:

Guide to Choosing the Perfect CMS in 2021
Guide to Managing Reviews and Building Business Reputation
Guide to Content Marketing in 2021
Guide to FAQs and How to Do It Right
Local Marketing Guide & Framework
Guide to Video Marketing: Driving Engagement Across Industries

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