How to Plan Your 2021 Social Media Strategy in a World When Every Social Media Platform is Practically the Same

Nov 25, 2020 | Asked + Answered, Social + Strategic

Where you show up (and don’t) on social media can say a lot about your brand. In a world of Big Tech Social Media Giants all having the same basic functionality, taking a stance on where you want your brand to appear and how it functions needs to be a priority. It’s vital to not only show up, but to stand up and differentiate your accounts. 

Platform Culture

Today the gap between functionality across major social media platforms has virtually closed. Sarah Fischer observes, “Tech platforms used to focus on ways to create wildly different products to attract audiences. Today, they all have similar features, and instead differentiate themselves with their philosophies, values and use cases.”

Setting Expectations

Each platform and the publishing options within it have their own pulse. For example, Twitter is quick. Like multiple posts in an hour fast. If you are not posting multiple times per time of day, you’re going to miss opportunities to reach your audience. If this frequency is not sustainable for the person publishing posts, it’s better not to even have an account. However, if your brand prides itself on quickly answering customer service questions, and being highly responsive, it’s a great platform to facilitate customer care.

On the other end of the spectrum Instagram posts are typically used as a carefully crafted and curated highlight reel, so posting multiple times a day could overwhelm your audience. However, within the same platform stories are used as fleeting moments and can be shared at the higher frequency.

Which platform(s) your ideal target audience is on should be one of the top three priorities when creating your 2021 social media strategy. Pew Research Center’s 2019 survey shows which social media platform audiences are on is largely unchanged between 2018 and 2019.

Each platform and function has pre-determined expectations. What you do with them is how you form your unique digital marketing strategy.

Sustainable Action

After you get clear about your social media strategy, the real work begins. Setting yourself up for success is equally important as making the decision to use social media as part of your digital marketing strategy. So important, we created a list of social media management tools in our guide: Setting Yourself up for Success on Social Media.

Cut Through the Clutter

When social media first emerged and stole the attention of billions of people, there were major players who quickly floated to the top. People loved them because they were different. Today, they’re all melting into the same basic functions. How you use them differently to provide value to your audience in a way that fits with the culture of that particular platform will be the quest to focus on to stand out. 

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TLDR: The gap between social media platform functionality is virtually closed. They’re setting themselves apart with culture. When setting your social media strategy for 2021, be sure to keep the your chosen platform’s audience expectations in mind.

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