Top Digital Marketing Highlights of 2020 and 4 Tools to Use in 2021 — Andrew Bartolotta

Andrew Bartolotta, Director of Digital Media for cityCURRENT and Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, discusses some of the major social media lessons learned in 2020, some trends for 2021 and resources that can help organizations become more efficient and effective with their social media and storytelling efforts.

During the interview, Bartolotta highlights Zoom, Canva, Sendible and Kapwing, and discusses the importance of empathy, being able to pivot, tracking and analyzing the data, and using your platforms to power the GOOD.

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Four Social Media Tools We Used the Most in 2020 and Plan to Use Even More in 2021

  1. Zoom: How could we not mention Zoom! In 2019, our team started using Zoom to record our podcasts and thankfully I knew a lot about this program and its capabilities.

Zoom was our “bonus employee” throughout this year and our main tool to help bring our Signature Breakfasts virtual, break the geographical barrier to attend our events, go behind the scenes of world-class museums virtually, and remain a tool to engage partners and the community without exposing people to the virus.

Our team recorded over 500 interviews on Zoom alone this year spotlighting efforts across our region and around the world of those making a difference and doing GOOD even among so much uncertainty.

2. Canva: I’ve preached about Canva since they launched back in 2012 and as a graphic design professional, I still can’t think of any other tool that is as impressive, easy to use, and a great tool to collaborate with our team.

Canva has templates for everything from business cards and instagram stories to annual reports and even video presentations. I love the fact that with Canva For Work, our team in Nashville and Allison and I here in Memphis are able to see instantaneously any adjustments to campaigns without ever leaving the app or checking our email.

  1. Sendible: cityCURRENT’s social media scheduling manager has been a lifesaver for 2020. I use this platform every day as our content calendar and home for scheduling any posts, working on brand campaigns and more.Sendible helps you collaborate with your team to plan, post, and measure the success of content on every platform. I’ve used their draft functionality quite a bit as we pivoted through 2020 and am thankful that their team is just a tweet or LinkedIn message away when I need their help.They recently launched their 2021 Social Media Holiday Calendar and want to help you boost engagement on social by celebrating national holidays and fun events. Their FREE calendar has over 250 events with hashtags to help you with your content calendar.
  2. Kapwing: Kapwing has over 70 tools to help you with sharing video and meme content on social media. From their Studio and Video Maker to easy tools to add captions to video, waveform for podcasts, collage maker, and more, Kapwing is an online tool that makes creating video content a breeze.

Four Lessons We Learned This Year About Digital Marketing

First and foremost, social media is meant to be a dialogue not a monologue. What connects us to a brand isn’t well-polished visuals, it’s humans and their stories. It’s how people have connected for centuries and it isn’t about to change anytime soon; especially as we yearn for connectivity throughout the coming year.

Social media is about relationships and people connecting to people — not companies or brands. So be human.

  1. Be empathetic / don’t be tone deaf: pandemic, poverty, everyone’s struggling (be a reprieve of what’s going on in the world and be a place of positivity) brands continuing on with regular scheduled programming without addressing what was happening in the world can be quite awkward or hurt your brand persona.This year has been a limbo of: When should I post? What should I post? Should I post at all?
  2. PIVOT: Every social media manager (and most of the world) had to open their playbook and utilize plans B-Z when plan A went haywire this past Spring.. Have ideas in your back pocket and know it’s okay to blow up your long planned content calendar. This year has really shown us that nothing can stop you from creating content if you’re willing to adapt and accept that your strategy may be thrown out the window.
  3. Measure the effectiveness of your strategy: Over 75% of nonprofits and small business owners struggle to measure the effectiveness of the content they’re creating. That leads to one huge problem: uncertainty on whether you’re on-track to meet the goals you set earlier.How can you make a huge impact without knowing whether the content you’re producing is working? You can’t. That’s why all social media marketers should make it a priority to analyze whether the tactics are working.

You can do this by using data from native platforms, such as:

  • Facebook Insights
  • Instagram Insights
  • Twitter Analytics
  1. Last but certainly not least, SHARE THE GOOD around you: While this unprecedented year has been full of challenging times for many, like Mister Rogers once said, “Look for the helpers. You will always fine people who are helping.” In your organization and small business there are a ton of stories we miss when we’re caught in the day to day task lists so we encourage you to take some extra time in 2021 to reflect and highlight the GOOD… whether you take the time to create the story and share on social media, send us an email and let us share the GOOD news or you take the time to recognize the helpers in our community, humanizing your brand and spotlighting the GOOD will always be in trend; but specifically in this new year.

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