Over the past years, PostBeyond has leveraged our data to help our customers foresee social media trends, but who could have predicted the year 2020?
Understandably, the pandemic brought about many changes like the rise of remote work, video conferencing, reduced face-to-face interactions, apart from many other life-altering changes.
It also dramatically shifted the entire social media landscape. Unsurprisingly, many companies had to adopt social strategies for the first time because of how quickly the ground moved beneath them. According to Hootsuite and Digiday, more than 53% of the world’s population is now on social media. That’s roughly 490 million people who started using social media in 2021 alone.
Amongst the constant changes, there were a handful of questions running through every social media marketer’s head:
- Are people consuming the same kind of content as before?
- What kind of content is trending higher in 2021?
- Is there any particular kind of content format that should be utilized more?
- Which content topics are people engaging with the most on social media?
We had to look at our single source of truth to shine a light on what was gradually happening. And that single source of truth was data.
We did a deep dive on what has changed and how marketers can appropriately pivot their content marketing for employee advocacy. Backed by data from 100+ customers across 15+ industries and 15,600+ social posts, we tracked down the most shared, engaged, and talked about topics on social media in 2020.
Here are several of the top insights and takeaways from the report that will help you adapt your employee advocacy strategy.
The most engaging topics on social media
Work from home during the “new normal” dominated social media.
After analyzing the over 12,980+ different social posts and found that the most engaging post was about returning to the office. To no surprise, working from home was the new normal last year, so many professionals were itching to return to work.
The most engaging post was an opinion article entitled “Let’s stop asking ‘When are we going back to the office?” by The Hill. Written by Joe Andrew, the global chairman of Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, the article speaks about the risks and pitfalls of returning to an office environment. With most companies and offices working remotely.
Why did it spark so much engagement? The interview possessed a unique blend of thought leadership, an industry trend and tackled a very timely topic.
The most compelling content is information that doesn’t sell. Everyone wants to consume helpful content that educates and adds value to their professional and personal lives.
According to our data, 25 of the top 100 most engaged social posts were directly or indirectly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including topics such as:
- Remote work
- Consumer behavior changes
- Travel industry
- Emerging Technology
The war for talent is still ongoing
Before 2020, we were in a hot job market, with many companies calling it a war for talent.
There were more jobs available than qualified candidates to fill and social recruitment was used to look for top talent.
In 2020, multiple industries were seeing remarkable growth and went on a hiring spree for talent. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 caused the increased demand. Industries such as digital banking, home loans, and insurance, saw a dramatic increase in their business which prompted a need to recruit talent.
Here are the top industries that were hiring based on the number of job posts and open positions:
- Management Consulting
It was important for many businesses and employees to be sensitive, relevant, and mindful of what they posted on social media. In the spirit of togetherness, everyone was trying to figure out what was going on.
Visual content drives engagement
Visual content is most likely to engage someone to comment on LinkedIn. More specifically, these were the highlights of the top 500 posts that we reviewed:
People are gravitating towards visual content such as photos and graphics, regardless of the social network. Ensure every post includes an image or video that reflects the content or describes it effectively. Interestingly, call-to-actions were scarcely used in social posts and didn’t directly relate to more comments.
We all know that video is having a field day, especially with platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Even LinkedIn and Twitter are both rolling out live streaming and recorded video features.
We found that more than 10.2% of all LinkedIn posts contain social media videos. Here are the highlights of the top 500 posts that we reviewed:
There’s a pattern that marketers can pick up according to our customer data. Research shows that more than 86% of consumers want to see more videos from brands. Native LinkedIn research confirms that posts having a video are 20 times more likely to be shared by people than posts not having any video.
Use data to pivot your employee advocacy program
Content topics vary as per different industries and ideal audience needs. But there are a few key topics that are universal and engaging for audiences irrespective of the sector of origination.
Content about new products, mergers and acquisitions, company announcements are likely to be shared more by employees. Sharing this kind of content also helps employees build their thought leadership and personal branding.
To uncover more employee advocacy data and insights, download the Employee Advocacy and Social Content in 2021 Report.