2021 social media trends for government and public sector

social media trends

Joanne Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer of Public Sector Marketing Institute, shares the top three social media trends for 2021 that relate to government and public sector specifically

Getting social media right can be a game-changer for your sector. 2020 has proven that open and transparent digital communications engage the public and build trust. Do not fear social media, fear not being heard, understood and trusted.

Talkwalker in conjunction with HubSpot interviewed thousands of marketers and surveyed them on the top 10 trends that industry experts suggested would be most dominant in 2021.

I was lucky enough to be part of the industry voice given my work in this area. In fact, my trend for 2021 appears at number two.

social media trends

#3 The major social networks are still going to remain dominant

The major platforms are not going to disappear, and they aren’t going to be taken over by the next new social network.

Therefore, for government and public sector, you really need to cement your presence on:

Facebook: The public facing social network.

Twitter: Where you engage with the media, stakeholders and interest groups for corporate communications.

Instagram: To bring audiences behind the scenes and to show the people and the culture behind your organisation.

LinkedIn: This platform really is about profiling yourself among a professional network. The World Health Organisation, as an example, grew by 200% in 18 months over on LinkedIn, they realised that the LinkedIn Network was a powerful advocate voice for public health messaging and those on LinkedIn held senior leadership roles.

TikTok: A social network that is centred around the content and how that content is created. So, if you are thinking about TikTok and stepping into TikTok for 2021, it’s all about vertical, mobile video, up to 60 seconds in length, fast-moving, with hashtags, effects, filters and sounds at the centre. If nothing else, get your team on TikTok to practise creating really great mobile videos.

#2 The rise of digital disinformation

This is a huge concern for all of us, as bad actors take over the social networks for their own personal gain, and for a gain that is probably not aligned with the government or public sector or indeed with those of you who use social media for good.

How can you disrupt the rise and the spread of digital disinformation?

Well, it is as simple as stepping up and publishing more long-form fact-based content right across the social networks.

“Remember consistency and volume will trump virality every single time.”

We all have a responsibility to stop the spread of fake news, and in particular, those of you in government and in politics and working in the public services, have a real responsibility to the people to step out and to make sure that the truth spreads online faster than lies, fake news and disinformation.

#1 The rise of the socially conscious audience

Perhaps a surprise to some, but the rise of the socially conscious audience will really test your commitment to openness.

  • Citizens care about transparency.
  • Citizens will speak up for the issues that matter to them.
  • Citizens care about making a difference.
  • Citizens will use their voice.

The citizen voice and those that are socially conscious are commanding share of social voice on social media. Is this a metric you are measuring?

Their voice is potentially going to be louder and heard more than the government, political sphere, or the public-sector voice. So, it is important that we allow those people to speak, but more importantly we must listen.

The big prediction for 2021 is that the rise of the socially conscious audience is going to have a deeper footprint on social media. For the government and public sector, you can align yourselves with those voices that are in tune with what your policies are.

So, for 2021 let’s use social media for good and let’s all be aware of what part we are playing in disrupting digital disinformation.

Do you want to upskill your staff in social media? We offer a CPD-approved Diploma in Social Media for Government and Public Sector which includes a 12-month membership to the Public Sector Marketing Institute where staff can access policy templates and on-the-job practical resources.

Take our free social media webinar on how to master social media for government and public sector in 10 steps. 

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Public Sector Marketing Institute
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