All of our lives have changed dramatically in the last two years. And the business world has been transformed. Since 2020, the shift to digital-first approaches has moved from a trickle to a flood. Digital business options were already ramping up to see a sizeable digital migration in services and business interfaces, but the pandemic shifted this into overdrive. Projected transition periods for the coming decade were suddenly condensed into six months. Social media saw a parallel level of growth. Well over half of the world’s population is now on social media platforms, and the vast majority of these users are on every day for significant amounts of time.
The pandemic meant that people were separated from each other in an unforeseen way. Methods of staying connected became more important than ever before. While many of the newer social media platforms have been experiencing a large increase in users, the market leader Facebook has started to stagnate and lose users for the first time ever. The social media landscape is shifting and small and medium-sized businesses need to keep up.
Now that 2022 is here, planning a detailed social media marketing strategy should be a priority for business owners. Social media presence remains important; the impact it has was increasing steadily long before the pandemic. That said, the events of 2020 have transformed the digital business world in so many ways, and the current state of social media marketing offers fresh opportunities to capitalise on. With over 4.6 billion social media users worldwide, there is lots of scope.
Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies, and approaches to use in planning a social media marketing strategy in 2022.
Embrace Audience Involvement
Audience involvement strengthens everything about your social media presence. Encouraging involvement can take many forms, but beyond calls to action and interactivity, user-generated content (UGC) is quickly becoming one of the most important streams of marketing exposure for brands. UGC describes any type of post that positively highlights your company. This can be anything from a selfie using your brand’s product to full-on shout-outs.
This kind of engagement is different from sponsored content and even micro-influencer promotion. Though it can be harder to foster, it is one of the most powerful methods of promotion available. It is fundamentally authentic. Customers can see that and they assume a certain level of credibility from UGC promotion. While it may be harder to design, you can focus on promoting and spotlighting authentic UCG where you find it. When you see a UGC post, be sure to showcase it, share it, and validate and appreciate it. This encouragement and engagement should translate into even more UGC support.
Live video content is growing incredibly quickly right now. Regularly going live is going to be an essential part of social media marketing going forward in 2022. Live videos build more personal connections, foster community growth, and can be used in creative ways to build a customer connection. Live content can be great for behind-the-scenes looks at a brand.
The Growing Power Of Micro-Influencers
What will spread your brand faster? Working with one influencer with 100,000 followers, or working with 100 influencers with 1,000 followers? This is a really important question, and depending on the brand, the answer can vary. One thing is for sure though, micro-influencers are valuable. Potentially even more valuable than larger influencers. This is because smaller influencers often have a higher percentage of engaged, trusting, and loyal followers. So when scaled up, this can do wonders for marketing efforts.
TikTok Is Here To Stay
TikTok may have started as a little app for teens to dance on, but with over a billion users in 2022, TikTok is here to stay. While this platform is exploding right now, many businesses have yet to fully adopt it into their marketing plans. This means that there is a bit of a ground floor opportunity for businesses to capitalise on.
Build A Community
A sense of community online will always translate favorably across the board. Groups and communities of all are formed on all platforms, and engaging with them will go a long way towards building a stronger social media presence. When engaging with bulletin boards, forums, and community groups, always strive to provide information or value wherever you can. Understanding business trends will always be important, and engagement in these communities will offer insight into customer concerns and needs and will be valuable for coming strategies. When it comes to engaging with communities, real engagement and service are much more important than just pushing your products and services. It’s a long-term strategy, a short-term product push is more likely to put communities off.
Social Media Customer Service
Providing great customer service is essential for ambitious companies. To be fully accessible you should enable customers to contact your customer service team using a variety of methods like website chat, email, and if you have the resources, by phone. This is increasingly being supplemented by social media based customer service. However, the advantages of social media are also the pitfalls. Anything you post to customers can spread quickly and build your brand or trash it. Social media managers should be well trained and always neutral when it comes to politics and identity issues. Make sure your social media manager also listens to your brand’s social media community and uses the information gathered to feedback into management. Social media offers a unique opportunity for active growth and evolution, the ability to respond and adapt quickly is essential.
Short And Sweet Is Where It’s At
Content that is short and digestible just performs better. While long-form videos still have their place, with the advent of TikTok, IG Reels, YouTube Shorts, and others, short-form video content is making a big splash. Long-form video content can serve a good purpose, especially when certain platforms are favored by your target audience, but the demand for short-form video content is growing exponentially.
Social media marketing has evolved at a pace in the last two years. 2022 is all about authenticity, close engagement and short-form video. If you want your business to stay relevant those are the factors to focus on.