Want to fine-tune your social media marketing strategy for 2022?
Great! Now is the perfect time to make this happen.
In an environment where there are more competition, content, and networks than ever before, a straightforward strategy makes it necessary for you to say ‘no’ to efforts that don’t meet your goals.
That’s why we’ve put together a detailed overview of creating a social media marketing plan from scratch.
Whether you’re new to the social space or want to double-check your priorities in 2022, this guide has you covered.
1. Set goals that make sense for your business
Let’s start with a quick question.
“What do you want to leave social media?”
Social media strategy planning starts with your goals.
According to 2021, the most common social goals are to increase brand awareness (58%) and increase community engagement (41%). Whether you’re trying to build a more significant following or a more active community, taking the time to define your social goals is the first step to achieving them.
Either way, your goals will define your social media marketing strategy and how much time and effort you need to devote to your campaign.
Sample social media goals for 2022 and beyond
What matters is that you establish realistic social media goals.
Emphasis on “realistic,” by the way. We recommend dealing with smaller goals that allow you to scale your social efforts reasonably and affordably.
Here are some sample goals that businesses of all shapes and sizes can pursue.
increase brand awareness
This means getting your name out in the public domain. To create authentic and lasting brand awareness, avoid posting only promotional messages. Instead, focus first on content that emphasizes your personality and values.
Generate leads and sales
Whether it’s online, in-store, or directly through your social profiles, followers don’t make purchases by accident. For example, are you about reminding customers about new products and promotions? Are you integrating your product catalog into your social profiles? Are you running exclusive deals for your followers?
Grow your brand’s audience
Bringing in new followers means finding ways to introduce your brand to people who haven’t heard of you before.
Growing your audience also means discovering the most important conversations around your business and industry. It’s almost impossible to tap into them across your social channels without monitoring or listening to specific keywords, phrases, or hashtags. Maintaining your finger on the pulse of these conversations will help you grow your core audience (and reach out to neighboring audiences) faster.
Boost community engagement
Index data shows that 46% of consumers believe that brands that engage their audience are best on social networks, so it pays to explore new ways to capture the attention of your existing followers. This means exploring messaging and content. For example, does your brand advertise user-generated content and hashtags?
Even something as simple as asking a concern can increase your engagement rate. Your customers can be your best cheerleaders, but only if you give them something to do.
Drive traffic to your site
It’s easy enough. If you’re focused on producing leads or traffic to your website, social media can make it happen. Whether through promotional posts or social advertising, focusing on conversion rates and URL click-through rates can help you better determine the ROI of social media.
Any combination of these goals is fair game and can help you better understand which networks to tackle. If in doubt, keep your social media marketing strategy simple rather than complicating it with too many goals that could distract you. Please choose one or two goals and rally your team around them.
2. Take time to research your target audience
It’s scary news for marketers to make assumptions.
With only 55% of marketers using social data to understand their target audience better, this is a massive opportunity for leaders and practitioners. Much of what you require to know about your audience to influence your social media marketing strategy is already available, and you have to know where to look.
With the right tools, marketers can quickly research their audiences. No formal market research or data science skills are required.
Remember: different platforms attract different audiences
Take today’s social media demographics as an example. These numbers talk directly to which networks your brand needs to approach and what types of content to post. Below are some key takeaways for your 2022 social media marketing strategy:
- Facebook and YouTube are both top places for advertising, partly due to their high-earning user bases.
- The top social networks for millennials and Gen Z are Instagram and YouTube, demonstrating the power of bold, jaw-dropping, personality-filled content.
- Women far outnumber men on Pinterest, which has the highest average order value of any social shopper.
- LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated, making it a hub for in-depth industry-specific content that may be a lot more niche than what you see on Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus on the networks where your core audience is already active.
Do your homework on your existing social media audience
While the demographic data above gives you insight into each channel, what about your customers? Further analysis is needed before you can determine what your real-world social customers look like.
That’s why many brands use social media dashboards to provide an overview of who is following you and how they are interacting with you on each channel.
3. Establish your most important metrics and KPIs
Regardless of your goals or industry, your social media strategy should be data-driven.
This means focusing on the social media metrics that matter. Instead of focusing on vanity metrics, dig into data that directly aligns with your goals.
What metrics are we talking about? See below for a breakdown.
Article reach is the number of unique users who see your posts. How much of your content reaches users’ feeds?
This is the number of clicks on your web content or account. Tracking the number of clicks on each campaign is crucial to understanding what drives curiosity or encourages people to buy.
The total number of social interactions is divided by the number of impressions, and this reveals how your audience perceives you and how willing they are to interact.
What are the hashtags you utilize most often? Which hashtags are most closely associated with your brand? Having these answers can assist shape the focus of your future content.
Organic and paid likes:
In addition to the standard number of ‘likes,’ these interactions are attributed to paid or organic content. Given how difficult organic engagement is to obtain, many brands are turning to advertising.
Understanding these differences can help you budget your ad spend and invest in the different formats.
This is a measure of how users react to your content, brand, or hashtag. Did customers find your recent campaign offensive? What types of emotions are people generating about your campaign hashtag? It’s constantly better to dig deeper and find out what people are talking or feeling about your brand.
An efficient social media marketing strategy is rooted in numbers, and that means that the numbers need to be put into a consistent context with your original objectives.
4. Create (and curate) engaging social content
No surprises here. Your social media marketing strategy depends upon your content.
At this point, you should have a good idea of what to post based on your goals, audience, and brand image. You may also feel confident about which networks to reach.
But what about your content strategy? Here are some suggestions and motivation to help you.
The importance of sticking to content themes
Chances are you’ve seen a brand’s post that feels just like theirs.
From graphics to scrolls and beyond, many brands rely on the same content formats and ideas repeatedly. These themes can assist you in becoming more consistent and zeroing in on a content strategy that makes sense.
For example, you can cycle between memes, product photos, and user-generated content while sticking to a defined color scheme. If you have a hard time keeping up with all these sources of social content, consider using a social media management tool to help you organize your media library and schedule your posts in advance.
Content ideas for social media marketing in 2022
To help narrow down exactly what you should be posting about and to ensure you are developing innovative content, below are some social media trends to consider.
Stories and time-sensitive posts
Stories are not going away. Using your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out), story-based content is interactive and unmissable. By default, this content appears first in your followers’ feeds and can help your brand account ‘skip the queue’ and stay fresh in your audience’s minds.
Stories are precious for taking your followers behind the scenes and making your social media feel more personal. For example, you could consider using stories to cover an event or take your followers on a journey without taking them out of the comfort of the ‘gram.’
54% of marketers say that video is the most valuable type of content for achieving social goals, and for a good reason. Social video is booming, especially with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels. Long-form and short-form pieces dominate the social space across all platforms due to their high engagement rates.
Furthermore, thanks to advances in DIY and remote video production, you don’t need a large video production budget plan to be effective. All you need is a laptop or smartphone and some tricks of the trade.
Posts that show off your human side
As we (finally) move on from COVID-19, both personal and human content must be a cornerstone of your social media marketing strategy. Don’t hesitate to remind followers of the human beings behind your posts.
Pro-tip: conduct a competitive analysis to help your content stand out
Before you begin creating content, you should have a good idea of what your competitors are up to.
While some brands may want to research third-party competitor analysis tools to dig deeper into their competitors’ numbers, you can find a lot from a simple review of your competitors’ social presence.
The easiest way to discover your competitors is through a Google search. Find your most valuable keywords, phrases, and industry terms and see who comes up.
Then, see how their social channels compare to your promotional strategy. The objective here is not to imitate or steal your competitors’ ideas, and no two companies’ social media marketing strategies can (or should) be the same. Instead, determine what is working for them and what conclusions you can draw to tailor your campaigns accordingly.
After identifying some of your industry rivals, you can use competitive analysis tools to compare your competitors’ performance with your own quickly.
See what they are posting on Facebook. Compare your Twitter engagement with theirs. Please find out how they’re tagging their content on Instagram. Optimize your strategy. Go round and round.
5. Make your social presence as timely as possible
For marketers, timeliness is arguably more important than ever.
Not only do you have to put out fresh content regularly, but you also have to always be ‘on’ for your followers.
However, you can’t always expect customers to operate on your clock. Timeliness is a tall order when you are strapped for resources or belong to a small team.
Let’s look at some suggestions to maximize your schedule and the time you spend in the community.
Post at the best times to engage
Quick question: when is your brand available to engage and communicate with customers?
You may see some recommended times, such as posting in the evening. But what’s the point of posting at the ‘preferred’ time if your team isn’t there to communicate?
Instead, attempt to make sure your social media or community manager can answer any product questions or concerns when you tweet or post. Take the time to review the best times to post on social media. However, it is equally important to interact after posting.
That’s our next question.
Respond to your customer questions and shout-outs ASAP
Your customers expect a quick response. 47% of people believe that reliable customer service defines a top-notch brand on social media.
On social media, as a brand, you can gain respect by engaging with your audience. That’s why social customer care is so essential for brands that want to increase awareness among their audience – word gets around fast about excellent service.
Whether it’s using words of praise or responding to questions, businesses shouldn’t leave customers hanging. According to our research, social is the number one preferred channel for consumers to share feedback and deal with service issues or questions.
However, did you know that most users believe brands should respond to social media messages within four hours Assigning teams to specific response tasks can help your staff run like a well-oiled social media team, whether you’re one person or 100?
As social algorithms evolve, organic content is becoming harder and harder to reach the majority of your audience. The last point you want to ignore engagement and lose the opportunity to feed more information into your marketing funnel.
6. Assess what’s working, what isn’t, and how to keep improving
By now, you need to have a broad understanding of your social media strategy.
However, it is essential that you can adapt your strategy throughout the year.
Without continually analyzing your efforts, you will never know how effective one campaign is over another. Having a bird’ eye view of your social media campaigns helps to put things into perspective. This means that when your content stagnates, you can look at your best performers and adjust your campaigns.
There’s no rejecting that a lot of social media is a matter of trial and error. Keeping track of the metrics behind your campaigns in real-time enables you to make minor adjustments to your social media marketing strategy somewhat instead of sweeping, time-consuming changes.
A lot of social media marketing done right comes through being diligent with your data. You can passively get the most out of your ongoing campaigns in the short term and then proactively use those gains to inform your following strategic change.
It’s also important to report data to share valuable insights from social with your colleagues.
Based upon your data, you can better assess whether your KPIs are genuinely aligned with the overall company objectives or whether changes are needed.
7. Bring other departments into the mix
Social media teams are in a unique position to understand customer sentiment. You are your brand’s eyes and ears online. These insights don’t just inform marketing strategy, and they can transform your business.
Yet, according to Index data, only 39% of marketers use social data to support other departments.
In 2022, outstanding social media teams will approach cross-departmental collaboration with enthusiasm and intent.
Which departments can benefit from social data
A short answer? All of them. But don’t bite off more incredible than you can chew. Instead, start where you think you can make the most significant impact. Here are a couple of concepts to kick-start your strategy.
We remain in an incredibly competitive job market. Working with HR on a social-first employer branding campaign can do more than fill vacant positions quickly, and it can also attract stronger, more qualified candidates.
We surveyed 250 firm executives and found that 90% expect social to be the primary communication channel for connecting with customers in the future. Sharing social insights with your sales organization can enable sales reps to work smarter in an increasingly digital customer journey.
Product and merchandising
When managing your brand’s social inbox, you’ve probably received a considerable number of feature or product requests. With a social media management tool, you can distill this information into actionable insights for your product or marketing team. These insights can complement existing roadmap research to create a customer-centric plan that will delight people.
And with that, we’ve rounded up your guide to social media strategy for 2022 and beyond.
Is your social media marketing strategy sorted out for 2022?
This guide emphasizes that modern social presence has a large number of moving parts.
That being said, putting your social presence together doesn’t have to be a drag.
If you set actionable goals and address each of the steps above, you’re already ahead of the game regarding your social media marketing strategy.
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