Looking forward to 2022
Like the rest of the world, 2020 changed marketing forever. The digital footprint of every company became far more crucial as the globe moved more online than ever before. Those changes, made on the fly during a turbulent period, have changed the marketing landscape.
Now, as we approach the close of 2021, our collective experience seems to grasp that there will be no going back to the way things were before.
Social media has played a substantial role in B2C content marketing for years, but it was much slower to grow in the B2B space. Now, businesses must engage potential customers and clients where they feel most comfortable. That means utilizing social media to connect with your audience, especially on the “Big 5.”
Building a social media strategy requires more than a scattershot approach. Marketers know that creating engaging content that resonates with the target audience is the key to building engagement and a loyal following. Organic growth is the single most crucial factor in determining the success or failure of a social media strategy.
What Works on Social Media
Some of these concepts are repurposed from other forms of marketing. Others are unique to the realm of social media. Each is critical to establishing authority and building your brand through thoughtful social media content planning.
1. Know your audience — Yes, I know how repetitive that sounds to anyone in marketing. However, it is still surprising how many businesses are wasting marketing dollars crafting content that doesn’t resonate with their audience.
2. Build customized brand awareness across various platforms — gone or the days when you could choose one social media platform, learn what works there, and build your campaigns accordingly. Now, consumers expect to see the brand story across various platforms.
3. Tell a story — Ethical consumerism isn’t a trend that is going anywhere soon. Today’s consumers genuinely care about your brand story, and that includes more than an overarching “mission statement.” Instead, they want to know about how you support your employees, what your business does for the environment, how you contribute to important causes.
4. Build a community — Creating meaningful conversations that drive engagement is one of the most effective ways to boost organic growth. A powerful marketing tool is sharing relevant data, interesting trends, news, and videos that invite discussion.
5. Implement social listening — The greatest social media efforts that yield maximum results are worth little if your business isn’t ready to listen to what your customers, or potential customers, are saying.
Social media listening is a powerful tool to provide multiple data points allowing your business to make adjustments, address concerns, and establish authority in the places that matter to your audience.
How to Update Your Social Media Strategy for 2022
Even if your current social media strategy is successful, things change at lightning speed in the digital realm. The first step is establishing goals that make sense for your business. The Sprout Social Index for 2021 found that the two most common goals for social media are:
1. Increasing brand awareness — Authentic brand awareness relies on more than getting the name of your business in front of the public. The focus needs to be on content that reflects the mission and values of your company.
2. Engagement — Engagement invites the target audience to interact in a meaningful way and remains one of the best ways to increase organic traffic.
Social media strategy for 2022 should be data-driven. Invest in the time and tools to track the social media metrics that matter while avoiding giving too much attention to vanity metrics. Tracking your clicks is an essential tool in determining the success of a social media campaign.
Likewise, you should measure your engagement to provide insight into your target audience and their perception of your content. An often overlooked social media data point is hashtag performance. Knowing which hashtags performed well for your brand can help drive marketing decisions moving forward.
In a post-pandemic world, posts that establish the human side of your business will be more important than ever. A cornerstone of your 2022 social media strategy should be crafting personable content that invites the audience to get to know you and the other people that comprise your business.
After endless months of isolation, there is a genuine human need to feel connected to others. Building a strong social media foundation that fosters a sense of community is crucial to achieving your social media marketing goals.