What you’ll learn about social media marketing in 2022:
- Social media marketing is always changing, and that’s true in 2022
- Our social media marketing guide has seven steps for social media marketers of all levels of experience:
- Set goals that align with your business drivers
- Get to know your target audience
- Land on your metrics and KPIs
- Design engaging social content
- Be as timely as possible
- Figure out what’s working, what isn’t and how to improve
- Involve other departments
The social media marketing space is always evolving. Every time you look it feels like there’s a new tool or feature that’s captured your audience’s attention—and somehow you need to be able to keep up.
In this constant state of flux, the best thing you can do is create a concise, targeted strategy that keeps you focused and avoids you getting distracted by efforts that don’t serve your marketing goals.
Not sure where or how to get started? We’re here to help. Keep scrolling for our 2022 guide for building a social media marketing plan that’s tailored to your business.
1. Set goals that align with your business drivers
Do you know what you want to get out of your social media marketing efforts? With everyone and their uncle on social media, it can be so easy to fall into the trap of running an account (or three) for the sake of it. That’s why we recommend taking the time to identify a handful of realistic goals (aka feasible and affordable) that you feel can be accomplished with social.
Some sample social media goals for 2022 include:
- Increasing brand awareness. This goes beyond simply publishing promotional messages, especially if you want your brand to feel authentic. The alternative? Prioritize content that puts the spotlight on your personality and values.
- Generating leads and sales. This requires being intentional about how and where particular products are promoted. If you know that one of your customer personas prefers receiving content on social, then make sure you’re communicating with them at the right time when a product that matches their interests is available or on sale.
- Boosting community engagement. Consumers appreciate brands that actively engage with them on social, so it pays to get their attention in innovative ways. An easy way to do this, for example, is to promote user-generated content and hashtags, or to put a poll out to your audience.
- Driving traffic to your site. Social media can be a really useful tool for increasing traffic on your site, especially now when you can add links on Instagram stories and more. And analytics functions can help you keep an eye on conversions and URL clicks to determine your ROI.
Depending on what your business is looking to accomplish, you can mix and match any of these goals. Here’s one point of guidance: don’t overcomplicate your strategy with too many objectives. Pick one or two and let them be your north stars.
2. Get to know your target audience
Remember, your audience demographics will vary depending on the platform you’re on.
- Facebook and YouTube are ideal for ads because they have high-earning user bases.
- Meanwhile, the top social networks for Millennials and Gen Z are Instagram and YouTube. This signals a need for bold, eye-catching content if you want to succeed with these audiences.
- Surprising no-one, women vastly outnumber men on Pinterest.
- Then, due to its professional nature, it’s safe to assume that LinkedIn’s user base is well-educated. This makes it a hub for in-depth, industry-specific content.
With these insights in hand, you can make decisions that help you focus your efforts where your target audience is most likely to be.
3. Land on your metrics and KPIs
At every stage of your social media marketing journey, you want to be able to evaluate your performance. This will help you understand if your budget is being allocated correctly and if you need to make changes.
The first step to getting that right is establishing metrics and KPIs that dictate what’s good and what’s not. We recommend leaving vanity metrics on the wayside and instead focusing on measurable metrics that align with your goals. These can include:
- Reach. The number of unique users that saw your post.
- Clicks. The number of clicks that your content or account receives, showing interest.
- Engagement. This is the total number of social interactions divided by the number of impressions and shows how your audience responds to your content.
- Hashtag performance. Knowing what hashtags related to your content perform well can help shape the focus of your content.
- Organic and paid likes. Knowing the differences between your paid and organic content can help you budget your ad spend and the time you invest in different formats.
- Sentiment. Knowing how your audience responded to a particular ad or campaign can help guide your content creation move forward.
4. Design engaging social content
Beyond your goals and having a clear understanding of what your audience expects from you, there are a number of things that can guide the type of content you produce on your social media accounts.
Firstly, you need to be consistent. Make sure that anything you produce feels like it belongs to your brand and isn’t jarring to your audience. From graphics to Reels and beyond, many brands rely on the same content formats and creative touches to make their content easy to recognize, even if someone is just scrolling through their feed.
It’s also wise to follow trends and be part of the conversation on social media. Some of the content trends that are leading the charge in 2022 include:
- Stories that are engaging, interactive, and timely. These are particularly useful for the behind-the-scenes content that is so appealing to consumers.
- Short-form video that provides high entertainment value. Just look at the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
- Posts that show a human element behind the brand. Customers want to be seen as human beings more than ever, so take time to acknowledge what they might be going through.
5. Be as timely as possible
There are a couple of angles to this point.
First: you should identify the best time to post on any given platform—so that you’re capitalizing on as many eyeballs as you can when you publish on your account.
Second, you should also be timely in your response to your customers. If you’re going to post something that might raise a lot of questions or feedback, make sure you do it at a time when your social media coordinator and customer service reps are available to do so. This will help build trust with your customers and prospects.
Whether it’s capitalizing on a compliment or responding to a question, businesses shouldn’t leave customers hanging. These are core elements of community building, and they’ll keep your audience engaged with the brand.
6. Figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and how to improve
One of the biggest secrets to success in a social media strategy? It needs to be adaptable. Throughout the year, you should be checking how you’re performing against those metrics and KPIs, and identifying any potential gaps.
Having a bird’s eye view of your social media activity helps put things into perspective. This means looking at your top-performing content and adjusting your campaigns when your content stalls. Ultimately this will be key to ensuring you’re putting your budget towards campaigns and initiatives that actually work towards your goals.
7. Involve other departments
Social media teams have a unique advantage when it comes to understanding customer sentiment. You’re the eyes and ears for your brand online. Those insights can do more than just inform marketing strategy. They can transform your business.
Still, according to data from Sprout Social, only 39% of marketers use social data to support other departments. This is a massive missed opportunity.
The departments that could benefit from social media input include:
- Human Resources. They could benefit from understanding how potential candidates view the brand and whether something needs to change.
- Sales. Sharing social insights with your sales organization can empower reps to work smarter in the context of increasingly digital customer journeys.
- Product. With the right feedback from social channels, companies can adjust their product roadmap to address any challenges that consumers are facing.
These are the primary elements we like our customers to consider when building a social media marketing strategy.
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If you’re not sure where to start, download the guide. We’d love to help you and your team set up best practices for social media marketing.