How to Optimise Your Social Media Strategy for 2022
The rise of social media platforms
Social media is no longer just a buzzword. From the humble beginnings of social networking sites, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Tiktok, amongst others, have grown into multi-billion properties in over a decade.
Per Datareportal.com, there are 4.48 billion people on social media all over the world, equivalent to nearly 57 per cent of the world’s global population. Imagine that—more than half of every living soul in this earth are social media users.
Social media platforms have gone as far to reflect an online reality, where people from across cultures, separated by oceans and connected through miles and miles of undersea cables, have cultivated strong and healthy relationships without even seeing each other in person.
These days, not being on any single social media account merits some level of scepticism, as if one were hiding something. To be on social is to bear proof of life.
In fact, more than 95 per cent of internet users aged 16 to 64 logs on and uses any one form of social media app or network. Interestingly, what this particular age bracket shows is that nearly everyone of working age is on social, and as a business owner or digital marketer, this presents an opportunity.
Social media marketing for businesses
Social media marketing (SMM) refers to the application of both traditional and digital marketing principles in implementing strategies through online social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to name a few.
SMM enables brands, companies and businesses to reach and connect with new and existing customers, allowing them to build their reputation, spread their brand’s culture and cultivate lasting relationships with their audience.
The five core pillars of SMM, as Buffer defines, include:
- Strategy, which encompasses determining the business’ goals, the social channels to be used and the content types for posting.
- Planning and publishing involve content ideation and post scheduling based on the best practices rooted in historical data and new insights.
- Listening and engagement refers to monitoring engagement, gathering data from users and customers, and discovering what they are saying about the business and brand.
- Analytics and reporting are critical features that empower marketers through accessible data sets that provide insights into reach, engagement and various other metrics.
- Advertising on social media platforms like Facebook can help boost a brand’s reach through promoted posts targeted at a business’ ideal audience.
Through built-in tools, like data analytics, automated chatbots and a full suite of solutions to execute social media ads, SMM makes it easier for marketers to develop strategies, measure performance, track the metrics that matter and make the necessary adjustments.
The benefits of social media marketing
The benefits that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and large corporations can garner from employing SMM strategies include the following:
- Enjoy a wider reach through online channels
- Utilise the capability to target specific audiences with precision
- Implement a cost-effective solution to marketing
- Build personal and lasting relationships with your customers
- Deliver information through a platform that can spread the news faster
- Find an easy-to-use platform for marketing
Through social media marketing, a brand or business can leverage these advantages in advancing their business goals, regardless of their organisational size.
How to optimise your social media marketing strategy
An SEO company, social media agency or digital marketing service provider is more than familiarised with the elements and variables that can influence and impact a brand or business.
With a team of SEO analysts, pay-per-click (PPC) specialists and social media marketers, professional digital marketing firms deliver end-to-end services that are anchored upon tailormade strategies. Should you be interested in optimising your brand’s social media marketing strategy, it can be helpful to seek what the experts have to say.
After all, if there’s anything to be learned from years of experience in digital, it’s that audience behaviours change, the worldwide web is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, and there is no one social media marketing solution. Every brand is unique, with their respective pain points, specific buyer personas and varying business goals.
That being said, here’s an overview of what you can do to optimise your social media strategy:
- Conduct a social media audit
- Determine your social media marketing goals
- Define benchmarks
- Conduct a competitive market research
- Do social listening
- Competitor analysis
- Build your social media brand identity
- List down all possible strategies
- Create a social media content calendar
- Monitor, track and measure performance
Conduct a social media audit
To get started, it is always recommended to start a social media marketing campaign with a social media audit. By auditing your social media profile, you get to set a baseline for the metrics pertinent to your marketing objectives.
If, for example, engagement is your primary objective, then it will be crucial for you to know how much customer interaction your posts generate. It is through a social media audit wherein you find opportunities for improvement and potential for growth, such as discovering which content types make the most impact, or which social media platforms enable conversations to take place.
Find out how and where to steer your social media strategy with an audit.
Determine your social media marketing goals
Once you’ve gotten hold of the results of the social media audit report, it is necessary for a brand to define its social media marketing goals or business objectives. It basically allows you, as a marketer or business owner, to streamline your marketing efforts towards success with the use of a blueprint of sorts. But for this to take place, what does success look like in the first place? What is the basis for this success?
Should your business objectives be increase profit, for instance, then your social media marketing strategies should align with generating more revenue. Launch a marketing campaign specifically built to target conversions.
Determining your social media strategy’s goals will help optimise your performance by forging the path towards success.
Setting up your social media marketing campaign requires a careful approach, because you will want to avoid overspending and wastage of resources, so it is also crucial to define benchmarks. This enables you to identify focus areas through an evaluation of historical data that contextualises audience behaviour, instead of playing it by ear and eyeballing for estimates.
Facebook’s Page Insights, for example, is a helpful tool for businesses seeking to build brand awareness through targeted social media strategies anchored on a data-driven approach.
Having clearly defined benchmarks will help improve your marketing efforts, so you have a starting point for your campaign, corresponding milestones to hit, and targets to achieve that make sense.
Conduct a competitive market research
If you want to do social media marketing right, then it is imperative that you conduct a competitive market research. As with any digital marketing campaign, taking a gander at the market can help you develop better marketing strategies – whether it’s through SEO, PPC, or social media.
Collect and analyse information that is relevant to your niche, customers and competitors to assess what is needed, what is desired and how other brands are performing.
The insights found in a market research will help optimise your marketing efforts.
Do social listening
Again, as a social media marketer, it is important for you to discover what users are saying about your brand or business – whether positive or negative. Taking these social cues in consideration, you can evaluate your options and find out where your social media campaign is lacking, how it is performing, and why people are talking about it.
Always remember that in social, users will often take peer feedback into account when shopping certain products or hiring for services.
By doing social listening and checking out blogs, forums and various types of social media groups or online communities, you can augment or tweak your marketing strategy according to your customers’ experiences.
Whilst we’d broached this topic earlier, competitor analysis merits an in-depth look. Social media marketing will also involve checking or monitoring what your competitors are doing, so you can execute better.
Take, for example, how a rival business – say, a forklift provider – has started publishing targeted on-page content on forklift maintenance and sharing them on their social media profiles on a regular schedule. What can you do to keep up? What keywords are they trying to rank for? Are they targeting businesses or individuals?
Competitor analysis will help you optimise your strategies by learning from other businesses or brands.
Build your social media brand identity
Widen your social media presence by concretising your brand identity. Without a solid concept behind your brand, how can your social media strategy be any effective?
As a marketer, you are well aware of how audiences can easily see through inauthentic brands. Think of your brand as a person—what are his or her characteristics? What types of audiences will your brand want to attract? How does the brand talk? Does it have any favourite colours or specific font faces?
These are a few questions to help you drill down your brand identity. Take note that in social media, your brand identity will carry you towards your audience. Make sure they get the right impression.
List down all possible strategies
So, with all the setups done, it’s time to put everything together and strategise.
In optimising your social media strategy, working backwards can help identify the paths towards achieving your business objectives.
Start from the desired result, and identify the paths that could possibly lead to successfully achieving these objectives until you connect these plot points back to the set up stage. From there, you can evaluate which strategies are best suited for your social media marketing campaign.
If increased profit through online sales is your goal, then how can you get there? List down the different solutions available to you and narrow it down until you have two to three viable strategies that you can implement for A/B testing.
Create a social media content calendar
A social media content calendar serves as a simple and basic tool that can help ensure your social media strategy is optimised.
If you’ve been on social for a good while, then it’s likely that you’ve noticed how fast trends or fads come and go; a post or topic can go hot for a week, fizzle out and fade into obscurity the next day. Virality these days are short-lived, so having a content calendar ensures your brand will never have to rely on cheap tricks, controversy or coincidence to gain an audience.
A content calendar enables you to:
- Organise content buckets and mood boards
- Schedule posts regularly
- Ideate for possible topics and content types
- Review, evaluate and edit content materials prior to creation and posting
- Be creative, tell a story and sew together a narrative over time
- Reduce the sense of randomness in content
- Build content that is consistent with your brand
As a marketer, preparing a content calendar not only optimises your posts, but it also helps in ensuring that your brand is consistently producing engaging content for your audience across different social media platforms.
Monitor, track and measure performance
It needs no reiteration, but a key factor to achieving social media marketing success is the use of data and analytics. It is only through monitoring, tracking and measuring the performance of your online marketing efforts wherein you’ll see progress. This part of the process serves to show you if you’re inching closer to or moving farther away from your goals.
Neil Patel mentions two ways to measure the performance of social media marketing campaigns:
- Ongoing Analytics tracks social media activity over a period
- Campaign-focused metrics have a clear starting point and end
An effective social media marketing strategy will utilise a combination of both to boost and optimise a brand’s reach and help you achieve its objectives.
The social media trends of 2022
Given this step-by-step approach to optimising your social media marketing strategy, it is worth mentioning that you should revisit your existing strategies every six to twelve months, depending on your threshold for testing, available resources and marketing budget. It is well known that audience behaviours change over time and social media is often reflective of these shifting preferences.
In 2022, we can expect these social media trends to influence these behaviours and impact the way your audiences are using social media platforms, which will then warrant some amount of reconfiguration in your strategies. Being flexible is one thing, while preparing for these trends is another. Don’t get left behind.
Here are some of the social media trends to expect in 2022:
- Micro-influencer marketing
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Agile social media marketing
- Voice search
- Live streams, stories and podcasts
- Data protection and online security
Often dedicated to a specific niche, micro-influencer marketing has been on the rise due to micro-influencers’ closeness to the average person. Unlike celebrity endorsers, vloggers and macro-influencers, micro-influencers are more relatable to regular people, and even with less social media reach when compared to A-listers, they can still be just as effective. That said, you can expect micro-influencer marketing to be even more prevalent in the coming months.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI, along with other tech-powered solutions such as smart automation, have been pushing the boundaries of what marketers can do with social media. From customising audience lists, interpreting complex datasets and making recommendations, there are many social media and digital marketing tools that utilise AI technology.
With the rapid advancements in tech – from faster and more powerful computers to smart phone technology ramping up in its capacity – AI in social media is here to stay for the long haul.
Agile social media marketing
Agile social media marketing refers to the use of various tech-powered tools, such as data and analytics, in delivering quick fixes and scalable solutions. Rapid A/B testing and deployment of changes for social media marketing is already being done in social media agencies and digital marketing firms.
A few ways interactive social media marketing can help optimise your social media strategies involve using:
- Polls and surveys
- Interactive ads, images and videos
Related to search marketing and SEO, voice search has been on the rise as well. This means that having “voice search-friendly” content can contribute to your social media marketing campaigns, whether for awareness, consideration or conversion.
For users, it’s all about getting what they need in a fast and accurate manner, which voice search enables. Consider how your social media content is read and understood in 2022.
Live streams, stories and podcasts
With video content taking the online world by storm, live streams, stories and podcasts have developed and grown to be integral parts of most social media platforms. To make the most of these post types, your social media marketing strategies have to align with your buyer persona and business goals.
Live streams and podcasts, for instance, will usually take longer, which makes it perfect for your loyal following. Stories, meanwhile, are better reserved for short posts targeted at audiences in the awareness or consideration stages of the sales funnel.
Consider how these post types can impact your social media strategy in 2022 and optimise your content for better performance.
Data protection and online security
It cannot be denied how – with the rise of social media and internet use – there have been more cases of online fraud and data leaks as well. This is why good web design is crucial in online marketing strategies, because it can directly affect your social media reputation.
For certain industries, assuring your customers that their data is protected is of utmost importance. Any signs of sketchy behaviour from a business automatically warrants a cancellation or an unfollow, which is why it is just as necessary to constantly provide your audience with explicit messages concerning their online safety.
This trend provides real-world value to users and businesses, and in the coming years, its significance can only grow even more.
Conclusion: Optimising your social media strategy for 2022
Given the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging nations around the world, social media use has developed to be many things: a pastime, a job, an opportunity, a tool for staying connected, a way to disseminate information and for others, it has even shaped the way people look at the internet.
At its core, your social media strategy should address your target audience’s needs and wants, their pain points and concerns. But for you to do so, you have to reach them first.
Optimising your social media strategy for 2022 is often dependent on a wide array of factors, including taking into account current news and events all over the world, but essentially speaking, it also boils down to what your brand is about. As mentioned, every brand or business will offer something uniquely their own.
Conclusively speaking, for you to successfully optimise your social media strategy, how are you going to translate your goods and services into an experience for your target audience in 2022?
Interested to find out? Feel free to check out our blogs for more content on social media and digital marketing to learn more.