Social media is now at the core of our culture. We use it to connect with friends, share our accomplishments, and find out what’s happening in the world. From TikTok to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, nearly 72% of adults in the United States use some form of social media. This is a far cry from the 5% who utilized these platforms in 2005.
However, from a business standpoint, social media can be difficult to keep up with. New trends pop up every day. Consumer bases change constantly. These shifts make it tough to pinpoint a perfectly effective social media marketing strategy. Social media constantly challenges organizations to think about how they can remain relevant on ever-changing platforms. Luckily, there are great tips you can try in 2022 to kick off your social media strategy to be successful now and in the future.
1. Produce a Variety of Content
One of the most effective ways to keep your business at the forefront of consumers’ minds is to provide compelling content. More importantly, create a variety of content to appeal to a wide range of people. That way, you can keep consumers engaged and wanting more.
A great example of this is designer and entrepreneur, Abi Connick. Abi branded herself as a source of all things graphic design. On Connick’s profile, she showcases everything from her own personal work to unique design challenges for her followers. This, in itself, keeps her followers on their toes. They look forward to her posts because each one is fresh and new.
Additionally, by producing a variety of content, Connick has the opportunity to reach varying audiences. For her “Creative Glow Challenges,” she connects and remains relevant to other designers across social media. However, in her personal design posts, she drives a larger customer base of people interested in her services.
By providing a range of content to your consumers, you can constantly explore what is and isn’t working.
2. Remain Consistent
Consistency is absolutely essential to success. Producing ample content for your social media platforms is only effective if you are consistent. Keep your content fresh and exciting, but not a surprise. A great way to ensure that you are producing and posting content on a consistent basis is to create a content calendar. Content calendars are often thought of in the context of blog posts; however, many successful businesses also use a content calendar for social media.
Content calendars provide a more strategic approach to content development. They allow you to:
- See the big picture by having it all laid out in front of you.
- Make informed decisions about what content should or should not be posted next to each other.
- See what types of posts might perform better during certain time periods.
- Maintain a consistent brand image and tone.
In the past few years, studies found a consistent brand image can increase a company’s revenue by 10-20%. This is huge when used in combination with other forms of marketing. And, in comparison to the process of other marketing campaigns, developing consistency throughout your content is relatively simple.
3. Know Your Audience
Again, having a variety of consistent content is important. But it’s essentially ineffective if you do not know your audience. Knowing your audience sounds like a simple task; however, real success is found far beyond simply knowing your key demographics.
To know your audience, learn what they like and dislike, how they talk, and what their sense of humor may be like. It’s key to know when they’re active on social media. If, for example, you own a spa business that markets to individuals with busy work lives, posting between 9am and 5pm may not drive as much traffic. They’re at work during those hours. Catch them on social media at the end of the day or on weekends. You’ll likely appeal to them with an opportunity for relaxation.
Hone in on your specific audience to build an engagement strategy accordingly. Going back to the example of Abi Connick, she too conveyed she knows her audience. Connick has a very unconventional background in design. Unlike others in her field, she didn’t get her start with a degree in art or design. She gained all of her expertise from experience and personal passion. Given her background resonates with much of her audience, so do her creative design challenges. Each of these challenges gives freelance or inexperienced designers the opportunity to expand their skills and build a portfolio even without a college degree.
So, outside of race, age, and location, try to find the “why” in your audience. Why are they following you? Why are they interested in your field? Why would your products or services help them? By asking these questions, you can get to the root of who your followers truly are. And with that, you can better serve them.
4. Be Human
While many marketing and advertising strategies are based on numbers, growth, and success, don’t forget to be human. Consumers now drift more toward relatable content. With that, there’s a desire to feel the human behind any campaign or piece of content. Luckily for businesses, there are a number of ways to humanize your posts for consumers.
Specifically, during the pandemic, one of the best ways to humanize a brand was to support struggling families or businesses in need. A great example is Gopuff. They prioritized an initiative that provides product distribution, networking, and business education to small and minority-owned businesses. They also used social media and influencer marketing to spread awareness of the program.
By partnering with NBA All-Star Chris Paul, the Put Me On initiative was successful because of the company’s willingness to recognize the difficult times small businesses faced. By sharing content outside of their typical service offering, GoPuff showed their human side. Their consumers respected and related to the support of others throughout the pandemic.
We also see a risky but effective approach to humanizing content in Wendy’s Twitter profile. Wendy’s is known for bold Twitter roasts. In recent years, this human aspect of their posts drove a lot of brand awareness and media attention. Directly because of the chance they took with social media marketing, Wendy’s was named as the Most Innovative Company in 2019 and has become a trendsetter in the industry. This decision to portray a real human voice behind each post was a smart approach for the company. It has been around for more than 130 years and has sold the same products. By shocking consumers and followers with sassy and funny Twitter posts, they essentially rebranded themselves to fit into modern culture.
Remaining relevant in the constantly changing world of social media can be a challenge. Establish a baseline understanding of what will drive your audience to comment, engage, and ultimately purchase from your company.
The biggest challenge is evolving this strategy to grow with social media. However, when you apply basic foundational principles like getting to know your audience, producing a consistent variety of content, and humanizing your posts and interactions, your brand will grow alongside social media and remain relevant in years to come.