Explore new social media opportunities to grow in 2022
Many business owners and marketers already use social media to gain access to the target audiences they crave to reach. However, even as your social media marketing plan appears to be humming along for the moment, it is vital to continually assess your tactics and explore new opportunities. While the pandemic has slowed down certain aspects of the world, it had the opposite effect on social media, which grew stronger and evolved further.
According to a 2021 Pew Research survey taken among U.S. adults 18 years and older, roughly seven in 10 Americans say they have used at least one social media site. While YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the social platforms among surveyed adults, young adults under the age of 30 reported high usage of Instagram, Snapchat and the latest rising star, TikTok.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn and YouTube are among the numerous platforms where you will find customers hanging out every day, scrolling through wide-ranging content and interacting with brands that grab their attention and compel them to connect.
You can strengthen your social media marketing plan when you understand the broad range of opportunities it has to offer. Here’s a look at some emerging trends and fundamental strategies to consider in 2022.
Combine organic posts and paid ads for maximum results
The right combination of organic posts in their many different forms and social media advertising will continue to provide the reach and results you desire. Whether you are posting an eye-catching photo with a compelling caption on Facebook, sharing a high-energy video on Instagram Stories or buying a targeted ad to drive traffic, every post makes a contribution to your brand identity.
You’ll want to be sure that your organic posts continue to include a healthy dose of truly social content, along with your sales-oriented promotional posts and ads, in order to keep scrollers interested in your content. Integrating user-generated content (today’s version of the customer testimonial) continues to be a solid strategy as well.
Maximize opportunities with micro-content
Micro-content, or bite-sized consumable content, continues to deliver big as the attention span of consumers continues to dwindle. Platforms like TikTok, which hosts short-form video content, have helped to spur the popularity of micro-content, which is usually consumed in about 30 seconds or less. Short-form content can be produced as videos, infographics and written content, but video is by far the most popular.
In my experience, consumers favor videos that are “real” and less polished (i.e., think kids, dogs and no makeup). Micro-content is easily shareable and appeals to younger audiences who set trends. To save time and money, many smart marketers are creating longer content videos that can be easily broken down into bite-sized pieces for posting over time. Companies can weave micro-content across their social media pages and use them to cross-promote other longer-format marketing pieces.
Spur action with ephemeral content
Marketers count on consumers visiting their social media accounts daily. According to the Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet, seven in 10 Facebook users and around six in 10 Instagram and Snapchat users visit these sites at least once a day. An increase in ephemeral content has certainly contributed to this compulsion.
Ephemeral content is images and videos that are accessible for a very brief period of time, usually 24 hours or less. Such “here today, gone tomorrow” content plays on consumers’ FOMO (fear of missing out) and businesses can definitely use this to their advantage. Temporary content, often referred to as “stories,” is more likely to prompt immediate action from social media users who fear they will miss a time-sensitive opportunity if they do not act now.
Make a big impact with micro-influencers
Social media influencers have been around for many years, maximizing their huge numbers of followers for the benefit of businesses that collaborate with them. An influencer can be anyone from a celebrity to a top model to a star athlete with credibility in a specific industry. Their ability to persuade followers to think and act based on their recommendations makes them irresistible marketing assets.
However, companies are also seeing the benefit of collaborating with budget-friendly micro-influencers, those with fewer followers, but who are equally persuasive among their niche audiences. These could be local celebrities, devoted customers, bloggers, media personalities, online representatives or anyone at all who sparks the imagination and loyalty of a sizable — albeit not mega — group of followers. Micro-influencers are sometimes seen as more authentic and relatable. As social commerce continues to gain momentum, it makes sense to engage affordable micro-influencers who can inspire purchases that are quite literally one click away.
Catch the rising tide of social commerce
Social media is no longer just a place of brand building and discovery. Today, social commerce is gaining in popularity and proving to be an essential marketing component. Social commerce is the buying and selling of products and services directly from within a social media app. Consumers no longer have to be redirected away from their favorite platform to make a purchase. Instead, browsing, decision-making and purchases may be made from within the social media platform itself. Shoppable posts and stories may be linked straight to in-app stores.
The benefits of this streamlined process are obvious. Removing steps from the purchasing process often results in compressed purchasing timelines and fewer abandoned transactions. Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular platforms currently offering social commerce features. Now businesses can do more than reach target audiences; they can also convert prospects precisely where they enjoy spending their time — on social media.
It is a great time to explore the many aspects of social media. Pick a few new platforms and tactics that align with your goals and stay one step ahead of the competition in 2022.
Lincoln Jacobe, CEO, 6 Pillars Marketing
Read this article originally published in bizjournals.com