Leveraging Trends with Social Media Marketing
The meteoric growth of social media over the past decade went to even greater heights in 2021 thanks in large part to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This trend showed little sign of slowing down in 2022, and savvy marketers should already be brainstorming ways to adjust their short-term and long-term plans for taking advantage of massive social media audiences.
Leveraging trends with social media marketing during the upcoming year will largely be a matter of meeting consumers where they are and establishing trust without taking up too much of their life. With that in mind, here are a few specific things to keep in mind as you continue developing and start executing on your social media advertising strategy.
Shifting Focus from Selling Products to Building Brands
In the not-so-distant past, the primary goal of the average company’s social media strategy was the same as any other advertising campaign: to sell products and services to people who might be interested in buying them. While this is obviously still the main priority for marketing as a discipline, it is increasingly clear that focusing on sales and revenue is not the most effective way to leverage social media trends for the benefit of your business.
Moving forward, the biggest benefit that social media advertising will offer many businesses is the ability to increase brand awareness by reinforcing positive relationships with existing audiences and forming new relationships with audiences that have yet to form an opinion. In practice, this means fewer paid ads interrupting social media users’ feeds and more direct engagement with unique platforms and their users. For example, you could set up personalized ads for different audiences across multiple platforms or enlist help from well-known social media influencers.
Taking Advantage of New Platforms and Technologies
While Instagram and Twitter remain popular platforms that can produce effective results for B2C and even B2B ad campaigns, the new kid on the block is TikTok, which dominated the social media landscape in 2021 and 2022. The short-form video content that TikTok is known for has already paid dividends for brands who engaged with the platform last year, and other social media platforms are starting to establish similar features on their own sites.
Another innovation that may be worth factoring into your social media plans is augmented reality, which allows consumers to see what certain products look like in their own homes without going out to a brick-and-mortar store. This feature has already proven effective at boosting click-through rates and overall engagement online. Snapchat’s built-in AR could serve as a versatile testing ground for businesses looking to explore this space.
Thinking in “Snackable” Terms
Above all, the main social media trend has been the continued rise of “snackable” content: short-form videos designed to communicate simple concepts quickly within the average social media user’s increasingly short attention span. For many brands, social media marketing efforts will be better spent creating short clips compared to long-form interviews and podcasts.
However, it is important to distinguish between “snackable” content and “ephemeral” content, the latter of which is content like Snapchats and Instagram stories that are designed to disappear automatically after a while. While this type of content may still fit certain brands, it is difficult to boost engagement with, and can be inferior in many ways to longer and more focused posts.