It’s not a controversial statement to say that social media is an important medium to include in your digital marketing plan today. Over the last few years, customers have relied on the internet even more than ever, and that includes upping their social media usage. In fact, users spend an average of two hours and 27 minutes on social media a day according to a January 2022 report from DataReportal. But what brands do with social media can make a real difference in how potential customers interact with you. Looking forward to the rest of what 2022 has to offer, here are five rising social media marketing trends that you should consider adding to your marketing plan:
Focusing on Brand Intent
An important consideration that many potential customers have before buying a product is what your brand stands for. This is especially true if you’re trying to target a younger demographic, such as Gen Z. Customers, especially those of a younger generation, stay up to date on current social as well as political issues. Taking a stand and speaking as a company where you stand on a certain issue takes real courage. But making them actionable will pay off tenfold in the end. That is if you do it right.
For example, Molly Moon, a local ice cream store here in Seattle, leads their brand with the promise that their ingredients are all sourced locally and everything they use in their shops is 100% compostable. While their ice cream quality as well as their rotating seasonal flavors are already a great draw, their commitment towards sustainability is what customers really love about them. If you look at their social media pages, it won’t take long before you find a post that boasts their sustainable practices. And that’s because they know that it’s what brings customers back time and time again.
Another way to better market your company on social media is by personalizing your content. There’s a reason why Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist is so popular. But you can even personalize your content on social media as well, and many do. With social media, you can retarget people who have clicked on your previous ads or even searched for something similar. They do this by showing the ad to them again to encourage them to get them through the next step of the purchase journey.
For example, Expedia, a global travel company, retargeted people who clicked on one of their ads discounting hotel and plane ticket prices by showing them another ad with more specific wording. Like if they saw that a user recently looked up hotel rooms in Whistler, they’d include Whistler somehow in their retargeted ad to that user.
Using Influencers and Content Creators
Influencers aren’t a particularly new thing. Advertisers used to use celebrities to market products, going back to the late 1800s. Today, influencers now extend to digital content creators, ranging from Instagram models to YouTubers. So, it only makes sense for brands to enlist the help of one in their marketing efforts. And the best way to do that is through social media, where these content creators arguably have the largest reach.
An example of this involves Audible and a slew of content creators which includes Grace Helbig, Tyler Oakley, and many many more. On YouTube, all they do is add a clip of them informing viewers that they’re sponsored by Audible and that they can get Audible at a discounted price using their unique code. While there are plenty of other content creators also sponsored by Audible, Helbig, and Oakley do the same for their prospective podcasts. So, Audible not only has a large repertoire of influencers, but they ensure the relationship between brand and creator stays solid. That way, they can continue working with them even if it’s on different platforms.
Content interaction, while it sounds like it could be complicated, is actually much simpler than it seems. All it really means is that the end goal here is to have users interact with your social media posts. For a marketer, that traditionally meant increasing likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement rates. However, there are other ways to get a user to interact with you on social media now.
For example, polls have become increasingly popular on social media. Twitter and LinkedIn make it pretty easy to do as it’s included as an option when drafting a new post. Instagram (and consequently, Facebook) is a little trickier. Because it’s an image-first platform, the only way to poll your audience is through Instagram stories. Facebook used to have the option of creating a poll but it’s since gone away. But if you link your Instagram to your Facebook page, it’ll appear on both stories. But even then, you can only offer two choices.
Lastly, is collaborating on content with others, whether it’s your audience, influencers, or other brands. For big brands like Nike, it can be as easy as sharing a hashtag and encouraging other users to use it in their own posts. Luckily for them, they have a famous slogan (AKA “Just Do It”) that’s used in the majority of their marketing efforts. For smaller companies, it’s a little trickier to get the kind of response they do.
Content collaboration can include sharing how your company’s working with another. Much like how PSPINC shared how our team helped set up a site for the Johnny Cash museum. For brands that want to involve their customers (or potential customers) more, the best way to do that is either organizing a contest or giveaway. One way to do that is with the help of an influencer but you can also just do it on your own. For a giveaway, all you have to do is figure out what customers want and what you can realistically offer customers. Then, you just have to tell users how to enter (following your account, liking and commenting on the post, etc.), how long your giveaway is running for, and how the winner will be selected. If you’re looking for more of a collaboration, run some kind of contest that requires users to post something from their own account with a specific hashtag. That way, even if users don’t win, you can always look back and use some of that user-generated content (UGC) for future posts.
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