By Stephanie Metzinger, Senior Communications Manager
Social media platforms are a dime a dozen. A plethora of new platforms and apps come online each year, leaving marketers to guess at which one(s) to pursue—all in hopes that their gamble pays off and their blind choice will be the winning platform that gains sudden popularity. As brands finalize their public relations and marketing plans for the upcoming year, the phrase “I like my peanut butter chunky—not spread too thin” is one to live by.
At Western Growers, this peanut butter-based guiding principle helps remind us to not become overwhelmed with every burgeoning social media platform and spread ourselves too thin by signing up for each one. Rather, we conduct analysis to learn what social network our target audience is active on (see Social Media Use in 2021 chart for demographic guidance) and create tailored content that will engage that respective group of brand ambassadors. HubSpot recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 global marketers from B2B and B2C brands and 64 percent cited that they concentrate on three to five social platforms, 11 percent on one or two and 7 percent on seven or more.
Beyond creating audience-and-platform specific content, below are five additional principles to keep in mind as we head into 2022:
1. Short-Form Content is King
The average human attention span is now eight seconds. If you want to win in 2022, focus on creating videos that are highly entertaining, easy to understand and as short as possible. The days where one to three-minute videos were considered “short” are long gone; 10-30 seconds will be the sweet spot.
2. Pay to Play
Changes to news feed algorithms have resulted in a year-over-year decline in organic reach (aka the number of people who see social media posts that are not backed by ad dollars) on Facebook and Instagram. To combat this and ensure WG’s content is prominently featured, we focus on a three-step content strategy: 1) post often and consistently; 2) post eye capturing videos or graphics that are easy to consume; and 3) support these posts with advertisements in the form of post boosts and page like campaigns. Between our dynamic content and running two to three ads weekly, we saw a 62 percent increase in fans this past year.
3. Build Intimacy and Trust
It is no secret that engaging with your followers will result in brand loyalty (and ultimately, sales!). This is a concept that needs to be a focal point of all social media strategies in 2022. Beyond responding to comments and messages in a timely manner, employing proactive tactics such as Facebook Live, Facebook Groups, Instagram Direct Messages (video messages/live video chats) and Instagram Polls/Questions via Stories. It takes time but it is worth it to create a real connection with a future brand ambassador or lead.
4. Integrated Marketing Plans Drive Content
Consistently finding new content and creating engaging content can be difficult—especially for small public relations/marketing teams. The trick is to develop one piece of content, transform it and repurpose it across your other channels. For example, you can do the following with an article you write:
- Facebook: post the article link with a short, snappy caption and a compelling graphic
- Twitter: create a quick video with key elements from the article
- Instagram: post an IG Story with a link to the article
5. Audio Continues to Rise
In 2020, about 100 million people listened to a podcast each month; it is expected to reach 125 million in 2022. With many now working from home, the adoption of audio platforms is skyrocketing and it is here to stay. Another example? Clubhouse—the audio app where you can join audio chatrooms—came on the scene in 2020 and now has two million weekly active users. If you have yet to integrate audio into your marketing plan, this year would be the one to start.