The landscape of social media is always changing. Staying on top of the latest developments isn’t and shouldn’t be blindly following trends, but continuously adjusting your strategy to maximize the return on your time and investment.
That’s essential because there’s more content now than ever, and knowing what’s working and what’s not is the difference between your content breaking through and making an impact and being lost in the cacophony. Digital marketing guru Neil Patel points out that organic reach is significantly down across all social media platforms and referrals have been stagnant at 5 percent of all traffic.
Keep in mind these four tips when setting your media strategy for the coming year:
1. Algorithms are changing
Social media sites generally started as a chronological list of posts from followed accounts, but today, each platform uses a formula to push certain posts and accounts, regardless of publish time in which people significantly engage. In other words, posts that keep people on the site and help with ad revenue.
This algorithm varies from site-to-site:
- Facebook prefers to highlight Events and posts within Groups.
- LinkedIn boosts posts and content that users spend more time reading or watching, what they call “dwell time.”
- That flood of hashtags at the bottom of influencer’s Instagram’s posts isn’t an accident—IG looks favorably on that practice.
- Twitter highlights posts with high engagement.
- TikTok wants strong keywords in the caption and actual video.
Dayana Mayfield at Story Chief has a substantive rundown of what each social media algorithm looks to boost in 2023, but keep in mind these are ever-evolving, and you’ll want to stay informed of more tweaks in the coming year.
2. Keep the “social” in social media
While algorithms vary from site to site, every social media platform values two-way engagement. Remember, this is “social” media, not “broadcast” media. With so much content being pushed, it’s the organizations that go beyond one-way content pushing and embrace the opportunity to engage with followers that will be rewarded.
At PR Daily, Lexie Gardiner says in 2023, “social managers should expect that social KPIs will be intensely dependent on two-way communication between users and brands, as platforms try to keep the most resonant posts at the top of feeds.”
Make sure to respond to comments on your posts, use your brand’s account to like and comment on other posts, and follow other accounts.
3. Keep it authentic and relatable
A post-pandemic study of consumer shopping habits published by Stackla has some illuminating data insights applicable to any social media efforts whether in retail or not:
- 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support (with 50% saying it’s very important).
- 83% of consumers believe retailers need to provide more authentic shopping experiences to customers like them.
- 59% of consumers say user-generated content is the most authentic type of content.
User-generated content is unpaid or unsponsored social posts that people share, according to Sprout Social. Whether a review of a product, a mention of your brand from a client or customer, or getting tagged in a post from an event that your organization hosted, these posts go a long way toward extending your reach and improving your brand development and awareness.
As far as authenticity and relatability, having solid brand editorial guidelines in place can help ensure that your messages come across as more than just words from a soulless, faceless organization, but as personalized provider of the services and products users seek.
4. Short-term videos drive engagement
TikTok has exploded, and it’s only increasing how other sites favor videos. Instagram has introduced Reels—15-second multi-clip videos similar to TikTok. (Pour one out for the OG homie Vine.) According to Pew Research Center, YouTube remains the most widely used social media site with 81% percent of U.S. adults saying they use YouTube. Marketers report that video content has the highest engagement levels and ROI on both Facebook and Instagram, according to Hubspot.
This doesn’t automatically mean your organization should be on TikTok, which is widely used by people aged 18-29 but not nearly as much by older Americans. It does mean that whatever platforms you choose to reach your target audience, you’ll want to figure out how to routinely create videos that work for that site.
On LinkedIn, longer videos like a thought leadership Q&A would work. Longer videos can work well on Facebook too. Twitter and Instagram are great for what Hubspot calls “snackable” videos, the kind of quickly consumed videos you’d find on TikTok.
This blog post is already out-of-date
OK, not really. All these tips will continue to be relevant to your 2023 social media strategy. But remember these sites—and their algorithms—are continually evolving.
A strategy you developed 5 years ago is likely no longer relevant today to producing engaging content or increasing your reach and impressions. You need a strategy that not only takes into account the present landscape, but also anticipates the shifts and changes to come—and can evolve alongside your business strategy. Contact Inspire Agency to help your digital marketing efforts stay ahead of the game.