Much has changed in the digital landscape and social media trends over the past year. 2021 has been full of declines (Meta) and expansions (TikTok is growing like no other platform). One thing that hasn’t? The global importance of the social.
We see two main challenges in corporate social efforts. The first is a mediocre creation. Every post not only needs a video, GIF, or at least an image, but the content it points to (and copies) needs to be great. It should resonate either through dynamic art or by sharing a new idea. The second is “organic only”. The days of social posts without paid support are over.
Aside from these essential tactics, our digital and social specialists have analyzed major social media trends and shifts and added first-hand information on what’s happening on each network – insights to inform how these channels are performing in the part of an overall marketing strategy.
In our first blog of the series, we dive into Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook marketing strategy
The number of daily active users fell for the first time in the fourth quarter, drop to 1.93 billion. Monthly active users saw a meager 4% growth to 2.9 billion. Despite this, an uncertain future (with the Metaverse looming) and more limited data tracking (due to an iOS 2020 update, requiring users to opt-in or opt out of data tracking), this platform -shape still has the largest user base in the world. With its wide reach and massive influence, brands shouldn’t overlook Facebook.
In case you missed it: The advancement of Creator Studio and publishing tools like the ‘Inspiration Center‘ and Video Creation Kit added more information and support for creative development, making it easier to generate content
What works? The video first: A casual, light tone and short copy tend to be better received than a formal branded voice. And posts with short videos and lighthearted animated graphics receive significantly more engagement than those without. If it’s a video, use closed captions; That makes all the difference!
What works? Groups: It might not be right for every business, but groups are one of Facebook’s most important features. They become a great way to foster the community.
TL; DR: Facebook is still worth it, but the algorithm puts organic brand content at a disadvantage and really forces a paying strategy. Advertising dollars are essential for gaining reach, site traffic, and conversions. If you don’t take anything else on how to approach Facebook in 2022, put advertising dollars behind your posts!
Instagram marketing strategy
Instagram continues to be the shining star of Meta’s app family. It is the second best performing platform overall considering the number of active users, estimated at 1.1 billion in 2021.
In case you missed it: When it comes to social media trends and strategy, Instagram stories are crucial. With the new “link hardcover journals“, the format inspires site traffic better than posts in the feed asking to navigate to the link in the bio. The latest Instagram update allows users to like stories directly. While driving engagement this way may not be the end goal, it allows brands to analyze what types of content are connecting with audiences.
What works — stylish visuals: Quality and eye-catching images or videos are key to grabbing attention. People are looking for visual experiences. Make it your focus and pair it with short, catchy captions to complement it. 1-50 characters generates more interactions, statistically speaking. That said, using a visual as a teaser for a longer post (up to 2,200 characters) works under the right circumstances, unveiling some really actionable insights or compelling details.
What works — influencer marketing: Finding the right creators with the right audience and the right approach to content takes time. But, Instagram influencer activations and brand ambassador programs can really get things going. It is essential to establish the terms of the agreement authorizing the use of influencer video, images and content on behalf of the brand and for paid promotion. After all, consumers trust individual recommendations over brand promotions and they are increasingly making immediate purchases from influencer posts via affiliate marketing links
What to try—cross-posting: While not a new concept, marketers need to embrace cross-posting on Instagram in particular. Take advantage, in particular, of the ability to re-share any TikTok brand or influencer video (with permissions) on Instagram given the simplicity of posting long videos with Instagram Reels integration
2022 and beyond
If there’s one thing we know about digital media, it’s that it’s constantly changing. Focus on how you can use social media trends and updates to improve your strategy in the present. Because a new wave of the internet and social media is fast approaching as all platforms compete to stay relevant and compete for users’ time.
This article was originally published by our sister company SHIFT Communications on SHIFT Insights.