While it could be argued that the origins of Social Media go back to the days of Bulletin Board systems and, subsequently, IRC chat and services like ICQ and AOL, many of the leading players in today’s social media landscape launched sometime between 2003 and 2006. That means that what we call social media today, in many cases, is now around 20 years old. And yet, despite its maturity, today’s social media platforms are in more flux than ever. Constantly changing policies, algorithms and strong newcomers like TikTok and Discord are keeping social media managers on their toes.
In this article, we’ll discuss how your company can develop a better strategy for 2023 and devise an execution strategy that makes sense for your small, medium or large organization.
Re-Evaluate the Purpose of Your Social Media Channels
There’s a tendency among companies to set their social-media efforts on auto-pilot. They post the same content in the same format across their numerous channels with a ton of repetition and without a fundamental understanding of how to excel on each platform. It’s time to get off auto-pilot and re-evaluate the purpose of each social channel your company is active on. Going through this process, you should also gain a better understanding of what each social media channel is best suited for. Here are some questions you should begin asking:
- How do your potential customers or clients use each social network you have a presence on?
- What is the purpose of your social media channels? Define what each channel should accomplish through the content you post and your engagement. Here are a few examples of how your organization could be using social media in 2023:
- Customer / Client engagement
- Development of leads
- Educate potential clients/customers
- Building community
- Direct sales through shopping features or direct links
- Brand building
- Establishing thorough leadership in your industry
- Connecting and networking with other people and companies in your industry
- Customer service
Define Your Social Media and Brand Voice
If you still need to define the distinct personality you want your brand to take on in all of your communications, including social media, now’s the time. In an online world drowning in content, sometimes, a unique voice based on genuine interactions with your audience, a high level of transparency, memorable content, strong customer service, and compelling story-telling are what you need to stand out from your competitors.
But where to start in defining your social media and brand voice? Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Know Your Audience and Customer Personas – Before deciding on a tone of voice, you must first define your audience and customer personas. Do you cater to a younger audience? An older audience? An audience of business professionals? Your audience should dictate much of your social media voice and the language you use.
- Audit Your Current Voice – make sure the voice you’re already using meets and matches your company values and the public profile you want to present to anyone that will interact with your company via social media. If you have multiple people posting on your social media feeds, ensure they follow the same guidelines for your brand voice to maintain consistency.
- Define Your Tone – If your brand voice is what you say, the brand tone is how you say it. This is where a well-defined language style guideline will come in handy. Define first who you’re talking to, and then list out how your organization should talk to various parties, including customers, media, employees, contractors, partners etc.
Prepare Contingency Plans
If 2022 taught us anything, it’s that social media is an inherently unstable place. Between looming regulation or outright bans (TikTok), change of focus (Facebook/Meta), or ego-driven billionaires (Twitter), social platforms are proving, ever more, a place that is rented ground. Never forget that your following on any social channel can disappear overnight.
Given the inherent instability, it’s good to diversify your channels and begin using social media as more of a funnel to owned customer channels such as e-mail, which no third party can take away from you at a whim. Most companies should have been doing this all along, but 2023 is as good a time to start as any.
Clean Up Your Visuals and Project a Consistent Brand Image
Despite nearly 20 years of practice, far too many big and small companies continue to struggle with projecting a professional, visually appealing image on social media. Investing in a professional design team and allowing them the space to work their magic should be a priority for your organization if you feel like your social media image is lacking. But how do you know if you’re behind in that respect? The best way is to look at the leading companies in your industry and see what they are doing on their social media.
Short-Form Video Will Continue to Dominate
By now, most social media managers know that the overwhelming trend of short-form vertical video that we saw flourish in 2022 will continue to 2023. TikTok remains king in this area, but many other social networks like Instagram, Facebook Reels and YouTube shorts are pursuing this form of social media as well.
Videos under 20 seconds are likely to result in the most significant amount of engagement, so if any of your audiences participate in the channels mentioned above, it’s time to develop a clear and comprehensive content strategy for short-form videos. The best part is that, in most cases, your videos don’t need a high level of polish, but they require a high level of creativity. In some cases, even a creative, never-before-seen transition from one scene to another is enough for a video to take off in popularity.
Focus on Earned Social Media By Getting More Employees Involved
I know it may sound scary, but in order to enhance your social media presence, you can no longer rely on your official social channels. Getting more of your employees to participate in social media conversations on behalf of your company is a growing trend. And no wonder, in multiple case studies, it’s been shown that companies that allow certain employees to represent their companies on social media consistently rank higher on earned trust and authenticity from their respective audiences.
Of course, this also means that you have to give your employees the tools to do it. As a result, your employees will become content generators and brand ambassadors who can create relatable and timely thought leadership in your industry. They can also become evangelists of your company culture, turning their presence into a tremendous recruiting tool.
And last but not least, remember to have your C-Suite involved. These are often the most visible and most-followed employees. Their ability to get your company’s message out can be amplified through the sheer force of personality and reputation.
Experiment With Posting Frequencies and Times
Suppose you’ve already taken the step to understand where your audience likes to socialize online and what times they are most active and likely to notice your posts. In that case, you’re already halfway to figuring out how often you should post and at what times.
I’ve been advising my clients to experiment with their posting frequencies and times because unless you perform some A/B tests to pinpoint precisely how often to post and when you might not be optimally using your social channels.
Remember that while you may have X amount of followers on any given channel, only a tiny percentage of your audience (5-10% – depending on the platform and various algorithmic factors) will organically see your posts. That’s why I recommend a higher than seems natural posting frequency and dedicating some marketing budget to boosting your posts to your hard-earned audience.
Using AI Tools to Plan Your Content
The SEO, and more broadly the Digital Marketing world, is aflutter about various AI tools that have recently come online. More specifically, there has been a great deal of ink spilled about OpenAI’s ChatGPT language model, which has impressed marketers of all stripes. And despite its confidence in answering various questions, writing code, and even full-blown essays, the ChatGPT AI isn’t always correct in its pronouncements. After all, its database is partly comprised of scraped information from the broader web.
That doesn’t mean it’s not useful for various digital marketing tasks, including planning social media content and generating ideas. Here are just a few example prompts you could use if you were running a wheel and tire shop:
- Generate ten social media posts for a tire sale with 10% off every tire until March 31, 2022.
- Please give me some ideas for social media posts about why you should keep tires stored in a climate-controlled environment.
- Generate five ideas for videos about car detailing and its benefits.
That’s it for our roundup of some ideas you can use to get your social media channels on the right track in 2023. Contact one of our social media management experts today if you need help managing your growing social media presence.