You’ve heard the news already. Social media advertising revenues are projected to exceed $41 billion by 2022*. With business moving faster every day, that date is likely closer than you think.

So what can your company do today to stay ahead? Here are some lessons learned from the experts at Correlate’s recent social media marketing conference for eCommerce marketers on how to build a social media strategy for 2022.

  1. Establish your business goals for social media marketing

Before you do anything, it’s important to establish your business goals and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your company. Is your goal to increase engagement? To track leads? To drive sales? Keeping these numbers top of mind will help guide all of your decisions across paid, owned, and earned channels. Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can prioritize where to spend time and resources over the next few years. For example:

If customer acquisition and retention are key for your business, you’ll need to focus on paid media like paid social. However, if your KPIs include time spent on the site and page likes/follows, invest in high-quality content and targeted influencer marketing campaigns.

If you’re selling a consumer product or brand with less purchase friction (unlike shoes or clothes), think about how eCommerce platforms like Pinterest can help you get more eyes on products that align with users’ interests.

  1. Identify your target audience and create buyer personas

Now that you have a better understanding of the KPIs, identify who makes up each persona in different parts of this funnel so you can create relevant, useful content. If you know your target audience well enough to give them a name, they most likely have unique tastes and preferences with different needs at each stage of the funnel.

For example, early in the funnel might involve Pinterest users who are interested in travel planning but are not yet ready to book accommodations. This group may be more open to content around browsing with less purchasing intent since that’s their primary interest on Pinterest.

  1. Create content that is relevant to your target audience and resonates with them

Your business goals will inform what channels you should invest more time or money into while achieving KPIs will inform how much time or money you should spend on those channels. And don’t forget about future trends! For example, Instagram will likely become more important over the next few years with changes like shoppable posts. It’s hard to predict how each platform will shift in the future, but identifying your opportunity now is key for making educated decisions later.

At Foreignerds, we’ve found that content on Pinterest and Instagram typically has longer engagement compared with other platforms like Facebook or Twitter. This means people are more willing to spend time looking at an image or video before they engage. Coupled with their visual nature, these platforms make perfect homes for product campaigns where retailers can showcase large visuals of items like clothing or coffee mugs with links back to their site.

  1. Experiment with different platforms and strategies to find what works best for you

When it comes to social media marketing, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Before investing too much time and money into any particular network or strategy, experiment with different options like influencer marketing or Google Shopping ads to see what works best for your business. You can’t just create a campaign and put it out there – each platform requires a unique set of tactics that will require some research on your part.

  1. Analyze your results and adjust your strategy as needed

Monitoring tools like Google Analytics help show how users engage with content across channels so marketers have more insight into which campaigns are most successful from an ROI perspective. Looking at traffic sources is the easiest way to see which channels drive the most traffic, but don’t forget to track time spent on the site and page likes/follows. While these KPIs may not directly translate to dollars and cents, their importance shouldn’t be discounted! If users are spending more time on your site or following your brand on social media, there’s a good chance they’re at least interested in what you have to offer. And if this is the case, you should capitalize by creating content that resonates with them even further.

  1. Keep up with the latest trends in social media marketing to stay ahead of the competition

Social media platforms themselves will continue to evolve over time as business needs change and new technologies come onto the market (e.g., Instagram shopping). As these platforms change, so will the social media marketing landscape.

Social Media Marketing Tools

Tools are wonderful things to have under your belt when it comes to monitoring and analyzing your results, adjusting your strategy per changes in channels, creating content that resonates with target audiences, etc. Here are a few of our favorites:

Tumblr: Tumblr isn’t really a tool you can use for social media management per se but they offer some simple image-editing tools worth mentioning here. If you see an image on another site you’d like to share on social media or feature in a blog post/article/infographic think about uploading it directly to this platform first! You can crop images quickly right from the dashboard without having to download them first.

Social Report: This tool is wonderful for managing your time across multiple channels. You can use it to collaborate with team members, schedule content ahead of time, create reports, and so much more!

Hootsuite: One of the most common tools used for social media management as well as pretty much any other type of marketing you can think of. Their free version will work just fine for basic users while their enterprise-level solution is best suited for those with a larger team and more complex needs. We’re big fans of HootSuite here at Foreignerds and recommend giving them a look if you haven’t yet!

Mention: Monitoring mentions from fans or competitors is critical if you want to stay on top of things. A simple alert with the mention of your company/product will be sent directly to you so that you can respond accordingly within minutes.

BuzzSumo: A good tool for identifying influencers in specific niches as well as content trends is BuzzSumo. It’s free to use but they also offer back-end (i.e., more advanced) tools like Site Explorer which provides insights into the number of social shares per site related to your query.

Tweriod: If you want to find out when most users are on Twitter, Tweriod will give you a helpful overview including peak times for engagement! This information is especially useful if you’re trying to choose an appropriate time for broadcasting live videos or running contests.

Pinterest Analytics: If you’re pinning to Pinterest, you’ll want to make use of their analytics tool. It’s free and provides in-depth stats about the most popular images you’ve pinned, top repins of your pins and total impressions.

OneSignal: Here’s a good example of an external tool that lives outside of social media marketing but is still extremely relevant. One Signal integrates with sites like Facebook Messenger to provide the option to display the usual blue notification bar at the top of your site or in emails (depending on where they are in your buyer journey), allowing users to opt-in for push notifications without leaving their current screen. This can be extremely helpful when trying to stay engaged with potential customers who may not come across your site otherwise!

Did we miss any great tools? Leave them in the comments below so we can give them a try ourselves!

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