It’s 2023, everyone and their mother is on social media, for more hours a day than ever before — Scrolling scrolling, dear god the endless scrolling.

This is both good news and bad news for your social media marketing. The good news is obvious – all your customers and customers-to-be are reachable on social media. The bad news – many of these people are only online to connect to friends and family, rather than listen to you market your brand.

How do you… stop the proverbial scroll?

But this woman-owned, women-led digital agency is here to guide you through the peaks and pitfalls of social media marketing in 2023. Here’s how you can build a social media marketing strategy that works for today.

If you’re going to have a successful social media strategy in this climate, a new approach is needed. Because while we’ve all heard it a million times, it’s true. 2020 changed things. A lot. There are shifts and trends you need to be aware of when you create your business’s social media strategy for this year. In this article, we’re going to look at how social media marketing has changed forever since 2020, and the steps to set you up for a successful strategy in any time.

Social Media Trends you need to know about for 2023

Let’s kick off with a rundown of the key trends to be aware of as you dive into social media this year:

The Great Trust Deficit

Fake news, various media sh*t storms and vast amounts of misinformation flying around mean there’s a giant trust deficit when it comes to marketing content online.

This means that (gasp) most consumers don’t trust advertisers to tell them the truth. Not all by themselves anyway. The Nielsen report shows that 82% of consumers believe what friends and family say over what a company says about themselves.

How is trust won? By you as a business doing what you said you’d do, consistently over time.

It seems old school.

It is old school.

It works.

Today, this old school-ness comes under the new title of ‘relationship marketing.’ To succeed on social media, businesses need to become, well, social. This means having a personal relationship with your customers, being consistent, and delivering on your promises.

The trust deficit online also means that verified reviews, referrals and word of mouth marketing (WOMM) are more important than ever.

As a brand, you should be looking for ways to give your best customers a megaphone to spread the word on your company.

Examples of successful WOMM campaigns:
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Dunkin’ Donuts on Instagram & Vine

Cater to the Goldfish

Fifteen second TikTok videos, Instagram reels, Facebook stories… People scrolling social media feeds are in a weird dopamine-hit ready state, with a mayfly attention span.

There isn’t time to get across a highly nuanced brand message in a tweet or instagram photo. That’s for later, when you can talk to your customers on the phone, via email or in person.

Brands need to plan out a series of micro-commitments in their social media marketing. Think about the steps people could take to go from liking a Facebook post, to ending up on your store page, subscribing to your email list, or booking a call with your consulting business.

Live to You

Live videos have become more and more popular. Isolated people want to feel they’re having a social interaction online. This means off-stage moments, behind-the-scenes tours and supposedly unrehearsed live streams will get high engagement.

A good example of this is the informal style and humour of the famous Dollar Shave Club video.

Taking a stand

If your business wants to be on social media now, you can’t stay on the sidelines and avoid all controversy. People are expecting businesses to have opinions on, well, social issues. Brands that don’t take a stand on important issues are perceived as less trustworthy by consumers.

This is where the picture becomes more complex. Because businesses have been burned in the past for paying lip service to a cause, purely to cater to their audience.

It’s called virtue signaling, and it can seriously backfire.

How can a business comment on social issues without being accused of a virtue signaling? Who gets to judge ‘authenticity?’

Taking a stand on social media builds trust when it’s already in alignment with your company’s values. And be warned, taking a stand will polarize people. It will win loyal fans, and it will also drive away people who disagree with you.

A great example of a company taking a stand in a congruent way is Patagonia, with their “The president stole your land” campaign.

Patagonia has always had a strong philosophy on preserving wild places and natural beauty. It’s baked into the company ethos. So when they literally picked a fight with the presidency, there was no doubt they were prepared to go the distance. It created great trust and loyalty with their fans. However it drove away others. Taking a stand will do this, so it needs to be done with a long term view, authenticity, and sincerity.

Know thy platforms, know thy audience

Each platform has its unwritten laws, and similarly, your audience will have certain beliefs in common.

Certain platforms are better than others for your business. Here are some guidelines for selecting your platform:

  • B2B companies, consultants, professionals, academics or business thought leaders should focus their efforts on LinkedIn

  • Everyone with a quippy thought that can fit in 280 characters hould look to Twitter — particularly artists, musicians, politicians, news-makers and tech companies
  • Visually appealing products – Instagram, Pinterest
  • Home interiors and architecture – Houzz
  • Entertainment and celebrity – Tiktok
  • Sports, How-tos, coaching, expert-led businesses – Youtube
  • Facebook – Just everything.

As a company, you need to spend time listening before you enter the conversation your audience is having. Otherwise things like this can happen…

Examples of being in sync with your audience:

Formulating Your Social Media Strategy

Ok, that’s a lot of complexity. The problem with social media is that it’s all about people, and people are complex. The rulebook has to be nuanced for it to work.

Businesses on social media are now expected to act more like people, with values, opinions, humor and individual quirks.

Great. We have the social side of social media covered – now let’s look at the business side. This is where the strategy comes in, and Drizzle Digital – a 100% woman-owned digital agency –  is here to organize you to win.

What are your business goals?

The first thing to do is begin with the end in mind.  What are your business goals? Growth? Sales? New customers? And we don’t just mean in terms of social media. We mean — BIG PICTURE — what are you trying to accomplish this year? Write down your Top 5 business goals so they are top of mind during this process.

Who do you think you’re talking to?

Next, you need to answer the question: who is your customer? What do they want? What drives them? What do they engage with? For your business, you should have a set of developed personas that you’re thinking about at every step of your marketing strategy. If you don’t have this well-defined, you may want to spend some time doing some persona exercises and working through your target audiences before you crash into the next step.

What do you want them to do?

Now that you understand your business goals and your target audiences, what exactly do you want each of those audiences to do? Buy something? Sign up for emails? Make an appointment?

It’s important to consider the customer journey here. For some businesses, you want people to buy products straight off Facebook or Instagram. Other more complex customer journeys will require you to get people off social media and into your funnel.

What does success look like?

Now that you understand your business goals and how each of your audience groups fit into that big picture, what social media KPIs will indicate success? Reactions? Direct purchases? Follows? ROAS if you’re looking at paid content? These KPIs should directly relate to your business goals noted above. So, for example, if your goal for the year is to increase sales by 20%, you may choose to have one of your social media metrics be to get 20 leads per month directly through your social channels. If your business goal is to increase brand awareness, maybe you want to increase the number of organic followers by 25% across two specific channels. Document the metrics you need to track on to prove out your sweet success. Start with where you want to go to help you build the map to get there.

What content will speak to these audiences and goals?

You have goals. You have audiences. Now you need to start developing the plan. This is the fun part. Build out a content calendar that will addresses your goals for your audiences. Depending on the size of the business we’re working with, we try to have 2-6 weeks planned. Essentially, we’re in a constant rolling state of approvals, creative development, and ongoing reporting.

For some of our larger clients, we develop a collection of post types and a cadence of those post types that align with the brand look, feel and voice, and ultimately are designed to meet the business goals they’ve defined. In this part of the plan, keep in mind the trends noted above that make this a unique — nay an unprecedented time — for most people on the planet. Be creative, authentic, and ready to engage in a conversation.

That’s a lot of questions, and the strategy you build should be unique to your business goals, audiences, and brand. We have a matrix we use to map out these strategies with clients — starting with their goals, and going all the way down to what percentage growth we want to see on a particular metric we decide to track for them. We love helping companies create high-return, engaging social media plans. It’s a mix of creative, mathy work that feels a little like art when you get it right.

Shoot us a note, and let’s chat about how Drizzle Digital can help you build a social strategy that works for your unique business.