It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two years since the COVID-19 pandemic changed marketers’ approach to social media essentially overnight. What was once a fun, somewhat-beneficial awareness tool transformed into one of the primary ways to stay connected and an invaluable step in the marketing funnel. But the changes didn’t stop there.

Social media users saw this shift and began approaching the myriad of social media mobile apps in new ways, too. In 2021, TikTok quickly exploded as the fastest-growing social media platform, jumping from 25% to 44% usage in one year, and shifted the way brands and consumers interact with one another. As a result, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter all experienced a slight dip in usage for the first time in years.

And let’s not forget the platform changes! In an effort to avoid a similar fate, Instagram launched a variety of new features to improve the user experience and transition the app to a video-first feed. Other platforms were also inspired to launch their own spin-off versions of high-performing features, some of which worked well (hello, Reels) and some that… didn’t (RIP Fleets).

So what do all of these changes mean for you and your business? Ultimately, it means what worked for your brand on social media in 2019, 2020 and 2021 is probably not going to work in 2022. But the start of a new year is a great time to review and refresh your strategic approach to social media. And lucky you, you’ve got a social media strategist here to walk you through it!

Audit your 2021 performance.

In order to find out what’s working and, sometimes more importantly, what’s not working, start by outlining your highest and lowest performing campaigns and auditing your annual performance. Look at your content: What earned the most likes, comments or saves? How has the audience’s behavior shifted?

Look back at how well you stuck to your 2021 strategy. Did you follow through on all of your content and campaign plans? How did your annual performance stack up to the goals you set last January? Do you need to make adjustments to better suit your lifestyle for the new year? Are there gaps in the types of content (i.e., video, Stories) being published?

Set goals + outline objectives to achieve them.

Determining which key performance indicators (KPIs) are most important to your brand will help you analyze how your post performance ties into achieving your goals. And while social media goals will fall in line with the overall business/marketing goals, they should be framed specifically for social media (e.g., gain 500 followers, increase average monthly engagement rate to 5%). To do this, start by working backwards and considering what has to happen on social media in order to achieve them.

Remember to make your goals attainable and check in on your performance regularly to help you stay on track all year!

Analyze competitors and explore new platforms.

No one likes a copycat, but there’s a lot to be learned from your competitors. Take a look at their top-performing campaigns for industry insight and inspiration. What content/campaigns are earning the highest engagement rates? How often are they posting? How are they using video content in their strategy?

You can also gauge whether or not it’s time to expand your presence. Are your competitors using additional social media platforms? How will you work these into your strategy? Keep in mind that you don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform, especially if it’s going to be difficult for you to keep up with them. Instead, look at where your audience is engaging and focus your efforts there!

Find ways to optimize your workflow.

Think back to your biggest challenges in 2021 – content creation, engagement, consistency – and strategize about how you can eliminate those obstacles for the new year. Some ideas include:

  • Batch create content on a weekly, biweekly, monthly basis
  • Reuse top-performing visual content
  • Leverage new tools and platforms (DollarEighty, Sprout Social)
  • Create a calendar of important dates, micro-holidays, etc. for the year ahead

Review your profiles and brand guidelines.

The start of a new year is also a great time to debut a fresh face on social media. Ask yourself how your brand standards or brand voice evolved over the past year. Have things shifted since the start of 2021? How has the pandemic affected how you engage on social media?

Even if you’re not going to update your design style, check to ensure the profile and header images on your profiles are current and/or accurate. You should also review your social media bios and update them as needed – this should be done annually anyway!

And if all of these platforms and features are just getting too much to manage on your own, we can help! Schedule a conversation with our Director of Business Development to learn how we can assist with managing your social media presence.