Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Social Media Best Practices for 2022

Social Media Best Practices for 2022

At the beginning of every year, marketing experts make predications of social media trends and make fresh recommendations. Start the year going through your social media accounts, making sure they are updated and set up fully. Consider which ones are working well for you and which are not as effective. Now is the time to pare away or backburner the less effective tools.

Here are some best practices for the new year and recommendations on how to leverage them for your busines.

1. Digital ad spends

Companies are spending more on digital ads than ever before, mostly out of necessity as the top social networks now restrict the number of views a social media post receives as an incentive to advertise. If you are looking to grow your follower count or reach your current audience more prominently and consistently, advertising is now the main way to make that happen.

Build a budget for digital ads that include boosted posts that expose individual messages to more people as well as general ads that show up in front of highly targeted audiences either as posts, recommended accounts, or banner-style ads depending on the social network you’re using. Even a five- to ten-dollar boost on a post can put your message in front of hundreds more people.

2. Live streaming

While video continues to be popular, live streams are fast becoming the more watched video format. Whether livestreaming on your Facebook Page or Instagram account, or even on Twitter, the immediacy of livestreaming attracts attention - not to mention the notifications social networks push out to help promote livestreaming on their platforms.

Effective livestreaming requires the right equipment, some planning, and a spokesperson who is comfortable in front of the camera and who can convey key talking points in a natural way. Live streaming can be spontaneous, but it is best to have some things planned out. Reading off a script does not go over well when livestreaming. Casual and conversational works better - or even formal but more off-the-cuff than rehearsed.

At a minimum, have these things ready for better livestreaming:

  • A Quiet, well-lit location
  • A smartphone or camera on a tripod (unless handheld is a brand-appropriate style or a live stream on-the-go)
  • A specific format such as a Q&A, talk show, product demo, live tour, etc.
  • Some key talking points discussed in advance and in writing
  • An established date and time to go live - with corresponding marketing such as a Facebook event to garner advance interest.

While you can live stream at a moment’s notice with your mobile device, it may be challenging to stay on brand without at least some preparation.

3. Integrate a social shopping experience

As social networks continue to look for more ways to earn money from companies using their platforms for promotions, they are integrating sales functionality into their platforms. Facebook Stores, Instagram Shopping, and Product Pins on Pinterest are just a few examples. If you have an online store or want to sell online, having a standalone ecommerce shop is only the beginning. Make sure you’re using an ecommerce platform that is partnered with the bigger social networks like Shopify, for example. Being able to integrate your online store seamlessly into your Facebook Page or an Instagram post can be instrumental to increasing online sales.

4. Monitor for better customer service

If you aren’t listening to what people are saying about your company, products or services, or topics related to your industry and what you do, you are missing out an important intelligence that can help you better engage with customers and prospects. Set up social media listening posts such as Google Alerts, Mention, or social media dashboard tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social.

Social media is now driving rapid-response customer service, and consumers are expecting you to be listening, to hear them, and to respond ASAP. Be prepared to meet this expectation by saving searches for specific keywords and hashtags and establishing a process and schedule for reviewing and responding to relevant mentions.

5. Build social media partnerships

To succeed with social media marketing as feeds get noisier and algorithms continue to change, consider teaming up with complementary businesses, organizations, or individuals to combine efforts when posting about specific topics, news, events, promotions, or other information that needs a wider audience. In a social media partnership, you can look out for one another’s posts and interact with them to help increase exposure. Using the same hashtag can group all relevant posts together for mutual promotion.

As the new year gets underway, keep an eye on your social network accounts and how the platforms continue to change the features they offer. Staying up-to-date can be a challenge, but the more current your account, the more effective your social marketing tactics.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman