During the pandemic, even the least prepared companies were “forced” to rely more on social media as a central channel for marketing, sales, customer service, and more.
In fact, Hootsuite‘s Social Trends 2022 report states that 83% of marketers surveyed reported having some level of confidence in quantifying the return on investment (ROI) of their social efforts, up from 68% last year.
Among those who felt the most confident, 55% said their social ad strategy was completely integrated with other marketing activities, while 48% are using social media to learn more about what their customers want and need so that they can deliver exactly that.
The fact is: social media’s impact on marketing has made organizations realize the benefits it can also have on the rest of the company—and businesses that leverage social’s value to help other departments have a better chance of standing out.
That’s why in 2022 it might be a good idea for your brand to focus on developing a social media strategy that not only considers your other marketing efforts but also makes an impact on other areas of the company.
But how can you do that?
Answers straight from the source: an interview with Hootsuite’s Senior Copywriter
Today, we bring the third article from Rock Content’s series in partnership with Hootsuite (if you missed the first two articles, check here and here). For this one, we spoke with Konstantin Prodanovic, lead writer of Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 report. Check out the interview below.
“The biggest lesson for marketers is not to treat paid and organic as separate silos of your social marketing strategy.”
Rock Content: The COVID-19 pandemic meant that many businesses had to turn to social media to stay afloat. Do you think the pandemic has had some influence on businesses being able to better quantify the ROI of their social efforts?
Konstantin Prodanovic: Absolutely. Many business leaders were put into a position where they had to use social media for many things they weren’t used to using it for. It became their central marketing, sales, and customer service tool all in one. And I absolutely think it’s impacted their perception of social media’s business utility.
RC: There have been lots of changes in social networks this year. New networks like TikTok are growing quickly. Some marketers are whispering that Facebook is dead. What do you think these changes and rumors mean for social media marketers?
KP: That’s a big question (laughs). The short answer: Yes. The long answer: I think the dominance of TikTok has absolutely impacted social marketing strategies—particularly when it comes to targeting and customer segmentation.
TikTok has shattered the preconception that social’s true utility comes from using it as a mass marketing tool. I think we’re seeing marketers realize that there’s increasing value in using social as a community-building tool and focusing on the smaller, more niche interest groups that thrive on networks like TikTok.
But I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Facebook. It’s still the biggest social network in the world. 2.7 billion people are on the platform (TikTok recently just crested 1 billion, for comparison). There’s still plenty to be gained from good strategic marketing on Facebook.
RC: In the Hootsuite Social Trends survey, 65% of those who reported being “extremely confident” in measuring the ROI of social also had completely integrated their paid and organic strategies, affirming that social is at its most powerful when the two work together. Can we apply that thought to strategies like co-creating content with creators and social commerce strategies?
KP: There’s a lot to that question to keep my answer concise (laughs).
I think the biggest lesson for marketers is not to treat paid and organic as separate silos of your social marketing strategy. Your paid advertising strategy should reinforce your organic content and vice versa. So, when it comes to co-creation and social commerce, the same lesson applies. Keep your messaging consistent so that your customers have a cohesive experience with your brand.
RC: How can marketing KPIs (and KPIs of other departments) be improved through social metrics? What can we learn by applying this data to the whole company?
KP: Great question. I think the most important thing here is that business leaders should think of social media as more than a marketing tool.
For over a decade, marketers have been focused on using social media to build brand awareness (a core pillar, if not the core pillar of marketing). However, we’re seeing social start to take on increasing importance in customer service, sales, and recruitment.
RC: And how can marketing leaders prove the social value across the rest of their organization?
KP: I think marketing leaders have a role to play in dispelling misconceptions their colleagues may have about the value of social media.
Part of that means moving away from focusing on engagement metrics and reach, and focusing more on social as a tool for gathering data and insights: What are prospects talking about online? What sorts of service requests are they seeing most often? How are competitors positioning themselves?
The moment marketing leaders start helping their counterparts answer those questions, that’s when people will start to see the value of social in other departments.
RC: How can B2B social media management companies like Hootsuite help accelerate the growth of other businesses?
KP: In less than a decade, social media has entirely reshaped how we live, work, and communicate. It’s the first place people turn when they’re looking to discover, learn, and buy—and it’s an essential platform to build your brand, uncover deep strategic insights, and get closer to your customers.
From smart social listening and engagement to AI-powered social commerce and social customer care, Hootsuite has the scalable platform, deep expertise, strong industry partnerships, and bold vision to help your organization deliver world-class digital experiences to your customers at every stage of their journey—today and tomorrow.
RC: This is the first time Hootsuite has presented its annual trends survey results as interactive content. Why did you decide to go this route?
KP: Insight is power. We’ve done our absolute best to boil our survey data down to five key trends with actionable takeaways for business leaders. But social media is so big and it’s growing so fast that it’s difficult to cover it all—even in a report like ours.
There are many valuable insights in our survey data for anyone using social as a business tool. Whether you’re a media planner, a brand strategist, a social marketer, a small business owner, or a CMO, our full survey dataset is there to help you make informed decisions and succeed.
RC: What other insights can you highlight from the Hootsuite trends survey?
KP: I think we did a good job pulling out the most important data from the survey. But I’d encourage people to check out our blog, where we’ve gone deeper into the conversations we had with experts at creative agencies, consultancies, and networks like Twitter and YouTube to help inform the report. Or visit our Twitter account, where we’re often talking directly with social media managers and marketers around the world about our trends.
If your goal is to have a stronger and bolder brand in 2022, I suggest looking at social platforms with a different eye—whether it’s making your content more creative and engaging in conversation with your audience, or aiming for better conversion rates and measuring the ROI of your efforts on social (and taking that to the whole company).
Want to learn more about the future of social media? Read Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2022 report and stay tuned for more special articles here on Rock Content’s blog.
Next week, as we continue our Rock Content and Hootsuite blog series, we’ll be discussing how brands can court new buyers and retain loyal ones through strong social commerce strategies. See you there!