While many of us are in the midst of our busiest season of the year, it’s natural to look ahead to 2023 and think of all the things we want to change or improve. Start taking down notes as you think of them throughout the coming months. That way, once January comes around, you can flesh out the plan you want to execute over the following year.
Many independent retailers and manufacturers want to better use social and digital media tools to connect with customers. They want to remind customers to shop local or independent, showcase new products and services or give them a sneak peek of things to come.
Ready to improve your social media game next year? Here’s a primer on how to make 2023 your best year when it comes to maximizing your social media engagement.
Create a Plan and Work Your Plan
For any business or marketing plan to work, you want to have a plan in place. Not an overall arching idea but an actual plan, broken down by month and, ideally, by week. Jot down major events or holidays or seasons you want to highlight each month. Does your community have a huge event happening in the month of April or October? Write it down. Do you normally travel to a market in July? Note your market travel so you can consider posting live takes from market.
Invest In Social and Digital Media
So you don’t know how to use TikTok (or some other platform) yet but feel like this is a good way to reach your target market? Add it to your calendar! Professional development is one of those things that people talk about but rarely have time to do because they don’t plan for it. Learning anything new takes time and the more you practice, the better you get. If it’s learning a new social media platform and you feel overwhelmed, break it down into actionable steps. For example:
January — Learn TikTok
- Week 1: Watch a YouTube video or hire someone to walk you through the basics.
- Week 2: Set aside 30 minutes to watch TikTok videos to get a better idea of the type of content people or brands are creating and what’s popular. If 30 minutes a day is too much, try to find at least 10 minutes three days this week.
- Week 3: Find accounts to follow and start watching those more closely this week. What are they doing well? What do you like about each post? What are you noticing? Captions? Are they videos or just images? Are hashtags being used?
- Week 4: Create your first TikTok video and post it! See what kind of engagement you get. Next month, build upon what you’ve learned and start posting at least once a week.
February — Continue with TikTok
- Week 1: Last month you created and posted your first TikTok so this month the focus is on posting more regularly. Try to post at least one thing every week(more often if you start getting the hang of it). Experiment with content.
- Week 2: Start letting customers and friends know you have an account and ask their TikTok user names so you can follow them. They might reciprocate and follow you, too!
- Week 3: ….
You get the idea. You don’t need to break down each week right now, but you do want to start building out your plan by identifying what you want to tackle in 2023. Again, if you don’t planyour work, you cannot work your plan.
Invest In Video
Video is no longer a nice to have in your social media posts. Today’s audience relies on videos daily and it’s not just TikTok. It’s also Instagram Reels and YouTube. According to Social Media Today, video is the most engaging content type online and thanks to better mobile device functionality, it’s easier than ever for people to stream content on the go. It’s changing the way we communicate, engage and interact.
And don’t think it’s just younger generations using these video-heavy platforms. In the United States, almost 20% of TikTok users are 40-49 and 10% are 50 and better. On YouTube, 70% are users aged 40-49 and more than 65% are age 50 and better. Each month, users spend on average of almost 20 hours on TikTok and almost 24 hours on YouTube.
You do not need any fancy technology to create videos. Your smartphone works just fine. The goal isn’t to produce documentary-style videos to post. Rather, it’s to create content your audience would love to engage with, share with their friends or use to communicate with you.
Learning something new can be exciting and fun even if it’s challenging. The new year is always a good time for reflection and turning a new chapter. Let this be the year you try something new and reap all the benefits of your new insights.