By: Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect
I think we would all agree that social media is here to stay, and this recent stat confirms it: 77% of people surveyed for a joint report by Facebook and NYU’s Governance Lab indicated that the most important group they are part of operates online (where social media plays a major part).
Hootsuite released their 2022 Social Trends report and in this five-part series, we will discuss each trend.
The Brand Strategy Trend
Brands finally get community right (with the help of creators)
In 2022, the key to unlocking online communities (no matter the size of your business) is in the hands of digital creators.
Instead of trying to build a community from the ground up, the smartest brands in 2022 will tap into existing creator communities to learn more about their customers, simplify content creation, and build brand awareness and affinity.
Stop thinking about your followers as your community
A lot of small and midsized businesses make the mistake of thinking that all they need to do when it comes to online community building is to get people to follow them. Assuming that a passive following is equal to an engaged, thriving, and loyal community does the power of social media a disservice. And it can cloud your judgment of your product’s real value.
Instead, seek out online communities that are active and engaged around interests relevant to your product category. If you make dishware, talk to home cooks. If you service cars, find auto clubs. If you manufacture welding equipment, find welders. By using creators to tap into these circles where you’re not well known and adding value there, you’ll reach new audiences, build cultural relevance, and learn more about your customers.
Support the growth of content creators in earnest
Not only should you be listening to what people are saying within the online communities you’re targeting—you should be actively supporting the content creators who are making those communities flourish. This goes beyond handing out freebies and swag (although those are nice too). Build trust by investing in your creator partners, taking the lead in distributing their content, and actively amplifying their content on your channels. If people within the community see you as an active partner in supporting the creators they admire, they’ll be more likely to trust that you have their best interests at heart too. Then it’s just up to you to deliver.