Social Media Challenges in the New Year
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
The continuous expansion of social media is making it more difficult to know which platform is the best for customer engagement. From TikTok to Twitch and old favorites like Facebook and Instagram, retail dietitians need to focus their time on platforms that will provide the best ROI. Here are some of the challenges facing social media marketers in the new year and how you can prepare.
- Choosing a platform for your educational engagement. When it comes to choosing the right platforms, it’s important to understand your audience. Who are they and where do they spend their time on social media? Check in with your social media team who most likely has research on customer participation and which platforms are most popular with different age groups. You should also look at the content your audience prefers when deciding on platforms. If it’s video content, then YouTube, Instagram Stories or TikTok should be considered.
- Developing engaging content. Creating good content is hard. Instead of doing the same old thing this year, research what types of content are trending and try something new. For example, post your monthly blog on your Instagram Stories, conduct a poll on Instagram, show behind the scene retail stories on Snapchat or Instagram (highlight a local produce story, sustainability efforts or new products). Spotlight monthly wellness topics with graphics on Instagram and Facebook, share website content on Facebook, or post articles about your wellness programming on LinkedIn. You can also consider using user-generated content to liven up your posts.
- Obtaining new content ideas. Understand what content is out there and look for gaps where you can answer questions and fill in the blanks. If everyone is talking about a Mediterranean diet plan but there is a lack of easy recipe ideas, provide them. Think about what trending topics exist and how you can augment that in a format that is tailored for your audience.
- Measuring ROI. First remember that the metrics you use to quantify ROI should depend entirely on your objectives. When your social media goals involve abstract concepts, such as increasing customer engagement, it can be hard to measure success but it can be done. In these cases, non-monetary metrics such as an increase in audience, number of newsletter sign-ups, etc., can be used. However, the end-game is still to assign the monetary value of your investment in social. Again, it is important to align with your social media team to see what tools they have in place to help you calculate ROI. Google Analytics with UTM parameters, for example, provides the ability to set up and customize an attribution system that works for your social strategy.
As you move into the new year, take some time to brainstorm about your social media challenges and plan a strategy that will help you advance your social goals.