By: Jason Levy
With the risk of a recession continuing to increase in 2023, it is more important than ever for companies to revamp their social media strategy and prepare for the changes the industry may face. Consumer shopping trends in 2022 changed drastically and consumers were more frugal than ever. In addition, the effects of the possible recession are evident as we see a considerable decline in retail sales for this year in record numbers. Learn more below about consumer shopping trends from 2022 and how your company can stay competitive in the industry with a new social media strategy.
What is a Recession?
A recession is a prolonged period of economic downturn in which the value of goods and services falls for two or more consecutive quarters. This business cycle contraction reflects not only a drop in the value of goods but also a drop in income, industrial output, and stock prices. In addition, global economic shocks, changes in consumer confidence, and other large-scale economic changes can trigger recessions.
Shopping Trends in 2022
In 2022, we saw a variety of changes to both consumer and shopping trends. These changes can be directly related to inflation and the possible recession that is emerging. Additionally, increasing income disparities and rising unemployment heavily affect consumer spending. As a result of inflation and rising prices for products and services, numbers showed a massive decline in retail sales and an increase in consumer savings. We can see that retail sales plummeted by 20 percent, with clothing and accessory stores specifically down 89 percent and department stores overall down 45 percent. Consumers are less interested in shopping than they were in past years and are spending money more conscientiously than they have in the past. Because of this, we are seeing an increase in off-brand and discount retailers. In addition, many customers have transitioned to strictly online shopping and in-store pick-up because of the convenience. As consumer spending habits continue to change, companies must respond and adapt their social media strategy to the needs of consumers.
3 Ways to Revamp your Social Media Strategy
Prioritize Increasing Engagement
While having an online presence is very important for brands going into 2023, engagement is what leads to business. Engagement gives companies a lot of insight into consumers, which is why the biggest platforms use algorithms that prioritize engagement over reach. One key way to increase engagement through social media is to consistently post high-quality, relevant content that resonates with your target audience. This includes images, videos, text posts, infographics, and more. Engaging with your audience in real-time, promptly responding to comments and direct messages, and actively participating in online conversations related to your brand is essential. Additionally, using interactive features such as polls, quizzes, and live-streaming increases engagement and builds a sense of community around your brand. For example, Instagram has reaction stickers, the ability to do a Q&A on Stories and Reels, while TikTok has a video stitching feature. These social media tools allow businesses to establish organic and authentic interaction, ensuring that their customer feels listened to and valued. Finally, your business can increase engagement by encouraging and responding to user-generated content. This can include reposting and sharing user-generated content, creating user-generated content campaigns, and Influencer marketing campaigns.
2. Create an Experience for Consumers
Creating an experience for consumers involves understanding their needs and desires and designing a product or service that meets those needs in a unique and memorable way. To create an effective experience, your company should focus on creating personalized attention, immersive environments, and interactive features for consumers. A simple way to create an experience for consumers is through mobile optimization and ensuring your content is easily consumable on mobile devices. Another way is using personalized product recommendations. By analyzing a customer's purchase history, browsing behavior, and preferences, a retailer can offer customized product recommendations to each customer. Another way to personalize the shopping experience is using targeted marketing and advertising. By segmenting customers based on demographics, location, and past interactions, retailers can deliver personalized ads, promotions, and email campaigns to each individual customer. Personalized shopping experiences can also be enhanced by offering customized loyalty programs and incentives and utilizing dynamic pricing. Overall, creating a personalized shopping experience is about understanding the customer's needs and preferences and using that information to deliver a tailored and seamless shopping experience that will keep the customer coming back. It's also essential to constantly evaluate and improve the experience to ensure that it remains relevant and enjoyable for consumers.
3. Be Transparent
With access to so many brands, consumers have become drawn to companies that are transparent and honest with their customers about who they are, what they stand for, and how they conduct business. As a result, authenticity is critical to a brand's social media platforms' success. An example can be seen in the rising popularity of apps like TikTok and BeReal, which show that viewers want real, relatable people and circumstances. Since one of the main things consumers are looking for is authenticity, your social media strategy must be tailored around transparency about your products and services. Be transparent about the ingredients, materials, and methods used in your products, and be honest about any limitations or potential issues. In addition, being transparent about your business practices and sharing information about how your business operates, how you source your materials, how you treat your employees, and how you give back to the community is essential. Being transparent can build trust and credibility with your customers and create a sense of loyalty and connection with your brand.
If there is anything to take away from previous recessions, it is that recession periods expose flaws, accelerate emerging trends, and force organizations to implement structural changes more quickly than planned. Going into 2023, companies must adapt to the changes in consumer shopping behavior and re-strategize their social media strategy to stay relevant and competitive in the industry.