Social media moves fast. It is no longer a trend. It has become an integral part of popular culture and a vital marketing tool for brands looking to expand their reach. Since social media is an ever-changing landscape and the most effective channel for marketers to reach their target audience, it’s essential to research the latest trends so you can fulfil your brand’s potential.
How are brands and businesses standing out in 2022? What trends should you watch to stay ahead of the curve?
Tiktok for marketing
TikTok is a popular video app that has gained an impressive amount of users in just a few years. In September 2021, it passed the 1 billion user mark, making it the 7th most popular social network. The app grew so quickly because of its simplicity and ease of use.
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash
But despite this rapid growth, businesses are unsure whether they should invest in TikTok.
To put this into perspective, Instagram’s monthly active users grew at a rate of 6% in 2020.
Over the last year, search demand for TikTok has grown by 173%.
There is no doubt about its popularity and potential to become a cornerstone for future social media marketing campaigns.
Big companies and ad agencies will spend big ad dollars on smaller networks.
This social media may be the most surprising in 2022.
New research shows that consumers may be more receptive to advertising on smaller channels like TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest than the more extensive social networks.
A study by Kantar, commissioned by TikTok, found that consumers ranked TikTok ads as more inspiring and enjoyable than ads on other platforms.
A Pinterest Business study showed that ads on Pinterest had higher ROI and cheaper conversion rates than ads on other social networks.
A Nielson study commissioned by Snapchat found that ads on Snapchat had more reach than TV leading to broader reach and increase in purchase intent.
In early 2021, social media pros had to diversify their ads strategy in response to Apple iOS 14 update. When Apple announced an “opt-in to ads tracking” option for all Apple users, it blocked Facebook’s ability to target a vast chunk of its audience.
First and foremost, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat all encourage advertisers to make their ads fit in with organic content already being posted by regular users. The result is more entertaining and less disruptive ads, increasing conversions and overall good vibes for businesses.
Shoppers today expect to buy brand products on social media.
Before the pandemic, social commerce was a flashy opportunity for the most innovative businesses. But increased social media consumption combined with stay-at-home mandates created the perfect conditions for a social shopping explosion, which is not going away.
Social commerce is predicted to be an $80 billion industry by 2025, riding the coattails of equally massive e-commerce growth (an increase of 18% in 2020 alone).
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
In the past year, most shoppers have been using social media to learn about new brands and research products before purchasing. Many businesses have figured out that allowing users to checkout within their social media accounts just makes sense.
81% of shoppers already used social media to discover new brands and research products before the pandemic.
In today’s digital world, consumers are more likely to turn to a social network than they are to search engine results when shopping.
Many social networks have in-app shopping solutions now with live video and new features that help shoppers complete purchases. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are the most popular social networks for shopping.
Content marketing has become a significant part of the social media landscape. It will only continue to grow as more businesses realise they don’t need to spend thousands on ads to reach their customers.
Fewer people want to talk to your brand on the phone.
Between lockdowns, halting global supply chains, and labour shortages, consumers, have had more urgent questions for businesses than ever before. But their expectations for service are higher than ever. And they’ve discovered that they can get answers to those questions more conveniently using social media.
In a Nielsen survey commissioned by Facebook, 64% said they would prefer to message rather than call a business.
Gartner’s research predicts that by 2023, 60% of customer service will be done through digital channels. People are more likely to use social media for day-to-day interactions. According to Gartner, “Despite the rise in demand for customer service via social media, many organisations aren’t prepared to deliver effective customer service via social media.
Long-form video is a bust, except on YouTube.
According to video hosting software company Vidyard, 60% of all videos published on the internet in 2020 were under 2 minutes long. Two years ago, with the advent of IGTV and Facebook Watch (not to mention the supposed demise of Snapchat), there was a moment when we all thought the long-form video was the future.
YouTube was known for its long-form educational videos. But it changed its algorithm in late 2018 to reward videos 10 minutes long or more. By 2021 Facebook wanted to compete in the same arena and launched shorts for Youtube.
In late 2019, Instagram launched Reels, a video-making feature that competed with TikTok and Snapchat’s Stories, and it caught on. Will Smith even narrated an IGTV show for National Geographic.
More outsourcing to Creators- at least some of your engagement tactics
The creator economy has been around for about a decade. But it boomed during the pandemic as people looked for ways to diversify their income (due to unemployment, or a sudden influx of spare time, or both), But we’re not just talking about millionaire YouTube stars. It’s now considered typical for regular folks to monetise their hobbies, create several income streams, or freelance on social media.
The term “creator” encompasses both professional influencer marketers and amateur content creators — basically anyone who writes, edits, designs, and films content to publish on social media with an entrepreneurial motivation.
As of 2021, 50 million people are projected to consider themselves Creators.
A niche audience is vital if you want to build a brand online. You’ll need to make a shortlist of creators with already established fan bases that match the niche you’re trying to reach. And it’s important to know when and how to pay them fair rates, even if they are micro-influencers.
Learn Paid Advertising
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a few ups and downs for business marketing on social media. Businesses reduced their spending on ads and complained about low returns on over-saturated networks.
Plus, Apple allowed users to opt out of Facebook tracking. It caused Facebook advertisers to reinvent how they did their ad targeting.
That said, Facebook and Instagram are still the most prominent players in the game in ad revenue yearly.
Social media marketers have plenty of options for reaching their followers. For example, you can get your posts in front of your followers on Facebook by boosting them to target audiences, or you can post directly to Instagram and get it in front of the platform’s 1 billion monthly active users.
No matter your budget, someone on your social marketing team will have to learn how to boost and learn the basics of audience targeting.
Don’t post anything without a social listening strategy.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that had previously been resistant to social listening were forced to engage in it during a crisis. They liked responding in real-time and showing their concern for the public.
But as the pandemic progressed, more businesses learned that social listening could help them understand and predict customer preferences and eliminate potential disasters.
Develop a social audio strategy
It is not just a social media strategy; it is a cross-platform strategy. It will grow your business by increasing your reach and engagement. It’s the perfect tool for storytelling.
The future of online audio content is bright and promising. Audio consumption has doubled in the last two years, with 65 million people listening to podcasts globally. According to
Clubhouse launched in March 2020 but multiplied in popularity in early 2021. Twitter launched its social audio platform, Spaces, soon after. Facebook is also reportedly trying to enter the temporary live audio format.
These events had many social marketing teams scrambling to decide whether it was worth investing in a social audio strategy.