Dominate social media in 2022 with these trends
Over the past two years, we’ve seen a shift in the way brands promote their products or services on social media.
And, as social media popularity continues to grow, brands aren’t just wondering how they’ll engage huge social media audiences next year. They’re also asking, “What social media trends should I expect in this constantly changing landscape?”
To learn more about what brands can expect in 2022 and beyond, our partners over at HubSpot surveyed over 1,000 marketing professionals to learn which trends B2B and B2C businesses will leverage in 2022.
TikTok has seen undeniably fast growth. In fact, the term ‘TikTok’ saw a 61% increase in mentions year-over-year during the beginning of 2021 and was the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 million global downloads.
With fast growth, it’s easy to assume it’s a fad — but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. HubSpot’s social team believes TikTok offers unique opportunities to engage directly with consumers, and major brands such as the NBA and Dunkin’ are leveraging the app to reach new audiences.
In 2022, we’ll continue to see the rise of TikTok as more brands (including Advent Trinity) explore how they can leverage the app’s popularity to expand brand awareness and reach new audiences.
In 2021, HubSpot’s Blog Research found the primary goals of most marketers’ social media strategies were:
During the pandemic, most consumers needed to shift to an online-first purchasing experience.
To increase your social media presence, it’s critical you stay active and consistent in your posting, leverage trends and buzzy content, and invest in high-quality creative assets.
Additionally, to foster deeper relationships with your existing audiences, you’ll want to engage with your followers through interactive elements such as polls, Q&As, and live videos.
Social media is an undeniably powerful strategy for your business, and it isn’t just for brand awareness. It’s also an effective tool for generating revenue. In fact, 79% of people say that user-generated content on social media significantly impacts their purchasing decisions.
This is why you’ll see more companies making dedicated social media hires in 2022, rather than tasking a busy marketing team with social media as a side project. Though marketing teams will also be generating new hires to handle social media as the trend increases because many small businesses can’t afford an in-house manager or just don’t have the time and ability to do it themselves.
When social media isn’t prioritized, organizations miss out on the opportunity to optimize platforms and turn them into revenue generators.
If you haven’t already, consider hiring a social media community manager to build and engage with your online audiences. These managers are the tone, voice, and conversations behind your brand — so it’s worth it if your audience is eager to engage with your brand through social media.
Augmented Reality (AR) has been around for a few years now, and it’s becoming increasingly common for brands to use AR to enable consumers to test products before purchase.
AR can improve click-through rates to purchase by upwards of 33%.
If you think AR could be a good fit for your brand, Snapchat is an effective platform to test it — the social platform reaches over 90% of 13-24-year-olds, and over 75% of 13-34-year-olds in the U.S., including nearly one of every two smartphone users, so it’s a good opportunity to get your products in front of a large audience.
Instagram and Twitter aren’t new to the social scene, but many marketers are still seeing increases in ROI across both. For instance, Twitter reached almost 200 million monetizable daily active users in Q3 of 2020, up 29% YoY.
Instagram, on the other hand, experienced a nearly 14% jump between 2019 and 2020 in its users’ time spent on the app, to an average of 30 minutes per day. This was higher engagement growth than all other social platforms.
As Twitter and Instagram continue to succeed, we’ll see more marketers invest in both platforms in 2022. HubSpot’s Blog found that 70% of marketing professionals plan to invest more heavily in Twitter in 2022, and 63% plan to invest more heavily in Instagram.
The pandemic undoubtedly sped up the rise of “unfiltered” (or less scripted) content, as well as “everyday influencers” — such as micro-influencers and nano-influencers.
Many people trusted influencers more than brands during the pandemic. This is why influencer marketing is a strong avenue to explore in 2022.
As alignment between social media and e-commerce strengthens, we’ll see more influencer partnerships used to increase businesses’ sales.
However, it will be important in 2022 to align with the influencers that make the most sense for your brand. This will include influencers with potentially smaller but more engaged audiences, as well as influencers who specialize in more niche topics that make the most sense for your brand. Many brands are giving influencers guidelines on how to promote their businesses to stay in alignment with their marketing plan.
As Google plans to phase out cookie tracking by 2023, you’ll begin to see “the death of the third party cookie” happen in the upcoming year — which means many marketers will need to pivot their existing strategies as social advertising evolves.
Fortunately, there are plenty of highly effective advertising options that don’t require third-party cookies. To name a few: User-generated content, targeted and personalized ads across social media platforms, email marketing, and search engine retargeting campaigns.
Rather than using third-party cookies to define your advertising playbook, this is a good opportunity to develop a data-driven strategy using metrics to understand your users’ interests and preferences on a deeper and more personal level.
Video is an increasingly popular format across social channels, particularly with the rise of video-focused platforms like TikTok.
The HubSpot Blog found that 64% of marketers plan to leverage more short-form videos in 2022. Snackable content has been proven effective, so these short-form videos will likely be brief, engaging, digestible pieces of content that span across social channels.
Additionally, 89% of marketers who leverage long-form videos plan to increase their investment or continue investing the same amount in 2022, according to HubSpot Blog Research.
If you haven’t already invested in short or long-form video, try testing both as we enter the new year to determine which option your audience prefers.
Additionally, roughly half of marketers plan to invest more in live audio chat rooms such as Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces in 2022. Beyond visual elements like videos and posts, test out audio content to see if there’s any interest from your buyer persona.
Over the past few years, social platforms have worked hard to create native shopping experiences so users can purchase products without ever leaving their sites.
Consider, for instance, Instagram’s Shoppable Stories, where you can tap on a product sticker to purchase without leaving the app.
Other platforms have invested in native advertising to ensure a more seamless experience for users. TikTok, for instance, created an advertising format called Spark Ads, which allows brands to boost the profile of existing organic content.
In 2020, we saw the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, continued engagement on Stories content from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and brands creating other short-form or “snackable” pieces of content to educate consumers about their brand.
As social media attention spans continue to shrink and more people scroll endlessly through feeds while bored at home, don’t expect snackable content to lose steam anytime soon.
Here are a few steps your social team can take to leverage these trends, attract new audiences, and build a larger following:
Leverage video whenever possible. People love video right now, especially live video content, which feels especially authentic. Test out live video channels like IGTV or Facebook Live to see how they perform.
Create relatable content. Don’t be afraid to show a different side to your brand. Highlight customer stories; talk about your company’s larger mission or purpose; give us a “day in the life” of one of your employees. Go beyond your product or service to create a deeper connection with your audience.
Use a conversational tone. Create social media captions like you’re speaking to a friend. Of course, you’ll want to stick to your brand’s voice but play around with how you might converse with your audience through social channels. Consider asking your followers questions or telling stories to increase engagement levels.
Use design elements for snackable content. Test out memes, gifs, short videos, quick quizzes, fun infographics, etc. to figure out how you might attract, and hold, an audience’s attention even when they’re scrolling quickly through their feeds.
Quality over quantity. Audiences appreciate quality over quantity — consider how you might set up a schedule so you’re regularly posting content but not overposting. Use analytics to determine the right cadence for your own brand.
Consider exploring new or unexpected social platforms to reach new audiences.
The world around us is constantly changing, and this list of trends is likely not exhaustive of what we’ll see in 2022.
As a social media marketer, the best thing you can do is to continue to research trends, online consumer behaviors, and your team’s social media data to determine which trends or strategies to lean into or how to navigate unprecedented online scenarios.