Social networks aren’t about websites they’re about experiences
Social media is a part of life, whether we like it or not. As a business owner it is not something you can ignore – a social media strategy has to be a part of your digital marketing strategy.
What is social media?
Social media is more than just Facebook. Wikipedia outlines social media as including all of the following.
- Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet – based applications.
- User-generated content—such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions — is the lifeblood of social media.
- Users create service specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization.
- Social media helps the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.
It is important to keep this in mind when you start working on your social media strategy for 2022.
These are some of the social media trends for 2022 that you also need to consider:
- TikTok Will Continue to Grow
Those in the know have been saying this for a while now and even though Instagram remains a favourite, the growth in TikTok will continue rapidly. The main reason for this is the increase in popularity of short-form video but TikTok has also launched tools like ads and business profiles, making it a lot more user friendly for businesses. If you are targeting millennials and Gen Z, then you want to consider working on your TikTok account this year.
- Consider Ads on Smaller Networks
When it comes to ads, TikTok isn’t the only platform that has made marked improvements. Pinterest and Snap Chat are both growing in popularity, especially when it comes to ads. Pinterest Business recently shared data that found that Pinterest ads are generating twice the return on ad spend, compared to other channels. Snap Chat has also shown noteworthy increases in performance recently, making it another one of the smaller platforms to consider.
Shifting focus to smaller platforms is advisable, especially since Apple’s announcement in 2021 to block Facebooks ability to target significant segments of its users.
- Social Commerce Will Continue to Expand
Selling on social media will no longer be a nice to have but it will become the norm. It is expected that the social commerce industry will be worth $80 billion by 2025. Social media channels will continue to improve the shopping experience for users, allowing brands and businesses to streamline the online retail experience. When you are setting up your user experience keep this in mind and make the purchasing process as seamless and simple as possible.
- The Focus is Now on Reaching New Audiences
Social media goals should no longer be to boost sales and advertise but rather the goals for 2022 need to shift to focus on reaching new audiences, improving customer relationships and customer services. Social media channels will no longer be used for purely advertising, there will be a significant shift to improved customer experiences.
- Video Content Remains King
This comes as no surprise; we have seen the increase of video over the years, but it is now estimate that this year 82% of all content will be video. If you are not creating video content – even short form video, you are going to fall behind. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok all allow you to easily create engaging video that can be shared in real time. If you are considering adding video to your strategy for 2022, set up some time with our video production team to see how he can help you create content that is king.
- Social Audio will Increase
According to Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Media Trends survey, 74% of business plan to invest in audio-only content in 2022. This includes creating podcasts and other audio-only content. While it is not as easy to create this type of content as it is to create video, it is something to be aware of.
- Paid Advertising is Now a Necessity
Organic reach is declining, and it has been for a while. It is still possible to grow accounts organically, but it now takes a lot longer and much bigger time investment than in previous years. This means that paid media is now a necessity and must be worked into your online marketing budget for 2022. We have a team of Paid Media experts who can assist you in developing a paid media strategy for 2022.
- Influencer Marketing Will Grow Rapidly
This is not a new trend, but it will continue to grow in 2022 with more and more people making a substantial living as influencers. Brands are spending more and more on influencer marketing, working with networks of relevant influencers to increase brand awareness, drive sales and build communities. When done correctly this type of marketing can be very beneficial for your business.
- Customer Service Will be Important
Social media is very quickly becoming a powerful place to improve customer service. More and more people are reaching out to brands online. They are looking for answers to questions on Facebook, they want to be able to query things on Instagram and brands have to respond accordingly. To make this process easier you can make use of chatbots, publish FAQs on your social media channels and make sure you respond to queries timeously.
- User-generated Content Continues to Grow
User-generated content is content that your users create and then tag and share the relevant brands. This has been used by brands for a while now, but it will see considerable growth in 2022. Many larger brands have seen great success using UGC on their social media channels (check out Airbnb – they rely heavily on UGC for their social media content). User-generate content is free and helps you to build credibility and is something you should work into your social media content strategy.
- Social Listening is Invaluable
Whether we like it or not, social media is a data gold mine. User behaviour is tracked and analysed using a variety of easily accessible social listening tools. Social listening offers invaluable insights into what users want, how they are responding to campaigns and generally what they want to see more of. Social listening can be as simple as creating or tracking hashtags and keywords to see what content is being generated on certain topics.
- Inclusivity will be Important
Brands need to be aware of social issues but more importantly brands need to focus on ensuring inclusivity. This will remain a hot topic in 2022 and brands need to ensure their content is sensitive and relevant while ensuring inclusivity.
- Communities Remain Important
Communities on social media include groups like Facebook Groups that can be private or public, depending on the purpose and goals. These are spaces where like-minded people can come together to share their stories, ask for information and build communities. Brands can utilise these communities in a variety of different ways, but the focus should always be on building a community.