This post on 2022 social media best practices is the first of a 3-part blog series in which we explore digital marketing trends for this year. Be sure to check out our other blogs on search engine optimization and email marketing.
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Social media over the past few years has taken on a whole new meaning with more people switching to remote, online activity, and away from in-person meetings. If you manage a social media account, you may certainly feel like your social media game was off from the expected outcome of last year.
The below content will help you to refocus on the right initiatives and how to best prepare and apply best practices for social media. While these discussions will largely remain high-level, the applications you’ll find will ring true in the details. We are excited to dive into social media in hopes that you enter this brand new decade well-informed and prepared for whatever might come your way.
Every second, nearly 11 new people join social media, bringing the total users worldwide to 3.8 billion. This growth will only continue as more and more individuals acquire smart devices and adapt to working and interacting remotely. As more people have hopped online for both social and personal reasons, we can expect that the traditional platforms will increase and adapt to new user behavior.
Instagram continues to be a top performer and relates well as it allows for text, photos, carousels, and short and long videos (reels). Instagram has 58% more engagement per follower than Facebook and has over 100 million users watching or posting videos daily. Users are highly engaged and are drawn to comment, like, watch, and save content they like.
Through improved ads, more groups and a large (and very vocal) audience, Facebook can still hold its own among social media networks. Due to its vast and diverse audience, many brands still heavily rely on Facebook marketing when they plan their annual strategy. However, there are some strategic moves that need to happen moving into 2022:
Twitter might not be the best platform in terms of engagement, but it is the go-to network to find and discuss information. Because it’s more informational and not as visual as Instagram, it’s more important than ever to understand how to write a great tweet, and what can make it stand out from all the noise. Something new to note this year though: Twitter is going big on the consumer game. The platform is all set to launch its shopping feature with Shop Module. The feature will allow business profiles on the platform to showcase their products.
The creator economy is now worth over $100 billion, and we believe it’s just getting started. What is the creator economy? It’s defined as the class of businesses built by over 50 million independent content creators, curators, and community builders including social media influencers, bloggers, and videographers, plus the software and finance tools designed to help them with growth and monetization. Many platforms have started to invest in creator marketplaces and creator tools – like TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn. These tools help make it easier for creators to connect with their audience and collaborate with brands.
It’s easy to see the ongoing growth potential of video:
Tiktok is a popular short-form video sharing social platform where celebrity and amateur creators alike share user-generated content from dance, cooking demos and makeovers to animal videos and social media challenges. This content is proving extremely popular with the audience base of Tiktok, of which 41% are aged 16-24.
Instagram rolled out its Reels, offering influencers, brands and fans alike the opportunity to create short 15 second videos.
Video is a much easier medium than text to learn about products/services and communicate online. Video is also becoming a passive way to network. People like to kill time watching videos and sharing them with friends and family. It’s a quick and entertaining way to learn and it isn’t going away.
Marketers will need to adapt to these highly personal uses of video. Social video will need to become more social—an experience that builds a customer community rather than broadcast-style content and product teasers. Businesses would be wise to consider adding video to their content library and tweaking it to best fit with their target audience.
Live social media has soared in terms of its uptake!. Using live streaming to fill the physical void has become the new normal for so many consumers, but how are marketers using this opportunity to meet their customers live online?
Buffer lists 5 ideas for live content which will boost your live offering and delight your audience.
Many marketers who previously relied on events marketing have gone back to the drawing board this year. Embracing live social media innovation has enabled them to achieve their goals in a completely different way. This is also something to consider integrating with Fee-based communities as VIP members don’t have to pay to attend some of these live sessions. The possibilities are endless when it comes to professional lives events.
According to the 11th Annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from CMI/MarketingProfs, 89% of B2B marketers use social media for content distribution, but only 24% used Media/Influencer relations. It’s no surprise that in the last decade, social media has become a noisy place, and therefore, brands both in B2B and B2C will find that their dollars go further when they collaborate with individuals whom their audience trusts. Whether these are macro-influencers or micro-influencers, co-creating content that comes from these trusted voices will help brands to break through the noise AND reach broader audiences.
Investing in influencers is much cheaper than running paid ad campaigns and delivers favorable results. Marketers are not just collaborating with 1-2 influencers, but are working with a whole network of small, relevant, niche, and even local influencers. This surge in influencer engagement comes with a warning though. Online consumers are getting better at sniffing out fake influencers or promotions and will avoid engagement if they believe the information to be disingenuous. Marketers and businesses would be wise to seek out “brand ambassadors” or people who love the brand and believe in the power it holds.
Consider re-allocating some advertising funds to focus on finding influencers with reach and authority. Ensure they are trusted voices in the community/market, as well as through social media channels, and seek their partnership to gain reach. The results might be surprising.
A growing focus on political, environmental, and social issues throughout the year means increased social media conversations about the issues close to your customers’ hearts. 2020 was no exception as political and social unrest drove many to take a stand and speak out for what they believed to be right.
Businesses that are able to speak appropriately and empathetically to issues that are currently plaguing the nation will stand out as trustworthy and thoughtful. Of course, businesses shouldn’t do this just for the sake of social media. This type of voicing needs to align with the company’s current messaging and should reflect an attitude that already exists.
Merkle’s Q4 2020 Media Insights Report found that 56% of consumers say they have no respect for businesses that remain silent on important issues. So now’s the time for businesses to leverage social platform to inform and reassure customers.
In 2022, consumers will be looking for more meaningful content that they can share to educate others. Brands that have a defined opinion on matters like equality, but don’t do anything about it, will be criticized for their lack of action. Consumers will be expecting a more human approach from brands.
We already mentioned this with Twitter trends and creator economies: Social commerce is not new but it IS incredibly important for businesses to get on board with for 2022. 87% of e-commerce shoppers believe social media helps them make a shopping decision. With half the world’s population on social media, social commerce is the next logical step for online shopping.
Data from the US Department of Commerce, shared by Sprout Social, demonstrates social media’s share of total US retail sales rocketing up in 2020, and this trend is set to continue. This may come as no shock to those who were actively shopping online from home and ordering more essentials like food, staples, and office supplies.
Using social media, where consumers spend a large chunk of their day, improves the shopping experience, and shortens the process. As humans we’re always looking for simpler ways to get what we want. Brands should convert customers as soon as possible instead of wasting time sending them to their website, which may lead to usability and time-out issues. Reduce drop-offs by selling directly from your social media post. Marketers will want to focus more on their social media reach, engagement and the effectiveness.
We conclude our 2022 social media trends and best social media practices 2022 with a more sobering outlook. While there are numerous benefits of social media, there are certain negatives that have come to light as many platforms are now being regulated. This is necessary with the load of fake news, data privacy, and online hackers. As eMarketer notes, digital marketers will face stricter regulation and the market will be filled with tech vendors to protect and store first-party data. We’re already seeing the impact of regulation. Social media platforms will soon require marketers to confirm they have user consent for Custom Audiences. Government and consumers will look to better guard personal data and rather than being impressed by journalism or clever personalization.
As frustrating as it is to move away from the Wild West mentality associated with social media, companies need to do their homework to understand what they can and can’t do with user information being gleaned. A great first step is creating a company guideline resource that outlines approved behaviors. Marketers really should be focused on ethical behavior from the start by ensuring subscribers opt-in to receiving promotional or marketing messaging in an unambiguous way. They also need to explicitly state what information they’re collecting and the intended use for this information. Companies would also be wise to create a plan for data security and communication surrounding data breaches.
Looking for more best practices on social media trends for 2022? Contact our team today to find out how we can help!