As we look toward 2022, social media as a presence in the world of marketing remains in relative infancy. With less than two decades under its belt serving as a networking and consumer space, the concept of social media is one that is evolving rapidly as we continue to hone in on the most efficient ways to harness its usefulness. Hootsuite’s sixth annual report analyzing global social media trends showcases current trends slated to become stronger in the new year while also highlighting fixtures in the social sphere that are likely here to stay. Here are a few of our takeaways from Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 Report.
Niche communities are stronger than ever.
From gardening to glamping, from computer games to comedy, we as humans gravitate toward that which interests us most. In the social media realm, this has become more apparent than ever—and there are now more opportunities than ever for social media users to discover and become apart of these niche online communities.
These niche communities can exist in the form of Facebook groups tailored to a specific topic, for example. Or, they can manifest in an entire social platform, such as Steam and Twitch for gamers.
For marketers, it’s important to take note of the communities that may be relevant to your product or service and tap into that potential.
Social ad focus is shifting platforms.
Most marketers are familiar with social media advertising opportunities on platforms like Facebook and Instagram—and the report reveals that these are still relevant. Now, however, platforms like TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat are in the spotlight as potential social ad spaces for marketers.
Let’s consider some statistics. According to Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 Report, TikTok experienced a 700 percent increase over last year in whether marketers perceived it as a successful platform for paid ads. Even more impressive—Snapchat saw a 1,200 percent increase in response to the same question! Meanwhile, Facebook and Instagram saw 25 and 40 percent decreases, respectively.
The report goes on to describe that TikTok and Snapchat ads are perceived as more fun and enjoyable to consumers and now have a competitive reach to TV ads. The takeaway for marketers? Create ads that fit seamlessly into the content, rather than stand out as an ad and interrupt the social experience.
Social commerce has become a standard.
The pandemic brought social commerce on strong. Two years later, it’s still going strong—and growing. In fact, the global social commerce industry is currently worth more than half a trillion U.S. dollars, Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 Report states.
While social commerce does include consumers making direct purchases from social media platforms, it functions in other ways for consumers as well. Information gathering. Brand identifying. Product discovery. All of this now happens on social media—not just Google.
Here’s a stat. Fifty-three percent of global internet users aged 16 to 24 said they use social networks for brand research, compared to 51 percent who said they use search engines. What is currently a slight difference in preference percentages is poised to increase in 2022.
Marketers, consider the concept of the social storefront. Whether you are directly selling products from your social media pages or not, your pages serve as a “social storefront” where consumers can stop by in their social media time to garner info about your brand, products and services.
Consider social media as a platform for customer service.
Here’s a concept that was also fueled by the pandemic. Social media (if brands are doing it right) is now for many consumers a more immediate and convenient way to reach a business (rather than calling and potentially sitting on hold). Old schoolers out there who prefer a phone call may protest, but hey—we’re talking about trends here.
Heading into 2022, the lines are now blurred between a business’ customer service team and social media team. Providing excellent customer service on social media is not just something your brand should do—it’s now a necessity. This means responding to comments, public messages and private messages with the same manners and decorum as one would addressing a customer in person or over the phone.
For social media teams, this may prompt the need for some good old-fashioned customer service training.
Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 Report gives us valuable insights into what brands and marketers should be focusing on in the realm of social media as we wrap up 2021 and embrace the new year. The future of social media as a marketing platform is inspiring as we unearth new ways to connect with one another.
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