Social media is ever-evolving on all fronts, from user-generated social media trends and viral content to developer updates and new features. The Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube that we knew at the start of 2021 are slightly different from the platforms that consumers and marketers alike will be maximizing in 2022.
To conquer the digital space this year, here are the six must-know social media trends and how you can master them in 2022.
6 Social Media Trends Small Businesses Need to Care About in 2022
1. Embracing Social Media as a Superpower, Not a Tool
At this point, social media is intricately woven into everyone’s daily life. The pandemic highlighted the importance and potential of a strong online presence. The brands that survived and thrived were the ones that actively engaged with their consumers and let them know they were still in business.
Just as businesses are always looking to attract new customers, marketers in 2022 are aiming to boost their brand awareness and reach new audiences. To do this, brands must double-down on the basics – maintain a consistent online presence, keep up with trends and insights that are relevant to your consumer base, and develop high-quality content that will appeal to your audience’s interests.
Brands are also likely to increase ad spending on social media, given the continued rise of user base and engagement on major platforms. As of Q3 of 2021, Twitter reached over 210 million monetizable daily active users. Instagram is estimated to have reached 1.4 billion users, although the platform stopped updating its public figures in 2018 after hitting one billion.
Furthermore, social media remains on the front lines of engagement and relationship-building. Consumers would now rather DM a business than talk over the phone. And beyond connecting with customers, social media can be used to enhance your employees’ experiences and protect your brand image.
Brands can no longer treat social media like a part-time task, or a nice-to-have. Rather, it must become an integral part of a holistic marketing ecosystem. Starting this year, hiring a dedicated social media specialist or team is a practical choice. This will help ensure consistency in terms of online activity, audience engagement, and brand tone and voice.
2. Rise of Social Commerce
Younger generations opt to research brands on social media instead of search engines. Moving forward, brands are expected to shorten the purchase journey by leveraging shoppable features on social media. For example, Instagram has in-app shopping features such as Shoppable Stories, and they are working on in-app checkout. Similarly, TikTok partnered with Shopify to enable business profiles to add a “Shopping” tab and sync their catalogs.
In 2022, brands must maximize these features to make it easier than ever for consumers to shop for their products and services. Get an intelligent eCommerce POS system that enables customers to process payments conveniently, while also empowering you to track your sales accurately.
3. Maximization of Niches and Communities
Another ripple effect of the pandemic on social media was the rise of micro- and nano-influencers. These influencers may seem like regular people, but they produce less scripted content that strongly influences and resonates with their followers.
One survey found that during the pandemic, people are more likely to trust influencers (including their friends and family) more than brands, and this trust drives sales conversations. Furthermore, 79% of people find user-generated content to be more influential on their purchase decisions.
This means that, if you haven’t already, you should consider diving into influencer marketing in 2022. Carefully select who you align your brand with, and don’t be fooled by the follower count! There is merit in considering quality over quantity of followers. Micro- and nano-influencers with smaller but loyal and highly engaged followers may be more effective in helping you attract new consumers.
Social media platforms are also designed to foster communities and niche groups. Almost two billion people use Facebook Groups monthly, Twitter is working on a “Communities” feature, and TikTok has built a reputation for nurturing all sorts of hobbies and interests. Brands can leverage these by interacting with existing groups or fostering a community among their consumer base with engaging content.
4. Snackable Content Surges Forward
The rise of TikTok, the steady dominance of Stories on Instagram and Facebook, and the introduction of YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels – all these indicate that users are increasingly consuming short-form content.
In 2022, marketers must master the art of first impressions. Craft cut-through content that strongly delivers your message within a matter of seconds. But don’t fret about having to integrate into so many platforms! The great thing about short-form content is that most users expect them to be raw, authentic, and unfiltered. For example, Stories and Snaps are typically filmed on mobile phones, so your followers won’t expect a studio-shot video.
5. Experiment with Long-Form Content
This might sound a bit contradictory to the previous point but hear us out! While there is evident demand for snackable content, short-form video platforms are increasing their allowable lengths. For example, TikTok has increased from one minute to three minutes, and Instagram Stories is increasing from 15 seconds to 60 seconds without getting split into separate Stories.
These updates may indicate that while people frequently consume short-form content, there is still much appreciation for longer, more detailed, and more in-depth content. There’s a reason why 89% of brands intend to increase or continue spending the same amount of investment into long-form videos this year.
Brands must find a balance between long- and short-form content. “Long” does not necessarily mean you need to make a short film or a TV commercial-type of video. Play around with different lengths, then dive into your analytics to see where your viewers tend to drop off.
6. Crafting Platform-Specific Ads
Repurposing content used to be the norm because it’s a practical choice. You invest a ton to create a high-quality video, usually long-form, which you can re-edit and distribute across different platforms to create a unified look and messaging.
However, social networks are continually emphasizing that marketers perform better when they create content that organically fits the platform.
Understand how content is produced and consumed on each platform, the trends unique to that social media site, and what your followers are interested in. Get creative about how you can efficiently produce platform-effective content without compromising your brand identity.
Grow your business in 2022 with the help of a strong social media presence and an intelligent yet intuitive POS system that streamlines your processes. Whether you run an online-offline hybrid model or a purely digital business, True POS is the one-stop hub for all your point-of-sale needs. Contact us for a free quote and let us know how we can help you scale to new heights in 2022!