In the past two years, brands have witnessed a complete transformation in their customer engagement journey and have completely shifted how they promote their products and services. What used to be just another medium of content delivery, now has become an addiction for many users in a way that the first thing they do after waking up is to check their social media feeds. Now brands are not asking how to engage or reach a larger audience. They’re also asking what social media trends to watch out for in the ever-changing landscape.
Below I’ve compiled 10 social media trends every marketer should watch out for and leverage in 2022.
- Reels to dominate user engagement
- Facebook ads for effective conversions
- Long-form content to retake center stage
- Organic videos to build trust
- LinkedIn for marketing
- Streamlined social commerce
- Paid social is of the essence
- Stories are essential to building brand
- Diverse content strategy to improve engagement
- No filter feeds to takeover
#1: Reels to dominate user engagement
A study from Instagram suggests that the majority of the users are demanding more entertaining video content. Thanks to the boom of TikTok and Instagram reels, the short-form vertical video content was nothing short of a revolution in the marketing industry.
This sudden and increasing user engagement across short-form video content has not forced other platforms like YouTube and even Netflix to adopt this strategy to keep users engaged and increase screen time.
Pinterest has reported a 240% YoY increase in vertical short video organic pins in 2021. In 2022 reels continue to drive engagements and will remain the top content strategy for years to come.
This gives brands a great opportunity to design ads in a format that best relates to their audience. For all the right reasons, this is the biggest social media trend to watch out for on our list.
TIPS: 85% of videos and reels on Facebook and Instagram are watched on mute ?. Use subtitles or captions on your videos to make them more accessible.
#2: Facebook ads for effective conversions
According to a recent survey by HootSuite, more than 45% of businesses report that they are witnessing a decline in organic reach. Content-type and competition cannot be ignored among the other factors.
After all the Facebook fiasco in 2021, they have done extensive footwork and made changes to their algorithm to make their products and features easier to use and to be more relevant to their clients and audiences.
Considering the average reach of organic Facebook posts is slightly over 5%, I see the user attention span in 2022 declining even more.
Hence making it more important for marketers to spend on paid media to improve reach and engagement.
Be it the Reels or lead generation ads or follower ads, they are more effective now than ever before. Brands have reported an increase of over 20% in leads and direct sales through paid social ads compared to the year before.
TIPS: Pair your short-form videos with existing ad formats to improve conversions. Targeted and spcific auidence groups are the key to paid social success.
#3: Long-form content to retake center stage
The last two years were dominated by short-form videos. With the TikTok boom, increasing adoption of Instagram Reels, and the introduction of YouTube Shorts, users were focused on 15-second messages, making it the most consumed video content form.
However, these platforms have recently made small changes that could be a paradigm shift for marketers.
With TikTok increasing the length to 3 minutes, and Reels going to 60 seconds, the platforms are making their way back towards the longer-form content.
#4: Organic video to build trust
There is no denying that videos are leading the go-to content strategy and will continue to lead. Instagram was founded so people can share photos but now more than 80% of Instagram users are engaging through videos.
Among different types of video content, organic content where the speaker is in front of the audience is 60% more likely to improve trust. No need to use any transitions or effects – stay original. You can take advantage of live videos.
Long underrated, LinkedIn has now emerged as a strong platform to build a personal brand and reach a more targeted audience.
The COVID-19 pandemic and sudden shift for many businesses to the work-from-home model enabled users to spend more time on LinkedIn to connect with like-minded professionals and prospects.
LinkedIn is a great platform to create visibility and showcase thought leadership within your broader network. Not to mention, with the right type of sentiment in your post, the engagement you can generate is more than any other platform.
Here is a similar example:
#6: Streamlined social commerce
“Social Commerce” is similar to e-commerce but instead of redirecting users to a different platform, everything happens on social media. Starting from discovery to purchase.
60% of personal care brands in the USA have already adopted this format and are predicted to grow to nearly $80 billion by 2025.
Social media platforms have become a virtual mall for small and medium-size brands helping them scale in a short time and affordable way with more than 71% of small businesses generating 68% more sales.
#7: Paid social is of essence
The on-screen time of users has improved thanks to the video content boom. And brands are focusing more on creating engaging content. That’s right – more engaging content instead of volume of content.
For a very long period marketers used to focus on the frequency and often did not focus on the quality of content. To improve active users, social media platforms keep updating their algorithms so they can deliver relevant content to users.
Your audience does not want to hear from your every day if your content is not meeting their requirements. Instead, you can focus on the content and deliver 1 content in a couple of days that resonates best with your target audience.
#8: Stories are essential to building brand
Your audience wants to be informed, not influenced.
Instagram stories have features that can help brands run surveys and deliver partial information about your products or services. This opens a dialogue between you and the customer.
Instead of influencing them at every step, you need to help them with the information they want to make a better decision.
#9: Diverse content strategy to improve engagement
Your competitors are running more video ads. Do you have to follow the same path?
Always keep a mix of different content delivery mediums. What may be working for 98% of businesses might not work for you. Ultimately it all depends on your target audience and your capability to generate the best content.
Ultimately all your marketing efforts narrow down to ROMI (return on marketing investments) and attribution. And it is a fact that no single content delivery medium works – it is always a combination of different approaches that drive business.
TIPS: Media Mix Modeling (MMM) helps business focus on the right channel and medium with other market variables.
#10: No filter feeds to takeover
How do you build a personal connection with your audience?
People want to be included in your journey. They want to see you the way you are – not with any filters or edits. Today, creators and brands alike are posting more un-filtered and un-edited videos to build trust.
No doubt there goes a lot of trials to record one perfectly less-filtered or minimal-edited content, but the effort is worth every cent. It is okay to share not-so-filter-perfect videos as long as you are providing what your audience demand.
These are just some of the trends that have dominated the best part of 2022 and will continue to dominate in 2023. Your success is dependent on your ability to measure success.
As a marketer, you need to focus on building an emotional connection with your audience. If you have a better way to do that (that’s not listed in our list of top trends) and that is doing wonders for your business, I would love to hear it and learn from your experience ?.