Social media is a constantly evolving beast. There is a new trend every month and it’s hard to keep up. There are new social media platforms, and there are newer ways of using the platforms that we already know.
Social media has been around for more than a decade, and it has evolved a great deal in that time. We have seen the rise of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, who are now the three biggest players in this game.
Social media is the new frontier for businesses, brands, and influencers. It’s also the new way to stay connected with people you care about. To keep up with the latest trends and developments in social media, you need to stay on top of what’s happening.
As a busy business owner, while it is important to keep up with the latest trends and developments in social media, it has certainly been quite challenging. Sometimes we jump on the newest bandwagon, but we know that our efforts (realistically) are not always fruitful.
Nevertheless, you need to stay on top of what’s happening. As digital marketing is constantly changing, your strategy needs to grow and evolve with it. You may not be sure where to start or what your strategy should look like. The important thing is to just get started.
Let’s have a quick look at what trends are on the horizon for 2022 and how you can implement them into your business and social media strategy this year.
What are the Latest Trends in Social Media?
With the rapid growth of social media, it’s not hard to see that these platforms have become some of the most important tools for marketers. In 2021, there are 4.48 billion people actively using social media in the world, and this is an increase of 13.13% year-on-year from 3.69 billion in 2020. And to make things even more challenging, a lot of these platforms are constantly testing different features, so you never know what might come next.
We’ve seen memes become popular on sites like Reddit, Tumblr, and Imgur, but they’re also a growing trend on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Memes are images with text overlaid onto them that often show pop culture references or current events. It’s an excellent way to share jokes and engage with other users.
One of the biggest trends in social media is live streaming. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all offer live video streaming. You can stream your life as it happens or create a scheduled event that people can tune into at a specified time.
Live videos are an excellent way to connect with your followers and build up your fan base. In fact, more and more influencers are using this method to share their content. You can see videos of people wearing makeup, playing video games, or giving advice on starting a business.
Live streaming is also used for entertainment purposes like sports, music concerts, or even networking events and online workshops.
Another trend is augmented reality (AR). This technology overlays digital images in the real world as a part of an app experience. It’s very popular with companies because it increases customer engagement and makes the app more entertaining. AR uses your phone’s camera to display digital images in your field of vision, making it seem like they are really there in front of you.
Chatbots and Messenger Bots
Chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with humans using artificial intelligence (AI). They make it easy for companies to provide customer service without needing human assistance around the clock.
Chatbots make it easy for businesses to automate tedious tasks such as answering questions about products or filling out forms on their website.
Messenger bots allow companies to provide customer service 24/7 without needing to hire extra people. They can answer common questions customers may have by providing helpful information through a chat window or helping them complete certain tasks on the website.
Data Privacy Issues
We’re already seeing an increased number of people leaving Facebook for alternatives. Will this trend continue? Is the future in these new social media sites? It’s difficult to say. But we can keep tabs on what will happen by looking at what’s happening now and projecting that out into the future.
How Does Your Social Media Strategy Need to Change?
If you want to be a successful business, you need to remember that your social media strategy will, without a doubt. change over the years. Social media is a constantly changing landscape. What worked when you first started out, may no longer work today. And what works today, might not work in the future.
Yes, this can be frustrating, but businesses you see or hear about online are not just successful because they know how to post on Twitter and Facebook. These businesses are doing well because they have a plan in place to make sure that their social media strategy is going to work years from now.
That being said, here are ten things you should keep in mind when creating your social media strategy this 2022:
Social media ads are a must for businesses
First things first: you must invest in paid ads if you want your brand to be noticed in 2022 (and beyond). The more people are talking about your brand online, the more likely they are to buy your product or service.
According to the Hootsuite Global State of Digital 2021 report, Facebook’s algorithm seems to be favoring video content. In fact, user-generated content is up 150% year over year (2018-2019). However, branded content has not fared well in this light. On average, organic reach for branded content is now 5.2% on Facebook (it was 7.7% in 2018), which shows that it is clearly harder to get your message across by simply posting as a business or brand page on the platform.
Of course, Facebook isn’t the only social media platform out there. You should also explore Instagram and YouTube ads, along with other platforms. Three reasons why you should invest in paid advertising on social media:
- It gives you the ability to target potential customers based on a few important factors like location and demographics.
- Paid social media advertising is relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional advertising, like print and television ads.
- Social media advertising gives you the ability to control and change your advertising message at any time.
Learn to specialize in short videos
Speaking of video: you must learn to master the art and science of creating short video content.
Just about the only platform where long-form videos are still a thing is YouTube. Everywhere else: Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, etc. are all about social media video content that is short and sweet.
When Instagram came out with IGTV, brands thought that more long-form video content was going to be the next big thing. But when TikTok exploded shortly after, everyone was undoubtedly consuming more short-form video. Even Instagram had to pivot with Instagram Reels and YouTube even has its own YouTube Shorts now.
People just can’t get enough video content, and snackable, short videos are all about meeting that demand. And it seems to be the preference for most for the foreseeable future.
Also: use more live video
Speaking of video: people are chopping and changing between different platforms all the time but there’s one constant in this growing movement – people love to live stream.
Tech titan Cisco predicted that video will account for 82% of all internet traffic in 2022. The biggest growth comes from live video, with usage having increased 15-fold by 2021 (compared to 2017).
If you want to bring your business to a whole new level and you haven’t been creating live videos, then now is definitely the time to start. Video-centric content marketing should be at the core of your plan and live streaming should be a solid part of that plan.
Seriously consider TikTok
TikTok is making a mark in the social media marketing arena. With around 1 billion users (in 2021), there’s no denying that it’s one of the most popular apps in the world.
The app is particularly popular among young people, especially those in the 12-29 age bracket. TikTok has been immensely popular that it had already overtaken Instagram (owned by Facebook) as the most popular social media platform for US teenagers.
As it is, a lot of businesses are still hesitant about jumping on the TikTok bandwagon. But what this means is there is a lot less competition for you and your brand. So if you can somehow get people interested in what you’re selling or what you’re all about, then go for it!
Got a visual brand? Don’t forget Pinterest ads!
There are so many social media platforms to choose from: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok all offer content meant for different audiences. Marketers should be taking advantage of this large array of specialized channels that are out there.
One social media platform that usually goes under the radar is Pinterest, though it has roughly 460 million users so there’s a lot of potential to promote on it by putting up unique and eye-catching ads. Because it’s not talked about as much as some other apps, there may also be less competition for your brand on Pinterest.
With over 24% of people on the app being in the business industry, this visual platform is a forum for businesses and corporations alike to market their products. With so many users getting involved on Pinterest each month, many don’t realize its capabilities as a source for business growth. If you want the spotlight on your brand or company – then consider expanding your reach and possibilities by exploring opportunities with ad campaigns on Pinterest!
Social media customer service is on the rise
Did you know that 81 percent of millennials hate making phone calls? And speaking of phone calls you don’t particularly enjoy, let’s talk about your business’s customer service line.
There’s a reason why social media customer service is getting more popular– and will continue to gain even more traction– in 2022. Most people just prefer to have their questions answered and issues resolved via messaging on social media.
What this means is: you too must embrace this as one of your primary customer service options, making your brand more current and even future-proof.
Build community engagement
Make sure to engage with communities on select social media platforms. Look for Facebook and LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your business, or monitor relevant hashtags so you can stay in the loop and remain informed about the topics and issues that are most important to your target audience.
Achieving (and running) an active group on social is certainly not easy, but when you do have one going on, it’s such a rewarding accomplishment for your business.
Remember: engage with members of these groups not by pushing your products and services (nobody wants that!) but rather by providing real value to the online community, usually by answering questions in detail.
Get some Social Listening done
Listening to your audience is more important than ever before. Social Listening is all about staying on track with what’s up and social media trends. It enables you to listen to what the market is talking about. With it, you can keep your ear closer to the ground and know exactly when it’s time to go in for the blow.
Thanks to Social Listening, you can now work out the most effective way possible of knowing what your consumers want, which means you can stay ahead of any curveballs that are sure to come flying at you in the future.
Also, use social listening to your advantage further by creating a space where people with the same interests can connect, social media has become the great equalizer; you don’t have to be an established authority or celebrity to build your following and get people excited about what you have to say.
Encourage more involvement from your audience
It’s often said that the best ideas come from the customers themselves. When you’re seeking to innovate, it’s vital to tap into your loyal customer base. User-generated content (or UGC for short), just like its name suggests, is any type of post, video, or comment that positively describes your brand.
User-generated content is a relatively easy way to create content and engage with your audience. What’s more, it can help you gain valuable insight into their needs and experiences, which can help you to develop better products.
For example: if someone takes a picture of themselves smiling while using one of your products and after taking the picture they post it on Instagram, tagging your business’s profile in the picture, too. Other examples are people writing about what you do on different blogs and websites on their own time.
Tap micro-influencers (instead of super-influencers)
If you want to get the maximum return on your investment, it’s important to factor influencers into your planning and marketing budget.
Micro-influencers are influencers who have usually between 1,000 and 100,00 followers but the number of their fans can be as high as half a million. Micro-Influencers aren’t famous but the engagement they get and their close connection with their followers pays off because these people tend to convert better than most influencers do.
When trying to decide what types of influencers will match the needs of all aspects of your project and the people who use it, keep in mind that micro-influencers can often be more cost-effective than other options such as super-influencers.
How Should I Now Develop My Social Media Strategy?
Your social media strategy should be a reflection of who you are and what you want to accomplish. It should also consider your audience and their needs. When developing your strategy, it’s important to consider how much time you’re willing to commit to social media marketing because there are different levels of engagement.
- If you want to create content that speaks directly to the audience, then we recommend investing more time in this area.
- If you want to focus on managing an already established following with less hands-on engagement, then invest less time in this area.
- If you have a small business that doesn’t have the time or resources to put into social media, then we recommend outsourcing it.
Short-Term Strategies for Social Media
In the short term, you’ll want to focus on creating a strong and clear brand voice. This is important for establishing an authoritative presence on social media.
What is your business about? What are your key messages? How do you want to be seen? Define this and then incorporate it into your social media strategy.
It’s also important to set goals for the next year so you can measure how successful your strategy has been. If social media isn’t generating the desired results, you may have to tweak or change it altogether.
You need to stay focused on what works and what doesn’t in order to make sure you get the best return on investment possible.
Long-Term Strategies for Social Media
For a long-term strategy, you need to know what kind of investment you want to make and how much time you want to spend on your social media channels. While it may seem like an all-consuming endeavor, there are things you can do to make it less time-intensive.
One way to reduce your workload is by automating some of the tasks associated with social media management. You could use social media automation tools that will schedule posts for you, save content ideas for future posts, and even engage with people in the comments section of your posts. This will free up more time during the day so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
If you don’t have a lot of time, but still want to stay relevant in 2022, we recommend using one or two platforms as opposed to a wide variety; choose Facebook or Instagram for example. Not only will this save you time, but it’ll also help build a stronger community around your brand.
How Can I Keep Up With the Latest Developments in Social Media?
The best way to keep up with the latest developments in social media is by staying on top of what’s happening. Here are five ways you can do that:
- Read articles about social media trends and how they might impact your business.
- Follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtags like #socialmediatips
- Subscribe to newsletters from popular blogs like Social Media Examiner, Hootsuite, or Hubspot.
- Find mentors who specialize in this area and engage with them regularly.
- Join relevant Facebook groups for a sense of what people are talking about.
A Final Word About Building My Social Media Strategy This Year
The digital landscape is changing at an incredible pace. In less than a decade, social media has gone from being a powerful communication channel for businesses to a primary way of interacting with customers. As the number of platforms grows, your strategy has to adapt accordingly.
To ensure that your social media strategy is ready for 2022 and beyond, you need to explore and experiment now to find the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Whether you decide to focus on one platform or maintain a presence across multiple networks, it’s essential that you learn the latest developments so that your strategy can evolve and grow with the times.
Speaking of social media strategy, we realize that coming up with a plan for your growing business can be an extremely daunting task. But we do have the digital marketing experts and a suite of highly-recommended marketing tools to help you cover so much more ground than you usually do.
So get in touch with Team LOJO today and let’s talk about a full-service digital marketing package just for you, complete with a social media strategy you can implement right away.