Hootsuite has released its research covering social media trends for 2022. Whether you’re a creator, influencer, small business, start-up or a simple mom-and-pop operation, it is essential to closely watch social media trends and craft a business model to reap the benefits. This article covers the social media landscape and unearths some of the social media trends to watch for in the year ahead.

Every business needs to continue evolving, irrespective of the scale. And social trends will help define a roadmap to accelerate business, craft a niche in the business’ target space, become a recognised brand, and gain customer trust.

Social Trend #1 – Create a Community-Based Social Brand Strategy

Social media has slowly integrated into people’s lives in more ways than we realise. Social media provides platforms for like-minded people to come together, and share interests and experiences. Most importantly, it helps connects people globally, creating niche communities.

A significant benefit are influencers, not only mega influencers but niche and interested creators, who create communities of people with similar interests. Over 50 million people globally call themselves creators.

Instead of having to build a community from scratch, brands today are joining these communities, engaging in active conversation, contributing to the community, listening to target audiences, and simplifying content creation to create an impact.

This helps build a brand, gain customer trust, and improve brand visibility, translating into higher revenue.

Social Trend #2 – Social Advertising

The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work when it comes to social media advertising. There are numerous social media platforms, including Facebook, Tik Tok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snap Chat, etc. Even with marketing budgets being reduced, over 51 per cent of marketers say they plan to increase their social advertising spending.

One intriguing find is that more marketers are inclined to spend more on TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest. These social media platforms are more effective in reaching the target audience, creating improved business opportunities, and helping reach marketing and revenue goals more effectively.

Social Trend #3 – Quantifying ROI

Measuring ROI on social media has always been challenging. However, in the absence of traditional marketing options due to the increased use of social media, marketers have grasped the concept of quantifying ROI.

For instance, nearly 63 per cent of marketers surveyed were confident in quantifying ROI on social media efforts effectively last year. Today, this figure stands at over 83 per cent, especially due to the availability of more powerful marketing tools.

Moreover, there’s a transformational change in marketers’ mindsets who are now not afraid of breaking away from conventional attributes for quantifying social ROI.

Marketers have identified three primary attributes that have helped quantify ROI, apart from the technical attributes gathered from social engagement tools. This includes –

  • Social media works with other marketing techniques to increase brand awareness, brand building, and reach the target audience.
  • Social listening has become a key attribute that marketers rely on to develop personalised marketing strategies, improve engagement, and give the target audience exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Marketers agree that social media strategy works best when a paid social media advertising strategy is integrated with organic efforts. This helps gain the target audience’s trust, makes the onboarding of new customers seamless, and fosters better relationships with existing and new customers.

Social Trend #4 – Social Commerce Is Here To Stay.

Social commerce has become a way of life. While there are still storefronts, businesses of all sizes are focusing on creating a social presence and testing the limits of online shopping.

Businesses cannot afford to miss the opportunities presented by social commerce, especially with younger people turning to social networks to research brands more than on search engines. Over 53 per cent of users aged 16 -24 now use social channels to research and communicate with brands, compared to 51 per cent on search engines. 

Small businesses need to work hard to streamline and expand the shopping experience offered by their brick-and-mortar shops to their social storefronts. In other words, your target audience is more active on social networks today. So, you need to sell your products on social storefronts.

Social Trend #5 – Customer Care Trend

The quality and responsiveness of your customer care services make a huge difference in customer retention, enhance customer loyalty, and improve your relationship with your target audience. Businesses have faced numerous challenges in recent years with the pandemic, staff shortages and blocked supply chains. Inevitably, this has led to a barrage of unhappy customers.

The demand for high-level customer service on social channels is high. Social media managers are not only dealing with improving outreach, engagement and brand awareness but are also handling customer queries on social channels.

In a survey by Nielsen, over 64 per cent of users prefer messaging over social networks compared to calling businesses for registering complaints, offering feedback or submitting a query. Social networks are now at the frontline of customer care services. Taking this seriously will considerably improve a brand’s value and image.

Social marketers should help create integrated customer care solutions mirroring the brand’s values, ethos and personality.

Conclusion

Businesses need to adapt to the changing trends to align their marketing and business goals in a profitable trajectory. Ideation, implementation and effective execution of social media strategy can make or break the business.