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Social Media Goals – Trends For 2022

Whether you agree or not, consumers are now in charge of your brand and your business. The pandemic has sped this up, putting the wheel firmly in the hands of the consumer and placing them in charge of this new year and beyond. Personalized content, faster service, better experiences. It’s what they want, and they want it now. And you must listen and respond to their current trends for your brand to survive. What trends are those do you ask? Well…

  1. TikTok will take over social media.

If there is one trend that is almost guaranteed as we move into this new year, it’s the continued domination of TikTok. The popular video platform has broken download records, quickly becoming the go-to app for connecting with current and future consumers. TikTok can help brands gain exposure to and connect with a qualified and engaged audience. As the app looks to introduce an e-commerce aspect and monetization model, brands that want to connect with consumers need to be familiar with TikTok.

  • Follow your audience. If your audience is on TikTok, you should be too. Connect with them and know where and about what they’re engaging with.
  • Throw out tradition. The sudden and strong rise in user-generated content has changed the way many traditional industries are marketing.
  • Prepare for a monetization model. Even with all the success, TikTok has to continue innovating to keep ahead of the competition. To capitalize on the momentum and potential, the platform is working on improving monetization processes to keep both creators and consumers from losing interest. Remember this when planning your campaigns.
  • Keep expansion on the horizon. TikTok has rolled out some new restrictions to make sure the app is safe and available for every age. As the app grows, so will its features and services. Keep up or get left behind.

 

  1. Social ads will develop

Google is currently working to phase out cookie tracking by next year meaning the future of social advertising is yet to be defined. For you this means learning to balance the need for personalized services and the need for consent and compliance. With social media, brands can reach larger audiences than before, increasing brand awareness and engagement. This past year, social platforms have become a huge asset for advertisers to reach consumers in a more personal and direct way. Advertisers have realized the importance of social ads and how crucial they will be moving forward.

  • Tap into the trust of user-generated content. With so many people installing ad blockers and actively trying to avoid ads, you’ll have to get creative.
  • Time for some target practice. Facebook alone has 52,000 data points, including every message you’ve ever sent or received, every time you’ve logged on, messaged, downloaded files, and more. With such an enormous amount of data available to advertisers, brands can get ahead with extremely targeted and personalized ads.
  • Make metrics your new best friend. Make sure your decisions are data-driven, with insights into your consumers. Develop a complete analytical picture of your customers, then shape your strategy around it. Engage, entertain, and educate.

 

  1. Social selling will simplify the customer journey

Ads or promotions used to be the focus for social commerce. But now platforms are beginning to provide new and innovative selling solutions. Ones that focus on making the experience easier for buyers. This year your brand should re-evaluate the purchasing paths you offer and consider taking advantage of social selling opportunities through Instagram posts, Reels, Stories, and more. As social media platforms are starting to provide e-commerce merchants with new shopping features, channels such as Instagram have become one and the same with social media influencers. These influencers endorse brands through strategic partnerships, promoting their products and services to their large, loyal follower bases. If you’re not already considering this strategy, now is the time. 69% of marketers plan to disburse more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.

  • Your visuals should attract. If you’re using social media to sell, be as attractive as possible. 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to the platform to discover products. Find industry-engaging images that will stop people scrolling through their screen.
  • Get personal. Consumers want personalized experiences, and your brand needs to stay competitive and get onboard.
  • Try to be as responsive as possible. Consider chatbots or consumer analytics tools to guarantee the customer journey is as smooth as can be.
  • Simplify and make it seamless. The faster and easier it is to navigate your platform and process, the better your chances of making a sale. No one wants a complicated ten-step process just to check out.
  • Keep up with current social commerce trends. In 2022, more and more platforms will incorporate or revamp social commerce into their planning. Upgraded functionality within social commerce is the way to go.

 

  1. Post-pandemic content will shape up to consumer needs

Since the start of the pandemic, marketers have had to adapt to the content trends that followed. The pandemic drastically increased social media usage all over the world with over half a billion more people using social media compared to the same time last year. Your brand must communicate in local and detailed terms, targeting specific audiences based on what is most relevant to remain discoverable. This might mean creating specific content for a generation, location, gender, or hobby. Consumers want stories shaped for them. This led to a particular increase in live audio and video. Brands will have to expand their content strategies in 2022 and beyond, both identifying the content, and style of content, their consumers need.

  • Be specific. Make careful decisions about who you are marketing to and targeting. Do your research and get access to consumer insights so you’re always creating content for a specific audience.
  • Tap into the realm of audio. Expand on audio and podcasts creation, to prioritize live conversations with your audience.
  • Create more compressed content. Time is money, and the pandemic has produced consumers who are acutely aware of their time and what content is worthy to consume. Keep your content brief in length, form, and style. And ensure it’s exclusive and personalized.

Social Media Trends Blog

 

  1. Omnichannel engagement will change the way consumers engage with social media

64.5% of internet users receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. With this increase comes the opportunity to expand audiences, and grow your consumer connections, by providing the information consumers want. But there’s also an increased risk of fake news and misleading content. If you aren’t telling the right story, consumers will find it elsewhere. False content is detrimental to your business. For brands to keep up or stay afloat for the next year, it’s imperative to exploit every advantage. This means getting your hands on consumer insights.

  • Tackle disinformation. Misinformation can be critical to your brand reputation. Provide your audience with the information they are looking for.
  • Focus on your audience. All your social media pages should be honest and informative. Ensure you don’t alienate your consumers by sharing irrelevant, inaccurate information. Once you lose a customer’s trust, you lose them to a competitor.
  • Share information that resonates. In 2022, posting and sharing videos is fundamental for any marketing campaign that wants to succeed. 84% of consumers said watching a brand’s video convinced them to make a purchase or subscribe to a service.

 

  1. Maturing influencer marketing will finally come of age.

Influencer marketing is now a dominant marketing method. As the impact of social media continues to grow, so does the importance of influencers. Influencer marketing now offers better results, with fewer risks. If you’re not considering influencer marketing moving into 2022, you’re at risk of missing out on expanding your customer base. As the line between social media and e-commerce becomes increasingly blurred, influencer marketing connects with consumers, allowing brands to flourish and see immediate results.

  • Consider influencers of all sizes. Different influencers will help you achieve different goals. While a celebrity might have a large reach, a lesser-known influencer’s audience might feel closer to them and provide you with a higher conversion rate.
  • Define your goals. Do you want more exposure for your brand? A more loyal customer base? Higher sales or increased ROI? Make sure the influencers you reach out to align with the bigger picture of your brand. Make sure consumers are on the same page as you and the influencers that represent your brand.

 

  1. Metaverses will be the next consumer connection

The metaverse, an amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented, and the virtual. The metaverse is gaining momentum, and fast. It combines subsets of technology, merging them into a single entity. Brands were already slowly moving towards virtual reality when COVID hit, resulting in an acute need for online socializing and interaction. Led by the gaming industry, access to digital reality has really spiked thanks to its ability to connect people in our new reality of limited in-person interactions. It’s become increasingly clear that the metaverse is here to stay. Across industries and markets, advertisers have realized the unique potential of the metaverse and what VR can offer. If carried out correctly, companies can connect with their audience on an even deeper level. In 2022, we will see an increased interest and value in brands investing in this digital space.

 

  • It’s a consumer’s world. Whether you’re engaging with your audience on social media or creating a world on Fortnite, as a brand, you need to be constantly aware of what the consumer is saying and thinking.
  • Understand the communities you’re trying to reach. Imagine you’re a contractor building a house for a client, but you don’t bother meeting them, or getting any information on how they might prefer it to be. How well would that go over? The same concept applies to the metaverse and virtual reality. People won’t be interested in your brand, platform, or space you build if it does not suit their needs and their interests.
  • Experiment and get creative. Even as the metaverse gains traction, it will take time before it’s fully accepted. Whether one single metaverse emerges or multiple brands and platforms will create their own, it’s clear that experimentation is vital to test and see what works.

 

  1. Brand inclusivity will be brand critical

Corporate social responsibility was a huge topic of conversation in 2021. In 2022, brands need to focus on their commitment to CSR by listening and acting on the social issues that matter most to their audiences. Consumers have high expectations, preferring brands that take initiative to grow connections with their audience, as well as bringing together people with differing opinions. Brands need to thoroughly analyze their actions, deeds, and culture to stay on top in 2022.

  • Real people make real connections. You should always aim to be relatable. There is nothing worse than a company that doesn’t practice what they preach. Ensure the people representing your brand and managing its voice are genuine, consistent, and in line with your goals.
  • Be prepared for the next major issue. 2021 has proven in order not to be blindsided, you need to have a crisis plan in place just in case the worst happens. No one can predict the future, and the more prepared you are, the better off you will be.
  • Listen before you speak. At a time when everyone is clamoring for attention more than ever, it is vital that you take the time to listen carefully to what your consumers are saying.
  • Actions speak louder than words. Some brands only make statements in support of prevalent social issues, but don’t act where it counts. Don’t echo popular sentiment to keep your audience engaged, put in the effort to be a genuinely inclusive brand.

 

  1. Communities will develop, and take control

Many businesses tackle social media incorrectly by throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. In reality you need to be more strategic, with content shaped around the consumer and with the aim of establishing loyal and engaged communities. Social media allows you to form outside of your brand bubble and last year already exposed the power of these communities, with them causing disruption across several markets. It is critical to strategize digital infrastructures and collective spaces, with the strengthening of these online communities continuing to be a priority this year. Isolation and social distancing has increased our need to socialize and connect. 2022 will witness the continued increase of online communities, and these groups will become more crucial for businesses to cultivate relationships and address their needs.

  • Transparency is key. Every aspect of your platform, brand, and online presence should be genuine and as transparent as possible. Allow for engagements and recognition wherever possible, such as comments, likes, voting, and other ways to provide feedback or participation. Communities grow because people feel good about being a part of something; make sure that stays at the focus of your endeavors.
  • Give consumers a reason. Tapping into specific communities can help boost brand engagement and exposure. Give them a strong reason to stick around so you don’t lose people after initial interest.
  • Pursue what truly matters to your brand. You still want to connect with your audience, and you always want to be on top of the issues that matter to them. But before diving in headfirst, make sure it’s something you can follow through on. There’s nothing worse than a brand that’s all talk.
  • Be wary of potential social crises. Even if you’re not always engaging with or promoting content that revolves around social issues, you still must be careful what you attach your name to. Nobody wants a PR crisis. You will be sure to lose customers.

More than ever, consumers need to be the focus of every piece of content, strategy, or campaign put into action. It’s a lot of work, but incredibly necessary to keep your business prominent and moving forward. The secret to winning over your audience is engaging your audience, which you have probably noticed is the underlying theme across each of the trends we outlined in this report. Consumer demands are high, but so are the opportunities. The brands that accelerate consumer intelligence to the forefront of their 2022 strategy, will be the true winners this year. Let’s make your business one of them!

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