People use social media as a part of their daily lives, and businesses are flocking to it to reach customers.
To prevent information overload, businesses are getting creative with social media to reach customers. Organizations can use social media marketing to boost their business and reach different generations on the right platforms.
Approximately 58.4% of the world's population uses social media for an average of two hours and 27 minutes a day. There are plenty of new opportunities to use social media in different ways, including videos, customer service and social listening.
Staying on top of the latest social media and marketing trends can help businesses reach customers by standing out in a world of digital overload. Here are some of the top social media trends in 2022.
1. TikTok will become bigger
In September 2021, TikTok reported more than 1 billion active monthly users and is still growing.
For companies that want to reach younger audiences, TikTok is a must. It is one of the main platforms to reach Gen Z and millennial consumers.
TikTok is also a suitable platform for businesses to advertise using short-form videos -- popular with the younger generations. In addition, TikTok has ads and business profile tools to expand its platform.
2. Video content will continue to dominate
Eighty-two percent of global consumer internet traffic will be video content, according to a study by Cisco. However, long-form videos are losing popularity as more consumers turn to short-form videos, such as those on TikTok, Facebook's Reels, YouTube's Shorts and Instagram's Reels and Stories.
Moreover, companies are turning to live-streaming to engage with consumers. These videos can include telling a story, demonstrating a product, promoting events or sharing other company communications. The length of social media videos should be kept to around a minute, according to Hootsuite.
3. Social commerce will continue to expand
Buying products directly from social media will become the norm. Social networks are evolving into retail platforms with storefronts and shoppable posts. In fact, 98% of consumers plan to purchase on social media, according to Sprout Social.
To create an ideal shopping experience, businesses should focus on creating as few clicks as possible. This can be done by focusing on their most popular items instead of a full storefront to start.
4. Augmented reality will go mainstream
Other technologies -- such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) -- will integrate with social media, offering more engagement with customers. While VR adoption is in the early stages, AR is now used on Instagram and Snapchat to enhance the visuals shared. For example, Snapchat uses AR for all its photo filters to turn people into animals, appear to have makeup, wear sunglasses or have other appearance alterations.
But there are more AR applications than just photo filters. People can also try products ahead of time. For example, consumers can see how the furniture fits in a room or virtually try on sunglasses.
5. Influencer marketing continues to rise
Influencer marketing isn't new, but it isn't going away. Social media is full of influencers promoting brands.
Investing in influencers may not be as expensive as other forms of advertising or marketing campaigns, but it still delivers results. Ninety percent of marketers found influencer marketing to be effective, according to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub.
LinkedIn is another social media platform offering influencer marketing. While LinkedIn and influencer marketing are not commonly linked together, LinkedIn offers Creator Accelerator -- an initiative to help creators build their communities -- showing they are looking to invest more in creators and influencers.
Using influencers can help companies do more than just generate leads. Influencers can also help with customer engagement and promote customer loyalty.
Learn more about using influencer marketing to reach millennials and Gen Z.
6. Customer service becomes a big part of social media
Using social media as a customer service platform happened gradually as people realized they could reach out to companies directly. Customers ask questions or post complaints, and companies respond.
Fifty-four percent of global participants had more favorable views of companies that responded to customer service complaints or requests on social media, according to Microsoft's Global State of Customer Service report. Customers value the importance of responding to posts.
To speed up response time, companies may want to invest in a chatbot to handle some requests immediately or create a customer service knowledge base -- or FAQ.
7. More companies will use social listening
Businesses can gather insights and data from social media. By using social listening tools, businesses can listen to the consumer world. Here are some social listening tools:
- Sprout Social
The goal of social listening is to monitor any conversations on social media and understand reactions.
Social listening enables companies to understand the impact of campaigns, perceptions of brands and other insights on customer wants and needs.
To start, companies can use branded hashtags, relevant keywords and company mentions in social campaigns to see the results.
8. Local targeting will grow
Using location-based targeting helps companies attract local consumers. A common way to find locals is to use geotagging in social media content to reach a target audience.
Social media users can search for posts near them, so be sure to add a location to the post. For example, Instagram has location search option. And on Facebook, companies can "boost a post" and select target locations for the audience to help narrow the reach.
9. Social audios will gain popularity
Even though audio is not new, its presence on social media is. Audio uses only the human voice to reach its audience, giving people the option to listen on the go.
Clubhouse -- a social audio app -- was popular in 2021, but the invite-only requirement made it difficult for all businesses to use. However, other platforms are now offering audio-only options. Facebook now offers features such as Soundbites, podcast and Rooms to support audio content.
Trends for using social audio include live event broadcasting, voice messaging, music, live audio rooms and meetings.