Reflecting on Hootsuite’s social media trends for 2022
Globally recognised social media management site Hootsuite has released its predictions for social media trends in 2022. The research aims to support businesses’ social media strategies as we head into the new year and is a key report that all social media gurus should dive into.
Brand strategy – the importance of online communities
Online communities are more crucial than ever, according to a recent Squarespace survey. Young people now find digital life more important and memorable than in-person life. With the help of creators and collaborations, there are now spaces for all types of communities online which brands can tap into.
We do, however, need to ensure we don’t confuse followers with communities, this distinction is paramount.
A follower may simply ‘follow’ a brand online, but not actively be in the community. Online communities resemble in-person communities where people share ideas, experiences and content around a specific topic of interest.
Communities are a great way for brands to connect with their target audience through unlikely partnerships. Take American fast food giant Chipotle. They teamed up with cosmetics brand e.l.f to produce a Mexican food-style palette and lip gloss. What may sound like a chalk and cheese combination was actually a match made in heaven. The line ended up selling out in three days and gained 28 million impressions on social media through influencer marketing and user-generated content from the two communities. The two brands are popular amongst Gen-Z and leveraged the communities they knew their target audience were a part of.
This trend involves a little bit of thinking outside of the box and risk-taking, but we would encourage brands to think about their target audience as well as where they can find them online; what do they like? What do they watch, buy, listen to? Becoming a part of these communities is a great way for brands to reach their target audience authentically and organically.
Social advertising – what platform do I use?
It’ll come as no surprise to hear that the Facebook advertising space is oversaturated, so social media marketers need to look into other options and platforms for paid ads.
The general consensus is that as consumers wise up to the typical tricks of social media advertising, marketers are favouring less traditional platforms and focusing on TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat. These platforms are said to be more efficient and reach brands’ target audiences more quickly and with more ease. This does not mean to say that Facebook and Instagram are not useful places for advertisers to be, they are still the most widely used platforms out there. As marketers, we are now learning to be more clever. To just ‘place an ad’ won’t cut it anymore. Consumers want to feel like the ad is part of the experience of using the platform, rather than taking away from it. They expect ads to resemble the content they would already see on the platform. TikTok’s advice is plain and simple; ‘Don’t make ads. Make TikToks’, while Pinterest advises advertisers to ‘stop interrupting, start inspiring’.
This process is always one of trial and error, but here are some questions to ask yourself before creating an ad in 2022:
- Why and how do people use the specific platform I am wanting to advertise on?
- Is this platform used by my target audience?
- Is my ad enhancing the experience of the user?
- Is my ad similar to content people would expect to see on this platform?
Customer care – social media managers on the frontline
I’m sure we’ve all experienced scrolling through social media to see rants and rages from people who are unhappy with a purchase they’ve made. Unfortunately, the fallout from this comes directly back to the social media manager.
Social media has become the frontline for customer services and there’s no hiding in the stock room!
If handled in the correct way, social media customer service can build a brand’s reputation, acquire new customers and accelerate purchases. Just like social commerce, this trend is going nowhere and unfortunately, according to Hootsuite, most brands aren’t ready for the ‘customer service apocalypse’ so it’s time to start thinking about a strategy on how to tackle this.
There are apps and services available which can help to collate incoming messages from all platforms into one space, so you can keep on top of queries more easily. Hootsuite also suggests that siloing your departments is a thing of the past. Making sure your customer service, sales and marketing teams are on the same page is vital and it’s a great way to showcase your internal communications. According to the customer, you are all just the brand.
Black Vanilla provides training in internal communications to ensure your employees are working more effectively towards strategic business goals. If you’d like to find out more, please contact email@example.com.
According to Hootsuite, most brands are confident in measuring the ROI of social media, largely due to the pandemic. As we all had to rely on digitally focused brands, it became clear that social media plays a vital role in brand awareness and customer retention. While confidence has been boosted, this does not mean marketers can sit back and relax. As with customer service, brands need to ensure their departments are no longer siloed and that all employees understand the significance of social media on a brand’s reputation. Ambassador programmes were highlighted to help your employees feel more connected to the brand and are a great tool for furthering customer insights.
‘Bold businesses in 2022 will buff up their employee advocacy programmes, get better at using social to gather consumer insights, and strive to deliver the kind of impact they’ve seen social have on their marketing elsewhere in their organisations.’ Hootsuite Social Trends 2022 Report
Another tool brands can be using more is social listening. Social listening gives brands the opportunity to track conversations happening all over social in relation to their sector. There are plenty of tools out there now which can aid in this, such as Hootsuite Insights.
We would encourage brands to become confident in understanding the ROI of social media if they’re not already there, but also tap into trends such as employee benefit schemes and social listening to help bolster this.
The pandemic has accelerated online shopping, with most now using social media for the full shopping journey. 16-24-year-olds have commented that social media is more important to them than Google in regards to making a purchase. This trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Some brands such as Gucci have taken this to the extreme by celebrating their 100th birthday in the metaverse of Roblox, selling their products digitally. Yes, digitally. Would you believe someone paid $4,000 for a digital Dionysus GG Supreme Canvas Embroidered Queen Bee bag that their avatar can use in the game, when the physical bag retails at $3,600?
This shows the value people place on their digital lives and communities, and how brands can leverage this.
The gist of these trends is simple: if you’re not selling your products through social media, you need to start.
Here are three ways you can enhance your social media selling:
1) Make the purchase process easy.
2) Create an attractive social media storefront.
3) Personalise the experience.
These are just some of the trends we can expect to see in 2022 and beyond, but if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be on the ball to react to any quick changes. Social media and advertising can be trial and error, so let’s encourage flexing our creative side and having fun with it.
If you’re looking for social media training and top tips, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our workshops.