From the famous mittens of US Senator Bernie Sanders, to the 1 billion TikTok users, 2021 has been a great year for social media, and they are poised to be more important in 2022.

Hootsuite, the world’s leading social media management platform, has presented its sixth report on Trends in Social Networks. The top five trends that will shape social media in the coming year are revealed. All marketers, and all businesses, after all, will need to know to be the most successful on social media in 2022.

The results of the survey conducted in the third quarter of 2021 to more than 18,000 marketers, and which has been supported by global data and opinions of industry experts, customers and partners, have identified that:

  • The smartest brands have finally learned their lesson by partnering with content creators to connect with new audiences, earn their trust, and gain cultural capital.
  • Consumers demand a higher level of creativity from brands in advertising on social media, and they value those that do it well.
  • Once the value of social media in marketing has been discovered, business leaders are finding innovative ways to extend its impact to other departments in their organizations.
  • Social commerce is becoming a widely used retail channel smaller, with brands of all sizes opening social storefronts and expanding limits of the Internet shopping experience.
  • As the demand for customer service increases through social media, social organizations are outperforming their competitors by improving customer service on these platforms.

As the impact of social media continues to grow and evolve around the world, the market will continue to hint at what it collectively wants“, He points out Maggie Lower, CMO of Hootsuite. “Today, we are all listening and adapting faster and faster, digital communities are increasingly important in the lives of consumers and this is why brands are forced to meet higher standards. We’re seeing social make its way out of the marketing department as social commerce comes into full swing and customer service opportunities emerge on our favorite platforms.“, Add.

With more than 4.5 billion people using social media – and with our physical and digital lives increasingly connected – navigating the social media landscape has become an even more complex task for brands and organizations. While staying up-to-date may seem difficult, Hootsuite encourages readers to dive into digital communities to find their true purpose, think strategically, and take risks to defy expectations and outperform competitors in 2022.

After having lived through difficult times, in which companies have been forced to act tactically, it is time for marketers to think strategically again“, says Tom Keizer, CEO of Hootsuite. “Let’s think about how to create connected online communities. Let’s defend the infinite potential of social commerce and customer service. Let’s make bold decisions based on data, vision and purpose, and make everyone wonder how we did it”He concludes.

Through key findings, expert analysis and industry examples, the Trends in Social Media report highlights that:

1. Brands finally get a proper community (with the help of content creators)

Digital communities are increasingly important in the life and identity of consumers, and content creators are the key to discovering them. Brands that intelligently partner with creators connect with new audiences, earn their trust, and gain cultural capital.

“Communities are the core of a successful social strategy, and content creators have built networks where their visibility and influence are really powerful” – Amanda Wood, Head of Social Marketing at Hootsuite.

2. Marketers get more creative as consumers take notice of social media ads

Consumers demand a higher level of creativity from brands in the ads they make on social media, but reward those who do it well. As marketers plan to spend more on ads on these platforms in 2022, they will have to do more to create ads that reflect and enrich the different experiences each social network offers.

“Nobody wants their time on the Internet to be interrupted by brands that haven’t put a lot of effort into their ads. Consumers are much more receptive to brands on social media that are clear about this. “ – Sarah Dawley, Content Manager at Hootsuite.

3. Social networks are gaining importance beyond the marketing department

Business leaders are improving employee promotion programs, mastering social listening to gather information about consumers, and looking for the kind of impact they have seen social media have on marketing across the organization.

“Social networks are no longer an isolated section of the marketing department, this is thanks to tools that demonstrate return on investment and that have become universally accessible.” – Melissa Murray Bailey, CRO of Hootsuite.

4. Social networks become the center of the shopping experience

The era of social commerce is in full swing and opportunities are only growing. Smaller and more competitive companies are finding a balance between social media storefronts and physical stores, while large brands are testing the limits of the online shopping experience.

“Social media is the new interface to commerce and the backbone of the new customer experience for 2022 and beyond” – Étienne Mérineau, founder of Heyday by Hootsuite.

5. Social marketers rescue their brands from the customer service apocalypse

Amid the disruption of global supply chains and staff shortages, many companies can expect an influx of not very happy customers in 2022. Meanwhile, the demand for customer service through social media has increased. Social media managers are now in an ideal position to play heroes and lead their organizations through this demand.

“Offering great customer service on social networks is going to be the best marketing for your brand” – Christoph Neut, Vice President of Sales for Sparkcentral by Hootsuite.

Other interesting points that the report highlights:

  • 50 million people around the world consider themselves content creators.
  • This year, marketing budgets relative to revenue are the lowest ever, yet more than half (51.4%) of marketers surveyed say they plan to increase their social media spending by 2022.
  • Investment in TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat has increased relative to last year. Marketers are shifting their resources where they can have the most impact, and increasingly it is in networks that have not typically been a priority in the mix of social marketing channels.
  • The platforms that respondents consider most effective in achieving their business goals are Facebook (62%), Instagram (49%), and LinkedIn and Twitter (40%).
  • The majority of marketers surveyed (83%) say they are somewhat, very or very confident about quantifying the ROI of their social media efforts, up from 68% last year.
  • More than 36% of respondents say they will invest more in customer service on social networks. Additionally, 59% of marketers agree that the value of social customer service has increased for their organization in the past 12 months.

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