Social Media Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2022
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2022 Social Media Marketing Trends To Guide Your Marketing Strategies

January 5, 2022

Find out the top seven trends that will dominate your social media marketing strategies in the coming year.

What social media trends will matter most to marketers in 2022? 

In 2022, un-tracking will push marketers to seek out new strategies, brands will step up community-building efforts, marketers will prepare to pivot (again), and influencer marketing will take center stage on social media.

In this guide, we walk you through the trends that influence how marketers and agencies will meet and measure KPIs, connect with audiences, and expand influencer marketing in 2022.

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Trend #1: Un-Tracking Will Significantly Influence Social Media Campaigns

In 2022, marketers will look for new ways to measure ad performance, target niche audiences, and usher users through their sales funnel.

Due to Apple and upcoming Google Chrome privacy changes, social media advertising will no longer provide a simple path to customer acquisition and conversions.

  • Forty-one percent of marketers believe their greatest 2022 challenges will be tied to data tracking, according to a report by Hubspot. 
  • Forty-four percent of marketers believe they’ll need to spend 5% – 25% more money to achieve the same goals they did in 2021.

As we find new ways to reach target audiences, expect increased reliability on social media content, insights, and monitoring in 2022.

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Advertisers Will Seek New Ways To Target And Measure

Privacy updates by Apple (affecting Facebook/Instagram) and Google (affecting Chrome) will dominate how we target consumers and measure ad performance in 2022 and beyond.

The Apple privacy updates affect nearly half (47%) of all U.S. smartphone users, and nearly all of them (85%) have opted out of tracking.

Additionally, Google is currently testing ways to eliminate third-party cookies from its Chrome web browser. It expects to begin phase #1 of its Privacy Sandbox rollout in late 2022.

Due to Apple/Facebook – Google/Chrome changes, the coming year will present BIG challenges for marketers and advertisers as they learn to navigate the absence of tracking, due to long-awaited privacy considerations.

On the eve of Apple’s IOS 14.5 privacy tweak, investment advisor Gary Black tweeted about its effect on social media, “Tomorrow will be tough day for growth names, with $SNAP down -20% AH on weak 4Q rev guide, and other social media ( $GOOG, $FB, $TWTR) down 3-5% AH. Issue is Apple iOS 14.5, where buyers have to opt-in to allow ad tracking. Advertisers cutting ad spending if can’t determine ROI.”

Tweet ad tracking Gary Black

The good news is that we expect to see improvements by the end of the year.

  • 40% of smartphone users will opt-in to tracking by 2023, according to a report by Gartner Research.
  • More marketing experimentation in 2022 will lead to newer, more effective marketing and ad strategies in 2023.
  • Increased focus on social media content and insights will help brands develop larger, more engaged audiences and highly-effective sales funnels by 2023.

Expect a bumpy ride in the early part of the year as marketers experiment and learn to navigate a tracking-free landscape. However, we expect the new challenges will lead to more creative, effective marketing and ad strategies toward the end of the year.

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Marketers Will Expand Their Data Sources

As tracking users across the web becomes a distant memory, marketers will rely more on the information that is available across multiple platforms, such as social media insights, and social listening and monitoring, to guide their campaigns.

  • Ad monitoring allows you to monitor competitors’ ads, as well as your own, to discover what’s working across your industry.
  • Influencer monitoring is an extremely helpful tool that shows you, in real-time, exactly what types of ads, voice, and products your audience responds to.
  • Brand mention monitoring helps you determine what your customers do and don’t like about your products, content, and social media presence.
  • Competitive monitoring provides insights on what your target audience is looking for, what they respond to, and what tactics are working best to engage them.

Tracking other brands and influencers allows your team to develop an effective social media strategy that significantly expands your reach and conversions.

Marketers often avoid social media monitoring because it can be an exhaustive and time-consuming task without the right tools.

How To Compensate For Un-Tracking

The good news is that you can conduct comprehensive daily monitoring and review sessions in minutes, with the right marketing software.

TIP: A reliable, user-friendly marketing platform, such as Sharelov, can help you easily and quickly monitor ads, influencers, brand mentions, and competitors’ social media content – in just a few minutes each day.

Monitor your competitors, influencers, ads, and brand mentions

Trend #2: Massive Audience Engagement

This year, expect the focus on social media community engagement to increase like never before. 

Rumors of Instagram testing the removal of its “like” counts, combined with quickly vanishing tracking abilities, means marketers will need to rely on their social media communities for feedback, guidance, and insights to help guide campaigns.

Along with developing small groups and forums that cater to target audiences, brands will strive to develop stronger connections with followers.

11 Ways To Form Memorable Connections With Your Audience

In 2022, successful brands will look for opportunities to connect with their audiences by providing enhanced and improved communication in several areas, including:

  • Customer service experiences
  • Chatbox interactions
  • Social media commenting and replies
  • Recruiting 

Forward-thinking marketers will take community-building a step further by focusing on areas that inspire customers to engage, such as:

  • Positive, entertaining, and informative content
  • Post captions and messaging that express consistent brand personality 
  • Pop culture references
  • Contests and giveaways that drive user-generated content

TIP: Create more engaging captions in 2022 — check out How to Write Instagram Captions – A Guide For Brands And Marketers

Engagement poses its own challenges.

As your brand develops deeper connections with its audience, you can expect to see increased comment activity on your pages.

Yay! Right!?! Yes, increased comments and engagement can quickly boost your KPIs. 

But there’s a catch.

If you don’t reply to comments quickly, your can lose business and develop a poor reputation.

  • “If you don’t respond to comments on social media, it can lead to a 15% increase in churn rate. (Gartner)” – via Hubspot

Brands that do reply to comments, reviews, and messages — in a timely manner — increase their reputation and profits. 

  •  “54% of people had a more favorable view of brands that responded to customer service questions or complaints on social media. (Ledgeview Partners)” – via Hubspot

Community engagement can create a predicament for companies that are already stretched to their limits with team resources.

How will your team manage tracking and response to hundreds or even thousands of comments if your content goes viral?

Marketing teams will benefit from developing a social media response plan that determines how to handle increased comment engagement when the time comes. 

TIP: Managing comments from your Sharelov dashboard means your team can quickly (and easily) respond to social media comments!

Easily track and respond to comments on Facebook and Instagram with Sharelov’s

Trend #3: Successful Marketers Will Prepare To Pivot — Again

For the third year in a row, marketers can expect significant challenges brought on by the pandemic.

The sudden cancellation of events, in-store shopping, and in-person office work continues to pose significant challenges to most companies. At the same time, supply chain issues, employee shortages, and recruiting challenges weigh heavily on their ability to function.

Here’s The Good News

Constant change and crises over the past couple of years have sharpened marketers’ skills and creativity. Again and again, marketers turned seemingly impossible situations into successful outcomes over the past couple of years. 

Today’s marketing teams are more resourceful and tenacious than ever before. They’ve become so accustomed to change and challenge that their ability to create unique, engaging campaigns will likely defy all odds.

Get Your Team’s Feedback Before You Publish It’s easy with Sharelov!

Covid Challenges Will Continue in 2022

What other changes should brands and marketing teams expect this year?

  • You’ll face challenges with event planning, such as whether to plan in-person, virtual, or hybrid events. Then, you’ll create alternate plans (probably several) in case something changes the circumstances surrounding your original plan.
  • You’ll likely deal with economic changes that affect companies and consumers alike.
  • You may plan full campaigns around influencers, celebrities, or themes that are no longer loved by your audience by the time they launch.

That’s why marketers should prepare for another year of quick pivots and fast thinking in 2022.

pivot ross

You Got This!

Take a breath, remind yourself of the unthinkable situations you’ve overcome, professionally and personally, since 2020, and don’t let the noise distract you.

Prepare to pivot to whatever 2022 may bring, and practice self-care to continue fueling the creativity and drive you need to deliver the best campaigns of all time.

Trend #4: Influencer Marketing Will Increase By Leaps And Bounds

Influencers shared nearly four million (3,798,505) sponsored posts in 2021 — a 27% increase over 2020, according to Klear’s State Of Influencer Marketing 2022 report, and:

  • Nearly all (91%) sponsored post engagement came from content created by micro-influencers (people with 10,000 – 50,000 social media followers)
  • The smaller audiences of micro-influencers create the most engagement, typically providing the highest ROI for brands.
  • Micro-influencer rates are affordable to most brands, with an average rate of $179 per Story and $354 per post.

We expect that micro-influencers and nano-influencer trends will experience massive growth throughout the coming year. Influencer campaigns effectively expand reach and increase engagement, while building trust and providing the type of social proof that boost engagement.

For example, Bumble brand, with the help of influencer marketing agency Obviously, asked 32 influencers to describe what dating is like with unique, engaging content using the hashtag #DatingIsLike on TikTok.

The fun and relatable content that followed included first date outfit voting, comical dating story videos, and even comedic skits, which led to an above-average engagement rate of 3.5%.

Find out how Instagram Videos can boost your marketing efforts this year:

Marketers’ Guide To Instagram Videos in 2022

Another advantage to influencer campaigns is marketers’ ability to measure their ROI (especially as ad tracking fades). 

Influencer platforms such as Upfluence, Lumanu, and Grin provides brands with access to influencers, influencer collaboration tools, and analytics data to measure ROI for influencer campaigns.

Grin influencer platform
Source: Grin

Jonathan Martinez, founder of JM Strategy, predicts that we’ll see social media channels creating “influencer marketplaces” that make working with influencers easier. 

Since the pandemic, people consume influencer content more often on different channels, and are more responsive to their type of personal recommendations than traditional advertising.

“The pandemic has accelerated people watching even more content from influencers on various channels. These same people are becoming more responsive to ads from a personal voice and increasingly numb to typical brand ads.” Jonathan Martinez TechCrunch interview

Look toward increased influencer marketing as one of the most visible trends of 2022!

track your competitors

Trend #5: Employees Will Become Influencers For Their Companies

Nearly all (90%) of B2B social media marketing strategies will include employee advocacy programs within the next two years, according to a report by Gartner.

Encouraging team members to advocate for their companies accomplishes several objectives:

  • Assists in recruiting top talent from employee’s social networks
  • Expands brand reach and other KPI’ such as engagement and lead conversions
  • Engages employees and boosts retention

Many companies, including Gamestop, Amazon, and Samsung, increasingly turn to employees to act as social media influencers.

Find out how to boost your conversions on Tiktok:

7 Ways To Drive More Traffic And Sales From Tiktok

Walmart, for example, is developing a program to utilize 1.5 million of its associates as social media influencers in the “world’s largest employee-influencer program.”

Adidas put a spin on employee advocacy with a moving compilation video that includes several of its employees.

Employee advocacy programs can solve several of the challenges companies face in 2022, including helping to retain and recruit talent, as well as promote their brands to new audiences (with measurable ROI).

Work Together From Home

Creative marketers will find new ways to spin employee advocacy into content that moves and engages its audience, such as GE did with its “Childlike Imagination” video featuring a 6-year old talking about her mother’s inventions.

Expect to see more incentivized, creative employee advocacy content as an emerging trend in 2022!

Why cultivate employee influencers?

Trend #6: Customers Will Be Leveraged As Influencers

Collaboration with customers through user-generated content, reviews, and testimonials will increase to become a strong arm of brand influencer marketing.

In correspondence with TechCrunch, Kate Adams, SVP of Marketing for Validity, encourages B2B marketers to create communities that provide a platform for customers to share their success stories. 

Asking customers to share their stories about your brand can be as effective as hiring a well-known influencer.

“Instead of going for one person with 10 million followers via a flashy influencer program, why not invite 1,000 people with 10,000 followers to talk about your product?” Kate Adams, SVP of marketing, Validity

Collaborating with customers won’t happen by sending out cold-call emails. That’s why it’s critical for brands to build relationships with their customers and social media followers, at every opportunity.

Understanding customer behavior, connecting with audiences on a personal level, and building a trustworthy reputation will be critical steps toward building a customer influence network on social media.

Top Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022

Trend #7: Best Posting Times Will Change — Again And Again

When employees work from home, they view more social media, streaming, and broadcast tv advertising during the daytimes.

Get instant suggestions on the best times to post for your brand!

Within the next two years, research predicts that the volume of ad impressions across TV and streaming media between the hours of 9 – 5 will increase by 60%.

Social media posting, as we’ve learned, reacts to work-from-home economies in a similar way.

Find out how to produce the best social media content in your industry:

118 Ideas for Outstanding Social Media Content

When people work from home, they’re more likely to see social media posts and ads during the daytime hours.

This is a big change from the pre-pandemic era in which best posting times were often the same across many industries (before and after work hours).

Discover the best times to post your videos on Youtube in our guide:

Best Times to Post on YouTube

To get the most views and engagement from your social media posts, you’ll need to pay close attention to the insights on all your social platforms, and learn when people are most likely to engage with your brand.

In the coming year, workers are likely to go back to the office, or back to remote work, as the pandemic and local governments dictage. 

We found 4 secrets to successful remote marketing teams, check it here:

Remote Work Tips For Marketing Teams

For that reason, marketers can’t rely on historical data to predict their best posting times, but instead will need to keep close track of audience behavior on a consistent basis.

Best posting times may change and change again for your brand, so keep a close eye on your social media insights and be willing to adjust your publishing schedule on a weekly or monthly basis.

TIP: Creating a social media content calendar helps you make better decisions on publishing schedules!

Publishing schedules are easier with Sharelov’s

Make your job easier with Sharelov

2022 Social Media Trends: Great Challenges, Greater Rewards

Brands that adapt to life without Pixel tracking will be well-prepared to handle Google Chrome’s upcoming tracking changes in 2023. 

This year, audience engagement, marketers’ flexibility, and influencer marketing are likely to be the trends that have the greatest influence on brand reach, engagement, and conversions.

Influencer marketing will become a focal marketing strategy as brands turn to micro and nano influencers, employees, and customers to advocate for their brands.

While the pandemic promises more business challenges, marketers are well-prepared to meet them after two full years of creating under difficult circumstances — and thriving for it.

The challenges presented by the pandemic and by privacy changes are sure to improve the quality of social media marketing, as well as the relationships between brands and their customers in 2022!

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