The new year is just days away, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your 2022 marketing plan. Before we get into the top digital marketing and social media trends, it’s important to understand why having a social media content strategy is critical for small and medium-sized businesses.
Social media has become an integral part of the modern customer journey, from awareness to conversion to advocacy. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, roughly 7 in 10 Americans use social media. Social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook are the most popular, with YouTube seeing a significant increase in users; 81% of respondents said they use the social media platform, up from 73% in 2019.
Knowing what digital marketing and social media trends to be aware of and creating a solid digital marketing plan can help you reach your goals in the coming year, regardless of your industry or the size of your business.
Our predictions for the top social media trends in 2022 include:
Video will continue to be an important aspect of social media content strategy because it helps capture the attention of the user. The 2022 social media trend is MICRO video content—great news for those who find the idea of creating videos for social media a little overwhelming! Short, sweet, fun, and to the point will win you views—and potentially business—in the new year.
If you’ve resisted jumping on the TikTok and Instagram Reels bandwagon, now is the time. With the arrival of YouTube Shorts, it’s clear that bite-sized video content is a focus for many social media platforms and will dominate in 2022.
There’s no universal number for an optimal video length. TikTok has increased its video length to three minutes, while a short-form video on Twitter can be up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds. For Instagram Reels, it’s 60 seconds.
What IS clear is that social media users’ attention spans are decreasing. According to a Microsoft study, people now have an average attention span of 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. So, if you’re planning to make short-form videos as part of your marketing plan, be sure to create content that grabs the viewer’s attention immediately—within the first few seconds of the video.
Now, you may be wondering HOW you can leverage this social media trend as part of your social media content strategy.
One way is to leverage your video content through trending social media challenges. Viral challenges can take many forms, whether through song, dance, or other activities. Participating in a challenge can drive traffic to your page and build community engagement. Followers love to see brands having a little FUN!
Product and brand teasers can also generate excitement and engagement. A short video that shows the essence of your brand but leaves a viewer wanting more can be a compelling way to gain traction to your page.
Behind-the-brand videos is another way you can take advantage of this social media trend. Social media users are always seeking authenticity, so giving users a behind-the-scenes peek into your company can be a great way to engage them.
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by a customer that is shared on a social media platform. This includes:
If there’s one thing TikTok and other social media platforms have shown us this past year, it’s that people LOVE content by other users, not brands. Integrating user-generated content has several benefits: It’s cost-effective, acts as a customer testimonial, and also showcases your brand in an authentic way.
So what does this mean for 2022? Be sure to have a user-generated content strategy as part of your overall digital marketing plan.
Having a UGC strategy may include starting a hashtag campaign—or at the very least being consistent in using and promoting your brand hashtag.
You’ll also want a strategy to source UGC. Sourcing user-generated content can be simple: You can search for UGC by reviewing your brand-specific hashtags or looking at who has tagged you, either directly in a photo/video or in a caption.
You can also source UGC by partnering with influencers. Partnering with a social media influencer doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a celebrity or someone with a huge number of followers, which would require a hefty budget. Micro-influencers are those who have a solid, engaged follower base in your industry or local area who can create unique, genuine content for your use and expose your brand to their followers.
Companies want their content EVERYWHERE, and who can blame them? Having more eyes on your products and multiple touch points for your customers can mean conversion. We expect companies big and small to lean on multiple channels for content marketing. If your focus for social media has been in ONE channel, then 2022 is the year to diversify your reach.
From YouTube live shows to online articles to podcasts and vlogs, you’ll see brands leveraging different platforms to communicate with their customers to engage them in their message and hopefully convert them to lifetime fans.
In a recent Hootsuite survey of over 18,000 marketers, respondents said they would be branching out as they plan to spend more on social advertising in 2022. While digital marketers will continue to focus on tried-and-true methods in 2022 (think Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn), they’ll also expand to channels like TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Why? Perceived effectiveness in these channels is increasing. The most notable jump was for TikTok, which soared from 3% to 24% this year—an increase of 700%!
If you haven’t already begun evaluating which channels you’ll be marketing in 2022—both for organic and paid social media content— it may be worth considering an expansion into NEW social media platforms as part of your multi-channel marketing strategy.
If you’re not familiar with the term “conversational keywords,” you may be thinking, “What the HECK does that mean?”
Conversational keywords are the complete sentences and natural-sounding phrases that people use when they utilize a search engine using artificial intelligence algorithms, like Alexa and Siri. While conversational search isn’t new, with over 40 million people now using voice search, this is a growing area of focus!
Optimizing for voice search means creating persona-based content that will answer people’s questions. Consider: How would you ask a friend (or Siri) about this topic? Then make sure your content answers those questions.
Incorporating conversational keywords as part of your targeting strategy will help with your SEO, and in turn increase your traffic and engagement.
Social media trends come and go, but we expect these digital marketing strategies to endure in 2022. Need some help creating a digital marketing plan for your small business? We can be your off-site, full-service digital marketing team, integrating seamlessly into your overall marketing strategy.
Do you have questions about your digital marketing and social media strategy? We want to hear from you! Click here to schedule a complimentary consultation with the RMS agency today.
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