It wasn’t too long ago that social media was just for the cool kids. A place for sharing photos with friends or staying in touch with family. But it’s quickly become an integral part of our lives — and our businesses. As technology has evolved in ways to keep us ever-connected, brands have been forced to get more social too. No longer does being on today’s top platforms keep you in the loop, or even give you an edge; it’s essential to stay alive.
The last two years have given us some of the most rapid and immense change in the world of social media. Creating and sharing content is now easier than ever, and there’s a ton of tools to help you reach your target audience. You love to see it, but you also can’t just sit back and watch. Whether you’re a little late to the social game, or looking to make your move to the next level, we’re diving into everything you need to know about social media in 2022.
Why Your Brand Needs to Get Social
It’s bold to say, but we’re going to say it: your presence on social media is now probably more important than having a website. Thanks to the recent rapid evolution of the digital world, everyone is on social media, and the amount of traffic these networks can and do handle daily is far more than your site ever will — that’s 4.2 billion active users, according to Hootsuite.
Social media platforms have become a place to engage with brands in a way we never could before. Through new technology and integrations, it offers people a place to discover new experiences, improve our lifestyles in a few clicks, turn strangers into trusted referrals, and engage with influencers and celebrities as friends and colleagues. It’s a place where customers aren’t simply being spoken to, but they’re part of the conversation.
Businesses who take advantage of these opportunities to connect and build trust will be the ones that thrive in today’s digital world. 78% of social sellers make more sales than their counterparts who aren’t using social media. As a brand trying to build loyalty and engage with people in a more meaningful way, social media is the place to do it.
Today’s Top Trends Dominating Social Media
Now, let’s get into the awesome new trends that are helping brands do just that.
- Social Commerce is Taking Over
Brands have been selling on social media for years, but it wasn’t until recently that buying products directly via social media became the norm. And by 2025, eMarketer anticipates that the social commerce industry will be worth $80 billion. Wooah. But this growing popularity isn’t just a coincidence — social platforms have taken their Ecommerce capabilities to the next level.
Using product tags and product detail pages, Instagram has capitalized on impulse buying by making product discovery and engagement feel more natural, while platforms like WhatsApp have given businesses the option to add their product catalogs, thanks to integrations with apps like Shopify. With social commerce, the entire shopping experience from discovery to check out happens without ever leaving the platform, which is a luxury and convenience your customers are looking for.
- Video Continues to Dominate — and Shrink
Video has quickly become the dominant social content out there — and the best performing. In a recent study by Animoto, 93% of brands said they got a new customer because of a video on social media. More brands are turning to video to showcase products, share helpful tips, go behind the scenes, and more. And with the rapid rise of Tik Tok, video has also gotten shorter and more personal. As people become more infatuated with following their personal lives of friends, influencers, and celebrities, businesses are shifting gears to create video ads that are more personal too.
With emotion being the biggest driver of human decisions, platforms are helping businesses take advantage. Reels and Stories on Facebook and Instagram make visual storytelling simpler and more natural. By creating ad narratives that portray familiar visuals or feelings, they don’t come across as an interruption to the user experience, which makes people more likely to connect. Short-form videos are making ads less obvious and obnoxious, which is something your audience will appreciate.
- Augmented Reality is Going Mainstream
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are always the first to jump on the latest and greatest technology. And that’s why we’re seeing these channels now incorporating state-of-the-art tech like augmented reality into everyday consumer experiences. As we all know, AR filters have become wildly popular on platforms like SnapChat, where users can put on makeup, hats, sunglasses, etc. to change their style or appearance. But now, AR is also creating better shopping experiences.
By investing in this technology directly on social platforms, brands can give their audiences the ability to try on their products before purchasing — so no going to the store or banking on a great return policy. When it comes down to seeing a static photo or virtually testing out the product for themselves, which do you think offers more motivation to buy?
- Personalization is Paramount
Artificial Intelligence is driving social platforms to unimaginable IQs. Just a single click can determine what ads we receive, what posts we see, and what friends are suggested to us. But that’s just the beginning. Everything from our locations to our behaviors to the people and groups we associate with are all being tracked and stored in these platforms. While it’s a little unnerving, it’s a big benefit for businesses.
This data can be used to create a more personalized experience for audiences. Businesses can show specific users the content they want to see based on their interests and behaviors to increase the chances of making a deeper connection. Intelligence features like Sentiment Analysis can even detect positive and negative reactions from a user’s comments or interactions with a brand’s post. Even Adobe has recently jumped in the AI wave, launching their own technology known as Adobe Sensei. With the opportunity to better understand your audiences and segment them into more targeted groups, personalization is a must.
- More Brands are Outsourcing Their Strategies
With the ever-increasing importance and complexity of the social media world, hiring an intern to handle your strategy probably isn’t the best idea. While you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) be on every single platform, creating cohesive and effective campaigns across the ones you are can be a challenge. Most companies know the commitment and expertise these efforts require to truly be successful, and for larger brands with multiple locations and messages, the ability to push out tons of assets in the right cadence takes a whole team.
This is why more and more companies are outsourcing their strategies to production teams like Assemble. With a deep understanding and extensive experience in social asset creation, our experts know the technical limitations in terms of sizing and placement for each platform. We stay up to date with all the latest changes in rules and policies to make sure your content is always compliant. Whether you need help conceptualizing visuals that align with your marketing initiatives, or you have your own big ideas that just need to be translated into effective digital materials, a team like Assemble can be your trusted social partner.
To learn more about the latest trends in social media and the ways in which our team can help you create innovative and effective campaigns that stand out in today’s digital market, contact Assemble today.