New Year, New Ways to Connect on Social Media in 2022
Jan 06 2022
With new platforms performing well alongside the tried-and-true, social media continues to evolve rapidly on a global scale. Case in point: nearly 4.5 billion people worldwide use some form of social media, and the average person accesses at least six platforms every month.
And speaking of platforms, a majority of Facebook (70%), Snapchat (59%), and Instagram (59%) users report visiting these sites at least once a day. So even with Apple’s iOS 14 update impacting reach and targeting across social media platforms, a good social strategy is still important for business.
The State of Social Media in 2021
Let’s take a closer look at where these apps stand in 2021 before discussing your options for 2022.
Facebook is the most widely used social media app in the world with more than 2.8 billion active users. With literally billions of users, it might make more sense to ask who isn’t using Facebook. Pew Research found that, “Fully 70% of those ages 18 to 29 say they use the platform, and those shares are statistically the same for those ages 30 to 49 (77%) or ages 50 to 64 (73%).”
Although Facebook’s growth has slowed in recent years, usage remains consistent, with 69% of adults reporting that “they ever use the site, equaling the share who said this [in 2019].”
As of October 2021, Instagram has 1.39 billion active users with a majority of those users ranging from 18- to 49-years-old. Instagram’s popularity is expected to continue growing. In fact, eMarketer forecasts, “Instagram will make up over 50% of parent company Facebook’s $50.30 billion in net ad revenues in 2021,” marking the first year Instagram has achieved this.
Though not as dominant as Facebook or Instagram, Snapchat’s 265 million daily active users are worth noting, especially given the rate of growth (a 22% year-over-year increase from active users in 2020). The platform posted an annual revenue of $2.5 billion for 2020, which Backlinko notes is “an increase of 118.86% compared with $1.18 billion two years earlier.”
The Social Media Landscape Heading Into 2022
Even if Apple users opt out of tracking, it seems no one is opting out of online shopping. In fact, statistics suggest more people are seeking ways to shop online more seamlessly.
A recent study from Sprout Social found that users increasingly turn to their favorite social platforms to discover and buy from new brands:
43% of respondents discovered new brands on social media
36% purchased products or services (including 43% of Generation Z and 49% of Millennials)
78% are more willing to buy from a company they have a positive experience with on social media
Augmented reality (AR) could be one reason behind the increase. Many people were introduced to AR several years ago with fun Snapchat filters, and while those remain, AR technology has morphed into a strategic way to accommodate online shoppers.
AR was particularly important for retail in 2020 when people stayed home during the height of the pandemic. Even with businesses now open, companies continue to capitalize on the benefits AR offers. Sprout Social points out, “In mid-July 2021, Snap purchased Vertebrae, a company that produces 3D images of products for brands. This investment indicates the company’s interest in developing more in the AR commerce space.”
Tips to Fine-tune Your Social Media Strategy
Although the Apple news and Google’s plan to phase out cookie tracking changes things up for digital advertising, marketers can still create excellent, relevant content by using readily available data.
Social media analytics provide significant insights into your current audience that can help your company reach more people. In fact, 51% of executives already anticipate that social media will be the most important source for data when making business decisions.
Interact with your current audience for better word-of-mouth marketing
Consumers recommend brands based on positive social media interactions, and that’s good news for marketers. Positive, helpful responses to social media comments and inquiries creates a trusted relationship with current customers that can extend to their followers, family, and friends.
Another aspect of creating a trusted relationship: focus on content quality, not quantity. Platform analytics provide insight into your audience’s content preferences. Design your strategy with this in mind for more relatable, engaging content they’ll want to comment on.
Use social listening tools
Social listening is excellent for learning what people are saying about your brand or product, as well as what your competitors are doing. Social listening goes beyond metrics (though those are great, too) and helps you decipher the general mood surrounding your brand online.
Leverage different video formats on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook
If augmented reality isn’t an option, you can still find new ways to grow your audience with video. Over 60% of marketers plan on utilizing short-form video as part of their social strategies in 2022.
It’s important to understand how video is viewed on each platform and to tailor it accordingly. This applies to both the video production (dimensions, running time, interactive elements, etc.) and the audience. What works for your Facebook audience won’t necessarily resonate on Instagram. The more specific you are on a platform-by-platform basis, the better your connections—and your data—will be, too.
A majority of consumers agree that a business’s best chance at long-term success is a strong social media presence, and that interaction between brands and consumers is key. Closely analyzing data you already own can help your team achieve solid results. The path to success simply requires creative strategy.
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