No matter what your business or industry, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok are likely playing a larger part than ever in your marketing, content, communication, branding and sales strategies.
So where is social headed in 2022? We’ve dived into the latest report from HubSpot and Talkwalker and picked out the two trends we see as most significant for you and your content plans for this year.
Trend 1: TikTok will take over social media, leaving other platforms to adapt
As the first non-Facebook app to achieve 3 billion downloads globally, TikTok’s popularity cannot be underestimated, particularly among Gen Z audiences. Platforms like Instagram are taking inspiration from TikTok, with Instagram Reels as just one example.
TikTok “empowers brands to grow through creative content and storytelling,” says Shant Oknayan from TikTok. “Today’s consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and place a premium on keeping up with the latest trends. They are also looking for short, fun, snackable content on the go,” he adds.
We think there’s some gold in Shant’s comments for Australian businesses and brands looking to connect with new audiences on TikTok. Creativity, authenticity and diversity are valued on this platform, where scrolling, tech-savvy audiences value content that is “humorous, irreverent and snackable.”
Tip: TikTok audiences quickly scroll past sponsored content that’s boring or irrelevant. Take the time to really understand your audience and their TikTok content preferences, and use these insights to inform your own TikTok content.
And if your business isn’t on TikTok, you can still use the platform to inspire your content on the social channels you’ve already established. Create short video content for Instagram or Facebook that mimics the kind of fun storytelling that performs so well on TikTok!
Trend 2: Post-pandemic content will shape up to consumer needs
Did you listen to Coronacast, Casefile True Crime or Life Uncut in 2021? The popularity of podcasts and other audio content reflects what the report describes as a “post pandemic trend towards content shaping up to consumer needs.”
“Consumers want stories shaped for them, not only containing the information they want, but also in a style they want to consume,” says one of the report’s experts.
With audio and video content surging in popularity, businesses willing to utilise these formats look poised for increased engagement.
In addition, the report highlights growing consumer expectations around “content snackability.”
“With consumers accessing more content post-pandemic, brands have to compete for even shorter attention spans across an ever-growing set of platforms.”
Tip: Understanding your target audience(s) is vital if you’re going to create authentic content that they actually want to consume! Collecting current audience insights is key here. If you haven’t conducted any customer research recently, now is the time! Accurate audience insights will help ensure your investment in video or audio content delivers the ROI you’re looking for.
More insights to consider
Here are a few other insights from the report that stood out for us, and which you could use to inform your social strategy this year:
- “Most consumers trust other consumers over brands, so ensure user generated content (UGC) content is a part of your game plan.”
- “The pandemic has produced consumers who are acutely aware of their time and what content is worthy to consume. Keep your content digestible in length, form, and style.”
- Audience insights (again!) are more important than ever: “Reference competitors or industry leaders to see how others are succeeding or flopping….Collate all your available customer data to get a more comprehensive understanding of what your consumers want, [to] help shape your messaging and strategy.”
All up, the 68 page HubSpot and TalkWalker report identifies 10 social media trends for 2022. You can read the full report here.
For expert support with your social media strategy or execution, contact Content Empire! We stay on top of social trends and our ‘audience first’ approach help our clients achieve ROI from their investment in social. Get in touch.