It’s hard to believe, but the new year isn’t too far away. Now is the time to look at the top social media trends we can expect to see in 2022. A good place to start is by looking back at the blur of a year we’ve had thus far.
Look to the Past to Predict the Top Social Media Trends
When the pandemic first hit, businesses were forced to pivot in the face of lockdowns, local mandates, and an overall seismic shift to business as usual. Franchisees and other small-business owners that relied on a physical presence, as opposed to online operations, quickly discovered they had to implement major changes in order to survive and continue thriving.
Those that refused to shift, or that perhaps had no means to implement rapid changes, may have learned hard lessons about business continuity in the face of a crisis. Some have had to close their doors permanently. Some are still struggling to get back to pre-pandemic revenue levels. Still others have been able to make positive changes that are now contributing to their bottom line.
With the pandemic still ongoing, it’s important to stay agile. Take a look at the top social media trends you can expect to see in 2022 and beyond, and continue your efforts to prepare for any unexpected twists and turns.
#1: Digital Options Will Continue to Grow
Businesses that have implemented curbside and delivery pickup options were able to continue operating even if in-store traffic dipped. Although these contactless services might have thwarted efforts to attract impulse purchases in store aisles and at the checkout, they’ve also created new lines of business.
Think of it this way: If your customer wants to place an order from your sandwich shop, they expect they’ll be able to place an order online or through an app. They want a seamless pickup or delivery experience. They don’t necessarily care about the extra bag of chips at the cash wrap.
If they can’t order how they want to order, they’ll move on to the next sandwich shop. You’ll have lost a sale while your competitor gained a customer.
The takeaway: Give customers what they want through digital ordering. And promote your easy ordering options on social media. Not only will you better serve your current customers, but you’ll most likely gain new ones, too.
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#2: Your Online Reputation Is Key
Along with digital ordering options, people are more inclined to leave online reviews when they have either a positive or negative experience. Expect that trend to continue ramping up in 2022.
In addition to online reviews, usage of social media as a customer service channel will continue to grow. Customers and followers might interact with your page via comments and direct messages, and you need to reply to them all. When you respond to customer feedback, you show you’re listening and care about what your audience needs.
Without that interaction, customer comments and messages go into a black hole, leaving them feeling neglected — maybe even inclined to complain about you elsewhere online.
The takeaway: Be in the know about what your customers are saying. Even positive comments need a response, but especially negative comments require your immediate attention.
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#3: Video Remains Popular
Even though in-person experiences are starting to return, there’s still an opportunity to go online with your events, classes, tours, how-to explainers, and other video and live content. With virtual formats, you can connect with audiences just about anywhere while also catching the attention of social media users who gravitate to videos as they’re scrolling.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram make it easy with Stores, Reels and live streaming. Even if your business is mainly brick-and-mortar, these videos can help to draw in your online visitors and attract people to your location.
You don’t have to be a videographer to get into video. Take out your phone and film a 30-second video of you giving a tour of your shop, or a how-to video for your homemade cinnamon rolls, or a series of workouts for your personal training business. Boost the high-performing posts with a few ad dollars, and improve your reach.
The takeaway: Video is here to stay, and you need to get on board.
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#4: Advocacy Is More Important Than Ever
New Apple privacy changes are making it harder to track customers across apps and gain insights from third-party data. One way to combat the changes is by looking toward other social media marketing methods that don’t rely on tracking.
Employee advocacy is one such method. With advocacy, your employees do some of the work to promote your brand by either posting your branded content, or simply posting about your business, on their own pages.
People are more likely to trust the recommendation of a third party over the brand itself, meaning there’s a huge opportunity to integrate advocacy and influencers into your strategy.
Try spotlighting employees on social media and engaging them in the process of posting. Provide brand-approved content, and encourage them to share their own photos and videos about your business. You can also work with micro-influencers who have a smaller following and will share about your brand on their channels.
The takeaway: Activate your employees as your best brand ambassadors.
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We’ll continue to update this page as we see more trends unfold closer to 2022. For now, however, implement the strategies above — and reach out to us for help getting it all done.