5 Social Media Trends and What They Mean for Your Business

  • Categories:

    Social Media

  • Date:

    March 29, 2022

5 Social Media Trends and What They Mean for Your Business

Social Media

If you’re responsible for your company’s social media, you’re no stranger to change. Perhaps you’ve created a TikTok account to tap into the power of video. Maybe you’ve had meetings about something called the “metaverse.” No matter your social media strategy, user behaviors, desires and needs are in a constant state of evolution. But the pandemic took that flux to the next level: From increased time online and more diverse audiences to the emergence of new social platforms, the effects will be long-lasting.

Let’s take a deep dive into five of the biggest social media trends for 2022.

1. Time Spent on Social Media Levels Out but Remains High

    The trend: During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, time spent on social media reached new heights, with people spending an average of 140 minutes per day on social networks. While engagement remains significant well into 2022, the amazing growth of the past two years has largely plateaued. According to GWI, “there’s been a 12% rise in people saying they use social media less than they used to” compared to 2020, when usage peaked during widespread lockdowns.

    The takeaway: While users’ time on social media may no longer be at 2020 levels, these channels should remain a critical part of your overall marketing strategy. With usage slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels, a thoughtful approach to your content mix, scheduling and engagement will be essential. Make the effort to understand your target audience, pinpointing where they’re most active online and how they interact with content. If their time spent on social channels is shrinking, adapt your content to ensure you’re capitalizing by being as relevant as possible.

    2. TikTok Grows Among Older Users

      The trend: In 2021, TikTok reached 1 billion monthly active users — yes, that’s billion with a “b.” Per Sprout Social:

      • 69% of teens in the United States are on TikTok

      • 90% of users log on every day

      • Users spend an average of nearly 90 minutes on the app per day

      That’s a lot of numbers, but it really boils down to the simple fact that a lot of people are using TikTok day in and day out.

      So, what’s new? In 2022, TikTok’s popularity extends beyond Gen Zers and millennials. In fact, since 2020, Gen Xers and boomers account for most of TikTok’s 32% growth. Per GWI, these generations want to follow influencers, find creative inspiration, connect with good causes and avoid missing out on events and trends.

      The takeaway: Users are increasingly looking to TikTok for inspiration and to follow the latest trends, and the platform’s continued growth across all demographics could benefit your business. When you consider the general spike in usage along with TikTok’s claim that 47% of users have bought something they saw on the app, it becomes clear that the short-form, video-sharing app equals a sales opportunity. In 2022, think about how your brand can leverage it to reach millennials, Gen Xers and boomers.

      3. Social Commerce Continues to Thrive

        The trend: Speaking of selling opportunities, many brands continue to invest in social commerce, or the act of buying and selling products directly from a social media platform.

        Plenty of platforms have invested heavily in this idea, especially sites such as Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. Research from The Harris Poll showed that 73% of businesses polled were already participating in social commerce, with nearly 80% saying they planned to do so in the coming years.

        The takeaway: Insider Intelligence projects that social commerce will grow among consumers, with estimations of approximately 97 million users in the United States buying via social commerce in 2022. Social commerce is generally more effective for commercial products than services. If you sell products, however, social commerce should figure into your social media strategy.

        4. The Most Personable Brands Lead the Pack

          The trend: Even if challenging events worldwide over the past few years do not directly relate to your business, they have changed the way that people view brands and organizations — and your social channels must adapt to meet your followers where they are.

          As consumers continue to make decisions with their hearts and minds in equal measure, it’s important for brands to be human and personable on social media. Without question, your social posts should reach beyond your products in 2022: Users on social media want to see what your company stands for and how your values align with their own. Furthermore, many people gravitate toward brands that have clearly communicated their values and stand by them.

          The takeaway: Your social feeds should not be all about selling your products. Take time to showcase the human side of your brand, highlighting employees, sharing success stories and more. Your audiences may feel oversaturated in the 2022 digital landscape, but by putting forth a personable, relatable personality, you can establish positive relationships and build trust.

          5. Video Length Matters

            The trend: As exemplified by the social media domination of TikTok, short-form videos are in high demand for most audiences in 2022. According to the GWI report, one in four consumers watches a video made by a brand each month, and the majority of these are short-form videos. Whether it’s a Snapchat story, a TikTok video or an Instagram reel, people tend to prefer short-form content on social media. Longer videos are still popular with most demographics, but concise content allows you to get more information in front of your audiences quickly, potentially increasing your return on investment.

            The takeaway: Consider the value that short-form videos can play in your social media strategy this year, and recognize which platform mix is best suited for your audience. While short in length, these videos can often communicate the same amount of information in a more digestible format and will leave your followers scrolling for more.

            Looking for more ways to take your social media to the next level in 2022? Browse our social media blog posts.

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