The past year has certainly given social media marketers plenty to chew on as they strategize and budget for 2022.
Snapchat has emerged as a major player in social media marketing, driving revenue 57% annuallyachieving the first quarter of one billion dollars, and increasing the number of daily active users to more than 300 million.
Meta appeared as the platform formerly known as Facebook on a background Damned whistleblower testimony And renewed calls for its organization.
The iOS14 update has proven to be a lucrative move for Apple’s advertising business — and a bomb for almost everyone else.
Twitter has canceled Fleets, launched a bunch of premium features, and added a new monetization option called Super Follow, among other updates.
What a year! This is just the tip of the iceberg.
We asked social media experts to share their best predictions for what it all means and where marketers should focus their attention for 2022.
That’s what they had to say.
Social media marketers will rediscover YouTube
Greg GarboePresident and Co-Founder of SEO-PR and Author of “YouTube and Video Marketing”
In 2022, social media marketers will finally embrace the fact that YouTube is a social medium too!
As they struggle with the fact that the average reach of an organic post on Facebook is 5.2% and the average engagement rate is 0.25%, they will look for alternative platforms.
One such alternative would be TikTok, which has just reached 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, equal to the number of Instagram users for several years.
The other is YouTube, which has more than 2 billion monthly active users.
They will rediscover that YouTube is a video-sharing site – one of the original categories of social media along with photo-sharing sites, social networks, blogs and micro-blogs.
Heck, Facebook pivoted to a “video-first strategy” in 2014 and Instagram announced it was “no longer just a square photo-sharing app” in 2021 so it could focus on video.
And if TikTok isn’t a video sharing site, what is?
So why is YouTube treated like a red-headed stepson by so many social media marketers?
This limits their ability to reach and engage potential customers.
Oh, and he’s the only one with a huge presence on connected televisions (CTVs). (eMarketer estimates that YouTube was 113.1 million US viewership in 2020 which will increase to 130.8 million in 2022.)
Therefore, social media marketers will want to give YouTube a seat at the big table in 2022.
Note: The eMarketer ratings I mentioned below are only for viewers on CTVs. YouTube has more viewers than that, when you add mobile and desktop devices.
Brands will dig deeper into more nuanced personas and targeting
Angie Nikolichuk, Director of Content Marketing at Search Engine Journal
Advances in and increased access to artificial intelligence, higher quality data, and increased digital ad spending (estimated increase in 12.7% In 2021 and as much as 49% increase in some regions), and a cookie-free world driving personalization and segmentation looms as we look ahead to 2022.
Many brands will spread their budget across multiple platforms, using a number of smaller influencers to find the right medium and message for each small segment.
It also means that brands are starting to move away from traditional characters. You know those – they have a name and a photo, along with some demographic and geographic data. And you test against the typical assumptions you make about that data.
However, in 2022, brands will move beyond basic details like marital status, music, and movie preferences to more usable and accurate formats.
Professionals such as designers, UX/UI pros, and content creators have already started creating and adopting task-specific user personas.
Stylists include, for example, information such as:
- Interface images frequently used by a specific target audience
- They seem to prefer color palettes
- Examples of ads they click on most often
- Location type targets are used for work-related tasks as opposed to leisure-related tasks
Content creators may focus more on differences in language choice used during work versus learning versus leisure related tasks, as well as content consumption habits.
Marketers look at personality, decision-making patterns, advertising preferences, goals, and other psychologically-based information.
In many cases, finding this information falls to a PPC professional. However, artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming increasingly more accurate.
Some of the programs already available, such as Mnemonic AI and Delve, identify many personality traits and are on their way to identifying more accurate patterns.
And if it follows similar AI systems in other areas, it won’t be long before they can pick up on patterns that even the most experienced user behavior practitioner would miss.
In the meantime, those willing to make the effort to get to know these audiences will see it pay off.
Marketers will adapt to attribution issues and diversify the budget
Tim JensenCampaign Manager at Clix Marketing
As social platforms continue to face challenges of privacy and tracking, marketers will need to adapt to the less obvious referral reality and consider social as part of an overall media strategy versus directly linking results to a single social platform.
These changes will also lead to greater diversification of media budgets across platforms, as more marketers realize that previously more reliable channels like Facebook can have instability in advertising costs and consistency results, and as new channels like TikTok continue to gain market share.
Expect improved paid social bidding algorithms
Amy Bishop, Owner and Marketing Consultant at Cultivative, LLC
The past year has been a rollercoaster for social media advertisers. I think 2022 will be the year of tweaking and experimenting with data models to improve reporting and bidding models.
What I think (and hope) it means for advertisers is that we will see performance improvements as bid model algorithms are tuned to work in a more private world with more data opacity.
In the same vein, I also expect to see platforms test more ways to keep people on site, in order to improve conversion rates and increase focus on first-party data, and hopefully give marketers new opportunities to test and expand with better data to rely on.
Current social trends are accelerating
Ilya Cherepakhin, Director of Enterprise Consulting at MightyHive
Next year, we’ll see more momentum with four social media trends.
First, greater push (and hopefully more progress in) content management through social platforms.
Second, paid social offerings will be leveraged more comprehensively across the entire user journey.
Social media platforms continue to push for greater responsibility for how they use their capabilities.
Historically, platforms could take a more hands-off approach. This year has marked a turning point where that is no longer possible.
We hope that next year will bring progress in this area with practical steps taken by social platforms on the many lessons learned from 2021.
Social platforms have also invested more in third-party solutions and partnerships to better support advertising across the entire user journey. TikTok and Snapchat, with their e-commerce features, can now successfully support downstream ads, for example.
More and more advertisers are also tapping Pinterest and Instagram for efforts aimed at driving not only in-platform engagement, but also off-platform activity on their sites.
With that said, we should also see a third trend accelerating in 2022: diversifying social media strategy away from Facebook as advertisers invest more resources in other platforms. Rather than a radical shift, the change is likely to be more of a gradual pivot.
The fourth trend is a larger shift of social media platforms towards AR and the metaverse. The Meta move may not look very clear but it is in line with the trend preceding it and is likely to only accelerate.
From virtual and augmented reality games and devices to augmented reality filters and lenses provided by social media platforms, we’ve already seen social media platforms go metaverse.
2022 is likely to bring more progress in leveraging the metaverse, hopefully with practical applications for unsponsored user-generated and advertised content.
Data connections coming to bypass the cookie
Justin LubellVice President of Closed Loop Advertising
The ad platform’s connection with CRMs and CDP will be the default.
With iOS 14.5 and the unavoidable future, data linking will enable advertisers to bypass the cookie and connect their data directly to the social platforms on which they advertise.
LinkedIn will become the social destination for B2B
Heather CampbellDirector of Marketing at Search Engine Magazine
In the coming year, marketers will really see the opportunity for LinkedIn to raise awareness, grow, and engage with their community. B2B organizations are finally starting to see the value of marketing like never before.
LinkedIn will be the social destination for B2B organizations looking to build their authority and attract new customers and partners.
B2B professionals should absolutely consider LinkedIn for their focus in 2022. Whether local, regional or global, this is the platform for organizations of all sizes to showcase their thought leadership.
LinkedIn is upping its game for analytics insights, too.
With Articles for Pages, you can get detailed audience insights of people who have read and engaged with your content, which helps marketers figure out how best to personalize content for their LinkedIn audience (you know, because not all social media is created equal, so content strategy each of which must be unique).
LinkedIn Live video analytics shows top viewer demographics, live viewer stats, video engagement, and more.
Personally, I am in love with LinkedIn Live and the level of detail that I can see as a marketer. I mean, what other social network is showing you the attendees, top companies, industries, seniority, and job titles of your viewers?! Talk about a B2B marketer’s wish list…
Let’s not forget the paid side of LinkedIn, as advertising spending is expected in the US for B2B organizations Top 2 billion by 2023.
While CPA may be more expensive on LinkedIn than other social media platforms, the quality can be worth the cost.
And if that’s where B2B buyers hang out, that’s where we’ll see B2B marketers too.
That’s where I’ll be!
Brands will be less dependent on organic social networks
Jeff RydalSenior Product Manager at OneLocal
Companies will become increasingly wary of leveraging Facebook and Twitter to share their content either organically or via paid campaigns, as reach and engagement on both platforms decline under the weight of ever-increasing algorithms.
Local and micro influencers will continue to unlock trusted and valuable channels and connections for consumers through more interactive channels like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Brands, for their part, need to craft their content as humanly and emotionally as possible. High-quality, relevant, interesting and engaging content remains key to optimal visibility.
- Top 10 social media sites and platforms
- 16 reasons why social media is important to your business
- Social Media Marketing: A Complete Strategy Guide
Featured image: Shutterstock/13_Phunkod