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Key Takeaways from Hootsuite’s Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022

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As consumers, we’ve grown accustomed to looking forward to and eagerly anticipating the once yearly occasions that bring joy to our lives and fill our souls with knowledge and oh-so-sweet memories. For many, it’s the notification that your yearly Spotify Wrapped is ready, or the Super Bowl, Grammy’s or what have you, but for us social media marketers, we eagerly anticipate Hootsuite’s annual report on forthcoming social media marketing trends. To this effect, one can only imagine the excitement that filled the RSA conference room when our digital marketing and web development teams came together to reflect on the past year and look forward to another amazing year in 2022 alongside Hootsuite.

While the impact of the prolonged global pandemic still reigns supreme over much of the work we do, these last laborious 18 months have caused monumental shifts in consumer behavior and altered the ways us marketers convey marketing messages and enlighten the spirits of the consumers we reach. The way we metabolize advertising as consumers has evolved just as fast as we’ve had to pivot to reach consumers in a constantly fluctuating marketplace. Where commonplace, impersonal messaging once reigned supreme, personal, sensory-driven advertising has taken control of the driver’s seat.

Here are the top 5 social marketing trends forecasted for 2022 and what they mean to us marketers, our clients, and consumers as a whole:

The Brand Strategy Trend:

Considering the majority of the clients RSA works with maintain a more localized consumer base, we’ve always understood the purpose and value of fostering communities of loyal customers who not only rely on the service and products they receive from our clients, but value our clients on a more personal level. With the rise of popular platforms like Tiktok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram Reels, and more, the age of social media creators is as influential as ever, as more and more brands look to public figures to make a mark on their brands and products.

Be it popular makeup brands collaborating with fast-food chains and drag queens or shelving businesses leveraging the virality of popular pool cleaner content creators, businesses have come to recognize the importance of appealing to niche audiences within their target demographic. Within these niche segments, businesses have been able to better enrich engaged communities of consumers who better appreciate their products and services. Whether it be utilizing the power of a popular creator or tapping into the magic of a business’ star employees, we can work together to create authenticity in our advertising that transcends the traditional boundaries of our work, instilling greater brand awareness and affinity in our target audiences.

The Social Marketing Trend:

Weighing the input of over 18,000 survey submissions of marketers around the globe, Hootsuite concluded that businesses will be investing more money in social advertising than ever before in 2022. While Facebook and Instagram still remain the most effective platforms for achieving marketing goals, by and large, platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok are becoming increasingly useful tools for marketers to reach their audience. As consumers utilize a mix of social platforms on a regular basis, businesses have gained unprecedented insight on the power of diversifying their ad creative to mirror the environment and culture of each platform. The more personal, the better. Where social ad spend was once solely funneled to Facebook and Instagram, more and more businesses are investing their marketing budgets into TikTok, YouTube, and Pinterest campaigns to much acclaim.

Don’t believe us? Check out this awesome chart from Hootsuite.

While the user base of platforms like TikTok continues to grow exponentially with engaged users and content creators, reaching your audience is as easy as ever thanks to the lower saturation of advertisers currently using the platform compared to Facebook and Instagram. If you’ve got the capitol in your 2022 marketing budget to pursue new avenues to reach your target audience, there’s never been a better time!

The ROI Trend:

Thanks to the rise of social media marketing in the pandemic landscape, the measureable return on investment (ROI) of social media advertising has become as quantifiable as ever and has expanded beyond sales and conversions. Social media marketers have onboarded new responsibilities and skills necessary to keep up with changing consumer demands throughout the pandemic, ranging from cultivating workplace culture to serving as critical cornerstones of customer service. In 2021, 83% of marketers surveyed in Hootsuite’s annual marketing survey reported having confidence in measuring the ROI of their efforts. Today, businesses and organizations better value the wealth of opportunity to improve their operations beyond sales and conversions using social media. Whether it be improving work-force morale in remote work environments or better engaging in social listening, social media has the power to transform our workspaces, overall operations, and the way we reach our customers.

For us marketers, this development is fantastic. Here at RSA, we find the value of our advertising efforts to be mutually benefited by our commitment to improving the well-being of the clients we work with. From enriching and showcasing our clients’ company culture to limiting the spread of misinformation through brand reputation management, we’re at the forefront of a new era in providing exceptional service and support to our clients and the customers they serve.

The Social Commerce Trend:

In the first 90 days of the pandemic alone, the influx of online shopping burst at the seams at a rate higher than the entire previous decade. As brick-and-mortar stores shifted their focus to online sales amid lockdowns and rising fear among consumers, social commerce solidified itself as an omnipresent means for businesses to stay alive. In Hootsuite’s report, we learned that social commerce shows no signs of slowing down as platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter beef up their capabilities to serve targeted product advertising to consumers. Second only to traditional organic search, online shopping on social networks continues to grow. In fact, it’s reported that younger generations turn to social networks to research brands and products more than search engines.

What’s great about the social commerce ecosystem is that it’s readily evolving to provide seamless user experiences from discovery, to conversion, and beyond. Just think, when you scroll through your Instagram stories, you’re almost guaranteed to see product advertising from brands you love sharing products you’ve researched and considered purchasing. For most of us, these ads have resulted in far more purchasing decisions than we’d like to admit, but that’s the glory of it all! It’s so easy to become better informed about products, brands and services on social media. Whether you’re the local shoe store like SoleMate Shoes or an iconic tourist destination like Wall Drug Store, there’s something to be said about the ease at which we can not only reach our customers with our products, but easily inform their purchasing decisions with immersive, pin-pointedly targeted advertising. TL:DR Social commerce is here to stay and is an opportune means to push your products/services in the digital realm.

The Customer Care Trend:

*Cue the first two lyrics of Lizzo’s hit song “Tempo”*… “I’ve been waitin’ for this one… Turn it up!”  The final social media marketing trend for 2022 that Hootsuite shared pertained to the demand for customer service over social media. Here at RSA, we can’t say it enough that customer service extends far beyond just calling a client, emailing them, or talking to them in person. As mentioned in the ROI Trend, social media marketers have assumed the role of customer service connoisseurs for the businesses they serve throughout the pandemic. From managing upheavals in the supply change to navigating the treacherous waters of mask mandates, lockdowns, changing business hours and more, us social media folks have become accustomed to putting on our capes and super hero garb to quench sparks before they become wild fires.

With more consumers flocking to social media for information, the influx of consumer sentiment has come along for the ride too, with increases in online reviews, engagement, and more. By providing timely, helpful support in addressing consumer needs in these spaces, not only are businesses protecting themselves, but they’re also humanizing their operations and customer care outwardly. Here, you’re able to better understand, represent, and accommodate the varied needs of your customers. Social marketing and social are not mutually exclusive in this day and age, and must work together to help us marketers achieve our objectives.

To learn more about Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Trend Forecast, click here. To learn more about why RSA’s digital marketing team is so passionate about the way we provide superb service to our clients and their customers, or to see how we can help you implement these trends into your 2022 marketing strategy, give us a call today at 605-341-5226.

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