Time and time again, social media marketing proves itself to be an invaluable tool for marketers to reach their customers and increase their sales. Over the past year alone, social media usage has grown by 7.6% to reach a total of 4.72 billion users worldwide. Of these users, 26.5% say that they use social media specifically to find products to purchase. With this increase also comes a change in how consumers are interacting with social media, thus pushing for a shift in social media marketing trends. In this article we’ll discuss our top predictions for the future of social media marketing for 2022 (and beyond), so that you can stay in the loop and increase your sales.
Verdict: If there’s one trend here to stay, it’s influencer marketing.
Why’s that? A surprisingly large number of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when shopping.
For those not familiar, influencer marketing is when you pay someone with a large audience of followers to promote your service or product on their channels.
Brands and influencers are very aware of the status they hold over their audience, and their business collaboration can get quite expensive as a result. In fact, top mega-influencers charge companies $25,000+ per post. However, with feeds getting flooded with sponsored posts left and right, consumers are becoming weary of trusting mega-influencers. This distrust has begun to reshape the way businesses approach influencer marketing.
Rise of the Micro-Influencer
With a rising distrust of top influencers to have consumers’ best interests in mind, there has also been a steady downward trend of engagement for mega-influencers.
This may seem like bad news for businesses looking to increase their social media reach, however this does not mean that influencer marketing is dead. Instead, studies have shown that micro-influencers are the new go to for influencer marketing.
Studies indicate a micro-influencer’s audience has higher engagement with their content and are more likely to trust they are being given good information than not. This means when it’s time for them to buy, their audience is more likely to pick your business over your competition solely because their favorite micro-influencer told them you’re great.
Look at this table breaking down the levels of influencers and what you can expect to spend at each level:
|Level of Influencer||Size of Audience||Cost (per Paid Post)|
Chatbots & AI Takeover
Verdict: Chatbots provide so much value to users these days. We can only see this trend going up as time goes on.
Why’s that? Because customers want instant gratification.
They want the answers to their questions right then and there. Chatbots allow for 24/7 service and customer interaction for all of those times you’re away from the computer. They also filter out any frequently asked questions to ensure you don’t have to waste your time repeating yourself.
As more brands roll out AI customer service features, this is very soon to become the norm on every website. Keep yourself in the game and up to date by offering this very simple feature on your socials.
Driving Sales Through Social Media
Verdict: Social media has long been used to generate solid engagement and sales for businesses. This trend has been cemented in stone with the onset of Covid. With more people turning to online services, it is highly favorable to create a social media account for your business.
Why’s that? Because customers are ready to buy.
A whopping 54% of social browsers are using social media to research products before buying. Many platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, have taken advantage of this statistic by rolling out “shop” features where businesses can make sales straight from the platform.
Some of these added features include:
- Nov 2019: Facebook releases Facebook pay.
- Apr 2020: Instagram gives consumers the option to place food orders on app.
- May 2020: Facebook adds a Shops feature for ecommerce.
- Aug 2020: Instagram releases their checkout feature for all eligible businesses.
- Aug 2020: Instagram gives businesses ability to sell products on livestream.
Not only did these added features make it easier than ever for consumers to buy, but consumers are loving these added changes. In 2020, close to one-fifth of US consumers have shopped online either by using the “buy” button on social media or by clicking a shoppable post or story on a social network.
The Importance of Engagement
Verdict: It isn’t enough to only have a social media account and post content regularly if you want to win over customers. You need to engage with your audience!
Why’s that? Because customers want to feel like they belong.
They would rather have a genuine conversation over being taken for granted or being treated like a bank account.
In fact, the Instagram algorithm has adapted to this basic user need by pushing content that emphasizes meaningful reactions over dull filler content. This means your need to really appeal to your audience and create genuine content consistently.
The Popularity of Groups
Verdict: 2022 will see a steady increase in the popularity of Facebook Groups. With FB rolling out new features like live videos, story updates, and participation as a business page, groups have become the new go-to place to connect with your audience.
Why’s this? Remember what we said about customers wanting to feel like they belong?
When customers hang out in areas where they feel like they can be a part of the community, we’re able to get highly personalized market research like never before. Think about it.
They’re just hanging out together in a space centered around your business, interacting how they normally would, without the added pressure of a sale. This information is a gold mine to improve your business and create content that has a strong impact on your customers.
Verdict: When it comes to business, you need to have clear communication with your customers and what they’re signing up for when choosing your product or service. The bottom line is: you’ve gotta let your customers in on what you’re doing.
Why’s that? Because customers want to trust the businesses they use.
2018 saw many major platforms riddled with privacy issues left and right. It’s a big part of why now, in 2021, you are almost always asked to manually agree to cookie tracking upon first entering a site. It’s annoying, but it’s for your safety and protection.
This means that you have to navigate ways to be more authentic in your interactions on social media. If you make a mistake, own up to it and give your audience an honest answer. Your audience will love you even more if they feel you are genuine.
Verdict: Stories have made their way into more social media platforms these days: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. What started off as a unique feature to Snapchat has influenced even professional platforms such as LinkedIn. It’s yet another trend we see rising over time in 2022 and beyond.
Why’s this? Because they are short, super engaging content that doesn’t take long to create.
They’re a quick way to interact with your audience and require minimal effort to produce. Post a filtered selfie with a question box for your audience. You’re good to go. Take a sneak peek photo of your latest product in production and you’re all set for a story. The possibilities here are endless.
Verdict: Be prepared for the shift toward live videos when it comes to social media marketing. That’s right, interacting live with your audience in this way is the future of social media marketing.
Why’s this? Because you get to directly engage with your audience in real time.
Customers love that. They love to feel like they can interact with the brands and influencers they look up to, while you gain the ability to demonstrate your products (or even create how-to live classes) in a way that text cannot.
Now that you’re ready to take on the latest social media marketing trends, how are you going to implement them into your business’ marketing strategy? Will you try the DIY approach and take on the task by yourself?
Or are you ready to have someone else take care of your marketing strategy?
If you’re looking to outsource your social media marketing needs, consider Clever Tiger as your go-to creative digital marketing agency. Find out why our customers love working with us 🠒