It is no secret that social media reigns as one of the most effective marketing platforms nowadays, as businesses of any kind can achieve awareness and reach like never before. These social media trends could propel you towards utilizing social media marketing effectively and efficiently for your brand.
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In this day and age, people can be seen with their phones in hand no matter where they go. And most of the time, they would be doing one thing—scrolling through social media, be it TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook. In fact, as of 2022, Internet users spend an average of 147 minutes per day on social media, which is a little over 2 hours (We Are Social et al., 2022).
Daily time spent on social networking by internet users worldwide from 2012 to 2022 (in minutes)
People are now virtually connected, even more so with the pandemic and isolations. With the increased need to socialize and connect, social media has become an important tool for businesses. However, just having a social presence is not enough. Brands need to keep up with the trends in order to thrive on all these wonderful platforms. Here are some upcoming social media trends to help you fully utilize social media as a marketing platform for your brand.
1. Video and Audio Content
In terms of the trending form of social media content, videos and audios take the lead. Typically, these content are posted as Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, YouTube Shorts, etc. Since social media is so oversaturated with content, posting 15 to 60 seconds long videos enables the creator to stand out and captivate their audience, simultaneously catering to Internet users’ shortening attention span. This helps drive traffic and increases the brand’s reach too, as people are twice as likely to share video content with others than any other type of content (Wyzowl, 2022). Of course, randomly uploading a video clip is not enough. It has to be interesting to leave a lasting impression on the viewers. Some simple tips that add spice to your content are incorporating on-screen text and closed captions, hopping on trends like using popular audio clips, and clean but simple editing. If the thought of video-editing intimidates you, fear not, as there are many user-friendly video editing software out there, such as Magisto, Wondershare Filmora, WeVideo, and a whole lot more. And the content of the video can be anything, ranging from product advertisements, behind-the-brand videos, or even brand challenges! The possibilities are endless; just remember to be original and connect with the audience.
2. AR & VR
Another invention that is taking the world by storm is Metaverse. Essentially, it is a “phygital space", a science fiction concept brought to life. The Metaverse involves everything from cryptocurrencies and NFTs to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat allow brands to offer an AR-powered shopping experience, in which consumers can virtually “try before they buy” using AR filters. With Covid-19 keeping everybody at home, many brands have adapted to this feature. Some examples are Kohl’s Snapchat Virtual Closet and L’Oréal’s ModiFace AR try-on, just to name a few. In fact, AR filters could have other purposes, like fun filters that people can interact with, such as NBA and Beats #BeatsShootingChallenge filter, and Netflix’s Yes Day filter.
Kohl’s Snapchat Virtual Closet
3. Live Streaming
Want to interact in real time with the audience but are constricted by the pandemic and lockdowns? Live streaming services on social media platforms are the best solution. Being able to broadcast media online in real time has opened new doors for the world of e-commerce because brands can connect with their customers without having to be in the same physical space. Although live streaming is nothing new, the world saw more than a 50% average growth in livestream purchases from before to during the Covid-19 pandemic (Astound Commerce, 2021).
Change in livestream purchases from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic in selected regions worldwide in 2021
As consumers still crave human connection, they automatically turn to the next commerce option that allows direct engagement with the brand. The live stream speaker can be an employee or an influencer. The critical requirement is that they would have to be good at improvising speech on the spot, be engaging, as well as be comfortable talking to a camera instead of reading the script for hours.
4. Ephemeral Content
As the world continues to push out a plethora of content daily, it has been proven that human attention span has dropped to 8 seconds, which is a 25% decrease in just a few years (Ranieri & Co., 2021). Therefore, brands now need to give consumers bite-sized content to nibble on, and this is where short-duration content such as stories, which last for only 24 hours after posting, come in. Having started with Snapchat, but now a feature in Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, stories are images or videos that can be used for both advertisement and engagement. Brands can utilize many elements to engage their audience, such as polls, locations, links, questions and answers, and event reminders. Brands can also post behind-the-scenes moments and repost stories from customers who have tagged them, ultimately creating a more personal link between the two parties.
5. Social Commerce
Among the many new features social media platforms have rolled out over the years, social commerce has to be one of the most beneficial for brands. With Instagram Shopping, Facebook Shopping, and the recent TikTok Shopping, consumers can view products and make purchases without the hassle of switching browsers, ultimately creating a seamless buyer experience. On Instagram, for instance, brands can create posts about their products and link it to their shop, where buyers can then perform the purchase. Undoubtedly, the visuals have to be eye-catching. Otherwise, users will likely scroll past without taking a second look. Not to mention, trends like #tiktokmademebuyit is gaining popularity, which makes social commerce all the more important for brands, as people who are intrigued by the products they see can immediately browse the store and purchase it.
6. Influencer Marketing
The rise of social media has given birth to a new era of jobs, and influencers are one of them. As influencers are, in essence, consumers with a following, so brands tend to endorse them to advertise their products, and these influencers’ recommendations are usually more trusted compared to recommendations from the brands themselves. According to a survey conducted by YouGov in 2021, influencer marketing has been especially effective for beauty products and clothing.
It is important to note that influencers with different popularity have different reach, and this results in different degrees of intimacy. Thus, brands need to be conscious of their brand persona and know who their target audience are, then tailor their choice of influencers to their needs. For instance, a smart F&B business might not be able to afford big names, so they can opt for Micro KOLs who are known for their entertaining food reviews. To compare and choose KOLs that are the best fit, brands can use influencer analysis tools such as GRIN, HypeAuditor, and Upfluence.
7. User-generated Content
Similar to influencer marketing, user-generated content(UGC) is able to help a brand increase exposure and traffic. The users behind UGC can be regular customers, influencers, or even the company’s employees, and the range of these content is unlimited. They can be images or videos about product or service reviews, unboxings, outfit try-ons, and so on. As they are content which the users willingly upload, UGC is more authentic, and the creator’s opinions tend to be trusted more because of its honest and unbiased nature. In a way, it is a very effective marketing tactic that brands could prioritize, as it would even build loyal customers.
8. Brand Humanizing
Nowadays, people are starting to acknowledge the fact that humans are the moving force of a brand, thus making today the age of brand humanizing. By taking an employee-centric approach, brands can create a community and forge closer connections with their audience. Some examples could be letting employees act as the brand’s promoters, or by posting behind-the-scenes content like workplace tours or background stories of the employees. This provides transparency and allows consumers to relate to the people working behind the brand.
9. Empathetic Marketing
Last but not least, be human. People are gearing toward creating a more empathetic society, and brands are no exception. Most consumers like brands that listen and are part of the conversation, so do not be afraid to show your involvement! Brands can show inclusivity and diversity in their marketing strategies, perform donations, or even promote non-profit organizations, and what better way to do it than through social media? By doing so, brands can align their actions with their vision, and it will also reflect on the company’s practice of corporate social responsibility.
At the end of the day, connection is key, and social media has provided the world with a near-perfect solution to forging such relations. Hopefully, with these trends in mind, brands are able to use social media platforms to their fullest potential. If you would like to know why SMBs should advertise on social media, check out this post!
Get in touch with our digital marketing expert now if you need assistance in taking your first step in social media marketing!