6 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022

In recent years, the world of social media has enjoyed exponential growth. In 2021, the total number of social media users grew by more than thirteen percent. Users also spent more time on social media, averaging more than two hours per day across 7.5 platforms.

With those metrics in mind, it’s no surprise that social media ad spending rose by ninety-two percent in 2021. Savvy marketers are turning to the channels their audiences prefer, including TikTok and Facebook Groups. Social media marketing now generates a greater return on investment (ROI) than ever before, helping brands to increase their online sales and build lasting relationships with customers.

At Stukent, our mission is to help educators stay current with the latest trends. That’s why our marketing department compiled a list of their favorite social media marketing tips and tricks for 2022. You can also request free access to Stukent’s “Essentials of Social Media Marketing” courseware and simulation for your classroom. These valuable tools provide a modern, well-rounded curriculum for social media marketing.

Social Media Marketing Trend #1 – Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing may not be new, but it’s evolving. In her book “Essentials of Social Media Marketing,” Michelle Charello says, “Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using influencers to promote a brand message, product, or service to their larger market.” And in 2022, digital marketers are using smaller, niche influencers as opposed to celebrities or mega-influencers.

Authenticity is a perennial trend in social media marketing, and digital marketers have discovered there is a better ROI in asking multiple nano- or micro-influencers to endorse their products. These niche influencers tend to be more conscientious about the types of products they support. Not only do they do more research into their partner brands, but they gravitate toward products that fit their audiences’ interests, too.

Annie Miller, Account Manager at Booyah Advertising, adds, “[Many companies] are also smart to be getting in with the more ‘real and natural’ influencers on TikTok that give their honest opinion and have a lot of followers that respect that opinion.”

In the current market, the approval of smaller influencers with engaged followings can generate a better return than a celebrity endorsement to the general public.

Social Media Marketing Trend #2 – Niche Experiences and Groups

Like the nano-influencers who speak to smaller audiences, niche experiences on social media cater to specialized communities and subcultures or focus on a smaller segment of a larger market. These intimate, connected groups help deepen customers’ relationships with brands and businesses.

In 2022, many brands are building stronger presences with features like Facebook Groups, which allow marketers to target key audiences with ease. But this conversation is a two-way street — the users in a niche group are often knowledgeable about the products and services in their industry, which means marketers can learn a lot by listening to their audiences’ concerns.

“Social media conversations can tell you a lot about who your niche segments are,” says Jacqueline Zote, writer for Audiense Resources. “[You can learn] what they like, what moves them, what kind of topics they enjoy, and more.” Marketers can leverage these groups to listen and learn.

As the pandemic continues, more people are seeking intimate, connected experiences in social media spaces. Brands and businesses can build mutually beneficial online groups that provide a forum for conversations and interactions.

Social Media Marketing Trend #3 – Building Customer Relationships and Social Selling

Similarly, the importance of social selling is on the rise in 2022. As audiences become increasingly digital, social media marketers have become more authentic and customer-centric in their approach. Social networks are fertile grounds for brands and businesses to connect with audiences, start conversations, and generate a sense of community among their customers.

According to Charello, “Social selling leverages the social network of the salesperson to build relationships. … It requires active listening and engaging, [and then] looking for the right moment to join a conversation to approach a potential customer.”

Social media makes it easy to determine a prospect’s needs and attempt to deliver a timely, useful solution. The best social media marketers meet consumers where they are, both in digital channels and in the sales funnel.

You can learn more about social selling in chapter eleven of Charello’s “The Essentials of Social Media Marketing.”

Social Media Marketing Trend #4 – Paid Social Media

Though social selling allows marketers to connect with prospective customers in an authentic, engaging way, paid social media advertising bounded to new heights last year. The pandemic forced more consumers to shop online, which in turn made paid social media advertisements seem more natural to them. Astute marketers are taking advantage of that shift.

Paid social media displays advertisements or sponsored marketing messages on popular social platforms, with the goal of increasing followers, engagements, clicks, and views. Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram all enjoy over a billion monthly active users, while TikTok grew by more than forty percent in 2021. Well-targeted campaigns on any of these platforms have the potential to reach millions of consumers with ease.

In chapter three of “The Essentials of Social Media Marketing,” Charello discusses how to incorporate paid social media into a marketing campaign. She teaches how to identify a target market, conduct a social media audit, establish goals, and more.

Social Media Marketing Trend #5 – TikTok and Short-form Video

In 2022, more platforms, businesses, and organizations are making short-form videos a priority. Thirty percent of social media marketers plan to invest more money into short-form video than in any other social media platform. Thirty-three percent say they will be investing in short-form videos for the first time. And it’s no surprise — not when TikTok is growing faster than its competitors.

And what’s more? Video builds trust with your audience faster than any other type of content. Short-form video has a low barrier to entry, which means brands can create quality content in less time. It’s a quick way to spread an authentic message that resonates with audiences.

And in 2022, authenticity is everything.

Social Media Marketing Trend #6 – Genuine Storytelling

The top social media trend — no matter the year — is authenticity and genuine storytelling. It’s the key to establishing trust with your audience, increasing customer engagement, and building brand loyalty.

“Stories are up to twenty-two times more memorable than facts alone,” according to Stanford marketing professor Jennifer Aaker. “Stories shape how others see you, stories are tools of power, and stories persuade.”

So, how do you tell an effective story on social media? According to Dr. Aaker, there are four key elements to consider when using storytelling as a marketing tactic:

  1. Goal. Why are you telling this story?
  2. Grab attention. Why would the audience listen to your story?
  3. Engage. Why does the audience care about your story?
  4. Enable action. Why would the audience want to share this story?

Genuine, authentic storytelling pairs with all of the trends on this list. From nano-influencer marketing to short-form videos on TikTok, connecting with your audience in a meaningful way will never go out of style.

Social media trends evolve with technological advancements, cultural shifts, and changes in business practices. But no matter how things change, Stukent will be here to keep you and your classroom on the industry’s leading edge.

For additional articles and insights, see Stukent’s Resources for Digital Marketing Trends in 2022. And to learn more about Stukent’s revolutionary courseware and simulations, or to get free instructor access to our digital marketing products, visit our website.

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