AFFIRM’s Social Media Predictions for 2022

The unprecedented events of the past two years have contributed to an increase in social media usage and activity. More people than ever before are sharing photos, videos, and animated content on social media, and this includes interacting and engaging with their favorite brands’ pages. AFFIRM has compiled our predictions for social media in 2022 based on current social media trends that marketers should take note of as 2021 comes to an end.

Users will begin exploring other social media platforms

In 2021, Facebook remained the most popular social media platform, followed closely by YouTube. According to Statista, Facebook has roughly 2.89 billion active users, making it the most widely used social media platform, but this may not be the case forever. Platform outages and past security issues have left some users disgruntled, and avid social media users are beginning to adopt and invest time in new social media platforms that they did not previously use. Social media marketers can stay ahead of the game by testing out content on different platforms to see how it performs with their audiences.

Short-form video content will become more popular across platforms

The growth of TikTok’s userbase in the past three years has had a massive impact on the way we consume content online. Wallaroo reports that the app has over one billion active monthly users as of 2021, and competitors Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have jumped on the short-form video content bandwagon by launching Reels. It should come as no surprise that short-form video content will continue to become increasingly popular across social media platforms in 2022. Brands have a good chance of reaching new audiences on social media by incorporating short-form video content into their social media strategy. According to Hubspot, a video is considered “short-form” if it is up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length. We recommend keeping videos between 1 minute and 1 minute and 30 seconds for short-form content if possible. Keeping videos short increases the chance of users sticking around to view more of the message before moving on to something else.

Stories will become a bigger part of social media content strategies

Research on social media trends shows that millions of users are taking to Facebook and Instagram stories to share photos and videos about the things that they are interested in and care about. Stories is an engaging medium because it is ephemeral, meaning that it is only available for a short period of time, and this prompts users to check pages they follow for updates more often to avoid missing out. Stories also give brands an opportunity to test what types of content works best with their audience without the content remaining on their page and is why many marketers are including stories into their approach to social media marketing. As of 2021, 4 million businesses use Instagram Stories ads monthly (Instagram), and this will only grow in 2022. Incorporating stories into your social media strategy will boost the performance of your content and will help keep your audience engaged.

Optimizing for mobile will become increasingly important

In 2020 and 2021, Datareportal found that people spent most of their time on their phone using mobile apps – as much as 92%. This means it is very important to make sure that content is optimized for the mobile experience when creating social media content. People will continue accessing social media apps on their phone in higher volume as we move into next year, and it is important to take the time to evaluate what content performs best on mobile when developing a social media strategy to ensure the best results. Be sure to always check that images and video content for posts have been optimized for the social media platform you are posting on before posting.

Gen Z will play a large part in how social media campaigns perform

Did you know that Gen Z is one of the biggest drivers of video content on social media? In fact, YPulse reports that 65% of Gen Z consumers say they use social media to find entertaining content and 61% say they are specifically interested in watching more video content. Crafting messages that appeal to Gen Z is one way to improve the performance of social media content in 2022. According to Trifecta Research, marketers can relate to Gen Z on social media by grabbing their attention quickly, making content brief and entertaining, considering whether the content is shareable, and embedding diversity.

User-generated content will be utilized more often

Part of what makes social media marketing so effective is that it provides a way for brands to reach users in a way that is more casual. Many brands in 2021 are beginning to adopt user-generated content as part of their social media strategies and initiatives to encourage sharing and engagement. Since this is the case, we expect that more social media marketers will begin to experiment with adding user-generated content into their social media content mix. User-generated content is a great strategy if you are developing a brand awareness campaign on social with the goal being to get users to visit your website to learn more. Exploding Topics reports that brands that incorporate UGC have a 20% increase in return visitors and a 90% increase in time that consumers spend on their websites. Content developed by other users is engaging, and giving your audience an opportunity to be a part of building your brand will only make it stronger.

Even though social media platforms and approaches will vary from business to business it is still important to have a social media strategy. Developing an informed social media strategy ensures that your marketing efforts are being noticed and remembered by the audiences you are trying to reach rather than being lost in the void. AFFIRM is here to help you maximize the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts with our team of digital specialists. To learn more about how we can help you with your social media content and strategy, please email us at info@affirmagency.com.

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