Courtney talked about marketing in general in 2022, what we should expect, what we can predict, and what we should focus on. I’m going to dig into social media specifically for the purpose of this blog.
Let’s start with what Courtney touched on: privacy and new issues with tracking. By now, I have written countless blogs about the iOS 14 issues and how that has completely changed the way I can track pretty much anything and everything when running Facebook Ads. Unfortunately, this is not something that will come to an end anytime soon. Facebook has started telling us that they know we’re struggling and want to help, but there have been no actionable items to date and no estimate of when there will be. It’s an unfortunate reality, but we will probably never have the options that we used to. This is good for people’s personal lives, but for marketing purposes, it’s terrible.
We have included estimates from years past and explained to our clients that this is happening and that it is completely outside of our control, but it’s still tough. It’s hard to look at terrible numbers and try to explain that they are probably good. We can tell our clients that these results are most likely on par, if not better, with what we showed last year because our reach, clicks, and CTR is higher, and our CPC is lower. It helps, but it isn’t the same as being able to prove it, as I have done for more than seven years working in this industry.
Let’s focus on organic social next. As Courtney mentioned, authenticity is going to be (and has been for a while now) the name of the game. We’ve learned through the pandemic that people trust people, not big names with no known faces. They want to know about the company they’re buying from, their story, who they support, and what they like. If those match up with their personal choices and preferences, they will probably support that business, even if it’s a little more expensive. If your brand doesn’t come through on social, through ads, and through blogs or other content pieces, you will lose customers. It’s that simple. They want to know you before they use you. It makes sense, and it’s here to stay.
How does that impact your social media presence? First, it means that you need to be you. As Courtney said, “Trying to create a post just to post is so five years ago.” So if there’s only one thing you remember from this blog, let it be this: you must have a reason to post, it must bring value to your customers, and it must be true to who you are.
Another piece that will continue to grow and enhance is that of video. TikTok and Reels are taking over, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. We know that TikTok is an updated version of Vine that I and countless others grew up with. It’s real. It’s authentic. And it’s easy. These unedited (and by that, I mean not perfect, there are insane editing effects kids are doing these days) videos are quick and easy to watch, and they tell stories. Some are funny. Some are serious. And some can literally change lives. You don’t have perfect hair, makeup, and teeth to be an influencer anymore; you just need to be you. Because of that, these video platforms, and the influencers that come with them, will only continue to grow.
Instagram has listed out what they think 2022 will look like, and a lot has to do with the fact that almost anyone can become an influencer. The reason why is because they’re focusing almost solely on what Gen Z thinks. They are the future, letting their voices be known about that. One in four say that micro-influencers are most important for creating new trends. Many also believe that social media influencers are the most critical ‘spreaders,’ regardless of their size. This means that they think what social media influencers think and share will take off more than what your favorite celebrities or athletes say. Ten years ago, that would have been unfathomable, but today, it’s believed by almost 80% of the population.
So, in 2022, we’re looking forward to less tracking, more video, and more micro-influencers taking over. A few years ago, I never would have guessed that. But how the last few years have played out, nothing surprises me anymore. These 2022 trends will build off the traction that they started or gained in 2020 and 2021. So, pay attention to these, listen to Gen Z (we know it can be challenging), and be true to yourself and your brand. If you can do these, you should tackle social media in 2022. If you need help, let us know. We’ve rolled with the punches thus far, and we’re sure we’ll continue to do so in 2022 and beyond.