Insights from GWI’s report on social media trends for 2022 have painted a mixed picture.

Firstly, they have found that attitudes are changing in regards to posting. Whilst some users are posting more, many prefer their updates to be temporary or semi-private. The number of those who prefer to share content with friends and family privately has risen 9% since Q4 2020. This trend has resulted in more users relying on in-the-moment tools, like stories.

Here are some other key takeaways:

#BeholdTikTok

Since its release, TikTok has grown into a global behemoth, with the number of monthly users increasing by 32% since 2020. 

Does this present a unique opportunity for businesses? 

TikTok introduced business profiles, ads and a creator marketplace in 2020 and 2021. These tools, combined with the platform’s growing user base, are sure to attract more advertisers in 2022. 

We know that users are logging into TikTok for entertainment, with content ranging from challenges and trending hashtags to lip-syncing and tutorials. Brands will need to keep this in mind when it comes to their content strategies. As users will be turned off by overt promotion, so content needs to be authentic and – we’ll say it again – entertaining. 

#DontForgetAboutUs

Speaking of TikTok, in a somewhat surprising twist, the two biggest sources of TikTok’s growth are the older generations; Gen X and Baby Boomers! And they’re not just on TikTok, they own an average of 4.6 social media accounts across all platforms. 

This generation is primarily logging in to connect with good causes, follow influencers, stay up to date on the latest trends and keep in touch with friends. TikTok plays a major role in this, providing a constant stream of fresh video content and inspiration across a range of topics. 

#LongIsntWrong

We keep hearing that people’s attention spans are shortening. It’s been reported that it’s now as short as 8 seconds – down from 12 seconds not that long ago. But is that really true? What does that mean for online video? 

Short-form video has certainly seen a meteoric rise. However, long-form still has its place, growing in popularity amongst Gen Z. Known for going against the grain, this generation is just as likely to watch videos over 20 minutes as they are videos under 4 minutes – predominantly on YouTube. Long-form videos typically include vlogs and how-to videos. And in fact, how-to videos are in the top two of digital content consumption across all age ranges.

#TheNewShopWindow

Social buying is on the up, with Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping engagement rising by 8% since 2020. 

According to Hootsuite, it’s the pandemic that has driven this growth. Before lockdowns, social commerce was mostly reserved for businesses of an innovative nature. But increased social media usage throughout the pandemic quickly changed this. And brands are now expected to be on social media. According to Sprout Social, about nine out of ten people say they buy from companies they follow on social media.

#ReturnToTheNorm

Unsurprisingly, Q2 2020 recorded the highest figures ever for global social media engagement.

This phenomenal level of engagement has since levelled off, returning to what it was three years ago. With society opening back up, competition for people’s spare time is set to increase. The Economist has called it an ‘attention recession’, with people looking to return to their pre-pandemic routines and venture outdoors again.

Advertisers can therefore no longer depend on views alone as a metric to judge the performance of a campaign. They should instead look to make action-based metrics – such as contact form sign-ups – an important part of their success criteria.

What does this mean for you? Well, the #notnews is that you need to be on social to have any chance of competing in a crowded marketplace. Understand the channel that fits your audience and produce the right type of content for that channel. And speak to us about how to do it, of course!

We would love to share our ideas and help you achieve your goals. Contact us via the links below. 

You can visit GWI’s website if you’d like to read their report in full.