Although brands have been using social media to market their products and services for over two decades, major changes have taken place in marketing practices in recent years. New trends – spurred by the ongoing pandemic and emerging technologies – force marketers to continually update their strategies.
“Things are changing fast – things are incredibly complex,” Mike Baglietto, global head of market intelligence at market research firm NetBase Quid, said during a recent webinar. “Finding those unmet needs and shifts in customer behavior becomes important to the success of our businesses. We need to be able to quickly sift through information to find that information that will help us drive our strategy. »
Unfortunately, traditional methods of social media analysis no longer work. According to Baglietto, they are difficult, time-consuming and no longer work in today’s world: “It’s partly because there’s so much data, but also because it’s siled in a number of different systems with disjointed workflows.”
Above these sparse data issues, more and more marketers are looking for the latest information and technology to help them prepare for the upcoming changes in social marketing. To help you out, here are three of the most important social media trends to watch in 2022.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies
“There have been so many different changes in the way people interact on social media,” NetBase Quid’s Harvey Rañola said in the same webinar. “One of the things that we’ve seen as an emerging trend – even before Facebook decided to rebrand its corporate entity to Meta – is augmented reality.”
He added, “Before this, we were already seeing these trends in the way brands interacted with potential customers, allowing them to virtually try on their products.”
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Rañola cited Ikea’s virtual design rooms as an example, which allows customers to map furniture they had in their online inventory using an AR interface. Other big brands, such as Nike, have leveraged technology to allow people to measure their feet and virtually try on shoes.
Brands now have the opportunity to improve customer engagement through new technologies. Here are some VR technologies and other metaverses that brands can consider implementing to improve social media interactions:
- Photo filters with your brand logo
- Virtual tours of customer places of interest
- QR codes that, when scanned, immerse users in augmented reality experiences
Personalized marketing content
VR/AR aren’t the only major trends floating around in social spaces. Brands have started leaning more into personalized content than ever before.
“Personalization is something we all know about… At the heart of it is delivering relevant content to your users,” Rañola said. “They expect their content to be relevant, which encourages them to engage with you.”
Consumers today expect personalized content, especially on their social networks. According to a report According to Sprout Social, 61% of consumers expect companies to provide personalized social media experiences based on previous brand interactions, and 59% expect companies to read and analyze this they post on social media.
However, marketers are walking a fine line when it comes to personalizing social media content – brands can unwittingly veer into “scary” methods of interaction when using data that consumers are unaware that they have been shared. A study conducted by CheetahDigital revealed that around 52% of social media users find ads based on recent shopping experiences on other sites scary.
The best personalized social content is both highly relevant and based on information users have consented to share with brands. This not only builds consumer confidence, but also fosters higher levels of engagement with increasingly niche audiences.
“When we think about the type of content that is being talked about and being pushed on Facebook and Instagram, most of it is related to people’s interests,” Rañola said. “The ways people consume content are becoming extremely niche.”
Marketing Influencers and Detractors
Influencer marketing – the process by which brands use external content creators to communicate their messages – has grown a lot in the wake of the pandemic. More and more brands have found influencers’ less scripted styles to be more appealing to consumers.
“Influencers continue to be a very important part of what your marketing program should look like,” Rañola said.
He then referred to an Adweek influencer study, which found that influencer marketing increased ROI – businesses earn about $6.50 for every dollar spent. But the benefits go beyond improved profits – a survey by Matter Communications found that consumers often trust influencers more than brands themselves.
“Influencers and the influence they have on their followers goes hand-in-hand with personalizing content and driving engagement,” he said. “These influencers aren’t going away anytime soon… Influencers are key to unlocking greater ROI and gaining greater reach within your space.”
Marketers available to personalize digital interactions with the latest influencer strategies and technologies will have the best chance of succeeding in the wake of social media trends in 2022 and beyond.