I hope you have by now all found your rhythm for 2022 (despite this horrible heat wave) and are ready to utilise the unique opportunities it may bring us all. So along those lines…. I attended a virtual Social Media Trends webinar last week showcasing interesting world-wide research on the latest trends for 2022 and thought I’d share some insights:

Goals

Although Customer Acquisition was a big trend in 2021, interestingly enough, Brand Awareness has been moved to the top spot in 2022 with Employee Experience as another serious contender.

So what does this mean?

• It simply means that customers/clients are no longer just looking to satisfy their own needs but also want to experience the storytelling and personality behind your brand. Your company values ranked at 58 ‘% as one of the factors that consumers consider when making buying decisions. By getting employees to talk about their work and what they do motivates other businesses to buy from you as a B2B business and encourages your clients to also share their experiences.

• Furthermore both potential employees as well as existing employees want to be communicated with and acknowledged on social media for their achievements. Employee recruitment through social platforms will see a huge surge this year and specialists geared to do this will be sought after.

• Covid has also upped the competition on social media due to more people and businesses being online. Gaining customer insight from social media in order to improve the customer experience will be vital as businesses will need to become more customer centric. Consumers are taking control of our brands. Personalised content is therefore paramount.

• Producing engaging content has been identified as one of the huge challenges as more and more channels are created. Brands who partner wisely with content creators are gaining advantage on social media by connecting with your audiences through creative messaging and not just selling to them.

• Social customer service and care has been fuelled by Covid-19 and social media had to make products and services easier to find and consume. The experience needs to be easier and simpler. The start of virtual brand relationships are being seen between customers and brands and actual pics of customers talking about your products will be trending. User generated content created by your customers/clients are seen as more trustworthy and engaging and interacting with your clients on social media is therefore important. So it might be wise to find those customers willing to talk and be brand advocates and rewarding their loyalty by incentivising them.

• Social commerce is also gaining a lot of traction for e.g. shops on Instagram. Facebook and Instagram are still seen as the most effective B2C platforms with LinkedIn as the preferred B2B platform although many businesses utilise the other platforms successfully as well. Brand communities are being created on social media where brand loyalists will discuss your brand and products or service.

• Influencer marketing and the co-creation of content with influencers will be another creative way to showcase your brand and tapping into new markets.

• For those ready for virtual experiences – the Metaverse – Virtual Reality Spaces where users can interact – are becoming real and as such Gucci sets the trend. Our kids are already meeting and playing with their friends in these metaverses. Now brands are finding ways to insert their products into these experiences – fascinating! Read more here

I am looking forward to exploring new and innovative ways to apply your brand and core messaging this year.