A lot has changed since the pandemic. Generally speaking, there was an uptick in the use of social media as 71 percent of consumers reported using social media more frequently than in previous years.
Most social media companies had to adjust their technologies and algorithm to meet the new demands. These created new trends across platforms.
Brands and marketers need to understand these post-pandemic trends to meet their audiences where they are. And when marketers meet consumer expectations on social media, the positive effects are felt throughout the organization.
That said, here are some important post-pandemic trends every market must know in 2022.
Crazy social media changes post-pandemic in 2022:
1. Pandemic impacted the best times to post on social
Before the pandemic, the best times for posting content on most social media platforms were Wednesday and Friday.
However, since the end of the pandemic, people have used their phones more than before. This created some changes in the best times to post on social media.
According to sprout social, the following is a summary of when to post on social media in 2022:
- Tuesdays through Thursdays at 9 or 10 a.m. are the optimal times for posting on social media.
- You can also post on Tuesdays through Thursdays.
- Avoid posting on Sundays as they are the worst days to post on social media.
2. Tiktok takes over from Facebook
Tiktok has become the most important social network for marketing. In fact, a recent survey by Service Direct reported that 33% of consumers aged 18-29 had patronized a small business as a result of a TikTok ad in the past 12 months, suggesting TikTok is not only a viable marketing channel for large brands but for small businesses as well.
TikTok grew quickly during the pandemic as an alternative to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Most downloaded apps during the pandemic across platforms (Source)
As of 2022, TikTok ranks 4th after Instagram if messaging networks are excluded.
Most used social media platforms, July 2022 (source)
The app is growing, though not as fast as in 2020. TikTok hit 1 billion monthly users in September 2021, with 90% of these users online daily for an average of 89 minutes.
- The following are some suggestions that will help you use TikTok for business and stay ahead of this trend:
- Build and grow your business’ Tik Tok your account.
- Explore TikTok frequently and find ideas.
- Leverage UGC (user-generated-content) creators to create content
- Plan your TikTok marketing.
3. Memes have become increasingly popular
During the depressing periods of the pandemic when most people required a good laugh, memes saved the day, and ever since it has been a trend in social media marketing.
Another advantage of meme marketing is that it requires little effort and is free. We created this meme below using a website (ImgFlip) on the internet in less than one minute.
Netflix is an excellent example of a big brand that leverages meme marketing. The following image is a meme from Netflix that builds on a popular social media trend.
To use memes in your marketing strategy, consider the following:
- Understand your audience and what appeals to them
- Do your research to see what is trending
- Keep things short and as funny as you can
- The timing of your posts is critical if you want maximum engagement
- Most importantly, do not be offensive
4. Short-form vertical video works
Before the pandemic, we all thought the long-form video would be the internet’s future.
However, things changed as Tik Tok entered the market during the pandemic. Since the pandemic, content creators have continued to release short-form videos.
According to Vidyard, 56 percent of online videos in 2021 were under 2 minutes long. Studies show that only about half of video viewers will watch until the end of a video exceeds a minute.
Video Length Distribution in 2021 (Source)
Both businesses and customers benefit from short-form vertical videos. Short form vertical videos (stories and Tik Tok) require less effort and resources from the business.
Plus, there are many affordable video editing tools that businesses can use to achieve their goals. Customers prefer stories and short TikTok videos because they feel they are more authentic.
- To make use of this trend for your business, here are some things you can do:
- If you’ve succeeded with short-form videos on one platform, you should test them on others.
- Experiment with TikTok videos if you want to acquire new followers.
- Experiment with Reels if you wish to re-engage your existing Instagram audience.
5. Social media as a customer service platform
The challenges that came with the pandemic made many businesses use social media as a customer service platform.
Sixty-four percent of people surveyed by Facebook said they’d rather message on social media than call a business. Interestingly, the trend is here to stay, as Gartner predicts that 60% of customer service requests will be handled digitally by 2023.
Also, a Microsoft report shows that 54 percent of global participants are impressed by social media customer service.
Providing customer service via Social Media gives rise to irrelevant DMs. It could be creative or offensive at times. So, how do we implement content moderation to track relevant and important inquiries?
To keep up with this trend of providing customer service via social media, your company should consider investing in a chatbot, integrating audio chat or creating a FAQ page.
6. More streamlined social commerce
Social commerce is the practice of buying and selling via social media.
Increased social media consumption due to the mandated stay-at-home policies caused an explosion in social commerce during the pandemic.
This trend of businesses investing in social commerce will continue.
A recent study found that 73 percent of businesses already use social commerce, and 79 percent plan to do so within the next three years.
In addition, Forbes Magazine and Inside Intelligence predict that social commerce will continue to expand.
How do you take advantage of this trend?
- Create a Facebook Shop, Instagram Shop, or try Pinterest’s Product Pins.
- Make the customer experience visually seamless with your brand in these shops.
- Create an ideal social ecommerce strategy for your business
- Build on your brand recognition across platforms
- Ensure you minimize the number of clicks required for purchases by focusing on important products.
7. Paid social media continues to increase
Forty-three percent of respondents in a recent survey said their biggest social media challenge was the decline of organic reach. This is true because organic reach has been dropping on most platforms since the end of the pandemic.
For instance, the average organic reach of a Facebook post is about 2.2 percent. This means that only 2 in every 100 of your followers will ever see your posts without a paid advertisement.
On Instagram, the average engagement is about 9.4 percent. That means, in every 100, only about 10 followers will see your posts. Sadly, these numbers are on the decline and may even be less depending on many factors.
Regardless of your budget, at least one member of your social marketing team must learn paid marketing.
8. Creator economy is on the rise
The creator economy has existed for approximately a decade. However, it flourished during the pandemic as people sought to diversify their incomes.
In response, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok established their creator funds. According to a recent report on the creator economy, more than fifty million people worldwide identify as creators.
As the creator economy matures, more strategies become available to brands. Here are a few tips to help you leverage this new trend:
- Prepare to pay reasonable prices.
- Define your target audience as well as the platform they use.
- Examine creator marketplaces to compile a list of influential individuals that can convey your message to your target audience.
9. Influencer marketing at its peak
Influencer marketing did not start during the pandemic. However, it is not disappearing anytime soon.
If done well, influencer marketing can be a less costly form of marketing that yields positive results. According to a survey by Influencer Marketing Hub, 90 percent of marketers deemed influencer marketing effective.
Moving forward from the pandemic, you may want to redefine your influencer marketing strategies. This is important because Influencers can help businesses with more than just lead generation. Influencers can also contribute to customer engagement and loyalty.
Bonus: Adopt the “smaller” platforms such as Pinterest, Linkedin, and Snapchat
There’s renewed interest in Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Snapchat, in addition to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Since the pandemic, social media trends aren’t just about boosting video and photos.
The pandemic boosted Pinterest’s popularity, gaining over 26 million users. It’s not surprising since many homeowners wanted to renovate during this time.
Post pandemic social media trends have also helped professional networks. People spend more time on LinkedIn because professional networking has moved online. Since networking requires interaction, organic engagement is on the rise.
Finally, Snapchat is quickly becoming Gen Z’s second messaging app and won’t disappear. Snapchat today creates a platform where people can reach the younger generation.
Thanks to the pandemic, social media platforms experienced all-round growth in engagement and consumption. And this is here to stay. As PR professionals, there is no better time to invest more into digital media outlets.
Now that you know the trends, it is time to evaluate your strategies and develop new ones.