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Social Media In 2022: 5 Things You Need To Know

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There are roughly 53 million active social media users in the UK. That’s over 77 percent of the whole population! Yep, there’s no getting around it – social is an essential part of our lives. But times have changed since the days of meaningless scrolling.

Today, businesses and users can use social media for their personal and professional lives. Whether it’s connecting with loved ones, researching that must-have product, engaging with new brands or educating yourself on all types of topics, there’s no wonder social media networks have become a key part of paid media and marketing strategies.

And our in-house social media master, Megan Graham, thinks so too:

“Businesses everywhere are delving into social. Originally, people thought social channels were just a fluffy platform but now they’ve realised they hold a lot of merit in digital marketing and have actually become a really integral part of getting results.”

In this blog, we take a look at social media in 2022 and share our insight on what you need to know.

1) Social commerce isn’t going anywhere  

Social media users aren’t just scrolling feeds and looking for the buy now buttons on sponsored ads anymore. Today, they’re using social media for every stage of the purchase journey and across nearly every product category too.

Research from Hootsuite found that social networks have become the second most important channel for brand research after search engines. Plus, uptake of businesses extending the customer experience to engage with their audience across multiple social platforms is happening every day.

When social commerce first came on the scene, Instagram quickly cemented itself as the platform of choice. But others are catching up with marketers investing more across Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest as well as TikTok and Snapchat. With more businesses investing in paid social ads, you’ll have to work even smarter to create content that mirrors and enriches the experience each platform offers.

2) TikTok and Pinterest: the platforms to watch

Users are holding brands to a higher standard when it comes to creativity. But they’re also rewarding those that get it right. Two of the top platforms to showcase your creativity are TikTok and Pinterest.

Not only are these platforms growing at impressive rates, research shows that users might actually be more receptive to adverts on these networks too. Why? At the moment, they’re not saturated with brands to the same level as the likes of Facebook or Instagram. It’s also important to note that these channels encourage advertisers to create content that fits organically ensuring ad placement is native and seamless. This can-do wonders for driving brand awareness and conversions in a non-intrusive way.

3) iOS 14 update impacts Facebook advertising

When iOS 14 was released, changes were included that affect how advertisers receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook Pixel. Apple’s policy prohibits data collection and sharing unless users opt in to tracking on iOS 14.5 or later via a prompt. As a result, ad targeting, optimisation, personalisation and performance reporting may be limited for both app and web conversion events.

Due to the new policy, many people are choosing to opt-out of Facebook’s tracking. However, it’s important to note that Apple competes with Facebook’s messaging apps and is working hard to build its own platform which could be one explanation for this update.

Fortunately, the platform has since made changes to Facebook Pixel including steps you can take to update your event setup. While we can’t predict the changes that Apple are going to make, our experts focus on continuing to measure the effectiveness of adverts to improve campaign performance.

4) Preparing for a cookieless world

Google announced they will be ditching third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of 2023. Tracking, and therefore cookies, are an important part of paid media which are mainly used for audience prospecting and targeting. The lack of third-party cookies will have less of an impact on traditional keyword-based targeting in PPC campaigns, but it is likely to impact paid tactics such as programmatic display.

While the end of 2023 may seem a way off yet, we’re already encouraging our clients to get used to using first-party data within their strategy to lessen the impact. This includes:

  • Improving first-party data collection with data collection exercises
  • Uploading data for Google Customer Match
  • Leveraging Facebook lookalike audiences
  • Working with Experian to produce and analyse third-party data to create mosaic audiences 

Data collection exercises in particular are something we’re focusing on. Examples of this include running regular competitions where users sign up or follow a social page before being placed into a prize draw. Different audiences can be targeted based on the prizes that are up for grabs to produce a wider range of fully encrypted first-party data for a business to use.

5) Mobile-first creatives

Mobile-first design isn’t anything new, but it’s becoming more important in the world of social. This design philosophy is aimed at creating a better experience for users by starting the design process from the smallest of screens – the mobile.

However, this thought process needs to extend beyond your mobile web or app experience to your social media creatives. To capture the attention of your audience, it’s not enough to simply adopt a mobile-first strategy. You also need to get creative to ensure your assets are viewer-friendly.

For example, we’ve found on Facebook that the consumption of mobile content is fast and often sound-free. Knowing how your users will engage with your content makes it easier to create an ideal and memorable viewing experience. This will open up new opportunities to reach them with relevant messaging. If you need a hand designing creatives for your social media ads, this is something we can help with – get in touch to ask more.

What does social media have in store for you this year?

There’s no denying that social media has massively grown in recent years. A place to connect with your audience, educate them, provide value and showcase your offering, social platforms have become must-haves in our day-to-day lives.

But with increased popularity comes increased competition which only emphasises the need for a high-class strategy even more. Instead of trying to build a community from the ground up, the smartest brands will be those who take the time to learn more about their audience to simplify content creation, build brand awareness and target them in a way that resonates.

With a paid social team on-hand, we can help you find out more about your audience and apply this insight to make the most of the competitive social media landscape. Want to find out more about what social can do for you? Contact us to chat.