This week, Hootsuite published its quarterly update on the state of social media for strategists and businesses worldwide. The Global State of Digital 2022 (April update) guide gives top-line data on the activity of social media users in the first quarter of the year, based on research by Hootsuite and We Are Social.
As the ebb and flow of social platforms’ popularity with their users continues, it’s important to check in on what’s hot and what’s not in the social media world. But it’s also important to understand the difference between social media trends that relate to business, personal, and both. And once the trends and the purpose for engaging are identified, it’s equally imperative to assess and readjust how you will leverage each platform to achieve your intended organizational or business goals.
Social Media Engagement for Brands and Causes
Let’s keep in the forefront the reason businesses and organizations are omnipresent on social media. In marketing and adverting terms, social media is where most people check in for many reasons — common interests, family connections, and information-gathering. In short, brands and organizations go where the eyeballs are to sell their products or share their ideas. Social media has become our virtual billboard along many highways, offering offramps that lead to an infinitesimal number of side roads. The difference is that on social media, the number of users (traffic), platforms, and activities is ever-changing.
For that reason, studies like the Top Takeaways Digital 2022 quarterly report from Hootsuite and We Are Social help organizations and businesses fine-tune their use of social media to ensure they continue to receive the traffic and attention they desire.
Using the Latest Trends to Tweak Social Media Strategy
Overall, the first quarter saw a slowdown in social media's global growth rate, but that could be caused by people doing more diverse activities post-pandemic and the predicted global saturation level for social media usage that has been expected.
But the biggest social media usage changes worth noting are within key platforms. Based on leading platforms’ highest rated activity type, here are the questions social media managers and decision-makers should ponder:
Stat #1 — 71% use for messaging family and friends
Stat #2 — 60% for keeping up to date on news and current events
Questions to ponder:
Is our imaging and messaging authentic, personal, and based on our brand values?
How do we deliver our owned media and data in ways that are useful or newsworthy for the kinds of people we want to reach?
Stat #1–70% use for posting or sharing visual content (photos/video)
Stat #2–62% use to follow or research brands and products
Questions to consider:
Should we share more image-centric content about company-sponsored or cause-related activities using real-world participants?
Should we run more A/B tests to identify image formats (photos vs. video) that work best with our followers?
Stat#1–60% for keeping up to date on news and current events
Stat #2 (tied)–36% for searching for funny content and for following or researching brands and products
Questions to answer:
Do we want our brand to educate, update or entertain on Twitter? Or, do we want to write content to achieve all three goals?
Should we improve our messaging around current events to raise awareness of our organization’s values, expertise, causes, or populations we serve?
As the report’s authors recommend, choose content and platforms using a strategy guided by up-to-date statistics or platform “traffic reports.” Multiple sources can help to keep your social media strategy on target and fresh throughout the year. It’s an essential part of digital marketing because failing to course-correct social media periodically can waste time and money.
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