Social media is the pinnacle of marketing — especially for small businesses. But tactics that worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Algorithms change and new trends emerge, and it’s your job to keep up — with a little help.

Here are the content types and advertising trends to keep an eye on in 2022. Plus, how you can leverage social media trends and best practices to connect with your customers and grow your small business.

Short-Form Video Content Will Remain Royalty

If you haven’t begun to dabble in the realm of short-form video content, now’s the time. This past year TikTok surpassed a billion users, YouTube launched Shorts, and Instagram head, Adam Morrersi announced that the platform is now a video sharing app.

Why is this great for marketing? A 2020 study by Wyzowl found that:

84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

That’s a number you can’t ignore. Plus, 94% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.

The best part about short-form videos is that they are easy to create in-house as users don’t expect high production values. Rather, they value authenticity.

Forge a Connection Via Audio-Only Apps

The need to connect with like-minded individuals is real — especially following 2020. Don’t remind me. That explains why we were all clamoring for a Clubhouse invitation at the beginning of the year.

But don’t expect audio-only experiences to go away with the new year. Nope. Twitter, Facebook, Spotify and YouTube have all doubled down on their own audio-only offerings.

Twitter Spaces allows users to have live audio conversations right from the app. These audio rooms are a great way to have genuine, real-time conversations with your target audience.

Meanwhile, Facebook Live Audio Rooms enable users to join conversations with everyone from public figures to their favorite small business owners.

Keep the Shopping Experience on Social Media

If you only embrace one social media trend in 2022, it’s this: Social commerce. Allow your customer to purchase products right from within the social apps they found you on.

Over 50% of Millennials and Gen Zers say that social platforms are better than search for product discovery.

Take away the barrier to purchase by doubling down on features like Facebook Shops and Instagram Checkout. If you’re a service-based business, Facebook has you covered there too with their “Book Now” feature. This lets customers book appointments with you right from your business Facebook page.

While the platform may be new to the game, TikTok isn’t wasting any time launching its in-app shopping experience: TikTok Shopping. As of right now this feature is only available to Shopify merchants using a TikTok for Business account.

In addition to the traditional social media sites, you can allow customers to book with your business online from your Google Business Profile. For Thryv users, setting up this feature is super simple with our Google Optimization.

Leverage LinkedIn’s Newest Features

If you’ve written off LinkedIn, you may want to think again. LinkedIn is growing in both users and engagement. Plus, the platform is continuously rolling out new features that are ideal for small business owners.

Now as a business pages can publish long-form content using page articles. This is a great place to share your industry expertise and the best part — viewers don’t have the leave the app to read.

Another huge change to the platform is that users will now be able to see a company’s ratings and reviews right on their profile. What? This feature gives small businesses a new way to highlight their products and services to prospective customers on the LinkedIn app. This feature is available for profiles that have the service listing options enabled.

Keep an Eye Out for Algorithm Updates

Algorithms are evolving to be more consumer friendly. Yes, you read that right. But that means marketers need to continue to monitor changes on their marketing platform of choice to ensure their content shows up in the right place.

A major change we will be seeing in the new year comes from Instagram. The platform has announced it’s bringing back users’ favorite feature of the app — chronological feeds.

This opt-in feature will allow users to see content in the order it’s posted rather than the current algorithm which takes into consideration things like the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, when the post was shared, and past interactions with the poster.

Make User-Generated Content Your Best Friend

And last but certainly not least, expect a rise in user-generated content (UGC). What is user generated content? It’s content of any kind that’s created by regular people, rather than a company or brand published online.

What is key to understand about UCG is that about 60% of people feel that it’s the most authentic form of content.

90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support.

How do you get people talking about you online? One way is to make your business word-of-mouth worthy.

Another way is to encourage customers to share the experience they had with your small business on social media using a store or brand hashtag, like #howyouthryv!

Stay in the Loop with Your Small Biz Mix

If one thing is for sure it’s that social platforms will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Stay ahead of the game with weekly updates from Thryv’s content team, where we discuss everything new and impactful for your small business in our weekly series Small Biz Mix.

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