The opportunity for exposure on social media platforms is huge. It is also the reason marketing team experts are spending millions of dollars on advertising through this channel every year.
With billions of active users as potential customers and the possibility to fine-tune marketing campaigns to age, demographic, interests, income level, and much more it is simply too powerful an advertising tool to pass up.
The true and tried regulars like Facebook with almost 3 billion active users, YouTube with 2,29 billion active users, and Instagram with 1,39 billion active users are still among the most popular social media platforms.
The hottest social media trends right now
In a world of digital overload and the resulting desensitization to same-old techniques, it’s not only important to keep up with the latest social media trends, you also have to know which of the social media platforms provide capabilities to support those trends, so you can engage the social media audience of 2022.
Looking at the new emerging trends, live streaming is entering the spotlight being the second-highest invested trend this year by social media marketers. First place is video-focused with short-form content taking the spot. A survey by Hubspot shows that streaming advertising performed 52% better than expected of marketers.
How do you choose the best social media marketing platform?
Becoming a first-mover by choosing the best streaming platform to market on from the start, will give you more time. This time can be used to analyze which campaign content works and adjust the creative accordingly.
With several hundred social media apps available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, it can be a daunting task to know how to pick a platform. Moreover, which platforms will be the new upcoming stars, and where your marketing dollars are best spent.
There’s not one single platform that can serve all marketing needs for a business. Which ones are best depends on a range of parameters. These include who your target demographics are, what you are selling, and who meets your brand best.
We’ve evaluated the most promising social platforms you should pay attention to in 2022. They have all recently shown either investor interest, a large user base growth, or an accelerated popularity increase.
We’ll go over the 5 most popular social media platforms to let you know what they are.
Also, who their audience is, and how you can benefit from them.
Number of users: 1 billion users per month
Despite the previous controversy with countries around the world and facing restrictions and bans, TikTok continues to grow at a rapid rate and is expected to surpass 1.5 billion users by 2022.
The short-form content platform launched in 2017. A year later merged with Musical.ly to become one of the most popular apps in the app store.
Like its processor Vine, it allows users to create short videos on a loop. But, with the added benefit of using AR filters, text, musical overlays, and other fun effects. It has been a hit among its mainly under 30-year-old content creators who spent an average of 45 minutes in the app on average — even more for the 4–15-year-olds using the app an average of 85 minutes a day watching videos and creating content.
Hashtags are widely adapted on the platform through a “Discover” button in the app. It allows for people to search for TikTok challenges and post their own response video using that hashtag, so anyone interested in the challenge can see all related videos.
Brands are starting to take notice of the massive potential for exposure on TikTok.
Scotts, a lawn care company, wanted to connect with their younger audience and teamed with John Travolta to launch a dance challenge encouraging viewers to show off their best dance moves in their yards, thereby associating Scotts with lawns. The campaign saw 2 billion video views, 1.4 million video creations, and a 19% engagement rate.
McDonald’s wanted to expand their brand relevancy and partnered with musician Ricky Desktop and TikTok sensation Bella Poarch to create videos reinforcing what makes McDonald’s special. The campaign was a success with 23 million views, 17% above the expected view-through rate, and doubling the engagement rate.
According to industry experts, the algorithm used by TikTok is unparalleled by other social media networks with content delivery highly relevant to its users’ interests. That makes for a highly addictive, entertaining app.
If you’re ready to try TikTok out, think about making creative, fun videos with a challenge theme to follow.
Number of users: 140 million users per month
Twitch started in 2011 as a spin-off of broad interest platform Justin.tv.
It was acquired by Amazon in 2014 and specializes in-game and creative content streaming with the average concurrent viewers at 2.78 million in 2021 up from 1.26 million in 2019.
It is the most popular live streaming platform in the U.S. with continued growth year after year.
Streamers can interact with their audience in real-time via a chat.
They can earn via 3 sources –
1. Viewers donating money
2. The Twitch Partner program that offers paid subscriptions
3. Ad placements in their streams.
The demographic is mostly young people with 70% of its viewers aged between 16 and 34 years old and 30 million watching daily.
While Twitch started out as a gaming-centered platform, today there are categories for watching talk shows, cooking, painting, programming, car repairs, and much more. It shows a variety of user interests that can be matched with a marketing campaign selling a range of products and services for the younger audience.
Businesses can target their advertising to several ad placement formats and locations, including the home page or as video-based commercials in streams.
As an alternative to paying established Twitch streamers, companies can also set up their own branded accounts. It helped distribute lead-generating content.
3. Instagram Reels
Number of users: 2 billion users per month (Instagram)
While Instagram is not a newcomer, Instagram Reels only recently entered the market in 2020. The success of TikTok did not pass Facebook’s attention and thus Instagram Reels was born.
The service offers a striking resemblance to TikTok with video creators able to produce short-form content videos (15 seconds) and add AR effects, music, and simple editing effects to be shared on their Instagram feeds.
National Geographic is seeing massive following numbers with 145.6 million followers to their Instagram Reels campaigns. Nike is second with 122 million followers.
High-quality video compels people to watch and deliver value through copy. Videos are ending with hooks to find out more and the possibility to share.
Consistently publishing new quality content and thinking out of the box is a must-do for businesses. This is to build strong brand awareness on the platform. Allying with a social influencer to push your brand is also recommended, just make sure they stand for the same values as your brand.
Number of users: 150 million users per month
The popular chat app Discord founded in 2015 had originally targeted gamers. It was a free alternative to paid services providing voice chat services. It has since been rebranded to include fans across a wide range of interests. This includes art communities, study groups, gamer clans, or just friends wanting to hang out.
The service works by users (mods) creating servers on which community members can engage in video, audio, or text chats about topics of interest.
Being one of the most popular social platforms, Discord has raised 482 million U.S. dollars in funding. It is valued at 15 billion dollars. Microsoft, Epic, and Amazon have all shown interest in purchasing the platform, but with little success.
As of today, Discord does not allow traditional advertising on the platform. This is why it makes it less attractive to many marketers as the advertising approach is different. That also means less competition for attention, which is a big draw for savvy marketing heads.
On Discord, instead of paying for ad space, businesses have to create branded channels to create buzz around their product. Jack in the Box is one such company with several channels, including their Official Jackbox Games allowing gamers to stream Jackbox games to viewers.
Wendy’s is another business with great success on Discord. With over 52,000 members (the second largest on Discord) and a 66% communicator rate, Wendy’s has managed to double the benchmark of 30% with 35,546 members’ active every day making it their biggest platform launch ever.
For businesses, Discord is a strong social media platform to build brand loyalty and trust, but it requires a continuous commitment from their social media teams to communicate with their fans and keep content fresh.
Number of users: 173 million users per month
A new player has entered the social media market. The clubhouse app is a rapidly expanding platform launched in 2020, already with 40 million weekly users. It separates itself from the traditional social media platform by not recording or storing conversations in channels and it is entirely audio-based.
And that’s part of the reason why it’s so popular. Contrary to popular social media where everything is stored and logged, the appeal of a non-commitment platform is a big draw to many.
The Clubhouse app was initially invite-only and only for iPhone users. Time will tell if Android users will be able to join the exclusive club at a later time. With 10 million people on the waitlist, the app opened up to everyone in 2021 and is now popular among celebrities such as Drake, Chris Rock, Jared Leto, Oprah, and even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
With attention shifting to this new player and the rapid growth cycle, the question is how to market on Clubhouse as it doesn’t currently offer in-app advertising.
As with Discord, advertising is performed in an organic way. Content creators can be sponsored to read ads between segments, shows/events and clubs can be branded by adding “presented by…” in the title and thought-leader guest spots can be purchased in popular programs.
Use the social media platforms of 2022 to become a first-mover
Being a pioneer has its risks as you are navigating uncharted territory. But, the advantages can be so remarkable you shouldn’t play it safe by overlooking the upcoming potentials.
Of course, you shouldn’t spend your entire marketing budget on anything new, without having an idea of the success rate. Like a good stock portfolio, you should diversify your marketing strategy between the true-and-tried marketing strategies from previous years, combined with investing in these new opportunities.
Keep track of the success of your campaign to see where lead-generating traffic is coming from. Something new today could be outcompeted by an alternative tomorrow. So, it is important to keep constant tabs on success.
It’s always a good idea to check in and see how many active users a platform has.
It’s good to keep a tap on the active user base, if it’s growing or declining, is your audience on the platform, and is there buzz about the platform from reputable sources.
If you create amazing creative content targeted to your audience, chances are you are a step ahead of your competitors by using one of these new social media platforms.