The State of Social Media in 2022 – Browser Media


How has social media evolved over the past year and what does the future look like? Meltwater’s 2022 State of Social Media report answers exactly that.
Will Greenwood
Account Manager
Every year Meltwater releases its State of Social Media report, a piece of research that speaks to over 3,000 professionals who work in the world of social media, marketing and PR to understand how social media will develop in the year ahead. The report looks at similar themes each year as well as answering key questions that highlight how the previous 12 months have impacted how organisations use social media.
The report gives a fantastic insight into the world of social media and how different organisations utilise the various platforms. For a complete overview of the report, get your hands on the full State of Social 2022 report. Here, I will take a look at some of the key takeaways from the report. 
All channels have seen an increase, however, unsurprisingly it is TikTok that takes the crown of the fastest growing social media channel in 2022. Of the 3,000 participants, 40% state that they plan to use TikTok in 2022 as part of their social media strategy. Short form video content continues to be one of the top social media trends, and as a result, more brands are starting to jump on the TikTok bandwagon. 
Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn make up the list of fastest growing platforms behind TikTok. With the rise in YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels, this continues to point to the fact that short form videos are becoming a must in an organisation’s social media strategy.
When looking at the most used social media channels it’s the same old names that you would expect to see at the top of the list. 90% of all participants have Facebook as a part of their social strategies putting the social network at the top of the list. LinkedIn (89%), Instagram (82%), YouTube (74%), and Twitter (68%) make up the rest of the top five.
Surprisingly, despite its rapid growth over recent years, and the fact it was highlighted as the fastest growing platform, only 16% of participants use TikTok. It will be interesting to see how this changes over the next 12 months. 
Understanding which platform organisations are using is important, however, it’s arguably more important to understand what they aim to get from their social media strategy. Meltwater asked the participants to highlight the top three goals they want to achieve, with brand awareness taking the top spot followed by brand engagement, and acquiring new customers. It’s interesting to note that the top two spots weren’t directly based on revenue or sales. Ultimately, engagement and awareness will hopefully lead to sales, however, increased sales was a goal on its own and was the fifth most popular choice. 
This trend can also be seen when looking at the top social media metrics organisations track, with engagement, followers, and website traffic taking the top spots. Once again engagement is more important than revenue, highlighting the fact that organisations are using social media to build a following of customers that they hope will convert to sales. Many brands can focus solely on sales, a tactic that isn’t always successful on social media as the user doesn’t want to feel like they are just being sold to all the time. 
While the first part of the report takes a look at how the participants use social media and the metrics they consider the most important, the second part takes a look at the roles of social media and the impact it has on an organisation’s wider marketing strategy. 
Like with most things nowadays, it’s impossible to create a report like this without mentioning the C word. The world has been forced online over the past 2 years, and as a result brands have seen the importance of social media, with 57% saying social media has become more important due to Covid-19. 
However, with the importance of social media on the rise, the more challenges brands face when utilising the various platforms. Most of these challenges are typically internal, with finding time and resources in the number one position, followed by measuring the impact and gaining followers. It’s easy for social media to take the back seat when companies are busy and resources are limited. 
The final section of the report highlights the key trends that are expected to shine through during the remainder of 2022 and beyond. Once again, social media usage looks like it will continue to rise over the next 12 months with 78% of organisations aiming to either increase their budget or spend the same amount as they did in 2021. 
Only 3% are planning to reduce their social media spending over the next year. Further to this, on average organisations spend 27% of their total marketing budget on social media, a figure that will likely continue to rise. 
The final section I want to touch on is the importance of influencer marketing as this is something that I have covered on the Browser Media site on various occasions. Influencer marketing has been gaining popularity over the past few years, however, 54% of organisations don’t currently work with influencers, with 15% planning to work with influencers in 2022. This figure does change when looking specifically at B2C organisations with 64% currently or planning to work with influencers in the future. 
As I said at the beginning, this blog post doesn’t scratch the surface of this fantastic report, so to find out more be sure to get your hands on the full State of Social Media 2022
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