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10 Social Media Trends Marketers Should Watch for in 2022

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2021 was a busy year for social media platforms and 2022 is shaping up to be even busier.

Earlier this year I offered up some predictions on what I thought the year would hold for social media. Here’s how I see social media shaping up in 2022, along with what strategies marketers should develop for a complete customer experience.

Trend 1:

The Evolution of the Main Feed Has Begun  Algorithmic main feeds in Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Pinterest have long connected people to news. But the attention-baiting tactics they practice have come under scrutiny, leading to an outcry for changes in platform strategies to focus on bringing value to the people who rely on them for connection.

Several changes meant to curate posts with more personalization and privacy in mind are on the way. Twitter, for example, stated its roadmap for future products and features will double its revenue by 2023. Moves like this lessen the dependency on targeted advertising for revenue while creating features ostensibly to better serve its customers.

What This Means: Marketers should expect — and plan to leverage — more features that enhance customer experiences. Most rollouts of these features will be a trial, however.

The next trend explains why.

Trend 2:

Yet Social Media Remains Addicted to Ad Revenue The parade of ads shown alongside news feeds is showing its age, yet the revenue created has grown to new heights.

One forecast from eMarketer predicted Twitter will reach $2 billion in U.S. ad revenue during 2021, despite flat growth. That is a 38.5% increase over 2020. The site also forecasted that Instagram will for the first time make up over 50% of Facebook’s $50.30 billion in net ad revenues in 2021.

What This Means: Marketers should not pause any awareness for new ads features just yet, as digital ads will still likely provide effective customer journey messaging. But an evolution in options will address increasing pressure to demonstrate ROI.

Trend 3:

Slimmed-Down Media Models Will Turn Up the Competitive Heat We all know the firmly established social media platforms with massive audiences. Facebook, for example, reported in its earnings report a year-over-year increase in daily and monthly active users, despite public criticism of its practices. In contrast, newer platforms have emerged which offer a fundamentally slimmed-down media model, meant to make socializing among niche audiences more convenient to moderate and safer as a community.

Interestingly, not all are social media platforms. These upstarts include the podcast platforms like Spotify, livechat platforms such as Clubhouse, newsletter platforms like Substack and sub-communities in the established social media platforms, such as Twitter Spaces. All aim to allow people to forge meaningful connections with their favorite creators or community rather than relying on algorithmic recommendations for engagement.

It’s unlikely any one platform will be the “next Facebook” any time soon — no one is asking for it. The challenge for these slimmed-down business models is generating revenue. It’s a last mile problem that promises huge upsides for influencers and platforms through shared revenue on subscriptions, tips or ticketed events. Twitter and Spotify could potentially leverage this benefit faster, for either current business models (podcasts on Spotify) or for emerging features (such as Twitter Tips).

What This Means: These platforms ultimately mean marketers must cultivate customer experience options that do not appear as attention-grabbing content.

Trend 4:

As Social Commerce Continues Its Ascent, So Will Customer Service As discussed previously, social commerce features will continue to roll out to keep up with how people shop for goods and services. Customers have become accustomed to initiating a purchase online — be it curbside pickup of groceries or scheduling an appointment — but now want fast responses to customer service needs as well.

Social media channels dedicated to customer service have long existed. The pandemic has only accelerated adoption of these channels. What This Means: Marketers should look to refine customer service to gain the most benefit of new social media platform features.

Trend 5:

Calls for Social Media Accountability Will Increase Public calls for social media platform accountability will increase, buoyed by the fallout from the Facebook papers and the findings implicating Instagram as a negative influence on young users.

The findings, first brought to light in a Wall Street Journal report, found 32% of teenage girls surveyed “indicated that when they had negative thoughts about their appearance, Instagram made those feelings worse.” Fourteen percent of teen boys reported similar sentiment.

The big question is what kind of legislation will emerge. Antitrust debates will reveal clues on legislative progress. Antitrust scrutiny can constrain the major platforms’ ability to copy features from smaller platform or outright acquire other platforms, as seen with UK’s regulators telling Meta to sell its Giphy acquisition.

This differs from the quick acquisition and dissolution of platforms, as seen when Twitter acquired Periscope. That scrutiny can keep smaller platforms among marketers’ strategic choices.  What This Means: Expect more fallout in 2022 to shape what digital media marketers use to connect with customers.

Trend 6:

The Rise of the Creative Influencers The proliferation of creative tools have allowed for a new kind of influencer to take shape: the Creators. Creators differ slightly from traditional influencers, who rely on experiencing the world around them, by producing original materials using these tools. The pandemic has changed what influences are valuable on the go. As a result, creators have gained a sizable follower count in a world with limited gathering options during the pandemic.

What This Means: Marketers now face two kinds of influencers for branding and leveraging engagement. Creators offer a way of demonstrating the benefit of a solution, creating an additional micro-influencer opportunity.

Trend 7:

The Augmented Reality Buzz Grows in the Wake of the Metaverse Hype People’s interest in augmented reality (AR) is starting to grow, though reservations remain. A number of studies have indicated a mixed consumer reaction to augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). “Nearly four in 10 US adults have not used and are not interested in using AR and VR while shopping, per Bizrate Insights. However, 23% of those who haven’t are very interested in doing so,” according to eMarketer.

Hesitancy may change as growing competition in the metaverse continues in 2022. While Facebook rebranded as Meta to better leverage its investment in AR, Microsoft announced Mesh, a metaverse for its Teams platform. The high-profile interest in the metaverse matters because of its potential to draw downstream AR developers and suppliers into the tech spotlight.

What This Means: Marketers should be open to experimenting with AR as a way to enhance customer experiences. Snapchat has shown clear examples, such as opening virtual pop-up stores for Wal-Mart and Coke.

Trend 8:

Short Video Adoption Will Shape Video Metrics TikTok dominates the social media environment today, triggering a heated competition to introduce short videos and live streaming capabilities, such as YouTube’s introduction of YouTube Shorts and Instagram declaring its emphasis on video over images.

What This Means: Marketers need to analyze if link playback leads to conversion activity. This means correlating data from social media to sales or conversion data. Look for correlation features in reporting or for third-party alternatives ranging from open source data models made with R or Python to plugin dependencies for business data solutions like Power BI or Google Data Studio.

Trend 9:

Addressing Mental Health Flaws in Social Media Metrics People’s increased reliance on social media during the pandemic has created a new-grown awareness of the impact excessive social media usage has on mental health.

The aftereffects can leave people feeling drained, manipulated and exhausted. Social media platforms have been experimenting on how best to respond.

For example, YouTube decided to remove dislike counts from public view of its videos. While a dislike count is not a conversion metric, making it private attempts to cut back on harassment. The private dislike count also reflects a move among social media platforms to clean their feeds of bad actors.

Creating an environment suitable for customer service means preventing troll-like behaviors from plugging up the DMs and filtering social media feeds against abusive behavior.

Twitter has been leading the fight on its platform, introducing Safety Mode, a filter against abusive tweets when a user is getting negative attention. Brands are responding as well. In one case, Lush Cosmetics announced it would pull all its social media profiles to show its concerns around mental health wellness on social platforms.

What This Means: Marketers should expect more coordination among the social media platforms to prevent cross-platform abuse. 

Trend 10:

Choosing Where You Forge Better Customer Connections There’s now a dizzying array of social media choices, but brands are recognizing they may have to be selective to which platforms connect them best to an intended audience.

For example, during National Black Business Month I noted marketers have an opportunity to connect investments in supplier diversity to customer impressions of their brand. Many customers scrutinize those efforts through social media, so marketers need to know which platform provides the right exposure for connection and messaging.

What This Means: Marketers should evaluate metrics that show where engagement align with conversions when making major decisions.
Pierre DeBois is the founder of Zimana, a small business digital analytics consultancy. He reviews data from web analytics and social media dashboard solutions, then provides recommendations and web development action that improves marketing strategy and business profitability.

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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