2022 Social Predictions
There was so much change in the social media landscape in 2021 and we don’t think that’s going anywhere in 2022. So here is what we think the top 5 predictions for social media will be:
The #1 downloaded App across Apple’s App Store in 2021, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any listicle that doesn’t give TikTok a mention. We’ve seen accelerated refinement in ad solutions on the platform this year. One example of this is the improvement in geo-targeting options, from being limited to only national targeting to now having the capability to target major cities. Their rapid introduction of the in-app lead generation objective, as well as integration with product catalogues that power dynamic advertising, are massive pull-factors for advertisers looking to explore a reasonably un-tapped marketing avenue in the UK. More than any other social channel, perhaps, it’s vital to stand out but fit in to the TikTok ecosystem. It’s 100% video-based so creating engaging content is key for both branding as well as direct response – where a very strong call-to-action is non-negotiable.
Tracking and Attribution
Ask any paid social advertiser if they’ve ever welcomed a Christmas break as much as they have in 2021. The challenge started early on when Apple announced the drop of their ATT prompt on all iOS14 devices, allowing users to opt out of being tracked across their apps and websites. It’s safe to say this threw the digital advertising world into a mild frenzy. Meta (Facebook & Instagram) found themselves having to make drastic changes to their measurement solution and as a result amend their default attribution settings 3 times in 6 months, in response to confidence levels they had attributing performance back to ad campaigns. After a conservative change to 7-day click only attribution setting, they have since restored the default setting to 7-day click, 1-day view. No doubt a lot is being done behind the scenes in response to the changes, so we’re confident 2022 will bring even more development in this area which is so important to justifying return on investment. Facebook’s Conversions API integration will be a big step in helping gain more visibility in performance in the wake of this as well as future-proofing for the demise of 3rd-party cookies.
Targeting and Optimisation
Although Facebook advertising rose to fame in its early days by being a pioneer in the field of interest and demographic targeting, there has been a considerable shift towards focusing more on releasing the shackles and trusting real-time machine learning over prescriptive persona targeting (demographics, locations, interests). For many it’s a bitter pill to swallow, being told not to hyper-segment by age, gender or interests, as this is often based on research that marketing teams have completed. But with an ever-increasing sophistication in social algorithms, we can optimise ad delivery to prospects based on the similarity in behavioural signals between them and the users already taking valuable actions for a business. It’s the acknowledgement that advertisers don’t always know their audience best and an opportunity to test out different creative approaches confident that different messages will resonate with different members of our broader audience.
There’s no doubt 2021 has been a year of incredible change across the industry. There has been a massive focus on tracking and privacy as well as considered efforts from platforms to ensure that advertisers are restricted from spreading fake news, employing discriminatory targeting or using messaging to incite negative action. The platform changes in response to all of these typically present knock-on effects for non-offenders as well. It’s vital that all stakeholders in the social advertising space are educated about these implications and understand the strategic adjustments and testing frameworks that should be implemented as a result. With that in mind, there needs to be even more emphasis on training and transparency of practices in 2022, to empower brands to understand why we are experiencing such shifts in the wider approach to social advertising.
It may be a stretch using a definite article as our fifth “T”, but we feel it’s a hard one to ignore, largely because Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook (Meta) – has a few billion-strong audience to talk to and influence. And he’s made it very clear that this will be his new focus in the coming years. The “Metaverse” – augmented & virtual reality (AR / VR) – has generated much buzz lately and as VR headsets become more affordable and AR/VR experiences becoming more incredible, there’s no doubt all of the investment into creating a super “connected world” means that it will likely be hard for us to escape. It follows that we’ll see brands start incorporating more AR/VR experiences into their marketing, responding to audience’s ever-increasing demand for more immersive and titillating content.