5 things I’ve learned working in Social Media in 2022 - SEK


5 things I’ve learned working in Social Media in 2022

This year has been a whirlwind in the world of social, to say the least. With many platform feature changes and chaotic owner changes (thanks Musk), this year the race to keep up has been a big task. From understanding social media truly is a search engine, TikTok’s growing dominance, and creator monetization models to being real on social and loving that data –  I round up my year by looking at 5 topic areas that stuck with me from working in social media in 2022. 

1.   Social media SEO is no joke

According to Google-released data, 40% of Gen Z use TikTok and Instagram for search. Whether they’re picking out a new lunch spot, a product or a service, social media is their go-to with 81% stating they already use Instagram for exactly this. In early Autumn, TikTok announced it was expanding its descriptions from 300 characters to 2,200, further highlighting the role of social media as a search engine.

This means, that you should get your house in order:

  • Enlace your profile bio text with keywords that match exactly your offering. Your username should also clearly communicate what your business is.
  • Use hashtags that enhance your product or service discoverability.
  • Be clear about what you’re offering and what role that specific social media channel serves.

Brand Smithwrick sums up the importance of social media SEO: “People will search your social media page before they go to your website. It’s the first touchpoint for your brand online.”

2.   TikTok dominance continues

TikTok continues its dominance as predicted at the beginning of the year but there are a couple of reasons why I’ve personally loved TikTok in 2022:

TikTok drives culture.

On TikTok, brands have the opportunity to tap into existing communities and benefit from the momentum as niche culture continues influencing mass culture. Whether it’s the ‘Corn Song’ spiking up corn sales all over the world or big brands tapping into #BookTok, #EduTok or #ThriftTok movements, TikTok communities are at the forefront of the reinvention. According to a study TikTok conducted in partnership with Flamingo Group, 60% of people believe TikTok helps embed brands into culture. TikTok highlights that it isn’t merely enough for brands to just keep up with trends but, for brands to truly drive cultural relevance they need to create culture.

TikTok’s impact can especially be seen in music culture.

According to the Polaris Nordic: Digital Music in the Nordics 2022 study, 31% of 12 to 17-year-olds find new music via TikTok. While music discovery has been popular among teens for the past couple of years, the study reaffirms TikTok’s power in driving a cultural change in the music industry. TikTok can be considered a key component for music artists hoping to get discovered or make a new single go viral like Lil Nas X with Old Town Road or an old one make a comeback like Fleetwood Mac with Dreams.

I’m not the only who’s love for TikTok keeps growing, as according to Media Reactions 2022, the third edition of Kantar’s global ad equity ranking of media channels and media brands, found that more marketers are planning to spend more on TikTok than any other global ad platform in 2023. Other reports also highlight engagement decline on Instagram and Facebook while TikTok takes the title of ‘Home of Entertainment. The Wall Street Journal reported users are spending 10x more time consuming TikTok content than Instagram Reels content.

Maybe it’s finally time to make TikTok your friend.

3.   The monetization race is on and the winner takes it all

The topic of ‘which social media pays creators the most – or at all – has been on the lips of all social media managers as content creators go where both the engagement and money are. As highlighted before, TikTok wins when discussing engagement, specifically compared to Reels but what about per-channel creator monetization models?

  • YouTube informed their plans to start paying YouTube Shorts creators a 45% cut of all ad revenue gained from ads running between videos from 2023 onwards. For Longer videos, YouTube already pays 55% of the ad revenue to creators. YouTube has been at the forefront of creator payouts since 2007 which is when it launched the YouTube Partner Program. YouTube reports the program has helped them pay over $50 billion to creators, artists and media companies.
  • After launching the TikTok Pulse program, creator payout models are becoming clearer also on TikTok. Creators must meet the criteria to start earning 50% of the ad revenue: have 100 000+ followers, be in the top 4% makers of most engaging videos in 12 categories, posted at least five videos within the last 30 days, and be at least 18 years old.
  • Meta has also promised to further develop their creator monetization models by planning to pay original Reels creators 55% of the Overlay ads revenue + possible bonuses through their bonus system.
  • Twitch also pays out 55% of ad revenue per ad to its creators.

As the monetization race heats up, the question is, which platform is able to keep creators coming back for more?

4.   Can you really BeReal on social media?

This, almost an existential question has haunted me ever since the French-origin app BeReal rose its authentic head. The app, released in 2020 but gaining momentum and huge popularity in the early part of 2022, is almost like an antidote for the fake and clishé-ish world of Instagram glossiness. Many are buzzing about the anti-Instagram app but the sceptics talk too: is it really possible to be “authentic” on social media?

BeReal works on the premise of spontaneity and real photo moments taken within the 2 minutes timeframe and boasts about their “No bullshit. No ads” view but I wonder how an app that mainly targets the GenZ audience, whom as Wired put it: “have been socialized in the art of strategic self-presentation from as far back as they can remember”, can truly stay authentic in the long-run? With TikTok immediately copycatting the format with TikTok Now, I guess they saw the need to jump in and compete for those same users looking for more authenticity.

The authentic vs inauthentic debate on social media is an everlasting one but a worthy one to have as consumer behaviour changes and users experience social media fatigue. Keeping an eye out for this topic as it unfolds.

5.   Your social media data is more valuable than gold

Are you still neglecting social media data as a strategic part of your ongoing content strategy? Still not reporting on those monthly figures per channel? What about incorporating all of that back into your content creation? Well, you really should.

Even after years of working in social media and consulting clients on social media success, for many, the data part seems to be a bit of a grey area. Your content and channel performance should be monitored on a continuous basis as it’s not only you who benefits from this but also the person on the other side of your content.

Social listening is one of the most undervalued strategic methods when it comes to doing social media “right”. This is surprising considering its benefits: According to Hootsuite’s Social Media Trends 2022 report, 48% of marketers find social listening has brought value to their organisation as they’re able to create precisely the content users want. Creating content from the conversations communities are having about your brand put you right at the centre, driving forward that brand-to-people connection.

Make social media data your friend, it’ll serve you and your audience well now and in the future.

As I round off 2022 in social media, I look forward to sharing some insights about the upcoming year 2023. Look out for my trend predictions coming out later this year!

Follow me on LinkedIn for more social media insights: www.linkedin.com/in/enoma-edevbaro

Enoma Edevbaro
Social Media & Influencer Marketing Lead

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