B2B Social Media Trends You Need to Know in 2022

Undeniably, brands have been leveraging social media as a marketing tool for years. Though most often associated with B2C efforts, a strong social media strategy has also been known to deliver results for B2B brands. As it turns out, 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-Suite executives use social media when making a purchase, meaning that your social media efforts can play a powerful role in your marketing strategy.

At the same time, though, social media can be daunting. We get it. New platforms and features are always popping up and trends come and go quicker than you can say “Viral!” But don’t sweat it. We’ve got the insights to guide your social media strategies for this year and beyond.

Whether you’re preparing to take the plunge and make that social media account or are a social media veteran scoping out the latest developments, here are the top social media trends to know in 2022.

1. Short-Form Video Continues to Dominate

A quick fun fact for you: according to a 2017 report by Cisco, 2022 is the year that online videos are predicted to make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. Considering how the medium has taken over in recent years, that number doesn’t surprise us in the least.

On social media, this domination of video shows no sign of slowing down. Case in point, TikTok was named the most popular site in the world in 2021, surpassing even Google! No doubt, all brands — including B2B — should be investing in the creation of video content for social media.

Short-form video, in particular, will continue to be prevalent. Understandably, people enjoy content that is to-the-point, entertaining, and easily digestible. However, while it seemed like video was on a downward trend of getting shorter, the opposite is actually happening.

For example, TikTok was originally infamous for its 15-second limit, but the platform has been slowly extending the time limit, first to 1 minute and then to 3 minutes in July 2021. That same month, Instagram also doubled its limit for Reels to 1 minute. While this is all still relatively “short,” it seems that viewers are flexible about video length so long as the content is genuinely engaging.

Know that this isn’t an excuse for brands to be long-winded. The first few seconds will still need to be attention-grabbing and the remaining time should be used strategically and meaningfully. In short (pun intended), trim down your video content as much as you can, but know that you have some wiggle room to keep what’s truly entertaining.

Not sure where that sweet spot is? We can help you figure it out.

2. More Live Content

While going “live” on social media is definitely not a new feature, the onset of a global pandemic certainly propelled it to the mainstream. Stuck at home, people turned to live streams for a taste of real-time social interactions, spurring growth in a market that is estimated to reach $247 billion by 2027.

For brands, going live is one of the best ways to engage with your social media audience. By appearing on camera and interacting with viewers in real-time, you can build a deeper and more human connection with your audience. Plus, many social media algorithms prioritize showing live streams on their feed, meaning “going live” comes with an added boost of visibility.

So, in 2022, incorporate live content into your social media marketing strategy. B2B brands, especially, can benefit from the medium. From live Q&As to demonstrations, live streams are the perfect way to show expertise to a large, online audience while still keeping that human touch.

3. Nobody’s Perfect — And That’s OK

The era of picture-perfect social media feeds seems to be coming to an end — at least, for now. A huge content trend that will continue into this year is the rise of oh-so-casual content, where creators abandon heavily edited photos and videos in favor of raw footage that better represents their realities.

You may have seen this in effect with the “photo dump” trend, where people post a series of (often unrelated) images that reflect everyday life. With less pressure to post perfect pictures, users were rounding up anything they felt connected to, whether it was a blurry selfie or a low-quality meme.

On some level, this trend likely stems from the backlash against the effect that false narratives of perfection shown on social media can have on mental health. It’s also part of a bigger wave brought in by Millennials and Gen Z, in which authenticity is extremely important. Overall, many people are tired of the “always perfect” side of social media and, instead, crave content that’s relatable and fun.

For businesses, this trend is an opportunity to humanize your brand. Distance yourself from the cage of being a nondescript company by showcasing some personality. Don’t worry too much about coming off as imperfect. More often than not, a hilariously relatable video quickly filmed on a phone will perform better than a highly-produced brand reel that’s (let’s face it) probably boring to the average viewer.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your brand personality. Many B2B brands work hard to maintain their reputation as professionals, with some industries placing a high value on perfection. In these cases, turn to content that is transparent and relatable in order to build trust and personal connections. A marketing agency like ours can help you carefully craft a social media strategy that’s the perfect balance of casual and professional.

4. Niche Communities are a Goldmine

While social media boasts billions of users across countless platforms, we’re seeing more and more people dive into niche spaces and communities that exist on these various social networks. Content is more personalized than ever and two users could have dramatically different experiences on the exact same social media platform.

From a birdwatching group on Facebook to a coding group on LinkedIn, new online communities are being created each day. On apps like Twitter or TikTok, curated feeds that cater to a niche (such as “BookTok”) can have a similar effect where a subculture is formed within the platform. Connected by shared interests, these smaller communities often promote higher activity and engagement than more generic spaces.

The takeaway here is to not approach social media as a monolith of users. Instead, focus on the niche spaces and communities that are relevant to your business. Join these spaces to gain insights, boost exposure, and build more intimate connections with your target audience. Better yet, create your own group by connecting your customers with each other. You’ll be surprised how much loyalty you can inspire through the power of community.

5. Influencers Keep Getting Smaller

With people preferring more casual, relatable content and niche spaces growing in popularity, it makes sense that influencer marketing has also changed. Rather than working with massive influencers who have millions of followers, many brands are finding greater success with micro-influencers.

While micro-influencers have a relatively low number of followers (typically, in the low thousands), this often translates to a more hands-on approach to their content and a closer relationship with their followers. In other words, their reach may not be as great as macro- or mega-influencers, but their engagement rate and influential power are undeniable.

In 2022, micro-influencers will continue to have smaller followings and more niche content. This includes influencers that focus on business, work-life, and productivity topics, which is great news for B2B brands. In fact, a majority of B2B marketers (71%) plan on investing more in influencer marketing this year.

Before going all-in with micro-influencers, though, make sure to do your research and be strategic with your partnerships. Going to a marketing agency with an established network of vetted influencers can help make this process easier. Not only can they source the best influencers for you, but they can also assist with negotiations and campaign design. Learn more about what it’s like to work with PH3 here.

6. Social Audio Goes Mainstream

When Clubhouse launched in 2020, the app’s impact had social media giants clamoring to launch similar social audio features. In 2021, Twitter Spaces and Facebook Live Audio Rooms became available to most users, strengthening the rise of audio. This year is predicted to see social audio break into the mainstream as a standard aspect of social media.

But first, what exactly is social audio? Think of it as a combination of podcasts and live streams, where an audio-only conversation is broadcasted in real-time. It’s extremely interactive in that listeners can comment live and select individuals may even be “passed the mic” to join in on the discussion.

Social audio is a powerful way to connect with your audience and build community, so it’s not surprising that 74.2% of surveyed businesses plan to invest in audio-only content this year. B2B brands are particularly poised to benefit from the format, which has become a popular medium for exchanging ideas, presenting expertise, and other thought leadership strategies.   

All in all, social audio is expected to grow in 2022. The question is: are you ready to be heard?

7. Government Crack Down on Social Media

Last year, we saw social media execs testify in Congress as concerns over the effect of social media heightened among lawmakers and citizens alike. A December 2021 Morning Consult poll found that 3 in 5 U.S. adults believe that social media platforms don’t do enough to protect their users, with 56% of U.S. adults supporting government regulation of the industry.

Throughout this year, social media is expected to face further scrutiny for various concerns, including their privacy and data policies, content algorithms, and their effect on mental health. While there is heated debate over what needs to be done, demanding transparency from social media companies is one thing that most people seem to agree on.

Frankly, how these regulation efforts will play out is anyone’s guess. For now, brands and businesses will need to keep their eyes and ears open for the latest developments on this front. Additionally, take note of those consumer concerns and apply them to your own social media strategies. No matter what happens, an ethics-first approach to your data usage and content creation will always be on-trend.

Get Strategic on Social

Briefed with the latest trends, it’s now time for you to turn that knowledge into action and incorporate these insights into your marketing strategy. Not sure how? You can learn more about building a winning social media strategy for your business in this blog post here.

Or, if you’re ready for a game-changing move, reach out to us here at PH3. We’ll help you stand out, build your audience, and get real results, just like we’ve done for businesses like Eco Convergence Group. Send us a message and let's talk.