In our recent Marketing Trends survey, we learned that social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.
But the world of social media is constantly evolving, with new features coming out every month, constant algorithm updates, and disruptive social apps changing the way we communicate.
To get the most out of your social media strategy, it’s critical to keep up with these changes.
The pace of social media can be intimidating. But, the great news is that with change comes opportunities for you to tap into exciting new marketing strategies and help your company grow better.
To help professionals just like you, we surveyed 310 social media marketers across B2B and B2C industries in the United States to find out:
- Which social media platforms marketers leverage.
- What types of content they're posting (and what generates the most ROI).
- Which formats they use.
- The best time and day of the week to post.
- What sets effective and ineffective marketers apart.
Without further ado, let's dive into some data that will help your social media strategy stay up-to-date as we jump into the new year.
2022 Social Media Marketing Trends Survey Key Findings
- Facebook is the most used social media platform and has the highest ROI, engagement, and highest quality leads.
- Funny, interactive, and relatable content, as well as content that reflects a brand’s values, performs best on social media and will see increased investment from marketers in 2022.
- Short-form video is the most popular and effective social media format and will see significant growth in 2022.
- When it comes to partnering with influencers, followers aren’t everything. Marketers are placing an emphasis on quality of content, engagement rates, and alignment with values before considering follower count.
- Overall, social media marketers located in EST say the best time to post is 6-9PM, while marketers in PST consider the 3-6PM window to be best.
- The most popular demographics social media marketers target are Millennials (25-40), followed by Gen X (41-56), Gen Z (6-24), and lastly, Baby Boomers (57-75).
- Younger audiences prefer shorter video content that is funny, trendy, and reflects a brand’s values, while baby boomers prefer interactive/educational content, such as interviews, podcasts, expert discussions and/or live videos.
- Nearly two-thirds of marketers are building social media communities, and this number will grow in 2022. .
- Social media marketers search for new or emerging platforms/features to leverage often, and the top features they invested in this year are Twitter Spaces, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Shops.
The Top Social Media Platforms of 2022
There are many factors that go into determining which social media platforms you should consider in 2022. While below we highlight a list of the most used platforms in 2022, here's a quick graphic with quick stats on a few of the platforms you might want to watch as they grow and evolve in the coming year.
The Most Used Social Media Marketing Platforms
Facebook is used the most, has the highest ROI and engagement of any social platform, as well as the highest quality leads.
One in four social media marketers plan to invest more in Facebook than any other platform in 2022, and it is the platform marketers buy paid ads on the most.
YouTube comes in second for usage, engagement, and ROI, but it's the number one platform marketers plan to invest in for the first time this year.
On top of the fact that one in five social media marketers plan to invest the most in YouTube this year, the platform will continue to grow along with the use of video content.
TikTok is only used by one-third of social media marketers. Although these marketers report low ROI and engagement levels compared to other platforms, 52% of those who use TikTok plan to increase their investment this year, tied with Twitter for the highest increase of any platform.
Twitter is used by about half of social media marketers and comes in third for engagement and ROI.
52% of those who use it plan to increase their investment this year, and 16% of all social media marketers plan to invest more in Twitter than any other platform in 2022.
Instagram is leveraged by 45% of social media marketers, coming in 4th for usage, ROI, and engagement.
However, Instagram comes in second place for generating the highest quality leads. And,
the platform is set to grow in 2022, with 40% of marketers planning to use it for the first time and 15% planning to invest more in Instagram than any other platform.
LinkedIn has become host to lots of B2B marketing and expert thought leadership over the past few year. It's unique professional social media experience is likely why it's leveraged by more than one-third of social media marketers. In 2022, LinkedIn marketing will only grow with 38% planning to use it for the first time.
Which platforms will see less investment in 2022?
You may also be wondering which social platforms marketers plan to reduce their investment in this year.
Although Clubhouse was a viral app in 2021 -- and offered marketers a new way to connect with consumers -- this expected dip in investment could be due to the platform's brand challenges. For example, Clubhouse offers minimal advertising opportunities or ways to share outside content or URLs, because of this, it will yield less ROI to brands than platforms like Facebook where advertising and link-sharing opportunities are always growing.
Not to mention, like many viral social media apps, Clubhouse has gotten some tough competition from social media channels owned by larger corporations like Twitter, Meta (formerly Facebook), and LinkedIn which could have social media marketing managers considering these options as those platforms are much more familiar to them.
While Snapchat and Reddit have also hosted viral content in the past, they too cater to more niche audiences and consumers looking to avoid ads and branded content, which could cause more ROI-generation challenges than the most-used social media platforms. Like Clubhouse, they have also had a more difficult time competing with larger social media channels to win over brands.
Think one of the three platforms we just mentioned should still be part of your strategy? Don't panic!
It's important to remember that what works for your brand might not be what works for everyone else. And, while many marketers might not see their bottom line impacted by evolving platforms like Clubhouse, Reddit, and Snapchat just yet, that doesn't mean no marketer ever has or will benefit from using them.
Ultimately, you'll need to build your strategy around your audience and brand and take steps to determine which channels are best for you.
4 Content Types Social Media Marketers Will Lean Into in 2022
1. Value-based Content
Content that reflects your brand’s values is the most popular type of content among social media marketers right now and has the 3rd highest ROI of any content type.
This type of content will see more investment from users in 2022, with 95% of those who leverage it planning on increasing or maintaining their investment, and 21% planning to use this type of content for the first time.
Additionally, we found that social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 21% more likely to leverage content that reflects their brand’s values than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year
2. Funny Content
Funny content is tied with interactive content at #2 in terms of usage by social media marketers.
However, funny content has the highest ROI and is the most effective content type. The use of funny content will continue to grow in 2022, with 33% of all social media marketers planning to invest more in funny content than any other format.
Additionally, 95% of those who use funny content will increase or maintain their investment, while 56% of those who don’t leverage it plan to use it for the first time in 2022.
3. Interactive Content
Interactive content is #2 when it comes to usage, ROI, and effectiveness and will grow significantly in 2022.
97% of those who leverage it plan to invest more or maintain their investment this year, while 49% of those who don’t plan to use it for the first time in 2022.
On top of all that, we found that social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 25% more likely to leverage interactive content than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year.
4. Relatable Content
Relatable content is currently leveraged by 39% of social media marketers and will see increased investment among current users as well as first-time users.
93% of marketers who leverage relatable content plan to increase their investment or continue investing the same amount in 2022 and 54% of social media marketers who don’t leverage it are planning to for the first time this year.
The Top Content Formats for Social Media Marketing
1. Short-Form Video
Short-form video is the most popular and effective social media format and will see significant growth in 2022.
50% of social media marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time this year, and 95% of those who already use it will increase or maintain their investment.
On top of that, 26% of all social media marketers plan to invest more in short-form videos than any other format this year.
Building a video strategy for 2022 and not sure which platforms to share it on? Check out this data on the best social platforms for video or watch the video below to learn more about short, or snackable, content.
2. Live Video
Live video is No. 2 when it comes to usage and effectiveness, and will continue to grow in 2022.
43% of social media marketers plan to leverage it for the first time this year, and 66% of those who already use it plan to increase their investment next year, the highest increase of any format.
3. Audio Chat Rooms
While marketers are still easing on to platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, this doesn't mean they have no interest in the audio experience. Audio chat rooms rank third in usage and effectiveness, though social media marketers report low ROI.
However, 44% plan to invest in live audio for the first time in 2022, and 17% of marketers plan on investing more into live audio than any other content format.
Social Media Strategies
This section will go over a wide range of social media metrics, from the best time and day to post on social media, to which metrics marketers use to measure the ROI of their campaigns, and much more.
The Best Times to Post on Social Media
73% of marketers say their company has a posting schedule or calendar for social media marketing. While tools like HubSpot and Hootsuite can help the social media marketers we surveyed in building out an effective scheduling strategy, it's also helpful to know the best times to post social media content to optimize likes, clicks, and other engagements.
Overall, social media marketers located in Eastern Standard Time say the best time to post is 6-9PM, while marketers in Pacific Standard Time consider the 3-6PM window to be best. 9-12PM and 12-3PM are also popular times to post.
Keep in mind that while all of these times can work, the best time will ultimately depend on when your audience is most active on the platform, so make sure to look at your insights when deciding when to post. You can also run your own tests to see which posting time results in the most engagement.
Speaking of platforms, the best time to post can vary based on which one you are using. Here’s a breakdown of the top three times to post for each platform:
- Facebook: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 9-12PM
- YouTube: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
- Twitter: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
- Instagram: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 9-12PM
- LinkedIn: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
- TikTok: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
When it comes to the most engaging days of the week, social media marketers say Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best days to post across social media platforms.
Documenting and Templating Social Media Strategies
Much like posting schedules, more than two-thirds of marketers say their company has a documented social media strategy. If you need help getting started, check out these templates.
Below are some of the top questions social media marketers ask themselves when building out a social media strategy and our data-backed guidance around them:
1. Which metrics should I use to measure the ROI of my social media marketing campaigns?
Measuring ROI is one of the biggest challenges marketers anticipate in 2022. With more data available to us than ever before, it can be hard to zero in on the metrics that are most important.
According to social media marketers, website traffic is the most important metric when measuring ROI of social media campaigns, followed by
2. How do I know if I should keep using a platform for social media marketing?
Believe it or not, the biggest challenge marketers anticipate struggling with in 2022 is determining which platform to market their brand on.
If you are one of those marketers, you may be wondering what metrics you should be looking at when deciding whether to continue leveraging a social channel.
Coming in at number one is impressions/views, followed by sales, then subscriber/follower count, website traffic, and clicks.
3. Which new or emerging platforms or features are marketers investing in for 2022?
With new social media platforms popping up every few months, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them while also managing your active campaigns.
Nevertheless, you might be wondering which new platforms marketers plan to invest in this year, how often you should be searching for new platforms to leverage, and when you do find a promising opportunity, how do you determine whether it is worth your time and investment? Let's break it down.
- Twitter Spaces is a new live audio feature on the already popular Twitter platform, so it’s no surprise that 39% of marketers invested in it in 2021, the highest of any platform. Twitter Spaces is also the #1 new feature marketers plan to invest in more than any other in 2022.
- YouTube Shorts is widely considered YouTube’s response to TikTok and 31% of marketers invested in it in 2021, with 15% of marketers planning to invest more in Shorts than any other new feature next year.
- Instagram Shops is the 3rd most popular new feature marketers invested in last year, with 30% of social media marketers giving it a try in 2021.
Emerging Social Channels and Features That are Losing Steam
When it comes to reducing their investment, social media marketers are pulling back on lesser-known live audio platforms as more established ones like Twitter begin to incorporate live audio features.
In 2022, marketers plan to stop their investment in live audio platforms like Spoon, Discord, Spotify Greenroom, and Riffr. These platforms all involve live streaming and audio discussions, adding to the over-crowded audio social market. While the saturation of this social media category could be one issue causing stagnant marketing growth, these platforms could also host similar niche audiences or low-ROI challenges like Clubhouse.
How often do marketers search for new platforms to leverage?
Marketers search for new platforms often, with 29% searching once a month, followed by 22% searching once a week and 20% searching multiple times a week. 14% search once a quarter, 4% search once per year, and only 1% never search for new platforms.
So if you aren’t currently setting aside a small chunk of time to search for new platforms, you run the risk of missing out on a new and exciting opportunity. But once you find something, how do you determine if it's worth the investment?
How do marketers determine if a new platform is worth investing in?
Marketers determine which social media platforms are worth investing in based on the potential for driving traffic to their website, then the potential for lead generation, followed by the potential audience reach, the cost of paid ads, the cost of influencer partnerships, and the demographic makeup of the platform’s users.
Social Media Demographics
When we asked social media marketers about the age groups they target, we discovered:
- Millennials (ages 25-40) are the #1 group being targeted by social media marketers by far, with 84% of those surveyed saying they target them.
- Gen X (ages 41-56) are targeted by 52% of social media marketers
- Gen Z (ages 6-24) are targeted by 22% of social media marketers
- Baby Boomers (ages 57-75) are the least targeted demographic among social media marketers, with just 14% saying they target them.
And, when it comes to targeting each age group, the strategies can be slightly different. Below are some additional learnings we gained from our survey:
What type of content do Millennials and Gen Z prefer?
According to marketers, younger audiences like Millennials and Gen Z prefer shorter video content that is funny, trendy, and reflects a brand’s values.
If you’re targeting this audience, you’ll want to leverage short-form video platforms such as TikTok, as well as YouTube and Instagram now that they’ve implemented similar short-form features.
What type of content do Baby Boomers prefer?
On the other hand, Baby Boomers prefer interactive/educational content, such as interviews/podcasts/expert discussions and live videos.
If you’re targeting this audience, you’ll want to leverage those formats on Facebook, which marketers say is the most popular among baby boomers.
To learn even more about social media demographics, check out and bookmark this post.
The State of Social Media Communities
In an increasingly online world, you may be wondering if you should be investing in building social media communities.
Let’s go over what they are, which platforms are most effective for building social media communities, and some of the top challenges marketers face when leveraging them.
Currently, around 64% of marketers are leveraging social media communities (or online groups where members interact over shared interests).
This number will only keep growing, as 30% of those who don’t use social media communities plan to start in 2022. Additionally, 51% of those who already leverage social media communities plan to invest more this year, while 45% will continue investing the same amount.
Which platforms are marketers building social media communities on in 2022?
Facebook is the top platform marketers build social media communities on, followed by YouTube and TikTok tied for #2, with Instagram and Tumblr close behind.
What are the biggest challenges marketers face with building social media communities?
Despite the growth in online community building, social media marketers are still learning how to build the perfect strategy and navigate regular challenges associated with community management.
According to social media marketers we surveyed, the biggest challenges marketers face with building communities are:
- actively managing their community
- measuring the ROI of their community-building efforts
- growing their community,
- fostering an engaged community.
What sets effective social media marketers apart from others?
In our survey, we asked marketers how effective or ineffective their social media strategy has been this year. I then examined our data through these two separate groups, the first being those who said their social media strategy was effective, compared to the second which rated their social media strategy as ineffective.
Here are a few key differences between those who say their social media strategy was effective (77% of respondents) vs. ineffective (7% of respondents):
The effective group is 25% more likely to leverage interactive content (polls, games, etc.) and 21% more likely to leverage content that reflects their brand’s values.
When determining which influencers to partner with on social media, the effective group is 26% more likely to consider the quality of influencers’ content and 18% more likely to consider whether influencers align with their company’s values.
When trying to find their audience on social media, the effective group is:
- 21% more likely to use social listening
- 17% more likely to research the demographics of social media platforms
- 17% more likely to research relevant online communities
- 14% more likely to analyze demographic data their company already has
In terms of the age demographics they target with their social media marketing efforts, the effective group is:
- 5% more likely to target Millennials
- 14% less likely to target Gen X
- 7% less likely to target baby boomers
- 6% less likely to target Gen Z
Oh, and one more thing. Those who use HubSpot to track social media analytics were 16% more likely to say their social media strategy was “very effective” in 2021, compared to those who use another analytics tool.
Want to learn more about our social media findings? Check out our most recent follow-up posts below, and stay tuned for even more research-driven content:
- 10 Social Media Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2022
- 5 Social Media Challenges Brands are Facing in 2022, According to 500+ Marketers
- 7 New Social Media Platforms Marketers Should Watch in 2022
For even more data and exclusive tips from social media thought leaders, you can also download our free Social Media Trends Report.
Originally published Jan 17, 2022 7:00:00 AM, updated February 16 2022
Topics:Social Media Trends