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Top Trends in Facebook for Marketers in 2022

Do These 10 Things to Stay on Top

When building and refining your online business presence in 2022, Facebook likely holds a prominent role in your mix. With 2.91 billion users and diverse demographics, this powerful platform remains relatively affordable, even for small businesses. However, keeping up with frequent updates, new features and algorithm changes on Facebook can be a challenge.  

Gathered below are the top Facebook trends for 2022 that businesses should consider in their planning.

1. Welcome to the Metaverse
We’re still trying to wrap our brains around the Metaverse—what some describe in vague terms as a virtual reality evolution, or a complex convergence of many online applications, devices and technologies. What we know is Facebook gave itself a new name, Meta, and wants us all to spend our days in virtual worlds, the Metaverse, powered by enabling technologies (e.g., AI, blockchain, IOT, AR/VR, 5G) surrounded by the most advanced computational infrastructure.

I’m not alone in a “meh” reaction. Statista reported in November 68% of adults in the U.S. were “not at all interested” in Facebook’s Metaverse project. However, Facebook has invested $10 billion into Meta so far, so it is something businesses should become familiar with and prepare for what comes next, in case it evolves beyond Mark Zuckerberg’s fantasy playground.

Read more about the Metaverse in our related article here.

2. Reeling in creators
Most marketers agree that video is the most valuable content type for achieving social media marketing goals. Yet video remains a hugely underutilized format across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Content Benchmarks Report from Sprout Social finds that video comprises just  14%, 11% and 5% of each network’s content, respectively.

To encourage more video on Facebook, and to compete with emerging competition like TikTok, the platform is seriously rewarding content creators through Reels. The Facebook video format launched last year just expanded globally, and is “the fastest-growing content format by far,” according to the company.

Short format videos are woven into the fabric of Facebook. They appear on news feeds, stories, on the Reels tab, the Watch tab, and at the top of a home page mixed in with stories. I admit getting sucked into a clip, and once there, swiping to the next one, and the next. Reels are addicting.

Reels provide an engaging way to help brands showcase their personality, products and values. Brands can benefit from Reels by repurposing existing video content from other platforms or collaborating with content creators. Marketers incorporate ads as an overlay on the Reels video, or as a full screen ad between Reels. Recent data shows 93% of companies acquired new customers via social media video.

Facebook rewards content creators up to $35K a month for a Reel content submission, based on the views of their qualifying reels.

Man going live at a diner

3. Groups are more central and easier to manage
Groups are valuable for brands to incorporate because it essentially allows one to create a focus group about a subject and gather people that want to be there. This not only helps build relationships with customers, but also provides valuable market research data by asking relevant questions of the group. Groups also provide an easy way to increase organic reach by cross posting from a brand’s main newsfeed.

As any marketer or team that manages Groups knows, the endeavor can be time-consuming. Even though people are there to communicate about a common topic, humans don’t always interact positively, and you can count on a percentage to consistently break rules, such as joining to promote their own product or service.

Fortunately, Facebook recently gave Groups admins more tools and flexibility to reduce misinformation and manage spammers. Some of my favorites are setting up automatic filters to review and decline incoming posts, temporarily suspending people with a rules reminder, and assigning authority to others to help manage the group without giving them admin status.

With these new resources, it is easier and less time-consuming to stay engaged with groups while supporting your brand.

4. Facebook is where consumers are seeking information
Generation Z, people born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, are more likely to look at social media for information on a brand, rather than the company’s own website. Seeing what others are saying about a brand has influence with this demographic.

Why should you care, especially if Gen Z is not in your target demographic? Gen Z’s buying power is strong and on the rise. Researchers predict they will be the largest consumer base within four years. Brands should look at their social pages as extensions of their company and website, keep pages updated and followers engaged.

5. The go-to: Messenger app
It still amazes me that customers send important and time sensitive messages through Facebook Messenger instead of calling a company directly. But let’s face it, many people prefer to text rather than call today. In fact, they are texting five times more than calling in the U.S.

There have been numerous studies around why people prefer to text rather than call, revealing a variety of reasons. Some reasons include: immediacy; having a digital record of a conversation/not having to write stuff down; to compensate for weak cell signals or ambient noise; having short, more efficient exchanges; and being able to respond at a convenient moment.

Facebook confirms that consumers being able to message a business makes them feel more confident about the brand.

Keeping on top of messaging is a good way to build rapport and consumer confidence. If your company gets overwhelmed with messages, consider using a social management tool that merges communications into one inbox.

6. More businesses (and consumers) are using Facebook Shops
Facebook Shops had a timely beginning; in the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown, when many physical stores were closed. This gave businesses from small to large an official way to sell on the platform.

Shops have been wildly successful, garnering 250 million stores worldwide and one million monthly users by June, 2021. And with Facebook pay, Shops owners can send and accept payments. Some businesses are reporting sales on Facebook to be higher than on their own website.

As an Amazon Associate, Arvig earns from qualifying purchases.

7. Live shopping is on the rise
Amazon Live lets Creators stream content on everything from cooking utensils to fitness gear while promoting and selling the products used in their videos. Live shopping on Facebook puts a human face to ads, engaging customers and allowing businesses to do demos of products. Personable ads grab the attention of scrollers, and if done well, bring authenticity to a brand. Being live adds a realism that you won’t get from a static ad.

Facebook is the second most popular platform in the world, after YouTube, for this type of content, and should be part of your mix if selling online.

8. Going Live for other reasons
Facebook Live isn’t just for shopping. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many users turned to Facebook Live to broadcast events, replacing in-person gatherings and audiences with virtual ones. Even though the country is opening up to in-person events again, organizers are continuing to use Facebook Live to reach a larger audience. There is also the benefit of not having to fly speakers or performers into a central location – many people can take part from anywhere there is a stable internet connection.

Facebook is approaching YouTube as the platform to watch live content. According to data gathered by eMarketer.com, here are the rankings of U.S. social video viewers:

YouTube – 52.0% tuning in on the platform. 
Facebook – 42.6% for live video. 
Instagram and TikTok tie for third with 33.4%.

However, behind the numbers, Facebook ranks first for the prime demographic of people ages 25 to 44.

9. Facebook is doubling down on “harmful content”
America has been through the wringer with divisive issues over the past few years. Among scenery of beautiful travel destinations and cute puppies getting a belly rub, Facebook content reviewers faced fake news, inflammatory speech, drug and gun content and other problems.

As the internet overall becomes more complex and hard to regulate, social platforms struggle with “harmful content”- what Facebook describes as “anything organizing real world violence, theft, or property destruction, or that directly inflicts emotional distress on a specific private individual (e.g. bullying).” Meanwhile, marketers have an interest in social platforms being a safe hangout. Otherwise, the risk is people will turn away from social media.

Facebook has gotten assistance from artificial intelligence. According to Facebook’s 2021 Community Standards Enforcement Report, harmful content on Facebook was reduced thanks to “improved and expanded proactive detection technologies.”

From Facebook’s last Community Standards Enforcement Report, the company took action on:

  • 4 million pieces of drug content (up from 2.7 million in Q3)
  • 1.5 million pieces of firearm-related content (up from 1.1 million) 
  • 1.2 billion pieces of spam content (up from 777 million)

However, there was only a minimal improvement on reduction of hate speech in 2021, so it seems the platform still faces challenges ahead.

10. The difference between FB Marketplace and Shops
Facebook Marketplace started in 2016 as a free way for people to buy and sell things in their communities. This expanded to include virtual storefronts of businesses in other areas. As of January 2022, Facebook marketplace ads have a potential reach of 562.1 million people—a vast audience of online shoppers.

Marketplace cleverly built an audience by individuals selling their used furniture, clothes and household items. So, when storefronts appeared, they had a built-in clientele. This later expanded to businesses being able to build their own virtual storefront in Shops. With affordable, targeted ads and a vast reach, Facebook e-commerce should be included in your mix if you sell products or services online.

So what’s the difference between Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Shops?  

First, Facebook Marketplace is only available in the U.S. and is focused on shopping locally. Facebook Shops are available to a wider global audience through other channels on the platform.

Using free Shops tools, business page admins can create a Facebook or Instagram-based, mobile-optimized online store that highlights products or collections of items. They can integrate a Shops online store into Messenger, WhatsApp, Newsfeed, Facebook Live and Marketplace, with ad campaigns attached. HubSpot has a good tutorial on setting up Shops, which is much more clear than Facebook’s explainer page.

The takeaway
Note that I didn’t dive into ad spend on Facebook. While I can tell you the average cost per click cost was about $0.43 last year, each company spend will be different based on how their campaigns are structured. Factors include audience and competition, time of year, day and hour, and many other factors. See this article from social scheduling guru Hootsuite for more ad cost data.

Facebook is striving for greater social responsibility while making it easier for brands and consumers to connect. Expect the platform to continue to try on new channels of social e-commerce and elevate the ones that rise to the top. While advances in AI blur the line between virtual worlds and reality, user experience on the platform and consumer preference will still heavily influence the course for the future.

For more information on overall success in digital marketing, see these overall tips and strategies for online engagement in 2022.

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