by Kris Maze
Love it or hate it, social media is an important tool for authors. Whether you are traditionally published or an indie, all authors have an increasing responsibility to promote their own work. Thoughtful planning can help writers connect with readers in new and meaningful ways. Take a look at trends for 2022 that writers shouldn’t ignore.
Below are 5 main trends, predicted by social media specialist companies Hubspot and Hootsuite, and their application for authors. These findings were pulled from surveys from various businesses around the world to see what is working for promoting sales and making an impactful author presence.
In what ways can this help your author business grow in 2022? Central ideas from their survey are the following. Read on!
Let's break this down.
The Hubspot 2022 Social Media trends report had two phrases peppered throughout:
The NOW Consumer and Snackable
Substitute “consumer” with "reader" and the report applies to writers. We have our lovely stories and want them in the hands and eyes of our beloved readers. Sometimes that doesn’t happen without a little magic from technology. Whatever your writing goals may be, these trends could revitalize your sales and engagement in the new year.
The technology mentioned in the reports is constantly evolving but, in general, the findings were consistent. Readers have more expectations of better content and ease of getting it. They also have a tendency to want small bites of content. And more often. Read on for information on these key ideas and how they apply to writers connecting with more readers in 2022.
TIkTok is no longer the new kid on the block and with new ways in 2022 to sell books on this platform, it is an attractive option. This platform definitely fits the snackable factor as most videos are a few seconds long. They string together seamlessly, drawing the viewer in to watch several before closing the app.
In April of 2021, Writers Helping Writers, the makers of the fabulous One Stop For Writers and Thesaurus books, hosted a blog post on the topic. See here for practical ways to use TikTok to see your books.
Think about whether this trend will work for your writing situation. It isn’t for everyone, but it is making an impact on how we buy books and connect with readers. Here is an article regarding how the book industry is using TikTok. Whether it is your toolbox or not, it is a growing platform that will take storm in 2022.
According to the Hootsuite 2022 Social Trends report:
“Although Facebook (62%) and Instagram (49%) were ranked as the most effective platforms overall in our survey, the biggest jumps in perceived effectiveness belong to TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat—which all went from single to double digits. TikTok in particular, went from 3% last year to 24% this year… an increase of 700%.”
And a study by Edison Research claims in a report from March of 2021:
TikTok usage surged, particularly among 12-34 year-olds. Forty-four percent of 12-34 year-olds are using the service, up from 25% last year – an increase of 76%.
Really. The little pop-up you both agree to and accept as a part of most websites will disappear. Brands will offer more personalized service and need to be more responsible with viewer information.
As Google works to phase out cookie tracking by 2023, this could change how effective or compliant your marketing is. See this article for more information.
According to Hubspot:
This influencer marketing push marks a big opportunity for brands to align their products and services with relevant influencers to meet new audiences in a place where they are already spending most of their day. If you’re not already considering this strategy, now is the time: 69% of marketers plan to disburse more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.
“There are over half a billion more people using social media worldwide than at the same time last year, indicating an almost 14% year-over-year increase.” Digital 2021: 60 percent of the world’s population is now online - We Are Social Global
How do we swim in that ocean as independent authors?
Focus on specifics that are relevant to your audience. Current audiences are more tech-savvy than ever. They have higher expectations and are used to having almost instant access to many things, including books and other content you produce.
They want less interruption.
They want to check out with a single swipe.
They want to read their book with one click.
They want to have it all and now.
Readers also want to connect with you as an author. They want to connect with your stories. They want to go in-depth on what inspired you to write it, to try the recipes the characters eat, to travel to the places where your characters go. As you learn about your audience (through interaction, data, trends for your specific genre and readers) create content for experiences your audience will appreciate.
Consider these guidelines to work with our online-savvy audience:
Literally. Use your voice and personality to let your audience get to know you. There are many resources available with a simple search on how to share audio with your audience. According to one study, podcasts and audio listening are still on the rise. Consider these statistics:
IF you are working with an established podcast or show, they will help you prepare for working in this medium. These audio platforms do not require a lot of fancy cameras, but a proper mic and good acoustics can make a difference. This is one way to interact with your audience in a personalized way.
After reading about social media predictions for 2022, which stand out as the most interesting? Which trends (mentioned here or ones you notice today) would you like to find out more about? Which are you most likely to try? Please share with us in the comments below!
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Kris Maze has worked in education for 26 years and writes for various publications including Practical Advice for Teachers of Heritage Learners of Spanish and award-winning blog Writers in the Storm, where she is also a host. She published a YA dystopian novel by a small press in the summer of 2020. Lately, she has been entering and placing in writing competitions, such as NYC Midnight’s Short Story and Microfiction contests. You can find her YA horror stories and keep up with her author events at her website.
Here is her little passion project. Fascinated with strong female characters, she writes about capable and inventive protagonists, like Ellie. Nova Star Tracker, Ellie, takes one last trip to scavenge space minerals ignoring the imminent aging risks. Can a girl and her Tardis driving goldfish pull off one more heist?
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This is great material, Kris! Thanks for doing the research and sharing it! I'm excited by the thought of cookies going away. That has been such a hassle since GDPR and CCPA!
I have no problem distilling the info into a practical post for our readers. The cookies are still somewhat of a mystery to me, but I'm also glad to not have to check boxes at every website.
Here's to less hassle in 2022!
*does a happy dance*
Cookies are a major pain in the patootie. I hate them. My virus checker hates them...
Thanks so much, Kris. Finding my way through the maze of Social Media is often daunting. I have a webpage, my blogs are linked to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but I still do not get the traffic. I have started podcasting my blogs - I was a broadcaster in an earlier life - but I don't seem to be able to connect the dots. I even tried Fiverr, but I am missing some integral point. Your article today encourages me to look with fresh eyes at what I am doing. Or not doing!
There are many tools available to help us with Social Media, but you're correct, it is daunting!
It seems if the tools are more stressful than the results warrant, then it may be time to revise. I try to review what works and what isn't at least twice a year. But important part is to keep moving forward. Take those next steps and continue sharing your work with the world. That is the fun part, right?
I wish you the best in 2022 and some pixie dust to boost your efforts connecting to audiences and increasing sales!
Wow. What a lot of valuable information you've shared. This is a post I'll save and re-read as I make my plans for 2022. Thanks!
I'm glad this marketing mash-up could be helpful. It makes sense that authors can look towards 2022 and tap into new trends and media ideas.
wonderful information--thank you!
Thank you Kris. This information is highly valuable. I will try to include at least one more media to reach a wider audience. The stage keeps getting bigger, but the show must go on.
What an amazing amount of excellent information! I was clueless to some of this. I'm going to share the WITS link to your blog with my writing groups.
Thanks, Barb!!! I learned lots of good info too. 🙂