Every month, we’re sharing bite-size summaries of the key social media news, trends and practical recommendations we’ve come across. These are based both on our own experience working with our clients, and from what we’ve been reading around the web.
See if these October tips can help you increase your social media reach, engagement and follower growth. Just be sure to always test before changing your social strategy entirely, as not every approach works for every account or audience.
1. Social media trends: Stay up to date with the latest platform news
- Twitter has improved video quality on the platform, which means less pixelated videos (hurray!).
- LinkedIn rolled out its long-form article feature to company pages.
- Facebook released an updated list of content types that get less prominence in newsfeeds. These include low-quality videos, engagement baits (posts that explicitly request engagement) and links to webpages full of ads.
- LinkedIn is rolling out dark mode on mobile and desktop.
- Facebook launched Reels on Facebook in the U.S.
- Clubhouse releases a universal search function, so you can now search the platform for people, live rooms, events and clubs.
- TikTok has reached a billion active users.
- Instagram and YouTube are the social media platforms that experience the most outages.
2. TikTok tip: Get inspired by TikTok’s top-performing branded accounts
Conviva released a report that benchmarks 900 branded TikTok accounts across 10 industries — to determine who’s doing it best.
These were some of the accounts that came out on top (data from February 2021). Check out their pages, content and how they engage with their communities for ideas on how to step up your own TikTok strategy:
- Top overall: Flighthouse (27.6m followers), Overtime (15m), ESPN (13.8m), Barstool Sports (13m), and Netflix (12.4m).
- Top pro sports leagues: NBA, WWE, UFC, NFL, MLB, and La Liga.
- Top sports teams: FC Barcelona, Real Madrid C.F., Liverpool FC, Manchester City, and Warriors.
- Top sports media: Overtime, ESPN, Barstool Sports, House of Highlights, and Dunk.
- Top news and media: Complex, Genius, Seventeen, Bustle, and NowThis.
- Top brands: Guinness World Records, Red Bull, Roblox, Fortnite, and Red Bull Australia.
3. Content creation tip: Increase quantity, without sacrificing quality
Is creating your social media content taking you too much time? Try one of these best practices to create quality content faster:
- Define your brand’s visual identity to set some guidelines.
- Build a bank of images.
- Make your social media content in bulk.
- Use templates instead of creating content from scratch every time.
- Write your captions quickly, and edit them slowly.
- Reuse, recycle and break down your existing content into new content types.
Learn more in our article on how to accelerate your content creation process.
4. Instagram tip: Post less for engagement, more for reach
Later looked at more than 81 million feed posts (not including Reels and IGTVs) to determine how often you should post on Instagram.
Their findings varied based on your number of followers and overall strategy (do you want to reach more accounts or increase engagement per post?). These were their recommendations:
- If you have less than 1k followers: Post 14 times per week to benefit from the highest reach and engagement rates per post.
- If you have between 1k and 250k followers: Post 14-20 times per week for the highest reach rate per post. Or post once per week for the highest engagement rate per post.
- If you have more than 250k followers: Post only once per week for the highest reach rate and engagement rate per post.
5. Social media trend: Less people get news from social media
In a September report, Pew Research revealed a drop in U.S. adults getting news from social media. They found that 48% now get news from social platforms at least sometimes, which is a 5% decline compared to 2020.
This is a trend to keep an eye on if you run news-based social media accounts.
6. TikTok tip: Early weekday mornings could be the best time to post
According to Hootsuite’s own experiments, the best times to post on TikTok (in Pacific Standard Time) are:
- Tuesdays at 7 a.m.
- Thursdays at 10 a.m.
- Fridays at 5 a.m.
Of course, while you can use these times as indications, this is always something you should test for your own account and audience. You can find out your own best time to post by reviewing the posting times of your best-performing videos, spying on your competition’s timings, and checking when your audience is online via your analytics page.
7. Social media tip: Tap into the power of nostalgia
Bring back the “good old days” with throwback content that resonates with your audience. When done right, nostalgia is a powerful emotional experience that should help drive plenty of likes, comments and shares.
Get more tips on nostalgia marketing from Sprout Social.
8. Twitter tip: Respond to complaints with a single empathetic reply, then take it private
Recent research found that the best way to respond to complains on Twitter is to:
- Limit yourself to a single, prompt and informative reply that shows empathy. Try and offer an explanation as to why the issue occurred, and to use “I” rather than “we”. For example: “I’m sorry your delivery is late, there was a power failure in our warehouse.”
- Then move the discussion to a private channel (e.g. DM, email or phone).
This ensures that you do not increase the complaint’s visibility and avoid hurting your brand image. Consider also keeping your social media DMs open. Users are then less likely to post the complaint publicly in the first place.
9. Content creation tip: Avoid complex design workflows
See how our template-based content creation tool can help you with efficient creation, always on-brand content and awesome designs, in our shiny new video 🤩
10. Social media trends for 2022: Keep an eye on social commerce
The first social media trend predictions for 2022 are in! Of course, not all will turn out to be accurate. But it’s good to keep an eye on such trends, and even to start testing them on your own accounts to see if you get results.
- Social media emerges as a shopping platform. Spend in social apps is up 50% year-on-year.
- Users are spending more and more time on social media. Time spent in social apps has been growing steadily over the past 3 years. But users are spending less time engaging with individual posts.
- Facebook remains the most-used platform in the world. While TikTok is the most-downloaded app of 2020 and 2021 so far, users still spend more time on YouTube and Facebook worldwide.
- Reddit could be unbundled into separate niche sites. For example, Discord already grew off the back of the Reddit community.
Get more social media best practices and ideas from our experts
- Read our top social media tips and trends for September and August 2021.
- Discover 5 tricks companies can learn from sports social media templates.
- See how Sporting Life effortlessly turns stats into powerful visuals with our platform.
Plus, follow us on LinkedIn to get our monthly social media best practices straight to your feed!