News and insights • Posted on 30 May 2022

Sprout's Social Media Trends for 2022 and Beyond: a closer look at the report

The team at Sprout Social has recently released its first ever The Sprout Social Index: Social Media Trends for the UK and Ireland. The inaugural report, which forms part of its US-focused Social Media Trends for 2022 & Beyond, explores the thoughts of over 1,000 consumers and 500 marketers specifically in the UK and Ireland. This is insight we’ve never had before, helping us to understand the thoughts of consumers much closer to home.

The report explores lots of topics, from social media usage to the platforms consumers are dominating. With so much information to get through, we discuss our top five takeaways so you can stay up to date with social media trends this year.

Social media talent is hard to find

The report explores the current struggle marketing teams are facing – the search is on to find experienced social media talent. With the increase of consumer awareness across social media, brands are scrambling to build teams to accommodate this need. With labour and skill shortages on the increase, the job market is more competitive than ever. Here at TBB, we have an expert social media team, ready and waiting to tackle your social calendar and content and ensure you’re getting in front of the right people at the right time. 

Whiling away time on social media

Consumers have become more reliant on social media than ever. According to the report, 73% of British and Irish consumers say their social media usage has increased over the last two years. Consumers in the UK and Ireland are commanding the social media space right now. 

This increase in their time online is a huge opportunity for your brand. You now have more opportunity every single day to get in front of your target audience. Use your platform insights to understand what time of day your audience is most active. Tailor your content to speak to your community at peak times to maximise engagement for your brand. Make the most of the peak times as much as you can.

Pick your platform wisely

It’s great to know that consumers are spending more time on social, but where are they spending it? The report explores platforms that consumers and marketers anticipate using most in the next 12 months, with Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ranking as the top three networks. While being present on multiple platforms can be a great social strategy, before you expand, consider exactly where your target audience is – and be present and effective on these platforms.  

Surprisingly, TikTok was the fourth most popular platform with anticipated increased usage from both marketers and consumers. While usage of the platform boomed over lockdown, it looks like it’s here to stay. With the potential to reach new audiences, go viral, and become an overnight sensation, the power of TikTok should be explored by brands now before it becomes oversaturated (if it’s where your audience are present)!

Stay on the ball

Consumers want to feel that the brands they support are up to date and responsive. Not responding in a timely fashion on social drives over a third (35%) of consumers to a competitor, or they simply won’t complete a purchase at all. In this consumer market, brands have to work harder than ever to keep their community onboard.

Many brands have customer service pages and actively answer queries on social media so their audience feels listened to and validated as quickly as possible. Stay up to date on trends and ensure your strategy includes time for reactive content in between your scheduled posts. This will help you to show up as authentic and relatable to build a community from current events. 

Take a stand – where it counts

The report goes on to mention consumers’ views on brands raising awareness and taking a stand on social issues, with almost a quarter (71%) saying this is important to them. Consumers support brands that share the same views as their own. Live up to your community’s standards. Know when to share your opinions on issues that affect your target audience. We’re not saying you have to weigh in on every controversy (let’s face it, in these political times you’d never stop), but use your brand’s voice wisely. Speak up on issues that matter to your community – they notice and are more likely to engage.

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Written by Izzy Massey

Building relationships, collaborating on projects and keeping clients in-the-know is all in a day’s work for account manager, Izzy.

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