The speed of change is proving to be a handful for social media marketers, a Sprout Social survey of 255 social media marketers has found. When asked about the biggest challenges their teams are currently facing when managing their brands’ social media presences, changing trends and algorithms were atop the list.
Specifically, about half (49%) said that identifying and responding to emerging trends and topics on social media is one of the 3 biggest challenges they’re facing, while a similar portion (48%) reported that keeping up with rapidly changing social media algorithms and features is one of their top 3 challenges.
In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, marketers are turning to a wide range of resources. A majority (55%) network with other social media managers and professionals for social media trends and best practices, while almost half (45%) rely on industry publications and blogs and more than 4 in 10 (42%) on marketing advertising agencies specializing in social media. Additionally, close to 4 in 10 educate themselves through research reports and studies on social media trends and best practices.
Social Media Marketers Shift to Short-Form Video
The Sprout Social survey represents yet another piece of research confirming the short-form video trend. Previously, a survey from HubSpot indicated that short-form video was clearly the top investment priority for social media marketers. Prior to that, agencies tabbed short-form video the most impactful trend of this year and marketers called it the most important consumer trend.
In this latest study, a majority (54%) of respondents said they are weighing short-form video (5-15 seconds) either “significantly more” or “more” this year compared to last, while about half (49%) said the same about short-form video of 16-30 seconds and short-form video of 31-45 seconds in length (46%).
While the largest portion of respondents said they’re prioritizing images (60%) more this year than last, one imagines that aggregating the four short-form video options listed (there was also a 46-60 second choice) into one “short-form video” option would have yielded easily the highest consensus.
In terms of the main impetus for shifting content types, respondents were almost equally motivated by aligning content with algorithms (25% share), copying trends observed across social media (22% share) and new or changing social media goals (22% share).
Meanwhile, the shift to short-form video is understandable given that TikTok is the platform that the largest share of respondents (65%) considers “very important” or “absolutely essential.” TikTok was closely followed by Instagram (64%) and YouTube (63%) on this measure. Additionally, brands’ video priorities revolve first and foremost around vertical video, led by vertical video on TikTok and followed by this format on Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
About the Data: The results are based on a March survey of 255 social media marketers at Manager-level or above, two-thirds of whom work at companies with at least 50 employees.