Staying on top of social media trends in 2022 is a good idea for anyone who is trying to build traffic from social networks. Social media is constantly changing and keeping on top of what’s hot and what’s not will make you a better marketer. It’s the same as web design trends for web developers and designers.
Below, we will take a look at the trends we can expect from social media in 2022. We will go over examples and how you can knock it out of the park if you decide to jump on the bandwagon. That way, you can use this year to further build your brand, talk to customers and your audience online, and use social media to get traffic back to your website.
Social Media Trends of 2022 You Shouldn’t Miss
Without further ado, let’s look at what will be the talk of the town in social networks this year.
1. Video Content (Including Live Video)
Video content has been trending for a while. Case in point:
- The short-video social platform TikTok just crossed one billion users worldwide. I know, crazy right?
- YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Users spend more time on there than on Netflix and Facebook Video combined.
- More than 15% of all content on Facebook in 2021 was video content.
- Video posts on LinkedIn are shared twenty times more than any other content.
So, in short, video content gets lots of engagement. Plus, with people stuck at home for two years, consumption understandably went up.
Thanks to TikTok and Instagram Reels, what’s especially rising in popularity are short videos in portrait format. You can even increasingly see this kind of content on YouTube. Some channels even open up a second account just to post short videos.
As a consequence of this trend, video is also very popular as a marketing tool. Video-based platforms use videos for their ads and consumers respond positively. 45% say that they want to see more videos from brands on social media. Consequently, if you are only posting images and text, you might soon find yourself ignored or simply drowned out by video content.
How to Take Advantage of This Trend
So, how can you jump on this social media trend in 2022?
First of all, be sure to adjust your content to the social platform it is intended for. This means both in terms of content, tone, and format. As mentioned, portrait mode is becoming more popular due to certain platforms. However, for detailed YouTube content, you might still want to go wide screen.
In addition, when you do go down the video route, don’t forget the subtitles. A large share of video content is watched without sound (85% on Facebook). Plus, you have millions of users who are deaf or hard of hearing. So, for accessibility’s sake and if you want to bring your message across, don’t skimp on the captions.
If you want to take advantage of user-created video content, you might reach out to existing customers. Send them some free stuff and ask them to make short video reviews. That way, it’s relatively easy to build a network of creators, customers, and fans who will talk about your product.
Finally, be quick in your message and frontload your videos. In places like TikTok or Instagram you don’t want to create an image film with an emotional hook at the end. You have to convince users to stick around within the first few seconds. There is just too much other stuff to look at.
2. Influencer and Community Marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for a while. Platforms like Instagram have helped catapult people to fame who use it to get paid to market products. This isn’t going away and is still growing and shifting to other platforms. For example, the shift to work from home has given rise to influencers on LinkedIn of all places.
However, as part of the social media trends of 2022, you will likely see a shift away from mega-influencers and toward figures with smaller but more tight-knit communities. This has to do with several factors.
For one, consumers increasingly use the online world to find like-minded people. The result are highly engaged communities where members support each other in pursuit of a shared interest. Twitter is currently testing this out with their Communities feature.
Another great example of this is Reddit, where you can find forums for every hobby, pastime, or passion, no matter how obscure. Here are a few fun ones:
In addition, the influencer sphere is getting a bit saturated by now, which necessitates focusing on more specific niches. At the same time, those smaller communities are often more engaged, targeted, and easier to reach with the right offer. Plus, if you can work with a more niche influencer, you can benefit from their increased authenticity. It’s likely cheaper than a mega celebrity, too.
How to Take Advantage of This Trend
First of all, be aware that, in response to this trend, a number of social networks are making tools available to more easily facilitate cooperation between creators and brands. You can see this in the TikTok Creator Marketplace. Instagram is rolling out more collaborative features, as is Pinterest. LinkedIn also has a set of tools for creators. All this makes it easier to both become an influencer and get paid as well as find and collaborate with creators in your niche so you can build a community of brand advocates.
In addition, understand that you don’t necessarily have to build a community yourself. Especially as a smaller brand, you can look for existing group and create value for them. There are many Facebook groups, subreddits, and other places where people talk about all kinds of different topics.
If you can create something amazing for them, they might be glad to hear about it. At the very least, existing communities can serve as a resource to learn more about your customers and their preferences.
3. Social Commerce
The next of the social media trends 2022 we need to talk about is social commerce. More and more social networks add the ability to buy and sell directly on the platform. Use of these kinds of features has also greatly increased over the pandemic. In the US alone, social commerce sales grew almost 40% from 2019 to 2020 and another 36% in 2021.
For obvious reasons. Companies needed to create additional revenue streams when storefronts were forced closed due to lockdowns. However, the trend is here to stay. The same stats predict that social commerce will net almost 80 billion in sales by 2025.
The ability to sell turns social profiles into more than just the first step of the funnel. By now, customers can go through entire customer journey all in one place – from product discovery over purchasing to support. This is especially attractive for younger users, who are more inclined to use their phones as the primary devices for shopping and research.
In other countries, especially China, this is already a much bigger trend. There, half of all users have made purchases via social networks. That’s also a sign of things to come and something that most companies will not be able to ignore in 2022.
How to Take Advantage of This Trend
If you want to get in on the action, the first step is to get up to date and stay informed about the commerce capabilities different social platforms offer. The whole market is still fluctuating a lot as the big platforms are getting on board. Here’s what currently exists:
- Facebook Shops and Checkout (currently US only)
- Instagram Shopping
- Pinterest Shopping
- TikTok Shopping in cooperation with Shopify (testing in the US, UK, and Canada at the moment)
Then, pick the platform that best fits your company and target group. Not all of these will make sense for you and it’s better to nail one channel than fail on all of them.
Get to know the capabilities of your chosen platform and see how they fit into your plan. In addition, when executing, recognize that the sales process consists of several stages of which social used to be mostly mostly involved in the first – awareness and discovery. Now it’s all happening in one place and you need to nail every step of the way. Therefore, carefully consider each stage of the buyer’s journey and how to best implement it on the social network.
One important aspect here is to provide a unified experience. For example, don’t move users over to another platform for support after they make a purchase on social. Users who are willing to spend money on social networks likely want to stay on their primary channel.
4. Adspend Going to New Platforms
Google plans to phase out tracking cookies by 2023. It’s not yet clear what will take their place and what the consequences will be for marketers. However, it makes alternative advertising models more important.
In addition, most social networks have decreased in organic reach over time, leading many marketers to add PPC advertisement to their marketing mix. While the big platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a steady fare for this, it’s also noticeable that brands are shifting more of their money towards less established competitors, especially TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
What’s the reason for this 2022 social media trend?
Smaller platforms are less saturated than their more long-standing competitors, their users have less ad fatigue, which means advertising campaigns can be more effective.
In addition, all three of these put a stronger focus on creating ads that organically fit the rest of the content. This is best encapsulated by Pinterest’s apt slogan “Stop interrupting. Start inspiring.”, which potential advertisers see first thing on their ad platform.
Following this tenet makes ads less interruptive and is a boon to the user experience.
How to Take Advantage of This Trend
The first step when branching out to a new social network is to understand the platform you are on. Being familiar with its conventions, content, and users will allow you to better find ways to bring your marketing message across in a way that fits organically and does not appear tone deaf.
As mentioned, these smaller platforms all stress ads that don’t stand out like sore thumb. If you are not sure what that looks like, there are already examples out there you can use for inspiration.
The same also goes for normal content. Keep in mind that not everything has to be an ad. There are enough companies on TikTok simply creating entertaining content without directly selling.
In general, because smaller platforms are more adventurous, you can also be more casual and experimental. Be sure to take advantage of it.
5. Corporate Social Responsibility
Younger users, especially Gen Z, are the most coveted target group on social networks. If there is one thing they care about when it comes to interacting with businesses with, it’s corporate social responsibility.
47% of Gen Z say brands should speak out “because it’s the right thing to do”
Members of this generation are growing up in a world and societies facing great social challenges. Among them:
- Climate change — Gen Z social media users say they feel high levels of anxiety about this topic and many young people are very engaged in finding ways to combat it. The globally connected Fridays for Future movement is just one indicator of that.
- Racism — Black Lives Matter formed in response to a series of killings of African Americans by law enforcement. It resulted in US-wide protests for police reform and is now an international grass-roots movement. BLM also started with a hashtag on social media.
- Animal rights — Meat-free diets are on the rise. This is especially in response to unsustainable business practices of the meat industry and their impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
- Equality — The conversation around the gender pay gap has been quite prominent worldwide. Online conversations about equality also extend to other areas. For example, a recent study also revealed a pay gap between white and BIPOC influencers.
- Worker’s rights — In 2021, we witnessed The Great Resignation. American workers quit in droves. At the same time, forums like r/antiwork, which highlight exploitative business practices, saw rapid growth.
- Sexism — The #MeToo movement, which started on Twitter, exposed commonplace sexual harassment and assault that many women experience. It also resulted in the termination and sentencing of a number of prominent figures.
- Immigration — There are refugee crises in many places of the world: Syrian asylum seekers coming to Europe in 2015 and beyond, African refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, or the separation of families seeking asylum at the US border under the Trump administration. All of these have been accompanied by heavy discussions and campaigns on social media.
As a consequence, younger users expect for the brands they interact with to take firm stances on these important issues. They like to know where companies stand before spending their money on them.
In addition, corporate social responsibility is also something that affects social media platforms themselves. Calls for accountability for the content published on there and social media’s role in the spread of disinformation continue and have recently resulted in new legislation.
How to Take Advantage of This Trend
When it comes to corporate social responsibility, you have to recognize that the time for simply talking about it is over. Today, you also have to walk the walk.
These engaged consumers are no longer interested in lip service and greenwashing. Younger generations want to see real change and for companies be a part of it. It’s about their future and the world they will inherit, so they are not interested in insincere marketing speech.
Therefore, if you say you are sustainable, prove it. Take a stand and help make a difference. Show how you are implementing your pledges in concrete terms. Let consumers see and experience it.
One way to increase your credibility is to think about who the message is coming from. Recruit your employees as ambassadors rather than the CEO. The Internet offers plenty of opportunity for workers to talk about what is really going on in a company, so you better make sure they have good things to say.
What are Your Can’t-Miss Social Media Trends 2022?
Like everything else on the Internet, social media keeps evolving. User and consumer taste keeps changing over time as does what they engage with and care about.
Above, we have predicted a few of the social media trends for 2022. If you want to take advantage of them, here’s what to keep in mind:
- Focus on video content both in what you publish and what you ask consumers for. Don’t forget to adjust for each platform and to include subtitles.
- Take advantage of the increasing number of tools for connecting with smaller communities.
- Get ready to complete the entire sales journey on social networks instead of moving consumers over to your main website.
- Branch out to smaller platforms but make sure your ads fit in there.
- Take a clear stand on social and global issues, be part of the solution and favor actions over slogans and virtue signalling.
Following the above, you are well prepared to find success on social sites this year.
What other social media trends do you see happening in 2022? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!