Social media has come a long way in the past decade. What started as a way for people to stay connected has turned into a powerful marketing and communication tool.
Social media has now become an essential component of our culture. It has rapidly developed into a valuable platform for businesses to interact with their target audience through well-planned social networking efforts.
As social media trends grow and change, businesses must stay up-to-date on the latest advice to ensure they're using their brand's social media presence to its full potential.
Social media is filled with content, but the competition is intense. Without a clear social media strategy and an understanding of the current social media landscape, it can be tough to stand out and get your audience's attention.
Organizations need to be as prepared as possible. People are increasingly comfortable with technology, and communities have worked hard to make online society a better place in the past few years.
Every marketing strategy has to adapt to these current trends in social media. To help you stay ahead of the curve, here are our top predictions for 2022:
You may also like: Social Media Pricing Sheet
1. Augmented Reality (AR) will become more mainstream
AR has been around for a few years now, but it's only recently gained real traction. In 2022, we can expect AR to explode in popularity. Augmented Reality uses technology to overlay digital content on top of the real world.
For example, you might see an AR app that lets you add a virtual cat to your living room or see a new model car in your garage. Viewers can do this through devices like smartphones and eyeglasses, or headsets. Even face-changing App filters fall under this umbrella.
The advantage of AR over Virtual Reality (more on this later) is that AR is less expensive and more accessible to the average person. It also allows people to interact with content in a more grounded way.
With Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and other social media sites allowing users to share their AR experiences, it's no surprise that this trend is taking off. Businesses should start thinking about adapting their content strategy to use AR to reach their target consumers.
2. Video content will continue to grow in popularity
Cisco predicts that by 2022, video content will account for 82% of all internet traffic. That's 15 times higher than it was only five years ago.
If your business isn't creating original video content yet, it's time to start. And if you are creating videos, make sure they're high-quality and engaging - people are more likely to watch good short-form videos than they are to read long-form content (the long-winded blog is a bust).
The exception to this length rule? Educational or how-to videos, which people tend to watch all the way through.
YouTube rewards 10+ minute videos with better placement in search results and higher ad rates, but you have to make sure your content is top-notch and provides value.
In general, videos should be under 2 mins (60 percent of all video content is under 2 minutes, according to hosting service Vidyard).
3. Local targeting will become more prevalent
As businesses become more and more interested in localized marketing, social media will play a significant role in this approach. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have made it possible for businesses to target their ads by location, which has made it easier for them to connect with potential customers in their area.
In 2022, this trend will continue to grow. Businesses will focus on local SEO and use social media to reach people in specific geographic areas.
4. Personalization will be paramount
In a world where people are bombarded with content from all directions, it's more important than ever to personalize your social media presence. People want to feel like they're being spoken to directly, and they want to feel like you understand their needs.
In 2022, companies that can personalize their social media posts and content will be the ones that succeed. This means using data to target prospective customers and create customized content that appeals to them specifically.
5. Micro-influencers will become more popular
As social media becomes more saturated, businesses will focus on working with micro-influencers. These are people who create content for a small but loyal following. Micro-influencers are seen as experts in their field and as trusted sources of information by many.
Working with micro-influencers can be a great way to reach a specific audience and create authentic content. This can be especially useful for new brands, that may not have a large following yet.
Micro-influencers typically have around 10,000 followers or less, and they're often more affordable to work with than celebrities or more prominent influencers. They also have a higher engagement rate than celebrities, so your average organic reach for brand mentions significantly improves.
6. The use of AI-powered chatbots will increase
Chatbots are computer programs that can mimic human conversation. They're deployed to communicate with customers on websites and social media networks. In 2022, the use of chatbots will increase as more businesses see their potential for customer service and marketing and look for new ways to connect with their audiences.
Chatbots are a great way to answer questions, respond to customer feedback, and promote products or services. They can also help you collect data about your audience. Just make sure they're well-designed, user-friendly, and provide a personalized experience. People don't like talking to robots that don't understand them!
7. Social media communities will continue to increase
In 2022 we can expect to see even more social media communities grow in popularity. These groups of people come together online to discuss a shared interest - and they're not just Facebook groups; people are forming communities around Instagram hashtags, YouTube channels, and other flashpoints (Netflix fandoms, for instance).
By 2022, businesses will have to build relationships with these communities to reach their target markets. This means creating exciting and relevant content for these groups specifically and engaging with them directly. Social media sites will soon dominate digital marketing.
8. Social media platforms will become more interactive
As social media platforms continue to evolve, they're becoming more and more interactive. This means giving people the ability to engage directly with your brand. And remember - they will want other user-generated content (just make sure they promote branded hashtags)
We can expect to see more brands using features like Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Twitter polls to engage with their audiences and share the limelight with them. These platforms are perfect for creating interactive content that people want to share.
In 2022, social advertising will also be about giving people the ability to interact with your brand and experience your products and services firsthand (or through VR). So make sure you're ready for it!
9. Social listening will become essential
Another trend we can expect in 2022 is the increased use of social listening tools. These help businesses track what people are saying about them on social media. You can listen through social media channels like Twitter or Facebook or by using a social media management tool like Hootsuite.
Social listening can help monitor your brand's reputation, identify potential customers, and understand what people want from your product or service.
By doing this, you can show customers that you care about their experience and are willing to address any issues they may have.
10. The use of Virtual Reality (VR) will gain popularity
In 2022, we can expect to see businesses using Virtual Reality to connect with online populations in a powerfully interactive way.
Virtual Reality differs from Augmented Reality in that it completely replaces the user's view of the real world with a simulated one. VR can create experiences like touring a house before you buy it or meeting with a customer service representative from the comfort of their home.
Platforms like Facebook's Metaverse (launching later this year) will also offer VR capabilities, making it easier for people to experience products or services in a virtual setting.
VR can be used for product demonstrations, the best marketing campaigns, and even customer service. It's an exciting technology with a lot of growth potential, and it makes sense for marketers' social media strategies to start preparing for it now.
This could be a great way to increase brand awareness in an engaging form and connect with customers on a deep level. The innovativeness of VR makes it one of this year's biggest social media trends to watch.
11. Purpose-driven campaigns will take center stage
In 2022, we can expect to see more businesses using social media for purpose-driven campaigns. These are campaigns that promote a cause or a message beyond the company itself, such as raising awareness about a social issue, supporting a charitable cause, or promoting diversity and inclusiveness. As such, they are among the most important social media trends.
Purpose-driven campaigns need to be authentic and relevant to the social media audience. They also need to align with the company's values. It's crucial for businesses to carefully consider their goals and audience before launching a purpose-driven social media campaign.
12. Authenticity and transparency will be paramount
As above, in 2022, social media trends will focus on being authentic and transparent to connect with real people. Companies can't afford to be disingenuous in their social media messaging in a world where people are more skeptical than ever.
Transparency is vital for sharing financial information or data about the company. People on social media want to know that they can trust the businesses they interact with online. They also want to feel like they're getting an honest representation of the company, its products, and its services.
13. Influencer marketing will be in high demand
One of the ways to achieve authenticity and transparency is through influencer marketing. Celebrities, bloggers, and other social media users with a large following can be employed to promote a product or service (often through their own branded content).
Influencer marketing requires a good understanding of the audience, their preferred social channels, and especially identifying relevant influencers.
It's also critical that the content marketing is exciting and engaging enough to keep the attention of an influencer's followers, who are primarily looking for a sense of connection rather than being sold to.
14. The creator economy will continue to expand
In the creator marketplace, traditional businesses no longer control content distribution. Instead, creators can distribute their content through social media and other online channels. This allows them to build direct relationships with their fans and followers, leading to more sales and a stronger connection with the audience.
The creative economy is prolific, thanks to the rise of platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch. These social networks make it simple for content producers to distribute their material to a broad audience and profit from it.
15. Social commerce will be on the rise
"Social commerce" refers to using social media to buy and sell products and services. It includes activities like browsing products on social media, clicking through to a company's website from a social post, adding items to a shopping cart, and checking out.
In recent years, social commerce has been growing in popularity. This is partly because social media platforms are increasingly becoming hubs for buying and selling products. In addition, people are more comfortable making purchases through social channels.
16. Social audio strategies will become important
The typical time spent on audio platforms is 16 hours and 14 minutes per week. In 2022, businesses will need to develop an audio strategy to take advantage of this trend. This includes creating podcasts, launching live audio broadcasts, and, most importantly, social audio.
What is social audio? Think of it as a two-way podcast or live-streaming an online voice call with social groups. You can choose moderators, speakers, and attendees who will be part of the conversation in real-time, and who can join, listen in, and comment.
Other social media channels like Clubhouse became popular during the global pandemic and show no sign of slowing down. Social audio is an impressive tool for connecting with your audience.
17. Messaging Apps will take over as top social platforms
Messaging apps are becoming more popular as social platforms. In 2022, they may likely overtake traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter as the leading platforms for interactions.
There are several reasons for this shift. First, messaging apps are becoming more versatile, with features that rival traditional social networks. The way that Snapchat, Vine, and Musical.ly are designed for short videos will play a big role in this and the broader focus on user-generated content.
Increased use of mobile devices is also driving this trend. People are more likely to use messaging apps on their phones than other media platforms.
Messaging Apps also lend themselves to "ephemeral content," designed to be consumed and then deleted. The idea is that users will share it and consume it quickly, and then it will disappear. This type of content is typically short-form and can be delivered through social channels like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.
Ephemeral content is becoming more popular because it is seen as more informal and spontaneous, making it more relatable.
People are more likely to watch or read something if they know it won't be around for long. It's a way for users to share fun and spontaneous content.
Businesses can use ephemeral content to amuse and entertain their followers and create a sense of urgency. It's a great way to show off your company's personality and build relationships with customers.
18. Consumers will purchase more products on social media
In 2022, the top social media trends will be even more focused on eCommerce. Businesses will need to find ways to sell their products and services on social media. Platforms like Instagram are especially well-suited for this type of selling, as they offer native integration so that Instagram users can buy products without leaving the app.
Previously, online shopping on social media had fizzed (according to one research, just 4% of US consumers had purchased items in this manner). However, disruptions from the global pandemic - coupled with the desire for a social experience while shopping - are enticing people to buy on social media. Platforms are seeing more success, and users are beginning to trust social media as a shopping destination, thanks to easy Buy Buttons and native social commerce integrations.
19. Traditional paid advertising methods will decline
It's no secret that traditional advertising methods, like TV and print, are on the decline. More people are turning to social media as their primary source of information and entertainment, so businesses need to find new ways to reach them.
In 2022, we can expect this trend to continue. Social media will become an even more critical tool for marketing. What's the future like for ads? In 2020, social media ad spending was approximately 131 billion US dollars. By 2025, it is expected to surpass 230 billion!
20. Your ad budget will start to go to smaller networks
As social media platforms become more saturated, businesses will need to allocate their ad spending to smaller networks. This is because the more extensive networks will become too expensive and too competitive. These other networks include Tumblr, Twitch, TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat, and not just mainstays like Google.
21. More brands will outsource their social strategy in 2022
Bigger brands regularly outsource their social strategy to reach their target customers. In 2022, you can expect to see smaller, more local brands following suit. You need a social media marketer.
To keep up with the latest social media trends, you can't rely on existing strategies. Professional creators can help you stay on top of the latest social media trends while you focus on other aspects of your business. There are many advantages to this move:
- Creators can manage all of their content through one voice
- You won't have to worry about updating each Facebook post or tweet
- Social experts can help you connect with new audiences
- They have premium marketing tools at their command
- Creators have invaluable insights into what works and what doesn't
- They can predict each upcoming social media trend
Creator agencies are springing up all over the place, and they're becoming more specialized every day. There are now agencies that focus solely on marketing on Snapchat, Instagram, or even Musical.ly.
You can also find agencies specializing in a specific type of content, like short-form video or live streaming. Outsourcing your social media content to a creator is a great way to ensure you're putting your best foot forward.
Conclusion: Keeping up with top social media trends in 2022
So, what does all of this mean for your social media marketing strategy? First and foremost, personalization will be key. Gone are the days when a one-size-fits-all approach will work. People want to feel like they're being spoken to directly, not just marketed to.
They also want a sense of connection and community. This is where a social media platform that is compelling and interactive (such as the anticipated Metaverse) has the advantage and will thrive.
On top of this, Augmented Reality will become more commonplace as people get used to the idea of virtual and mixed realities. Video content will continue to grow in popularity. Make sure you're creating engaging videos that tell your brand story in an exciting way.
Focus on creating purpose-driven campaigns. Additionally, continue to invest in influencer marketing – it's still one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Your customers will appreciate the transparency and authenticity that comes with this approach.
Another social media trend to watch out for is the increasing use of AI-powered chatbots. Already prevalent on platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, chatbots are a great way to provide customer service and respond to direct messages instantaneously.
But that's not all – there are plenty of other social media trends worth watching out for in 2022. As the online world evolves, it's essential to stay ahead of the pack and ensure your marketing strategy is keeping up. By outsourcing your twitter, instagram, facebook marketing to a creator agency, you can be confident that you're connected with the latest trends and are doing everything right to reach your audience.
We specialize in helping businesses do just that. We have years of experience crafting successful social media campaigns for a wide range of clients, and we're always keeping up with the latest trends so that our clients stay ahead of the competition. So if you're looking to take your social media marketing to the next level, or if you simply need some help getting started, contact us today.