Check out our predictions for upcoming social media trends in 2022 and find out how you can leverage this information to help your business grow.
The fast-paced social media world is constantly in flux with new trends emerging almost every other week. Businesses and marketers have to be able to react quickly if they want to keep up with and jump on the latest trends to get the most out of them.
The trick is to catch a trend before it goes mainstream and loses its novelty and individuality. It can be a guessing game but if you do your research and keep your ears to the ground, you can feed that social media trend know-how back into your campaigns for better results.
Use our predictions to prepare your marketing strategy for the upcoming year.
Social Media as a Shopping Platform
As online shopping became more prominent during the pandemic, social media channels started to become increasingly popular as shopping platforms. Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest now offer shopping capabilities that businesses can take advantage of.
With users worldwide spending an average of 145 minutes per day on social, it makes sense to set up shop where your target audience hangs out online. Social commerce is going to expand in 2022. Users enjoy the instantaneous shopping experience and social media listens to their audience and implements necessary improvements.
For example, Facebook is investing in expanding the Facebook Pay feature and making the buying process as easy as possible with one-click purchasing options. Another eCommerce feature that social media platforms have started to offer and that has already taken off in China is livestream shopping.
It provides an interactive shopping experience with a host presenting the product while the audience can ask questions and interact with other customers via chat. Although it’s new to the western market, it’s expected to take off in 2022 with a forecast to surpass $25 billion in the US by 2023.
Further Increase of Popularity of Bite-Size Video Content
The rise of video-based social media platform TikTok and the releases of Instagram Reels, Twitter Fleets, and YouTube Shorts show that short-form video content keeps trending and growing across all social media platforms. This will continue in 2022, as engagement rates tend to be higher for video compared to any other type of content.
As users flick through the short video content on social, they expect entertaining content and see something new every day. Social media platforms build on this by providing options to upload bite-size videos or content that disappears after 24 hours. For businesses, it’s crucial to deliver fresh content and get that key message across in only a few seconds to capture an audience with a decreasing attention span.
Although brevity seems to be key, there’s still room for longer videos in the form of live streams. The shift towards hosting events online during the pandemic has added to the popularity of live streams. It helps you to create a deeper connection with your audience. It will continue to be a great option to increase engagement on your social channels.
Facebook’s Move into the Metaverse
Despite new social media platforms gaining in popularity and the negative publicity in the last few years, Facebook continues to be the top chosen channel internationally. Changes to the interface at certain intervals aren’t the only reason why the biggest social network continues to grow. Constant innovation, investments in new features for social commerce, and branching out into virtual reality propel the company forward.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s new goal is to move away from just being known as a social media platform and build his vision of virtual reality called the metaverse. With this move comes the recent rebrand from Facebook to Meta. Announcing that the rebrand doesn’t affect how data is used by the company but how they report their financial results, Meta focuses on connecting people through augmented and virtual reality and the use of smart glasses.
Expanding your digital identity through your Facebook profile and your VR or metaverse presence will be one of the areas of focus in 2022. There will be more digital avatar creation tools that are already reflected in the rise of digital art-based non-fungible tokens or NFT avatars. Facebook plans to lean into this and offer users the ability to create elaborate virtual representations of themselves.
Facebook’s current virtual reality product Oculus is also undergoing a refresh to become the Oculus Quest that can be used with the Meta Quest app. There’s no doubt that this expansion towards the metaverse will have a great impact on the social media world in 2022. Despite other emerging social networks, Facebook marketing should stay a part of every brand’s strategy.
The Rise of Augmented Reality on Social
Increasingly advanced technology and stronger cell networks create the perfect environment for augmented reality being integrated into the everyday. Social media platforms have started using AR and will continue to find more ways to incorporate it into their offering.
For example, Instagram has offered filters since 2017 and expanded on that by allowing users to create their own filters in 2019. Facebook’s launch of smart glasses that users can don to record their memories instead of using their phones is also set to have a big impact on the AR market.
There will be further developments in eCommerce with AR-driven apps that help customers with features to try on clothes or virtually put furniture into place. This will also impact how social media content is presented and there will be new developments through filters and games.
Increase of User-Generated Content
If you haven’t explored the world of user-generated content yet, be sure to do so in 2022. It’s a social media marketing technique that taps into people’s emotions. Brands create compelling stories with the help of their community. It’s instantly relatable, highly engaging, and authentic.
In a more digital world where the shopping experience is more online-based and not a face-to-face interaction anymore, customers are now looking for the lost personal experience elsewhere. That is where user-generated content comes in.
Instead of polished video content shared by the brand, consumers prefer the more real and imperfect content from other customers, who enjoy a product or service. They’re looking for social proof and enjoy the more interactive experience as they comment, ask questions, and voice their opinions.
Producing compelling and innovative content that engages your target audience becomes increasingly hard online. By sharing content your brand advocates create for you, you make sure it’s what your audience is looking for and you can create a stronger connection between your brand and your customers and build trust more easily.
From Influencer to Content Creator Trend
Even before the pandemic, influencer marketing was well on its way to becoming an integral part of successful marketing strategies across various businesses and industries. The Covid-19 pandemic has sped up this process and the shift from influencer to content creator.
Instead of working with celebrities, brands now find influential creators, who produce high-quality content to share with their dedicated following in their niche. This type of micro-influencer marketing will continue to grow in 2022. The focus here is on the personal connection a content creator has with their audience. A large following has become secondary.
The latest development to keep an eye on in this space is the computer-generated imagery or CGI influencers. These are created by teams that use computer-generated images and a curated online presence to create scenes from the influencers’ virtual lives on social media accounts like Instagram. Some luxury brands like Calvin Klein, Prada, and Samsung have already started using CGI influencers.
Brands have more control over the products and content they entrust virtual influencers with. They control where the virtual figures pose with their products, the way they look, dress, and act. This is what makes them appealing to use for an influencer marketing campaign and why we could see these virtual online presences pop up more and more in the coming year.
Customers Follow Brands to Learn More about Products
With the ever-increasing use of social media in our daily lives comes the tendency to get the latest news from your social feed. This includes information about brands and businesses. An increasing number of consumers follow their favorite brands on social media to keep up to date with products and services.
They’re actively seeking out social media accounts of businesses to be the first to hear company news, learn about promotions, be entertained or educated. This is a loyal customer base that expects regular updates across all channels. Businesses can build on that with the right type of content and establish trust with highly engaged customers.
Prioritizing informative and unique content is a must to get you invaluable leads that can turn into brand advocates. To fulfill the expectations of customers and keep growing, a consistent, brand-aligned, and responsive social media presence should be the goal of every business in 2022.
Customer Service on Social is a Must-Have
A social media trend that has been emerging for quite some time now and will continue to expand under the expectations of consumers is that social media has become a customer service platform. Customers enjoy easy access to brands on their social channels and expect them to respond quickly and provide excellent customer service.
Whether it’s responding to comments or DMs, businesses have to invest in social media savvy customer service representatives to keep up with the demand. Avoiding answering questions and providing support on social media can be damaging to your brand as bad reviews pile up.
Instead of ignoring your target audience’s concerns, respond to their queries and create a connection between your business and your customers. This is your opportunity to build trust and foster brand loyalty, as you provide the now expected exceptional customer service on social.
Trends and Innovations in Voice and Visual Search
Search engines and social media platforms are both expanding their search functions. Search engines are investing in image search, which will ultimately enable consumers to get product information through image uploads. Voice search and voice control on social media platforms will enable users to dictate messages and reply to comments on their posts.
Pinterest has already been using visual search through Pinterest Lens. The app’s feature displays similar pins to what users take a picture of. This way, the social media platform has been redirecting customers to product pages to find what they’re looking for.
Instagram is also expanding its visual search features. Users will be able to use a visual search option on posts that include products they like. They get recommendations of similar products, which improves the shopping experience as Instagram keeps building on its shopping functionalities.
The improvements in visual search will open up new opportunities for eCommerce businesses and the retail sector in 2022. Features for creating ads will change alongside new shopping capabilities that work with visual search. Taking this yet a few steps further, it could also be implemented in the travel industry. For example, users upload an image of sights and receive information about the history of the place.
In the upcoming year, businesses should be ready for the new possibilities opened up by users interacting with search in a more diverse way through voice and visual search.
Continued Increasing Popularity of Live Streams
Live streams will gain even more popularity. We’ve seen a steady growth from this type of video marketing, particularly during the pandemic. Many brands have started using live videos for important announcements, as changes in the algorithms of the social media landscape have favored live content over any other posts.
Users have become more comfortable with live chats, as everyone had to connect virtually during the pandemic. This doesn’t mean that you can get away with just turning on the live camera to say hello. Make sure you have a plan in place and deliver useful content that’s entertaining, trending, and answers your audience’s questions.
It’s your chance to connect with your customers and build trust in your brand. Instead of being a faceless company, you can establish a more personal connection through valuable content like behind-the-scenes footage and Q&As. Take the plunge and you’ll see that your customers start to recognize the faces they see in your live streams. They’ll ask to talk to their trusted social media person when they visit your store.
More Optimization with More Advanced AI and Automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation will become even more sophisticated in 2022. These advances in technology will be incorporated into social media marketing more and more. AI-powered tools will increasingly help brands to measure their success, better understand customer behavior, and identify trends.
Businesses can use artificial intelligence to determine what to post when. They can base their decisions on recommendations found through data that would be too complex or time-consuming to process. AI can evaluate social media content and sentiment to speed up the process of social listening and aid in communicating with your audience.
Chatbots powered by AI reduce costs and save customer service departments time as they answer simple queries. This technology will continue to evolve and enhance customer satisfaction with their 24/7 availability and speed.
AI automation assists marketers with personalized marketing campaigns and can take care of redundant tasks to minimize workload. Machine learning as well as natural language processing models running in the background of advertising deliver insights to improve performance.
The Expansion of Virtual Identity on Social Media Platforms
Our identities on social media or virtual identities are set to evolve in the upcoming year. Facebook will lead the way with their expansion into the metaverse. We’ll see a focus on our digital identity as the social media platform is well on its way towards its vision of 3D avatars that represent us online.
Offering more advanced gesture and response options as well as more features to bring your digital avatar to life, Facebook will be at the forefront of this trend. The goal is to use this digital representation to enter a virtual environment to hang out with your friends online. The idea is that you can customize the space and collaborate with other people from anywhere in the world.
With this shift towards a more digital identity, privacy and the use of customer data will continue to be topics that every business should stay up to date on. Changes in how data is securely handled need to be picked up on and implemented instantly.
Algorithmic Shifts for Better Usability
Algorithm changes and updates are an integral part of social media platforms and search engines. Updates so far involved putting more weight on local and family and friends-related posts instead of business content on Facebook. Twitter’s algorithm ensures you always get to see the latest news and Instagram is notorious for putting engagement and the popularity of your content first.
In 2022 algorithm updates will keep changing the social media landscape. Responding to their users, social media platforms will update their algorithms with privacy concerns and user experience in mind. We might see improvements in the ability to tell what’s political content and limiting it in newsfeeds on platforms like Facebook.
Algorithmic changes will support new shopping features like livestream shopping or make product discovery as easy as possible. A potentially revolutionary feature will be the ability to turn the algorithm on and off while scrolling your personal feed.
Cryptocurrency Integrations on Social Media
With the rise of NFTs and new developments in cryptocurrency, social media platforms like Twitter are now looking into integrating new features to go with the trend. NFT is the new way of buying and selling digital assets. Twitter has already taken steps to enable payments via cryptocurrency and users of this niche community have shared their NFT purchases via the app.
The social media platform’s CEO Jack Dorsey is a big fan of bitcoin. He wants to integrate it more through additions like Twitter Tip Jar and Super Follows. This move is aimed at content creators to give them a platform they can use for their income, as they connect their Patreon, GoFundMe, or Bandcamp.
The Super Follows feature is currently only available to a select few Twitter users. It’s a feature that allows them to charge followers for content they can subscribe to. Facebook is also looking into the trend with their digital currency Diem, so it’s definitely an area to keep an eye on in the coming year.
Easier Trendjacking on TikTok
The popular social media app TikTok requires a certain level of expertise or know-how for businesses to be successful on the platform. If marketers are in tune with TikTok, it offers opportunities to jump on trends like no other social media channel does.
TikTok is looking into making it easier for marketers to tap into the latest trends. There are plans for updates to Top Ads and the Creative Center to offer more simplified brand tools and get an overview of the latest viral content. This will make the marketing technique of trendjacking easier on the social media network that became famous for its virality.
TikTok is planning to implement automation as much as possible and provide enhanced options for customized branded hashtags. Creator partnerships are encouraged and there will be more structured ways to build video challenges into campaigns.
Jumping on the latest social media trends requires some research and checking in with the latest news. Google Trends and a daily check-in with your favorite tech and marketing-related news site should be part of your schedule. This will help you to master the ability to be in the right place at the right time.
Use our predictions for 2022 to prepare for an exciting new year in the social media world. AR and VR will be incorporated more into apps to grow our virtual identities on social networks. Facebook will take the lead with their move into the metaverse. Other social media outlets are sure to respond with their own innovations in this direction.
With these new developments and the increasing number of customers getting in touch on social media, businesses need to keep an eye out for implications on privacy and the use of customer data. Consumers now expect to be able to interact with their favorite brands via social media quickly and easily. This makes it a demand that businesses have to meet with the help of AI like chatbots but also find that balance to provide an authentic experience.
Other areas that have already started growing, such as, the popularity of bite-sized videos, live streams, and shopping capabilities will continue to be a magnet that reels in audiences as social networks become more and more integrated into our daily lives.
If you’re looking for different ways to keep up with trends and creative ideas to increase sales, check out our free e-book.