2020 and 2021 have been years for the record books, and 2022 is well on its way to breaking more social records. Over the past three years, emerging social trends have forever changed user and consumer behavior. Social innovation is reaching its peak – and there’s still a lot to come.
Staying relevant on social platforms and following these five social trends will set your brand up for current and future success.
1. Social Commerce
As the world slowly returns to pre-pandemic shopping experiences, the need for buyable content online isn’t going away any time soon. Social commerce will continue to be at the forefront of online discovery and will continue to encourage users to click and buy directly without leaving their social apps. Consumer behavior, especially Gen Z, has changed to see, click and buy. In 2022, it will be important to keep social shopping built for ease of use and ease of discovery. In a recent Forbes Articleit has been stated that social commerce in the United States is expected to reach nearly $80 billion by 2025. Safely, social commerce is here to stay.
2. Leverage Creators and Creator Marketplaces
Social platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn are investing heavily in their Creator Marketplace tools. These marketplaces make it easier for creators to collaborate with brands and connect with their audience. Having a strong creator marketplace will help facilitate the bridge between collaboration and influencer discovery. There’s no denying that businesses understand the value of using influencers. Leveraging an influencer can greatly improve new customer acquisition, boost social engagement, and help promote products. As the creator community continues to grow, finding the right influencers for your brand will be a trend well beyond 2022.
3. TikTok and snack-sized content
There are no surprises here – TikTok will continue to reign supreme this year, as will short-form video content. Users are looking for easily digestible, snack-sized content. In January 2022, TikTok surpassed one billion monthly active users and continues to catch up with competing platforms. There is no doubt that brands will begin and continue to leverage TikTok to engage with new and current audiences. Brand presence on TikTok can take many forms – whether it’s fun content or engaging with users in the comments, TikTok breathes new life into brands around the world.
Want to see a company killing the TikTok game? Find out how Duolingo created a brilliant marketing strategy by posting original content and engaging with users. No doubt you’ll start to see other social platforms follow suit by adopting short video options, like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
4. Social advertising is necessary
Organic reach was harder to achieve last year and will continue to be difficult through 2022. With all social platforms updating their algorithms, creators and brands are finding it much harder to reach their audience. Our recent blog post discusses this in more depth.
So what does this mean for companies trying to grow their brand organically? Brands will need to invest more in paid social advertising to effectively reach their target audience. Full funnel marketing strategies are a must to ensure you reach new audiences and follow them down the funnel.
With growing competition on platforms, paid advertising is a way to break through. Spending diversification on paid social platforms will also be a common trend. According to a recent study realized by Hootsuite, the largest spending increases over last year will go to TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat.
5. Transparency and authenticity
Users have become more aware of the media they interact with. Now more than ever, user values around brand transparency and authenticity can ultimately impact their purchase intent. Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion and Authenticity are not meant to be a “trend” to follow, but rather standard practice. Consumers are looking for real, actionable efforts from the brands they interact with that will not only continue in 2022 but well into the future.
Trends come and go, but these days “trends” are just shaping social innovation for years to come. Many of these social trends are here to stay. In 2022, it will be important for brands to uncover gaps in their omnichannel strategy. With social discovery at the forefront of younger generations, there’s no doubt brands will have to do their part to keep them engaged.