Years 2020 and 2021 were one for the record books, and 2022 is right on track to break more social records. Over the past three years, social trends that have emerged have shifted user and consumer behavior forever. Social innovation is rising toward its peak – and there is a lot more to come.
Staying relevant on social platforms and keeping up with these five social trends will set your brand up for success now and in the future.
1. Social Commerce
As the world moves slowly back to pre-pandemic shopping experiences, the need for shoppable content online isn’t going away anytime soon. Social commerce will continue to be at the forefront of discovery online and will continue to encourage users to click and buy directly without leaving their social apps. Consumer behavior, especially Gen Z, has shifted 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 article, it was stated that social commerce in the United States is expected to grow to nearly $80 billion by 2025. Safe to say, social commerce is here to stay.
2. Leveraging Creators and Creator Marketplaces
Social platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and even LinkedIn are heavily investing in their creator marketplaces tools. These marketplaces make it easier for creators to collaborate with brands and connect with their audiences. Having a strong creator marketplace will help ease the bridge of working with and discovering influencers. It is undeniable that businesses understand the value of using influencers. Leveraging an influencer can greatly improve new customer acquisition, drive social engagement, and can help promote products. As the community of creators continues to grow, finding the right influencers for your brand will be a trend far past 2022.
3. TikTok & Snack-Sized Content
There are no surprises here – TikTok will continue to reign supreme this year, as will short-form video content. Users are craving easily digestible, snack-sized content. As of January 2022, TikTok has surpassed one billion monthly active users and continues to catch up to competitor platforms. There is no doubt brands will start and continue to leverage TikTok to engage with new and current audiences. Brand presence on TikTok can take many forms – whether it’s funny content or engaging with users in the comments, TikTok is giving a new life to brands across the world.
Want to see a company that’s killing the TikTok game? Check out how Duolingo created a brilliant marketing strategy by posting original content and interacting with users. No doubt that you will begin seeing other social platforms follow suit by adopting short-form video options, like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
4. Social Advertising is Necessary
Organic reach has been harder to come by this past year and will continue to be challenging well into 2022. With all the social platforms updating their algorithms, creators and brands are having a substantially harder time reaching their audiences. Our recent blog article discusses this more in-depth.
So what does this mean for businesses trying to grow their brand organically? Brands will have to invest more into paid social advertising to reach their target audience effectively. Full funnel marketing strategies are a must to make sure you are reaching new audiences and following them down the conversion funnel.
With increasing competition on the platforms, paid advertising is a way to break through. Diversifying spend across paid social platforms will also be a common trend. According to a recent study done by Hootsuite, the largest increases in spend relative to last year will be going towards TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
5. Transparency & Authenticity
Users have become more conscious of the media they interact with. Now more than ever, users’ values for transparency and authenticity from brands can ultimately impact their intent to purchase. Sustainability, diversity & inclusion, and authenticity are not supposed to be a “trend” to follow but rather standard practice. Consumers are looking for real, actionable efforts from the brands they interact with, which will continue not just in 2022 but also in the future.
Trends come and go, but these days “trends” are just shaping social innovation for the years to come. Many of these social trends are here to stay. In 2022, it will be important for brands to discover the gaps in their omnichannel strategy. With social discovery being at the forefront of younger generations, there is no doubt that brands will need to do their part in keeping them interested.