Join the party! 5 social media trends you’d be wise to embrace in 2022

- March 17, 2022 4 MIN READ

As 2022 rolls on, some social media marketing trends are beginning to stand out as outliers as businesses battle it out to be noticed on a packed social media marketplace, writes digital marketing expert, Nick Brogden.

As social media continues to grow with a total of 3.7 billion users worldwide in 2021, it makes sense that marketers are always searching for the latest trend.

Being in the know helps any business and brand stay relevant in this volatile and ever-changing landscape. 

5 social media trends not to ignore in 2022

In 2022, brands can leverage their social media resources to grow their audience, from maximising semi-new platforms to tapping more niche markets.

Here are some of the social media trends you need to watch for 2022. 

Happy young woman making video content for social media

1. The rise of TikTok

When TikTok came out a couple of years ago, it instantly resonated with a younger audience. The explosion in its popularity came at the height of the lockdowns and has become a mainstay ever since, with an estimated 1 billion monthly users

TikTok’s popularity comes from its spontaneity compared to the curated and polished feed commonly found on Instagram. Because of that, many brands have manifested their casual and fun side with more experimental and organic content on TikTok to reach the Gen Z and millennial audience.

The platform has launched a suite of useful tools concentrated at businesses, including business profiles and paid advertisements, to name a few. 

Expect a lot of brands to ‘let their hair down’ on TikTok, with more relatable content through short-form and ‘snackable’ content.

2. The growth of the creator economy

While tapping into influencers and content creators to promote brands on social media is nothing new, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The ‘creator economy’ is now worth over $100 billion. The creator economy refers to the tools and platforms that creators utilise to share their content, grow their audience, and monetise. 

Social media platforms including LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok have shifted towards creator tools and marketplaces that allow these individuals to engage with their audience, and even partner up with brands and get paid to post ads.

Apart from a growing number of creators and influencers, more and more brands are investing in this marketing area. The logic is that collaborating with influencers and content creators costs less than traditional ad campaigns, but can be as effective (or even better). 

Marketers partner up with creative and influential individuals as a holistic approach to achieving marketing results, like increasing sales and generating leads. Brands are tapping into networks of small yet relevant influencers and creators in niche topics that are cheaper, and offer more engagement with their audience. 

3. More focus on social commerce

eCommerce has evolved, with a subset identified as ‘social commerce. Today, billions of people shop online. So it only made sense for younger generations to start shopping on social media only. 

Social commerce is online shopping but hyper-focused on social media, from product discovery to actual purchasing and customer support. Social commerce allows you to directly purchase while merely browsing social media — whether you’re there to shop or search for some inspiration. 

Social commerce will continue to grow, becoming part of the sales strategies of brands with an online presence.

Brands are doing more than just links to their websites on their social media channels, because that’s still extra clicks and loading time for your target audience. They’re evolving to feature things like Instagram Storefronts and shoppable posts to create a seamless shopping experience from start to finish for those who are interested in buying. 

Instagram app open on phone

4. Substantial interest in social audio

It has only been two years since the invite-only, audio-based social platform, Clubhouse, started making waves. According to Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Media Trends report, more than 74 per cent of businesses in the survey plan to invest in audio-only content by next year.

Live audio content is gaining traction, even if its concept hasn’t trickled down to smaller businesses because it takes particular expertise to pull off. 

Marketers are looking in this direction with similar audio-based social platforms following Clubhouse, including Facebook Live Audio Rooms and Twitter Spaces. And with the proper competence, these audio clips can complement a brand’s podcasts.

5. Domination of augmented reality

Augmented Reality (AR) has become so commonplace in social media that filters have become part of everyday life.

While more social media platforms adopt this technology, its direction is moving towards more engaging AR experiences. Photo and video filters are just the beginning.

AR benefits both brands and their potential customers – it allows customers to test products before deciding whether or not to purchase, and is a marketing tactic in itself. Clickthrough rates to make the actual purchase increase by up to 33 per cent with AR technology.

AR lets potential customers try out products by seeing digital elements through their phones. IKEA’s AR technology lets users view furniture in their homes to show how it looks and fits in a space.

Trends can be overwhelming, especially with social media, which continues to evolve. On the bright side, with nothing constant in this playing field, it allows a lot of room for experimentation to discover whichever works best with your target audience. 

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