Social Media Trends for 2022Nov 15, 2021
With six weeks left in 2021, you’re probably digging into 2022 planning, curious about what next year has in store. While I don’t have a crystal ball, when it comes to social media trends, there are clear signs pointing to the trends that will continue to emerge and occupy 2022.
While social media is love/hate relationship for many and digital burnout is at an all-time high, the fact remains that social media marketing is a necessity for anyone desiring to grow a personal brand or business. With billions of active users, social media is still the best way to let others know what you do and how your business can help.
Get ahead of the social media stress by looking at next year’s trends now. Make a game plan to optimize your time spent on social media platforms next year so that you can get seen and grow online with these social media trends for 2022.
Content Trend: Short-Form Vertical Video
When it comes to social media content, entertainment is the name of the game for 2022. Attention spans are forever shrinking, and attention is the ultimate commodity on social media. The best way to cut through the clutter and grab attention is to publish content with high entertainment value.
Wondering how to entertain in 2022? Through short-form vertical videos, otherwise known as TikToks and Instagram Reels.
These short, 15-60-second videos are now the dominant and preferred format for social content, thanks to the explosion of TikTok in 2020 and Instagram’s quick pivot to introduce its copy-cat feature, Instagram Reels.
Short-form video will continue to shake up social media content next year as more platforms accommodate this feature; YouTube Shorts are in Beta, and Facebook has announced the launch of Facebook Reels.
In order to stay visible and relevant in 2022, make sure that your social media content strategy evolves along with this trend to contain a healthy portion of short-form videos.
Channel Strategy Trend: Platform Reshuffle
New social media platforms pop up constantly, but not all of them stick around. Every handful of years, a new social media platform actually sticks and completely changes the social media landscape. TikTok is one of these platforms.
When this happens, it’s important to reevaluate your channel strategy, meaning the social media platforms that you prioritize and spend your time creating and engaging with most.
Whether you like it or not, TikTok is the moment. It’s the most downloaded app of 2021, has amassed 1 billion users, and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Set yourself up for future success by getting on TikTok today – even if only to consume content and learn about the app for now – and then make yourself a plan to enter TikTok creation land at some point in 2022.
While TikTok is should be the serious contender on everyone’s list for 2022, other social media platforms like YouTube and Pinterest are seeing a resurgence and are viable options for expansion as well. Regardless of the choices you make in your platform reshuffle, it’s important to consider expanding beyond Meta’s Facebook and Instagram monopoly.
Social Commerce Trend: Shoppable Content
The migration of shopping brick-and-mortar to shopping online, jet-fueled by pandemic lockdowns and store closures, will continue. The social media implication? More shopping will actually happen inside of social media apps.
Instagram states that 50% of users surveyed shop on the platform weekly, and this will continue to grow thanks to Instagram Shopping – a new collection of features that allow you to shop a brand or creator’s photos and videos across Instagram.
If you sell physical products, take advantage of this trend to start collecting social media sales directly by setting up Instagram Shopping. If you sell digital products, hang tight, Instagram doesn’t support digital products yet. Hopefully this is an expansion we’ll see next year.
Influencer Marketing Trend: All Eyes on Creators
Influencer marketing has officially shifted from an experimental tactic to a foundational component of any viable social media strategy, and rightfully so. Influencer marketing helps build trust and community, and this trust goes a long way. Influencer marketing is up to 70% more effective than traditional social media marketing.
So, what’s new in this slice of the social media world? All eyes are on creators in 2022. Beyond traditional influencers who amass large audiences and market to them on behalf of brands, a creator produces content on behalf of brands that addresses a specific need or target audience.
Creators are influencers in their own right, and they’re in high-demand after this year’s creator economy boom. They’ve been integral to helping businesses fill the gap when it comes to entertaining and relatable social content, especially on emerging platforms like TikTok.
These creators will play an even larger role in the influencer marketing landscape next year. If you’re an individual who wants to create content for brands, now is the time to step up to the plate! If you’re a business owner, consider tapping creators to help you expand your existing content strategy.
Brand Values Trend: Inclusivity + Causes
Belief-driven buyers are on the rise. Even before the events that shaped 2020, Edelman reported that 60% of people were belief-driven buyers, and that almost 70% of those buyers engaged with a brand for the first time based on them taking a stance on a controversial issue. These metrics are even higher for Millennials and Generation-Z.
One of the biggest expansions to come out of 2020 was a push towards a more inclusive world- online and offline. Now is the time when consumers are going to be looking to brands and people to live up to the claims they’ve made and causes they’ve supported.
Outward expression of brand values will be a key trend in 2022, and to be very clear - this goes beyond lip service. Now and forevermore, brands must outwardly express their values & take a stand, brands must walk the talk, and brands must follow through on an ongoing basis.
Now is a great time to reflect on how inclusive your brand and content are, to evaluate what causes you’ve supported in the past, and what causes you will continue to align with in the future. What are you doing today to support your values? What can you do in 2022 to embed this in your personal brand or businesses DNA? Those who walk the talk will come out on top.
Social Media Advertising Trend: More Spend, Less Tracking
Marketers in the U.S. will spend upwards of $50 billion on social media advertising this year, and that metric is only expected to increase for 2022. Paid social media is critical component of a strong strategy in order to break beyond the algorithmic limitations on organic content visibility, and this isn’t new.
What is new, is that the consumer privacy landscape is changing. With the introduction of Apple’s iOS 14 advertising changes, which allow users to block the tracking of their online activity, paired with Google’s elimination of third-party cookie tracking, marketers have less data available to them, which makes it harder to track the results of social media ads. This is a win for consumer privacy, and a loss for marketing efficiency.
To circumvent some of the losses that come with diminished tracking in 2022, you’ll see brands and businesses experimenting with enhanced creative and new social media advertising platforms. Expect to see ads looking less like ads and more like regular content. With new ad formats and spending options, like Instagram Reels ads, Branded Content, and the rollout of ads on TikTok, successful ads will likely mirror successful organic content.
If you plan to advertise in 2022, borrow tips from organic social media content trends like reels and user-generated content, and test these creative formats as ads. And, be prepared to approach social media advertising with acceptance that tracking and measurement insights won’t as be as potent as they once were.
With 2022 quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to reflect on your current social media journey.
From short-form vertical video content to social media advertising, consider these social media trends for 2022, and activate the ones that make most sense for your personal brand or business.
Most importantly, don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of social media’s powerful marketing capabilities in the year ahead – it truly is the best way to market yourself, get seen, and grow online.