5 social media trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2022

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5 social media trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2022

Lucía Martínez Sansogne
/
Lucía Martínez Sansogne
/

5 social media trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2022

Social media is crucial for any business as it’s an essential way for companies to interact with their customers in real-time, as well as to create opportunities for meeting new ones.

Here, we’ll take you through the top five social media trends you need to consider in 2022 - and why they matter. To do that, we’ll also focus on why social media should be considered an important part of your business marketing strategy.

Social media as a tool

As the experts at Hootsuite rightly say, social media is about interaction, but it’s also a great source of insights and a handy way to provide your audience with helpful, interesting content, which will both strengthen the relationship and aid the customer journey. (A win-win, if you will.) 

Where companies often fall short is giving into the temptation to use social media content to broadcast news and ideas, without doing much to encourage engagement and dialogue with their audience. Sometimes this is down to impatience and a need to generate sales, and sometimes it happens  because marketers focus too much on the upper funnel, reach and awareness. Both marketing objectives can be served on social with the right planning and intentention Social media is however at it’s best right in the middle of consumer journeys: it is perfect to build relationships, while nurturing leads and buying intention. 

For best results, every piece of content your business puts out should have an aim - be that encouraging a step further in your marketing funnel, to inform (which not only helps your audience, it establishes you as an expert in your field) or to connect  Planning your content with intention will help create the right content and balance your planning well. 

Be human

As a general rule, people do business with people - the more of your company’s ethos and personality you can convey, the better. 

If nothing interesting (or personable) ever happens on your account, you’re losing the opportunity to appear more human, more relatable and more trustworthy - which are all vital for both existing and potential clients.  

A sign of the times

The ways in which people are consuming information and how they are interacting with technology are constantly in flux - so your company’s social media strategy should never stand still. Furthermore, its strength and influence shows no sign of abating… quite the opposite, in fact.

“Between 2019 to 2021, the number of social media users worldwide increased by 11 percent — from roughly 3.4 billion in 2019 to 3.78 billion in 2021.” - HubSpot 

And that was even before the myriad of changes that the pandemic brought about in 2020, when everything digital took on a completely different (much more important) meaning

As Lala Fevrier, Wayfair's Senior Associate for Influencer Marketing, succinctly puts it: "When restaurants, schools, and businesses shut down [in 2020], the only place left with a 24/7 open sign for communication and creativity was social media.”

The sudden, overnight reliance on all things digital meant there was a lot more noise - and not all of it good. Cutting through that noise with a clear message became more challenging than any other time in living memory.

So with all this in mind, we wanted to make sure your company can do exactly that - cut through the noise to achieve great results, which led us to put together our top five social media trends to look out for in 2022.

1. The Creator Economy and its exponential growth

It is well documented that the Creator Economy is now worth over $100 billion (and growing), which means we all need to be paying more attention to it.

These days, creator marketplaces and creator tools are not only appearing on social platforms including TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest, they are also attracting significant investment. 

How does it work?

Tools like this work twofold - they make it easier for creators to connect with their audience, and they make collaborations with brands simpler to achieve. 

Which is significant because as we mentioned before, people trust people more than brands, and this is becoming increasingly prevalent. 

And that is why partnering with influencers and content creators will help businesses see significantly better results in 2022.

Pinterest is a good example of a company jumping on this new trend. The Pinterest Newsroom recently published an article entitled ‘Introducing new ways for Creators to earn money and partner with brands on Pinterest’ which is a valuable resource that you can access here, to learn more about its thinking on the matter. 

Similarly, the TikTok Creator Marketplace is a space you can join, which they describe as ‘the official collaboration platform to connect brands and creators on TikTok.’ 

In simple terms, TikTok Creator Marketplace enables creators to collaborate with brands on both paid and reward based campaigns. Find out more about how to harness this to your advantage here.

Over on LinkedIn, you have  LinkedIn creator mode, which they describe as “a way of letting people know that your profile is a destination for inspiring content, which helps you gain followers”. 

 “It also allows you streamlined access to creator tools, such as live video and newsletters, giving you more ways to make content and actively engage with your following.” Linkedin added.

Three LinkedIn creators and influencers worth following:

Chris Gledhill - Chris regularly ranks as a top global FinTech influencer and often speaks and writes about FinTech, banking and the future of financial services. He works as a freelanceFinTech advisor and consultant. His expertise spans disruptive technologies including Blockchain, AI, API, Big Data, Deep Learning, Virtual Reality, CryptoCurrencies, Biometrics, Mobile & Wearables. 

Jim Marous - Jim has been a ‘top 5 influencer in banking’ every year for a decade. He is an international keynote speaker, co-publisher of The Financial Brand, owner and publisher of the Digital Banking Report and host of the top banking podcast, Banking Transformed. Jim advises on everything to do with digital transformation in the financial services industry.

Spiros Margaris - Spiros is the first international influencer to achieve what’s since been referred to as ‘the triple crown’ ranking, which is global № 1 FinTech, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) influencer, as chosen by Onalytica. He regularly appears in the top three positions of established global industry influencer rankings and is a keynote speaker at international FinTech, and InsurTech conferences.


This phenomenon is summed up nicely by a recent blog for TopRank Marketing, which said:  “When you involve influencers, you’re adding additional human voices to your content. Let the influential people in your industry add their credibility, expertise, and most importantly, personality. It’ll make your content smarter, more personable, and more likely to connect with people.”

An example of a business doing this well is the LiveHelpNow, a customer experience company who turned to influencers to launch collaborative content campaigns, as outlined in this Audiense blog.

“During our last webinar campaign, we actively engaged with professionals such as Shep Hyken, Jeff Toister, and Nate Brown as well as others,” Natalya Bucuy, a content marketing writer for LiveHelpNow told Audiense.

She added: “This strategy alone provided a boost in our website traffic, social media engagement with our audiences, and overall online engagement and connections. Our readers and customers enjoyed the value these customer experience professionals added to our content and engaged with it more actively."

2. Social commerce is evolving

Social media is changing the way people shop, and in particular use e-commerce. In 2020, an analysis by Research and Markets found that the global social commerce market was estimated at $89.4 billion …and is set to reach a staggering $604.5 billion by 2027. We would go so far as to say that ‘social commerce’ (which is the process of selling products directly on social media) is revolutionising the e-commerce industry.

This revolution can arguably be attributed to the pandemic as well as the growing market, reach and, well, influence of influencers. From end-user perspective this is an infinitely convenient way of shopping: social commerce has given us all the ability to shop on platforms including Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, at the touch of a button, in the palm of our hands, wherever we are. People can shop on-the-go, while waiting for appointment, while riding a train or waiting in the car to pick up their kids. 

And jettisoned right into our accounts, as a direct result of our searches and shopping habits, are brands and items the social media platform in question suggests we might like - which gives the whole thing a completely new angle, influence and - from a business perspective - opportunity to exploit. 

The Instagram effect 

Instagram revolutionised the social shopping experience when it introduced and rolled out shopping functions in the summer of 2020. 

Since then, the Explore tab has been handily highlighting different brands and items that people can purchase. The Shop page gives users personalised recommendations on what to buywith everything available to purchase within the app. It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s accessible - and it works. 

As Instagram itself puts it, in one of its many informative blogs on the subject: “People can visit a shop from a business’ Instagram profile or through Feed and Stories. Once they’re at the shop, people can browse products, explore collections, and purchase products — seamlessly through our in-app browser or without leaving the app from shops with checkout.”

All this means that we are now able to ‘discover’lesser-known brands and more unique items, as well as the social sharing of items by friends and influencers - easily tagged and available to purchase via a click. Put all this together and you can see why social commerce is a powerful beast worth taming.

3. Video content is here to stay

The popularity of video on social channels rose at an almost meteoric rate during the pandemic, and brought with it a whole new world of opportunities for businesses and influencers alike. 

The reasons for this span information overload (videos are much easier to idly digest than words), the fact that we’ve all started to favour any medium that allows us to ‘escape’ (in the way that all ‘stories’ do, no matter how short), and a collective short (and ever-decreasing) attention span. Video plays into the hands of all three, and cleverly keeps us captivated, reel after reel. 

Mainstreaming video content 

It was after noticing this trend (which arguably TikTok brought about) that Instagram introduced Reels, whereby you can record and edit multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. 

But how can businesses use the power of video to best effect? The answer is by doing something new and original (of course), and as such is tricky to pin down. To inspire your own creative process, here are some examples of brands doing this fantastically well.

Here are our 5 top tips how to use Reels to grow your business:

  • Plan it in line with your overall content strategy. There are always trends and viral moves but it is best if your videos show who you are and what your brand is about.
  • That being said, humor is always a great connector and jumping on the fitting trends every now and then can emphasise the humanity of even a serious brand. 
  • Announce exclusive or limited-time offers
  • Launch and show off new products, perhaps linked to a competition
  • Reshare your brilliant (we have no doubt) TikTok videos - if you’ve taken the time to make one, make sure as many people see it as possible
  • Give something back, in the educational sense - upload a tutorial, a guide, a hot tip - establish your business as the experts
  • Be human. We keep coming back to this but it’s important - if it looks like an advert, no one is going to watch it.

4. Snackable content

But it’s not all about short videos. So-called ‘snackable’ content is a buzzword worth getting to know. For the uninitiated, it means short, easy to digest, and even easier to share - all big wins in business terms. 

This type of content offers the consumer immediate entertainment or enrichment. It also prompts social sharing with the aim of attracting new leads and customers.

For companies in the B2B sector, this can mean infographics, 90 seconds of educational (but, crucially, still entertaining) content, and it might mean trend and market predictions in a snappy, memorable format such as podcasts, to name just three. 

We’re aware they’ve already been mentioned in dispatches, but one company that really ‘gets’ snackable content (and by that we mean is consistently leading the charge) is Netflix. In its Instagram social media feed, you can see a variety of ‘snackable’ content in a range of formats, such as memes and short videos. It’s a cliche but, there really is something for everyone, and businesses would do well to follow where Netflix leads. 

Other examples of snackable content done well include The Economist morning briefing which tells the reader what's on the global agenda; and Latino Metrics LinkedIn page, offering data visualisations, graphs and key insights.

5. “Humanising” the brand

People do business with people - it’s that simple. Faceless brands won’t wash in the digital sphere anymore. People want faces, emotions, imperfections, ethos and values - they want Richard Branson smiling back at them when they think about Virgin in its many forms. 

But (luckily) you don’t have to be Richard Branson to take advantage of this. Companies large and small are now sharing much more ‘real’ employee content to their social channels now, which helps them achieve exactly this. 

Because humanising simply means users want more than just perfect images and videos. The content you put out must look genuine, and generate some semblance of sentiment or feeling in the consumer. 

In a similar vein, by sharing content from their followers, companies can be seen to show a more relatable side on their social media platform - this has been proven to be an effective tool for generating revenue.

To think of this in tangible terms, in this 80+ Essential Social Media Marketing Statistics For 2022 blog, HubSpot says “79 percent of people who use user-generated content on social media, say it significantly impacts their purchasing decisions”.


As well as taking all this on board, please bear in mind that your social media strategy needs to be flexible, moveable and reactive. Because what works today may not be effective in six months’ time, so it’s worth keeping abreast of all new developments. 

If you don’t know where those will be, just check back here. As experts in the field, it’s our job (and pleasure) to keep you informed. 

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Further recommended reading: 

Content creators: https://later.com/blog/social-media-trends/

Social commerce: https://later.com/blog/social-commerce/

Video format: https://www.gdrmediagroup.com.au/blog/170-Social-Media-Trends-in-2022

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/quarantine-trends-social-media

Snackable content: https://vwo.com/blog/snackable-content/

Humanising the brand: https://www.unboxsocial.com/blog/social-media-marketing-trends-2022/ 

Lucía Martínez Sansogne
Digital Marketing Consultant