Creating a social media strategy can be a daunting task. Social media evolves rapidly, and as technology changes and the possibilities become endless, digital marketers are faced with the challenge of keeping up with the latest strategies. As this continues throughout 2022, it’s important to consider the latest social media changes. Here are five social media trends that you should be aware of in 2022.
Continued rise of short video content
TikTok’s explosive growth over the past two years shows that short-form video content is back and growing in popularity. With 1.2 billion active users in the final quarter of 2021, the app enters this year as one of the most prominent platforms. Short videos are key for capturing the attention of consumers with an abundance of content at their fingertips and other platforms are catching on. Instagram Reels, Reddit’s short-video feed, and YouTube Shorts all launched over the last few years and offer users a similar type of content to TikTok. All of these projects tell the same story—videos dominate our engagement. On Instagram, videos were engaged with 38% more than photos. In an age where many brands and influencers compete for attention online, short-form video content will be more important than ever throughout 2022. Those who create engaging, memorable videos in the 7 to 20 second range will rise above the rest.
Create authentic content
In 2004, Dove launched a successful Real Beauty advertising campaign emphasizing authenticity and a positive body image. Seventeen years later, a similar movement is happening across social media. In 2021, 59% of Americans found Instagram’s beauty filters to be “troubling.” This issue is prominent around the globe. To help resolve this issue, in 2021, the United Kingdom banned the use of misleading filters for many beauty products. 2022 could see more pushes for authenticity. Brands can create more trustworthy and loyal relationships with customers by removing the filters from their content. Whether it’s pictures of people, food, or shoes, less misleading effects can be more engaging and persuasive. Other emerging and popular apps continue to indicate this trend. BeReal, an app being downloaded across many colleges in the U.S., notifies all users once per day and gives them two minutes to take a picture of what they’re doing—whether they’re sick laying in bed or at a concert on the other side of the world. BeReal’s growing popularity shows a rejection of the “perfect” style of posts common across Instagram, Snapchat Stories, and Facebook. After years of perfect pictures and captions, one can expect more casual and authentic posts across social media in 2022.
Integrate social ecommerce
Ecommerce is now an essential part of large social media platforms. While older consumers make most purchases in stores and on traditional websites, many younger people first experienced ecommerce through Instagram Shopping, Facebook Marketplace, Pinterest Shopping, and other ecommerce apps.Ecommerce on social media is anticipated to grow three times as fast as traditional online shopping until the year 2025. The targeted ads used by Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are effective at capturing users’ wants and needs—and ecommerce on the app itself simply makes the steps to purchases shorter. With such a large projected growth, social ecommerce should be a priority for brands. The ability to sell products on platforms used by billions such as TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook is powerful, and we now live in a world where products can be sold online by a brand without even needing to direct customers to their official website. According to Marketing Dive, Gen Z and millennials are the primary drivers of social ecommerce, and will make up for 62% of it by 2025. Larger social media apps will be key in driving conversions from the younger demographics. Social ecommerce is a trend that will go well beyond 2022 and will continue to be at the forefront of shopping and selling products in the foreseeable future.
Increased use of live streams
Live streaming has emerged as an effective way for influencers and brands to engage with their followers. Whether through Instagram Live, Youtube Live, or Facebook Live, live streams are an opportunity to directly connect with potential customers and provide them a constant flow of information. Used for product launches, Q&As, or pure entertainment, the increase of live streams across social media platforms the last few years cannot be ignored. Not only is the strategy gowing, but it holds users’ attention. Live streaming grew 13% in 2021 and 27% more minutes were spent engaged with content than on-demand videos. As short-form videos take over much of the social media space, marketers should focus on live videos. The created anticipation and direct engagement with comments on live streams across social media are a valuable tool. Quality still remains important for live streams. A good live stream should have a well-thought out agenda for how the time on-air will be spent—any long gaps could be hurtful. 62% of consumers said a poor video would give them a negative perception of brands. Quality live streams are useful at many points in the marketing process. This year, expect them to see more live streams across social media platforms.
Adopting augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) changed the way consumers can demo products and try new services. In 2022, AR will become more mainstream and be utilized in new, creative ways. The versatility of AR makes it useful for any brand. There’s no better app than Pokemon Go to show the power of augmented reality. Launched in the summer of 2016, the free-to-play game encouraged users to move through the real world to explore the map and fight other players. The game took the app store by storm and amassed tens of millions of downloads. However, augmented reality’s uses go beyond mobile games. IKEA released the IKEA Place App in 2017, allowing shoppers to preview how all products in the catalog would look at any spot in their own homes. These innovations can take away the uncertainty of online shopping and encourage more purchases. The impact of augmented reality is just beginning. Large investments into AR from Snapchat, Apple, Nintendo, and many others, point to a bright future. As technology evolves this year, the uses of AR will continue to grow. The technology is here to stay and will be an essential aspect of many mobile apps and social media platforms.
Keeping up with the frequent changes to social media can be exhausting. However, with enough foresight to spot trends in advance and optimize your brand’s social media strategies, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms can provide invaluable ways to connect with your customers, build relationships, and drive conversions. From augmented reality to the lack of filters, keep these trends in mind as you move forward this year.