One of the things digital marketers have to monitor and prepare for is social media. With trends changing as fast as you can double tap a post, social media marketing strategies must also keep up and change.
With more than half the world (58.4%) now using social media, it’s no surprise that it has transformed how we do online marketing.
On average, users spend almost two and a half hours every day using social media. This offers marketers a huge window of opportunity to catch their audience’s attention. With that said, keeping abreast of social media marketing trends is essential.
Below, we’ve put together some of the most important social media trends to watch in 2022—and beyond.
1. TikTok will continue to dominate
In January 2022, TikTok hit a milestone of one billion monthly active users. The short-form video platform managed this in just a little over five years since it first launched in September 2016. In addition, it reached three billion installations just six months prior.
But TikTok’s growth is not showing any signs of stopping soon. In 2021, Statista found that TikTok users watch a combined 167 million hours of video inside the app in just a minute. This is only set to grow as more and more people install and use the app.
Brands that target the younger generation will find TikTok’s growth especially favorable. According to eMarketer, by 2023, 44% of the app’s users will be under 25 years old. Even better news for marketers is that this particular set of users spends more than five hours daily on the app.
According to estimates, by 2024, TikTok will pull in more than $11 billion in US ad revenue, surpassing YouTube. The surge of marketers using the platform is clear proof, with only 16% saying they were utilizing TikTok in 2020 and jumping to 68% in 2021.
The reported effectiveness of using TikTok for marketing also increased. In 2021, only 3% of marketers believed the app was effective in helping them reach their business goals. In 2022, this increased to 24%.
With TikTok projected to gain unprecedented growth in the next few years, it’s no surprise that it will play a big role in social media marketing in the near future.
2. Short-form videos will increase in value
The rise of TikTok means other social media platforms are scrambling to replicate its success. It’s already happening with Instagram leaning away from photo content and pushing for the creation of more video content through Reels.
Apart from Reels and TikTok videos, stories are also another type of short-form photo or video content that exist in some form on all major social media platforms.
With some of the biggest social platforms placing importance on short-form video content, it is no surprise that this type of content will continue to be one of the most valuable social media trends in the next few years.
This isn’t without reason either. Several studies have found that social media users will watch to the end of a video if it’s under a minute long. Meanwhile, engagement decreases the longer a video is.
Another consumer insights study reported that video advertisements were the top way consumers discovered a brand they later purchased from. 93% of brands surveyed said they got a new customer because of a video on social media.
Fortunately for marketers, short-form videos are more accessible to the audience and the brands making them.
Usually, short-form videos that go viral are the most authentic ones, requiring little to no budget to make. And even if you need to create videos for marketing purposes, short-form content usually has lower production costs.
3. Social commerce will be more popular
In 2019, Instagram introduced Shop. It’s a dedicated tab for shopping, allowing users to easily get items that brands advertise on the Instagram app.
Instagram made shopping in-app less commercial and more immersive, with shopping posts looking just like any other posts users see on their timeline. But once users tap on the photo, text boxes with a link to the pictured products will appear.
This approach makes shopping for products so much easier. It also leads to higher conversion, as users can immediately check out items instead of saving a post and looking for the products later.
The Instagram Shop tab is just one of the many ways social media platforms have integrated commerce into their app’s functionalities. This approach is called social commerce, and many businesses are already doing it.
According to eMarketer’s May 2021 report, social commerce buyers in 2022 will reach 97.2 million and 108 million by 2025. This means millions of consumers making at least one purchase through a social media app, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
Brands and marketers must treat social networks as retail platforms if they want to boost revenue. To stay competitive, they must incorporate social commerce into their sales strategies for 2022 and beyond.
4. Augmented reality will be more mainstream
Augmented Reality or AR is not a new technology, but its use has been limited due to accessibility. The adoption of AR on social media has mostly been limited to camera application filters, enhancing the visual content users share on their platforms.
While filters are the easiest and most accessible way to leverage AR online, brands and marketers can also use this technology to provide better shopping experiences to customers.
Take Home Depot’s Project Color app, for example. It uses AR to show how paint would look when applied to certain parts of a user’s home, considering the available lighting and shadows in a room.
Sephora’s Virtual Artist app used the same AR technology as the face filters users can find on Instagram Stories or Snapchat. But instead of the usual filters, Sephora’s app will show users how makeup products look on their faces, allowing them to choose the right shades.
Whether it’s for trying on makeup and clothes or seeing how paint and certain pieces of furniture would look in a home, AR is a technology that brands can leverage for effective marketing, higher engagement, and better sales.
5. Social media for customer service
One of the perks of social media networks is that they have always been a place for people to connect with their friends, family, and peers. However, the integration of product discovery and retail has also made social media sites consumer-centric spaces.
The mix of communication and retail in one space presents an opportunity for brands and marketers to make social media sites a platform for delivering customer service.
With the right social media marketing strategy, you can humanize your brand. This makes your business more approachable in the eyes of your audience on the platform. As a result, customers are more likely to reach out to you through these channels.
If you implement a customer service plan for your social media channels, you can give your customers a positive experience with your business. Other channels, such as emails and contact forms, may leave much to be desired, but social media can be your most effective customer service platform.
Social media enables direct communication, from answering messages to replying to comments. As a result, you can respond much faster and more personally to your customers. This can build your audience’s trust in your brand while ensuring they get the help they need.
6. Influencer marketing will only grow
Influencer marketing has been alive for years, giving rise to content creators, also known as influencers, that get sponsored for featuring products aligned with their brand.
But unlike other social media marketing trends, influencer marketing shows no signs of slowing down. According to a benchmark report on influencer marketing, the industry is set to grow to $16.4 billion in 2022.
The same report found that more than 75% of marketers intend to dedicate a portion of the budget to influencer marketing, with a majority (80%) of brands choosing Instagram as the engagement platform.
But it’s not only brands that are dedicating a budget for influencers. Social media companies, including YouTube and TikTok, have set up their versions of creator funds, which help incentivize the creation of content on every platform.
This shows that influencers are relevant for both brands and social platforms. Apart from them, though, influencers are still highly effective in converting their audience into customers of the brands they represent.
When an influencer has created a connection with their audience, especially one built on trust from their product recommendations, the audience is more likely to trust the influencer’s future recommendations.
In addition, most influencers are more relatable than celebrity endorsers and usually much more affordable. This is why it’s important to identify influencers that align with your brand and get into influencer marketing if you haven’t already.
Update Your Marketing Strategy
One of the smartest ways to use social media is to stay ahead of the trends. This is why it is critical to examine upcoming trends and curate them to fit your brand’s social media goals.
Synapse Research is an all-in-one digital agency providing digital assets management, including social media marketing. Grow your brand awareness through different platforms with our social media marketing services.
Contact us today and learn how we can help transform your brand.