What is the Next Social Media Trend?

What are we talking about in this article?

There were 4.48 billion active social media users around the world as of July 2021. The figure saw an enormous upward climb since the previous year after the COVID-19 pandemic had forced so many of us inside with little in-person contact with one another.

But even before the pandemic, social media content was an integral part of our lives. It’s become a critical digital marketing tool, as well as a one we use in our personal lives. 

What’s next for the social media landscape? Here are the latest social media trends we’re seeing as 2022 kicks off.

Project Management

What is a social media marketing strategy?

Your social media strategy outlines your path to achieving your goals, specifically as they pertain to this space. It is part of an overarching digital marketing plan, which, as a whole, services your general business goals. 

Every channel and platform you use — TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on — is listed in this strategy. You will also detail how specific posts will help you meet your goals and the overall tone you want to achieve. 

Paid advertising, organic reach, staying abreast of trends, and additional elements should be part of this strategy, too. You may even hire an internal or external expert to help you manage your accounts and spearhead your campaigns.

New trends in social media for 2022

TikTok BOOM!

TikTok has conquered the world — at least for younger audiences. That means it has climbed its way to the top as one of the top social media trends. Sure, it hasn’t taken over the ever-popular Instagram as a digital marketing tool, but it has transformed into a platform for content creators and marketers alike. 

Today, audiences want short-form video content, as we will underscore in greater detail. TikTok offers a means for showcasing sights and sounds — and, of course, dance moves. Businesses can create ads and use other initiatives to target users. 

A marketing firm’s strategy doesn’t need to be limited to paid advertising and other sponsored content. More and more, agencies are working with real users to create content and drive awareness. If you’re trying to appeal to Gen Z, then why not engage your audience with people like them?

In September 2021, TikTok reached 1 billion users. Clearly, it’s more than a passing trend and one that should certainly be part of your overarching strategy. It’s critical for your brand to create an account and learn how to use the platform to your advantage, incorporating it into your marketing plans.

Social commerce

As a marketing trend, utilizing social media platforms to promote new products and existing ones is an old hat at this point. But social e-commerce will gain even more traction in the coming year. Given how many people are already on these platforms, it just makes good business sense to sell services and goods directly via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other channels.

Focus on advertising efforts to appeal to consumers. Test shopping functionalities across the platforms to ensure that users can easily navigate your channels and buy products or services with a single click. That’s right — they shouldn’t even have to leave the page or app to make a purchase. 

Of course, your ads will need to stand out to would-be shoppers. They should be eye-catching so that when users are mindlessly scrolling, they will grab their attention. 

Now that so much shopping is digital these days, it’s pivotal to incorporate commerce into your social strategy. 

Interactive elements in social selling

While content marketing reigns the social sphere — and other aspects of the digital landscape — these efforts can’t end with a visual or auditory user experience. Instead, your target audience must be able to fully interact with the content. The good news is that many social platforms facilitate interactive features, such as:

  • Quizzes and polls
  • Navigable infographics
  • Contests
  • Calculators
  • Interactive videos

Not only will these and other elements drive engagement and prompt users to navigate to your additional content, such as websites and landing pages, but they will also encourage consumers to make purchases directly through your social channels.

New digital entities in the metaverse

The metaverse, essentially a digital sphere or virtual environment that facilitates interactions and brings to light new ideas and phenomena, incorporates elements like gaming and social media platforms. 

Already, Facebook rebranded its larger company as Meta, as part of a response to this movement toward a new virtual reality. And every company that exists within a digital marketing sphere must consider the implications of this phenomenon, too. 

The metaverse comes with new terminologies and entities apart from everything we have known. Take non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This is essentially a virtual product that can be sold, bartered, or exchanged via blockchain technology. This is part of this world, and as perplexing as it may seem to many, it’s critical to become versed in the role it could play in the exchange of goods now and in the future.

Time tracking & estimation

AR- and VR-based social media campaigns

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are nothing new. But they have grown far beyond their initial conceptions and completely taken over the digital world, offering a means of allowing individuals to completely immerse themselves in projected environments and experiences beyond their wildest imaginations. 

Now, organizations across the gamut are embracing both AR and VR as a means of social selling and promotion. Just some examples include:

  • Self-guided and interactive tours of spaces like hotels, restaurants, commercial buildings, and more
  • The ability to “try on” retail products such as clothing, eyewear, and accessories
  • Product demonstrations
  • Filters to “see” instructions and maps, as well as enhance images and add various elements

This is a social media tool that could effectively change the very face of digital marketing, leading to unprecedented engagement. Companies that embrace AR and VR are able to boost the user experience, turning it into an entirely reconceptualized space.

Video content

Video content is no stranger to the social space. It’s engaging, appealing to multiple senses, and functions on multiple platforms, not just TikTok and Instagram — Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other social channels have embraced the format, too. Often, there are multiple ways to post videos, too — reels, stories, and posts, to name just a few. 

Today, there is also the option of live streaming, depending on the platform itself. This is an even more engaging form of social content, offering a real-time means of interacting with your audience.

One thing marketers must be cognizant of in today’s landscape is video length. Rather than long-form videos, audiences (who so frequently have short attention spans) prefer short-form content. Of course, this should be tailored to the platform, but generally speaking, videos that are fewer than two minutes long tend to receive more engagement than those that are longer. In fact, some platforms, such as Twitter, don’t allow users to post videos beyond the two-minute mark. 

Even longer-form video platforms, such as YouTube, are experimenting with shorter-form videos. 

What does that mean for marketing agencies and other businesses? Your social strategy must focus on searching for ways to engage users quickly, within a very short amount of time. 

Focus on organic reels and clips, too, along with straight advertising. This is another way to showcase your work while engaging consumers at the same time. 

Smaller networks

You know the big social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the like. But smaller networkers are also becoming a critical part of agencies’ marketing strategies. Arguably, TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest fall into this category — while they have become household names, they still fall short of the popularity of their more well-known and larger counterparts.

That said, given the fast pace of the rise of some of these networks, particularly TikTok, it’s clear that marketers should not overlook them. Many of the platforms offer multiple forms of advertising opportunities, as well as means of delivering organic content.

Consider smaller, niche social networks as well. There are many tinier platforms catering to specific circles, and depending on your brand and business model, you should consider using them to reach your audience.

Given that these spaces tend to be less saturated with the competition, you have a better chance of standing out and appealing to consumers. 

Instagram and Twitter

Seventy percent of B2B businesses intend to invest heavily in Twitter this year, while more than 60% want to expand their reach on Instagram, HubSpot reports. At the same time, just less than half of the businesses surveyed plan to increase their Facebook spending. 

This suggests that despite Facebook’s overwhelming power in the marketing sphere, additional giants in the space are gaining traction as tools in the space. Increasingly, businesses are investing in and experimenting with the many features platforms like Instagram and Twitter have to offer. 

It’s time to experiment with the various ways you can reach your consumers, such as Instagram Reels, Twitter Lists, Instagram stories, hashtags, and live videos, among the additional tools the platforms have to offer. Old and new features hold a lot of promise for your brand across social media channels.

Project Profitability

Social listening

Hearing and listening are two separate concepts when it comes to social media. In order to build brand awareness, it’s important to do both. You’re probably aware of what it means to hear on social — you should pay attention to trends, goings-on in your industry, and what people are saying about your brand. 

But listening goes a step further. Small businesses should mine every platform in their arsenal for data that could fuel their brand and push it forward.

For example, you can observe what competitors in your space are doing and see how well their efforts are paying off by assessing the reactions and insights from their posts.

You should also pay attention to conversations individuals are having in spaces that concern your brand. For example, notice what hashtags are trending, the topics that concern individuals in your industry, the news that affects these people, and how they are responding.

Influencer marketing

No matter which side you fall on, everyone has an opinion on influencer marketing — and whether it’s positive or negative, this trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future. And it’s not a phenomenon you should overlook.

Influencers, well-known individuals who promote products via their social media accounts, can make a huge mark on your brand and make it well known in their (large) circles and beyond. Today, businesses and organizations of practically every type are investing enormous amounts of money into the influencer space.

If you do decide to go this route, make sure you think about your goals and how the use of influencers will help you reach them. Consider your target audience and the types of well-known advocates who will help you respond to their specific needs.

You should also think about what your organization stands for and who will best represent these values and the mission. For example, if inclusivity is an important value for your brand, then you should make sure that you have representatives who encompass a variety of backgrounds, races, ethnicities, body types, religions, nationalities, gender identities, and so on. Consider, too, the types of people who are most relevant to your brand and can speak to your audience. You want consumers to identify with them, rather than see them as unapproachable, distant entities.

What’s the next big thing in social media?

Social media exists to tell stories. Today, it has grown far beyond the early days of MySpace and Facebook into a global and cultural phenomenon. It has spawned new networks and platforms and transformed into something greater than just a means of connecting with one another. Now, it is a marketing tool, a career builder, and much more.

In 2022, digital marketers and social media specialists will expand their reach. They will hearken back to the days of platforms as a means of connectivity and use them as tools to create relationships with consumers, telling not just their own stories but sharing those of consumers as well. 

This is the wave of the future, but it’s also firmly part of our present. It’s about building and sustaining engagement and promoting loyalty. It’s also a way of sharing a brand’s mission, values, purpose, and way of doing business — getting to the very core of why it exists. The hope is that consumers will understand that these organizations are more than just the products and services they market and sell; instead, they will see that they stand for a true purpose and way of life.


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