Top Social Media Marketing Trends for 2022 According to Experts

January 10, 2022 Kaye Leah Sitchon
3D meta logo against a purple background

In 2021, social media has gone through challenges and transformations that resulted in new features and changes in algorithms. As this evolution unfolds, marketers should be quick to know about the social media marketing trends to stay ahead of the game in their marketing strategies. Read on and discover these game-changing social media trends and find out more about the predictions of top marketing experts on what to expect in social media today. Be in the know and gear up for your social media strategy and plans for 2022. 

10 Social Media Marketing Trends You Should Know Today 

Although marketers aren’t clairvoyant, they can keep a finger on the pulse of social media trends. Marketing experts lay out their cards about what they think 2022 holds for social media. 

#1: Curation on the Main Feed will focus on personalization and privacy

Because of baiting tactics, the algorithmic main feeds in Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest, have come under scrutiny demanding changes in platform strategies. Instead of ads, the main feed will be curating different types of content that bring value to users who rely on the main feeds for connection. Changes are underway with feeds focusing on personalization and privacy.

#2: Social media will still remain dependent on ad revenue

Although changes are expected on what gets curated on the main feed, social media will still be addicted to ad revenue because revenue created on platforms has grown significantly. Marketers should then keep doors open for new ads features that will come out. Digital ads will provide an effective messaging for the customer journey. 

#3: New platforms with slimmed-down media models will turn up the competition

“Slimmed-down” means that these platforms make engaging and socializing among niche audiences safer and more convenient as a community. But these models aren’t just social media platforms. They include podcast platforms (Spotify), livechat platforms (Clubhouse), newsletter platforms (Substack), and sub-communities in a more established social media platform, like Twitter Spaces. All of these platforms allow people to create more meaningful connections with their favorite creators or community rather than relying on what the algorithm recommends for engagement. Marketers should look into cultivating options in customer experience that aren’t too attention-grabbing. 

#4: As social commerce features roll out, so will social media channels dedicated to customer service 

With the pandemic affecting how people shop, customers are more accustomed now to purchasing products and services online. This only means that social commerce features will keep rolling out, making the need for fast responses to customer needs more urgent. Marketers should plan on refining customer service to maximize the benefits of these new features on any social media platform.

Jim Meadows, Takumi: “Brands will continue to embrace social media as an eCommerce channel, with new shopping features and store integrations likely to dominate the space in the new year. Updates to existing payment features will continue to make users’ in-app shopping experiences as seamless as possible meaning we’re likely to see even more users engaging in social commerce in 2022.”

Tod Nielson, Talkwalker: “Ultimately, nobody wants to go through a ten-step process just to buy a t-shirt – the simpler the customer journey on a social platform, the better chances there are of making a sale. To this end, eCommerce and monetization features will become a centerpiece of social networks as brands look to realize the potential of social selling.”

Continued Investment in Live Streaming for Authentic Retail Experiences

Pierre-Loic Assayag of Traackr says that social media platforms are now the new QVC for Millenials and Gen Z. With social media influencers as the new storefront, social commerce is now about the entire shopping experience. “We already saw Amazon, YouTube and Pinterest add live shopping features to their platforms, and the most advanced brands will invest more budget and resources toward creating authentic retail experiences on social media such as live streaming.”

#5: The cry for social media accountability will grow louder

Ever since the Wall Street Journal published the papers with findings that implicated Instagram as a negative influence on young social media users, the public’s call for social media accountability from social networks will increase. Antitrust debates will open discussions on what kind of legislation is needed and scrutiny on major platforms will only grow stronger. This means that marketers may turn to smaller platforms as a strategic choice.

#6: A new kind of influencer is on the rise: the Creators or Creative Influencers

With the proliferation of creative tools, creators or creative influencers have taken shape. Compared to influencers who rely on experiences, content creators have grown a following by producing original materials out of creator tools. Since the pandemic changed what is seen as valuable, creators gained a sizable follower count in a time and space with limited gathering options. For marketers, this means that they face two kinds of influencers when it comes to leveraging engagement and branding.

The Shift in the Traditional Influencer Model 

Founder and CEO of Wilderness Tom Jarvis mentioned that “during the pandemic, people turned to social media to learn and uncover more about the subjects they are passionate about.” On a micro level, this will filter down in the type of content people want to consume. There will also be a shift in the traditional influencer model: from “product placement” to “instruction as influence.”

The Shift to Long-Term Influencer Partnerships 

Pierre-Loic Assayag, the CEO and CO-founder of Traackr, says that consumer attention will veer away from ad-supported platforms to paywalled content. Brands should then divert their advertising budget toward long-term influencer partnerships divorced from a specific platform. With algorithms constantly changing, audiences will be following their favorite creators wherever they go. “The medium is not the message. The creator is.” 

#7: Augmented Reality and the Metaverse Hype will grow exponentially

Although still with hesitation and reservation, people today are becoming more interested in AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). With Facebook rebranding itself as Meta to leverage its AR investment and Microsoft announcing Mesh, which is a metaverse for its Teams platforms, the high-profile interest with the metaverse will keep growing. Since the metaverse has the potential to draw AR developers and suppliers into the tech spotlight, social media marketers ought to be open to experimenting with AR as a way to further enhance the customer experience. 

The Metaverse and Avatar Creation

Jim Meadows of Takumi says to expect more conversations about “meta” and the Metaverse. “With the virtual world taking off, it’s likely avatar creation will be another key development in 2022. Creators may be able to create multiple personas through the adoption of such technology and influencer marketing will continue to expand into the virtual reality world. We’re going to see a lot more avatar influencers, like Lil Miquela, emerging in the new year.”

#8: Short-form videos will define video metrics 

Since TikTok has been dominating the social media landscape today, short form video content and live streaming are now more preferred over images. New features like YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels have led to video metrics. Marketers will gain leverage by analyzing if link playback leads to conversion. If correlated data shows that conversion takes place, then the results of video metrics will definitely be a game-changer.

#9: Social Media Metrics will keep responding to mental health flaws 

During the pandemic, people have been reliant on social media leading to excessive social media usage. Excessive use affects their mental health leaving them feeling manipulated, drained, and exhausted. As awareness of this situation grows, social media platforms are finding ways to best respond. YouTube, for example, removed dislike counts from public view. Twitter also introduced Safety Mode, a filter against abusive tweets.  Marketers can expect to coordinate more with social media platforms to prevent cross-platform abuse. 

#10: Choosing platforms depends on where brands can forge better customer connections

With so many social media choices, brands are now more selective in choosing which platforms they can best connect with their intended target audience. It’s important for marketers to evaluate metrics that show which platform can provide the right exposure for messaging and connection.

Communities and Closed Platforms will Flourish

Michelle Goodall, the CMO of GUild, says that the smart money, especially in B2B businesses, is in CBM (Community Based Marketing) and creating niche. These become more valuable communities out of social media platforms. “These communities are largely being driven by the difficulties brands face in generating visibility of social media content on social platforms, with many forced to resort to ‘engagement bait’ tactics in order to get their content seen. Consequently, we’re seeing more evidence of the migration away from ad-funded, data-hungry platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and the emergence of alternative online communities – those that enable brands to create experiences and foster discussions that their community truly values, and at the same time, respects and protects their data.”

Social Sharing will Slow Down   

Tom Jarvis of the Wilderness Agency says that people have moved beyond a place of social media as a means of status update to a place where social tools are now the main form of communication. Closed platforms like messaging apps now play a vital role in people’s lives. “Our desire for more intimate connection and a lack of trust in the big social platforms will see a slow down in ‘social sharing’ or open platform engagement but a continued increase in messaging as we not only connect with friends but also brands and the world around us in a more direct way.”

Since the importance of social media in consumers’ lives cannot be denied, social media marketers flock to social media platforms and social channels to connect with their target customers. But with high competition and social media content overload, it is challenging to stand out without clear social media marketing strategies. Staying updated with social media trends for your content strategy will help guide and fuel your marketing strategy, establish a strong social media presence, and help drive success. 

 

 

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