Marketing

Top social media trends for 2022

As we try to get back to “normal” after a few hard years, here’s what social media trends in 2022 will look like and how they will impact your brand strategy. The last few years have changed how the whole world operates, and social media trends are no exception. Now, after a period of redirection and retargeting to suit everyone being hunkered down in their homes, the world is opening back up again. We are now well into the “Age of Consumers,” where the buyers dictate what is hot and what is selling, not CEOs. Social media is a direct reflection of the Age of Consumers: the consumers are in charge now. They want what they want, and they want it now — and they are not afraid to take to social media to get their point across.

For your brand to grow (or survive), you’ll have to listen to their demands and shape your marketing strategy around the social trends consumers are dictating on social media. Now the question on small business owners and marketing managers’ minds is: what are the social media trends of 2022?

In addition to answering that question, we will also look at how these social media trends will impact your brand strategy, how to implement the findings into your new approach, how customer care on social media will develop brand awareness and potential leads, and much more.

Let’s jump right into the deep end, shall we? We are going to identify the most prominent social media trends for 2022, break them down, and show you how to implement the data into your social media strategy. So without further ado, here, in no particular order, are the most prominent social media trends for 2022:

  • Social media will become the epicentre for online shopping
  • Community on social media will become much more important
  • Community managers will become a bridge between a brand and its consumers
  • Social marketers must become customer service experts
  • Metaverses will be the next big thing

These will most likely be the most important social media trends for your company to watch out for in 2022. Next, we’ll dive into each section and tell you what the trend is all about, how it will impact your brand’s social media marketing strategy, and why it is essential to implement these findings into your social media marketing strategy for 2022.

Social media will become the epicentre for online shopping

Social media has modernised the online shopping experience. Pre-pandemic, social commerce was not the mainstream behemoth that it is today. The pandemic launched e-commerce forward years in only a few months, bringing social commerce along for the ride. Since the pandemic, 84% of consumers have shopped online, with only 65% in store, according to Shopify. At the beginning of the pandemic, in the first quarter of 2020, e-commerce prevalence increased more in 90 days than the entire last decade.

Social media trends for 2022 indicate no slowing down of online shopping.
Online shopping will become the epicentre for online shopping. Image source: Pexels

Younger generations are turning to social media for all aspects of their shopping experience, not just hitting the “Buy Now” button. According to Hootsuite, 53.2% of people aged 16 to 24 use social networks as a primary source of information when researching brands, compared to 51.3% who use search engines.

What does this mean for your brand?

E-commerce and social commerce are not going away anytime soon. We are two years into this pandemic, and even as businesses and malls are opening their doors again, people are staying online to do their shopping. Younger generations are not simply typing what they are looking for into a search engine. They are jumping on social media to find information about the product and see who else uses it and what they think about it.

Bottom line

A robust online presence on social media will remain crucial to your marketing strategy in 2022. More and more users will turn to social media for everything in the buying process, from research to purchasing, and your social media needs to accommodate all of it.

Community on social media will become much more important

Feeling like you're part of a community has always been one of humankind’s basic needs. The future of that community is on social media. The more people spend time online, the more they will find comfort in the places they go. Gamers stick to gaming sites like Twitch and Hitbox. Readers stick to Goodreads and LibraryThing. Finding that niche where consumers feel like they belong allows them to get comfortable and trust the platform more. In fact, 77% of people surveyed in a joint Facebook-NYU study said the most important group they are part of is online.

A group is a feature on many social media sites that allow users to create, post, comment, and read from their own interest- and niche-specific forums within digital communities. More and more groups are formed on social media every day to connect, share and discuss more of what they have in common. The distinction between digital and physical is blurred more every day, especially in the younger generation.

What does this mean for your brand?

Typically, these types of digital communities are made by the major players (think LEGO and Nike) who have nearly unlimited resources to build their communities around their brand. They have taken followers and turned them into engaged buyers who know everything about their products. Unfortunately, this scale of engagement and building is not feasible for most small and medium-sized businesses.

So what should you do?

Instead of building a community from the ground up, latch onto existing communities and grow from within. Find out more about your target market and build brand awareness organically. There are millions of groups out there on all of the major social media sites, and at least one of those groups have members with more than a passing interest in what you’re selling. You just need to find them.

Bottom line

Don’t make the mistake of thinking all you need are followers. An engaged, thriving and loyal community will do more for your brand than the number of followers you have.

Social media will become more and more about community. Image source: Source

Community managers will become a bridge between a brand and its consumers

Now that we’ve highlighted the importance of finding and building a community for your brand, let’s talk about the importance of adequately managing that community. First of all, data tracking is becoming increasingly unpopular and declining in use. Even Google said they are phasing out third-party cookies (small blocks of data placed on your computer to identify you). So communities will become the No. 1 place to gather information on what consumers are looking for.

What does this mean for your brand?

The managers of these communities will become the bridge between getting the information from the customers in the community and your business. You will then have to pivot your brand strategy to suit the demands of your customers in the community. The community manager will most likely be the person in charge of social media, the social marketing manager.

Bottom line

Communities will become the go-to places to get the data your business needs to identify consumer buying patterns. The manager of those communities will be the critical link to tell companies how to quickly pivot their brand to support customer demand or rising social trends.

“As the number of touchpoints explodes and brand managers adapt to digital en masse, the power of brand communities helps in bringing back the balance and provides a human face.” - Prasad Sangameshwaran, Editor, ETBrandEquity.com

Social marketers must become customer service experts

Since the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, social marketers have taken on more responsibility for handling customer service. As mentioned earlier, social marketers also have to be community managers, and now they will be required to wear the customer service hat. The pandemic has caused many problems for the supply chains that had been running reasonably smoothly until most of the world was confined to their homes and had money to spend. While good for the companies’ bottom lines, all those purchases also meant supply chain headaches with delays in deliveries, refund requests and tarnished reputations.

Where do all these customers turn when they have a complaint? They realized that being put on hold for hours is no fun and their letters go unanswered. But there is another place where they can immediately voice their concerns and create a storm while doing it, right on social media.

In a recent Facebook survey, 64% of respondents said they prefer to message a company rather than call. Social marketers are now called upon to handle the masses’ complaints and attempt to right the ship before it’s too late. Customers have also come to expect responses to their queries or complaints right away. Digital marketers and customer service agents must be on top of social media or risk alienating customers. In addition to their new responsibilities, marketers still have all their other commitments to build and maintain the brand and community.

What does this mean for your brand?

As e-commerce and social media commerce continue to rise next year, more emphasis will be placed on the roles of the social media marketer in your company. Social media will be increasingly used as a place for your customers to register complaints, and your company will have to be in a position to deal with them and respond to them immediately.

Bottom line

Your company will have to be able to handle the increased volume of communication on social media. The 2022 social media trends point to more people shopping online, and the supply chain network is still not back to normal. More complaints mean more social media marketers will be needed to keep up with high social media volume and make sure customers are responded to promptly.

Metaverses will be the future of communities, digital marketing and social media trends for 2022.
Metaverses are the Big New Thing. Image source: Source

Metaverses will be the next big thing

For those that aren’t aware, metaverses are an amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented world and the virtual world. Brands and companies were already moving toward metaverses pre-Covid. However, just like e-commerce and social commerce, the metaverse movement has been accelerated due to the pandemic and the subsequent increase in e-commerce.

An event called the Gucci Garden Experience was put on by Roblox on May 17th to 31st, 2021. This event was notable because it set the stage for what could be coming regarding metaverses, specifically Meta, the new name for Facebook. The Gucci Garden Experience showcased how metaverses can make certain items more accessible for people, especially younger people, is an excellent example of ingenuity and inclusivity. Consumers raved that it was a perfect example of merging the physical and digital worlds and a new way to reach a younger crowd that might not have been interested in Gucci. If this experience teaches us anything, it’s that the Gucci Garden Experience has opened the door for other metaverse experiences, such as Meta.

Facebook has rebranded itself and launched as Meta: the 3D space that “will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine.” Meta will be the ultimate community we have been talking about in this article. It will undoubtedly be populated with countless smaller communities that will be available to “socialize, learn, collaborate and play” with your brand. While Meta is branding itself as a new space to socialize (much like Facebook was), it is registered as an advertising company. It says a lot that a company of Meta’s size has put all its considerable weight behind the metaverse future.

What does this mean for your brand?

When metaverses become mainstream, your brand will need to be ready. As mentioned, search engines and other websites are leaving third-party cookies and other data gathering services behind as the fight for privacy becomes more public. Metaverses and the communities they will encapsulate will be the eyes and ears of gathering information on your target audience.

Bottom line

If an advertising company as massive as Facebook, aka Meta, is betting everything that metaverses are the future, social media marketers should be paying attention.

Final thoughts

Consumers are the new bosses of what they want. Social media has grown exponentially in the last decade and will continue to grow for years to come. Social media marketers will play an increasingly important role in all aspects of their company’s brand growth, strategy and upkeep. They will be required to strategically maneuver their brand to respond to the quick-changing minds of the consumer. The best place to acquire new consumer information, quite possibly, will be the digital communities invented in metaverses, namely Meta.

The social media trends of 2022 indicate the increase in e-commerce spending will continue, despite the world’s “re-opening.” They also point toward a more significant number of consumers using social media for their entire buying journey. Social media marketers will become the bridge between their brand and the consumer, taking their brands and companies into 2022 and beyond.

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