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No doubt, digital marketing keeps changing at lightning speed especially when it comes to search engine optimization and social media.
It seems like monthly there are emerging new social platforms, new digital tools, and changes to algorithms.
One thing for certain is if you are a business or work in digital marketing, you need to keep up with the latest social media trends. If this is you, read about the four hottest social media trends to keep your eyes on as we head into 2022.
1. Video is king & will not be overthrown anytime soon
Social platforms are recognizing the power of video, especially short form. They are adding new tools to make it easier than ever to create engaging, consumable videos.
To compete with TikTok, Instagram introduced Reels at the end of July 2021. Instagram Reels now can be created directly from Facebook and also can appear in the Facebook Newsfeed. As not to be outshined, TikTok tools now make it easy to repost a video made on the TikTok platform directly to other social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat.
So, if your business is not well versed in the video, 2022 is the year to hire a content creator to help you learn short-form video and Tik Tok.
2. Social commerce will continue its explosive growth
Social commerce is selling products directly from a social media platform. In 2021 it’s estimated that social commerce will hit $36.6 billion in sales with a growth rate of 35.8%. That’s only predicted to grow from there to upward of $80 billion by 2025. You definitely want a piece of this pie!
And did you know that sending traffic from your socials to your website can also help with search engine optimization? Search engine optimization experts are seeing some businesses receive higher traffic to websites from social media when compared to organic and paid searches.
Social commerce definitely can assist in increased SEO.
In 2021, nearly every social platform invested in new features to help businesses start selling on e-commerce. Expect these social tools to continue to roll out into 2022. We are seeing everything from shoppable pins and posts to full social commerce stores equipped with bots to personalize the consumer experience. Most social commerce stores now even have advanced analytics to measure KPIs.Image source: Pixabay
Facebook Shops, to help small businesses sell online, has been around a while. In 2021, we saw other platforms follow suit. For example, TikTok jumped on the trend allowing business users to add a “Shop” tab and tag products in posts which then incorporate directly to a Shopify website. Interestingly, Pinterest also uses Shopify to create shopping pins and expand the technology worldwide in 2021.
Both Amazon and Google are well known for their shopping ads. So, it should be no surprise to see an increase in companies also using targeted shopping ads on social media as well. If you are using Facebook advertising you should definitely know about the difference between the two paid Facebook ad strategies; Facebook Ads vs Boosted Posts.
Source: Facebook shoppable paid advertising from November 2021, Fanatics, Whole Foods.
Going hand in hand with creating video and shoppable ads, many platforms are now offering live video streams. These help brands not only cultivate relationships with viewers but also sell directly to them. The beauty and fashion industries seem to be at the forefront of utilizing live streams. Facebook hosted Live Shopping Fridays this past summer and will continue daily live streams through the holidays.
3. Metaverse VR/AR is on the horizon
The big announcement for 2021 is Facebook changing its name to Meta. This has people around the world abuzz wondering what exactly is Meta. Meta is a part of the metaverse. A metaverse is a 3D virtual world. In this virtual world, people can do real-life things like virtually attending a work meeting. In the metaverse, people can virtually connect to family and friends and are represented by an avatar.
So, what does the metaverse have to do with social media and why might this be one of the most important social trends to look at in 2022 and beyond? Look no further than Snapchat for those answers. In a way, Snap has been quietly at the forefront of a metaverse for many years.
Most obvious, Snapchat is known for having its users represent themselves with Bitmoji avatars. Even more interesting, Snap Bitmojis can be dressed in branded apparel thanks to Snap’s partnerships with companies like Levi’s and Ralph Lauren. Snap also introduced something called Snap Spectacles back in 2016. These Snap Spectacles allowed users to capture 10-second Snap videos of everyday life to share.
Can we say, ahead of the social video curve? Many thought we might see these Snap Spectacles just go away. But the interesting thing is in 2021 Snap Spectacles evolved into the 4th generation incorporating guess what? … augmented reality. Snapchat further incorporated augmented reality technology in 2021 allowing users, through 3D body scan technology, a try-on experience with apparel, makeup, jewelry, and more. In October, Snap also launched a new A/R studio for brands called Arcadia in which it secured partnerships with large corporations like P&G Beauty and Verizon and promised an AR shoppable experience.
This combined with shoppable product catalogs for merchants with Shopify accounts could mean the sky’s the limit for social commerce on Snapchat and the future of shoppable augmented reality in the metaverse is just beginning. The metaverse and shoppable AR is a trend social media managers will want to keep their eyes on in 2022.
4. Gen Z is on social media and ready to spend
According to Statista, Gen Z consists of people born from about 1997 to 2012 and is estimated to be 67 million in size (slightly less than Millenials). This means the oldest Gen Zs are about 24, are out in the workforce, are the highest educated generation yet, and most importantly, have disposable income. In fact, according to NACE, GenZ salaries, fresh out of college in 2021, are predicted to come in at between $54,857 and $72,173 in 2021. Now that’s some money to spend!
Image source: Pexels
Gen Z, growing up with devices like Nintendos and cell phones in their hands. It is the most computer and tech-savvy generation ever. This also means they are the most versed generation on social media and are very comfortable shopping online.
Gen Zs spend on average 4.5 hours a day on social media playing video games and listening to music. And here’s the thing, Gen Z is poised to take over the retail economy in decades to come, especially social commerce. Brands need to place themselves on the emerging social platforms Gen Z prefers like YouTube, Snapchat, and Reddit and utilize channels of purchase that accommodate them which could include crypto and trading in NFTs.
So, there you have it, the top killing social media trends for 2022.
Video will continue to grow in popularity on all social platforms. Businesses need to incorporate it into their 2022 social strategy and take advantage of new tools offered in this area. Social commerce was only in its infancy in 2021. It’s expected to grow leaps and bounds to become a major sales channel.
Social commerce also ties into search engine optimization making it another critical component to add to your social strategy. With the 2021 announcement about Meta, augmented reality (A/R) becomes the newest buzz in social media.
Watch for more social platforms to tie A/R into their offerings especially into social shopping like Snap. And last, Gen Z is almost all grown up and about to make its mark on the social world. This generation is not to be ignored and companies who meet them where they are on social media surely will benefit in revenue growth. You will want to stay at the forefront of social media and take advantage of these tips before your competitors do!
Author: Matija is a marketing and tech enthusiast, both on and off work. You can never bother Matija with “just one more question” when it comes to marketing. He likes to get scientific about marketing, performing research on various related topics – sharing his insights and interpretations with like-minded enthusiasts.