Seven Social Media Trends for 2022 and Beyond

In 2022, the number of social media users has soared as high as 5.2 billion globally, and brands are not leaving any opportunity to leverage this number. It is leading to new trends popping up every other day. However, seven trends are most prominent and dominate the space right now. 

If you want to create a social media marketing strategy that makes your professional or personal brand stand out, you need to study these trends thoroughly. In this blog, we have clearly explained each trend and how you can practically make it a part of your strategy.

Seven social media trends for 2022 and beyond

  • Tik-Tok will dominate the social media space 

At the beginning of 2021, Tik-Tok was the only non-facebook app to reach 3 million global downloads. Be it for a dose of creative inspiration or a burst of quick laughter, Tik-Tok is the go-to platform for most people. Brands use this platform to showcase their unique personality and tap into new audiences. 

No wonder other platforms like Instagram, and YouTube have also incorporated features like “Reels” and “Shorts” to promote more snackable content that Gen Zs and millennials seem to be obsessed with these days. Tik Tok enables brands to directly engage with their customers and potential customers which is a huge advantage.

You can take inspiration from the Tik Tok marketing strategies of these popular brands:

  • Dunkin

Dunkin launched new menu items by partnering with TikTok megastar Charli D’Amelio and collaborating on several videos with her. Dunkin saw a 57% spike in app downloads and 20% sales boost for all cold brew coffees after this collaboration.

  • Milk Bar

This brand did an exceptional job at leveraging popular TikTok memes, formats, and audio to create branded content. 

  • Gymshark

Gymshark launched an insanely successful Tik Tok campaign-66 Days: Change Your Life challenge. The challenge was based on the fact that it takes 66 days to form a habit. People joined in massive numbers to win the gym membership. The hashtag #gymshark66 generated 193 million views.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • Always show a lighter and humorous side of your brand on the platform.
  • Create  creative content.
  • Leverage on the latest challenges, trends, formats etc
  1. Reaching new audience will be a priority 

Research says that the primary goals of most social media marketers will be to:

  • Boost customer loyalty
  • Improve customer service and retention
  • Promoting brand awareness

Brands no longer solely focus on generating sales and bluntly promoting their products. The focus has now shifted to how brands can improve the social media experience for their target audience. 

Brands are trying to develop a more meaningful connection with their audience through social media content. This strategy is beneficial for customer retention in the long run.

You can take inspiration from the strategy of the following brands to tap into new audience sections:

  • An international beauty brand wanted to penetrate a new market in Asia. So the brand started analyzing online conversations about pre-established beauty products. They adapted their content marketing strategy accordingly to bridge the cultural differences between the brand and the market.
  • An alcohol brand discovered that online conversations were occurring around a well-known singer’s mention of their brand in one of his songs. The brand decided to leverage this opportunity and sponsored concerts by that singer to create marketing content around it. It helped the brand create brand awareness among the singer’s fans- an audience not previously tapped into.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • Connect with opinion leaders, specialized media experts, researchers, and journalists to educate yourself on emerging trends. Invest in creating creative, buzzy content on these trends.
  • Leverage the power of social listening to identify high-value market segments, understand customer expectations etc. Use insight-driven marketing to develop well-targeted content strategies.
  • Constantly monitor your KPIs to understand what kind of content your target audience is best responding to. 
  1. Influencer marketing will go to a new level altogether

Influencers saw massive growth in their number of followers and engagement rates during lockdown. Influencers are no more trying to project a fancy or typical “larger than life” image. They are becoming more relatable to the general audience. People interact with influencers a lot more and have developed a sense of trust towards them.

Brands are leveraging these feelings of trust and community of Gen Zs and millennials towards influencers to promote their offerings. And it’s no longer hardcore, pushy promotional content anymore. Influencers have learnt how to naturally integrate brand promotion into their funny, relatable or aesthetic content. Influencers don’t just help brands generate leads. They also help brands create more awareness. 

You can take inspiration from the strategy of the following brands to design influencer campaigns:

  • Daniel Wellington

This Swedish brand chose celebrities and lifestyle influencers of all sizes for their worldwide campaign offering a 15% discount. The brand’s Instagram profile gained over 3 million subscribers from this strategy, and currently, over 2 million posts tagged #danielwellington.

  • EOS

This brand launched a lip balm influencer marketing campaign where the brand featured six new additions to their Flavor Lab lip balm line collaborating with 19 influencers involved in the creation of the new flavours.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • Do not collaborate with 1-2 big influencers with a lot of followers. Instead, collaborate with a whole network of micro, relevant and niche influencers who have the same set of audiences as your target audience.
  • Your brand must stay updated on influencer trends and quickly capitalize on the latest, popular influencers among your target audience.
  • Run an impact-oriented influencer marketing campaign with 10-30 micro-influencers for at least 6-12 months to skyrocket your lead generation and brand awareness. 
  1. Social marketing will become way more complicated and sophisticated. 

Google will no longer allow cookie tracking by 2023, and so marketers need to brainstorm creative strategies to gain information about their target audience.

Some of the strategies adopted by brands are:

  • Develop a data-driven strategy using metrics to understand your target audience’s interests and preferences on a deeper and more personal level.
  • Brands have started implementing social listening as a tool to gain insights into the impact of their marketing campaigns and people’s perception of their brand.
  • User-generated content has become the primary part of the content strategy for brands. More and more brands will be incorporating this trend in future.

Some popular brands incorporating this strategy:

  • Zomato

Zomato uses the comments and DMs of their followers very frequently to generate content for their social media.

  • Airbnb

Airbnb relies on user-generated content for its social media content.

  • Dove and Olay

Both these brands run campaigns that motivate people to submit their entries for the campaign.

  • Daniel Wellington

They push their customers to create content and tag the brand for a chance to get featured on their page.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • Brands and marketers need to start adopting the trend of personalization in their delivery of social media ads. When you show your audience the right ad at the right time, your chances of generating a sale become 10x 
  • Track the online activity of your audience’s behavior of clicking on ads or responding to branded content. It will help you curate your audience’s feed with ads compatible with their taste.
  1. Augmented Reality will become mainstream

So many forward-thinking brands have already integrated AR into their marketing mix. Brands are using this strategy to help their potential customers try out their products virtually before they make a purchase. It is the most personal way for brands to reach their audience.

According to research, AR can boost click-through rates by 33%. The demand for a highly engaging social media experience is booming among users. No wonder this trend will continue to dominate in future.

Some brands that have integrated this feature successfully:

  • Converse

This brand especially made an app to allow users to pick a shoe style and then superimpose it on themselves by pointing their tablet or smartphone at their feet.

  • Pinterest

This company will soon be announcing their new Try on for Home Décor tool that will allow users to superimpose products from leading home decor brands like Walmart, Wayfair, West Elm etc into their home.

  • Ikea

Ikea was one of the first brands to allow consumers to visualize their products in their homes.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • You can give a virtual tour of your store with the AR experience. For instance, Starbucks has leveraged augmented reality to digitalize the experience of touring one of its coffee shops.
  • You can use AR technology to build branding materials like business cards and brochures. 
  • You can use the AR hype to generate conversations around your brand. For instance, Pepsi allowed users to access an AR virtual window on the bus station wall. Users were treated to the sight of a roaming tiger, UFOs, and robots. It created a lot of buzz around the brand.
  1. Video content will dominate every platform

According to YouTube, creators on the platform upload 1 billion hours of content every day. Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video everyday.

It is no brainer that people engage way more with video content than any other content format. Brands have to leverage interactive, well-edited videos to grow their presence in the online world in the upcoming years.

Brands that have nailed this strategy as a part of their marketing strategy:

  • Groupon

This brand creates video content that directly targets unique aspects of its consumers. Though their customer base is broad, they upload content on travel or videos with recipes to specifically target a micro niche within their audience segment.

  • Coca Cola

Coca Cola’s entire Instagram feed is filled with short, interactive videos that are funny and relatable. This strategy has helped them gain a lot of traction.

  • Buzzfeed

This popular Instagram account posts popular and trending videos on celebrities, food recipes, movies etc. to create buzz among their audience.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • Use social listening tools to the nuance of the platforms you intend to create content for. It will help you understand what kind of video content will work the best for your target audience.
  • Outline the basic framework of your video and the messaging you tend to put across. Also, ensure that your video conveys a particular emotion- be it happiness, or inspiration or pain.
  • Experiment with different formats of video such as social content, commercials, explainers, animated, lifestyle, narratives etc 
  1. Social audio will become more popular

In 2020, the app clubhouse started the trend of social audio, and the trend has still continued. In June 2021, Facebook launched Live Audio Rooms and podcasts in the United States.

According to Hootsuite’s 2022 Social Media Trends survey, 74% of brands plan to invest in audio-only content in the next year. 

Brands that have implemented this strategy:

  • Martell Cognac

This brand partnered with digital marketing strategist Karen Civil to host a series of conversations on Clubhouse during Black History Month. The theme was the celebration of black female entrepreneurs.

  • Kool-Aid

This brand hosted a clubhouse conversation with Gary Vaynerchuk and Justin Turner from the Dodgers that created a lot of hype and trend.

  • NARS cosmetics

This brand hosted a Clubhouse room on post-COVID makeup and invited a group of special guests. It led to a boost in their number of followers.

Some actionable hacks from these strategies:

  • Join a discussion relevant to your brand but do not make it sales or promotional 
  • Host a discussion around an industry trend, niche topic, or even a Q&A.
  • Partner with industry influencers to host a live audio conversation on a topic relevant to your brand.

You may be missing out on some amazing social media marketing ideas if you do not stay updated with the latest social media trends. Once you start leveraging these trends into your content strategy, your brand will see tremendous results.