December 21, 2021

Predictions for Social Trends in 2022

Lacey Mark

While it may still feel like 2019 to most of us, 2022 is right around the corner. And whether we want to believe it or not, the social landscape is always changing and evolving. 2021 provided digital marketers with insights they never had before. We had to adapt to the ever-changing virtual and hybrid business landscapes, and adjust digital collateral appropriately. Then, as parts of the world began to reopen, that hold we had on our digital audience began to change again—forcing us to get creative to keep the digital momentum going as people began leaving the house and relying less on the internet for entertainment. Digital creators became a viable source of truth to many across social media platforms, both on the brand side and the consumer side. This trend, along with influencer marketing, video content, and mobile optimization, will continue to be a huge part of the new year.

According to Business Insider, influencer marketing is set to become a $15 billion dollar industry in 2022. Influencers are masters of their craft, and are experts on the platforms they use and topics they cover. To put it simply, influencers can most literally influence followership across platforms and inform purchasing decisions. Users trust influencers more than they trust brands, and are more likely to try a product if they’ve seen a real person with a credible following talking about it. And what we’re seeing here is that bigger isn’t always better—more than 56 percent of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro influencers. Micro influencers have smaller followings, with much higher engagement rates.

In addition to the vanity metrics they can add to your brand, influencers are also experts in creating content—and smaller influencers like content creators have become viable extensions of brands’ creative teams, relied on by brands to provide high-performing content styles that they cannot create themselves. And with Instagram releasing more shopping features for creators, like Live Shopping, enhanced product tagging, and product launch tools, creators are becoming more valuable than ever.

Within the realm of content creation lives short-form video content. What started as TikTok (or really Vine for those of us old enough to remember) has now developed into Reels, YouTube Shorts, and other types of short-form video that marketers are taking advantage of. In 2022, 89 percent of global marketers plan to continue investing in it or increase their investment. 2021 has shown us that quick, informative, entertaining videos that get straight to the point are more effective for brands—and this will not slow down going into the new year. Short-form video requires less bandwidth from a brand and also takes advantage of consumers’ attention spans.

Jumping into 2022, mobile-first content production will be top of mind for brands and digital marketers. In fact, 84 percent of marketers that focus on mobile web design are planning to continue to invest the same amount or more in 2022. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are mostly viewed on mobile devices, with more than half of annual online website traffic coming from these devices, including tablets. Audiences from a mobile generation, like millennials or those from Gen Z, will continue to gain buying power, so mobile-first optimized experiences will stay an important part of any social media strategy.

Overall, 2022 will continue to be the year of video and the creator. If you haven’t experimented with influencer marketing, short-form video, or mobile optimization, next year would be the optimal time to test it out. A variety of options are available based on your needs (Need content? Content creators. Need reach? Influencers.), so be sure to do the research before going all-in.

Need to set your brand’s social media strategy for the new year? Give us a ring.

Tags: Consumer Insights, Strategy, Trends

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