At the start of every new year there are certain inevitabilities that simply cannot be avoided. Being asked how your Christmas break was and simply replying “yeah, great, really relaxed”. Setting yourself wildly unrealistic New Year resolutions that will have fallen by the wayside as soon as the reality of life sets in, usually four days after you’re back into an actual routine. And of course, seeing trend articles galore from marketers predicting what the next big thing is going to be.
So, since I’ve already told half the office that I had a great, relaxed Christmas and my 6:15 alarm for the gym has been snoozed more than all of Tyson Fury’s opponents combined, all I’ve got left to do is tell you my top five social media trends for 2022. Strap in.
If, like me, you downloaded TikTok during any one of the seemingly infinite lockdowns of the past two years, you too might be wondering where a large percentage of your free time has gone. The Chinese social platform has become a huge hit in the UK and shows no signs of stopping.
Last year stars such as Francis Bourgeois, the lovable train and rave enthusiast, made a name for themselves on the app, but equally brands such as RyanAir have carved a niche on the app with funny content relating to the day to day running of an airline or Duolingo’s absurd account which tracks the chaotic adventures of their owl mascot, Duo. TikTok is truly like no other channel and the rules you play by on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram go out of the window to a degree. Could 2022 be the year that your brand joins the fun.
2. Get Shopping Functionality in Your Basket
The move away from the high-street to digital shopping channels is nothing new. I’m still mourning the loss of Woolworths pick and mix (RIP), however the merging of eCommerce and social media is a relatively newer phenomenon that has only been accelerated thanks to the pandemic. As consumer behavior changed and adapted to the virus, social media platforms have adapted their offering to make the steps between being inspired by a product and having it in the shopping basket more seamless.
Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest are platforms that have shopping functionality available, with the likes of YouTube and Twitter in the testing phase of their own eCommerce offers. By building catalogues of products into your brand social media presence and making it a part of your user’s social experience rather than a simple sales function, there are huge opportunities to directly drive sales and provide a real ROI.
3. Making (Sound)Waves with Audio
Remember Clubhouse? For a brief second in 2021 it felt like the app was taking over, only for Twitter to release Spaces and Clubhouse’s user numbers to do a disappearing act that Houdini would be proud of. Despite this, Audio social is one to look out for this year as social media marketers start to see the benefit of this exciting tool.
You only need to see the huge success of “Sing Your Dialect”, a kind of Twitter Spaces game show that had the likes of Barack Obama, Shrewsbury Town FC and WillNE tuning in to hear TV’s own Rylan having a go at rapping a Blazin’ Squad tune. The Space amassed an audience of 50,000 people at times, so it’s easy to see the potential that audio social could have in bringing your community together live.
It captured the imagination of Twitter and caused a huge stir, so with a little bit of strategic thinking and social expertise, there are some exciting possibilities for audio social spaces in 2022.
4. The Maturation of Influencers
We nearly made it a whole week into 2022 without an influencer controversy, but Molly Mae-Hague’s take on income inequality on the 5th of January made sure that we started the year with meme laden social storm. Despite this, 2022 will be the year that influencer marketing truly matures.
The sector has become a huge part of the marketing mix and was a $10.24 billion industry in 2021, with predictions that it is set to grow to $84.89 billion by 2028. With global value like that, influencer marketing has become much less about asking a content creator to take a picture with your product accompanied by a snappy caption and has become more about collaborative projects with clear ROI and engaging video content.
2022 will be another year where long-term partnerships between brands and content creators become more common and audiences will demand authenticity, not obviously paid promotion of products where it is painfully obvious the influencer has zero interest in the brand.
5. Make Way for Meta
The king is dead, long live the king. Since midway through the 2010’s Mark Zuckerberg has been in a battle to keep his robotic grip on the social media sphere in the face of data scandals that have impacted on the democratic process of the USA, culminating in an insurrection at the US Capitol and claims that the company has put profits above user safety.
So, what’s a social media mogul to do? Enter Meta. In reality Meta, or the Metaverse, is a rebrand bringing Facebook’s other social platforms of Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Oculus under one umbrella. Beyond the rebrand, Zuckerberg has a new focus which he believes is the future, centered around a virtual reality universe that will change the way we connect with one and other. The City Football Group are already on the lookout for a person to join their team and “identify growth opportunities with the Metaverse”, so watch this (virtual) space. As VR technology becomes cheaper and more readily available, the way we use social media could change.
So, there we go, my Nostradamus-esque social media trends prediction for 2022. There’s a saying that a week is a long time in politics, but a day is even longer in social media. There will be updates and new stories throughout the year that will totally alter the ground on which we stand in social, so stay on your toes and follow @Hatch__Group for our take on the latest social news as it happens. Here’s to a crazy year filled with creative, brave and result driven success in 2022. Cheers.
To speak to us about how we could help your social media strategy this year, or to jump on these social media trends yourself, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.