From the rise of TikTok to the endless Instagram updates, there are major changes coming to the world of social media in 2022. As a business owner, it’s important to understand these social media trends and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Ready to get a head start on the 2022 social media trends? Here are five of the biggest changes coming in the world of social media:
- Brands will need to develop an online persona.
- Social selling will become essential to the customer journey.
- Influencer marketing will reach its peak.
- Consumers will pay more attention to a brand’s values.
- Short-form video will officially take over.
Social Media Trend #1: Brands will need to get personal.
Social media marketing has come a long way in the past ten years, constantly adapting to the changes in social media platforms. Ten years ago, social media managers would have to make a case for using abbreviations like “LOL” in their captions. Now, one of the most successful business accounts on social media is an owl posting thirst traps (here’s to you, Duolingo).
There has been a huge shift in the mindset behind social media content strategy. Rather than focusing strictly on promotional content specific to a brand’s industry, brand’s are now hopping on social media trends even though they may seem irrelevant to what they’re selling.
So if the content doesn’t have anything to do with what the business is selling, why does it work?
It’s simple. People spend hours everyday on social media, constantly being bombarded with ads and carefully curated content from businesses that were made with the sole purpose of selling. People are able to see right through these attempts and tend to scroll right past them. So when a brand takes a different approach and decides to focus on something other than selling, it quickly sets that brand apart from its competitors.
By taking part in social media trends, it makes the viewer feel connected to the brand. It gives the brand an element of personality and subtly reminds the audience that there’s an actual person behind the brand too.
Real people look for real connections, so giving your brand an online persona that focuses on genuine interactions rather than selling, your audience is going to feel more connected to your brand.
How to Develop Your Brand’s Persona
While this could be an entirely separate blog post, there are some actions you can take to help your brand stand out online by building an online persona.
Determine your brand archetype.
In order to connect with your audience on a more personal level, you first need to determine what your brand’s personality is. Typically, your brand’s persona (aka brand archetype), is similar to your own personality or your target audience’s. Take this quick quiz to determine your brand archetype.
Create trendy, relatable content.
Not every piece of content you share has to feature one of your products or services. Instead, start creating content that is relatable to your audience. Whether it’s hopping on the latest TikTok trend or sharing a meme, it will make your audience feel seen.
Make social media social.
Create genuine interactions on social media through quick comments on other people’s content. The key word here is genuine. If my brand were a person, what type of content would they interact with? What would they say? Don’t leave comments that are generic or salesy.
Social Media Trend #2: Social media and e-commerce will continue to integrate.
Over the past two years, we’ve seen many social media platforms introduce e-commerce integrations, allowing customers to shop products directly from a social media post. We will continue to see this become a more essential part of the customer journey in 2022.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have already launched shoppable posts. Businesses can tag products featured in the post, allowing customers to learn more about the product and even purchase it without ever leaving the social media platform. In 2022, we’ll see these shopping features expand to new types of content and even new platforms. Here are some updates you can expect to see in 2022 for e-commerce on social media:
- TikTok will fully launch its e-commerce function, allowing brands to tag products showcased in their videos.
- Twitter will introduce e-commerce functions allowing customers to shop directly from tweets.
- Instagram will expand product tags to Reels and Lives, allowing users to shop from more forms of content than before.
How to Optimize Your Brand’s Social Selling
While social media is already an important part of the consumer experience, with these latest social media trends, brands should place more value on their social selling strategy.
Set-up your social media shops.
If you haven’t already, integrate your e-commerce store to your social media accounts. With Shopify, it’s easier than ever to integrate your store with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok.
Tag your products.
Every post that showcases products should have the products clearly tagged using the shopping feature, allowing your audience to easily shop from your posts. Use calls to action like, “Tap to shop!”
Allow in-app checkout.
When you set up your store on social media, Facebook and Instagram currently gives you two options:
- Allow customers to check out directly within the social media platform, or
- Redirect customers to your website to checkout.
There are pros and cons to each option. Having customers checkout on your website gives you the opportunity to suggest upsells and have full control over their checkout experience. However, the more steps you add to a customer’s checkout experience, the less likely they are to purchase. By allowing customers to check-out directly in the Facebook or Instagram app, you’re streamlining the checkout experience and increasing your chance of conversions.
Social Media Trend #3: Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Grow
The influencer marketing industry has been expanding rapidly over the past few years. Five years ago, the value of influencer marketing was extremely underestimated by businesses. It was often influencers approaching brands, asking for collaboration opportunities.
However, over the past few years, the power of influencer marketing has become obvious and some of the world’s largest brands have turned to influencer marketing as their main marketing strategy. As a result, the cost of influencer marketing has also increased. It’s now brands reaching out to influencers, trying to negotiate pricing and terms of collaboration.
The influencer community has also grown, resulting in more transparent conversations about the cost of collaborations. Businesses can no longer get away with asking for free advertising simply in exchange for free products. Influencers have a better understanding of the value of their services and will charge accordingly.
How to Manage Your Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2022
Whether you’re just starting your influencer marketing strategy in 2022 or you’re looking to change your approach, here are some ways you can adjust your strategy.
Set aside an influencer budget.
Take the same approach you would to paying for ads on social media. Set aside a set budget to pay influencers for collaborations. If your budget is limited, be careful in selecting which products you promote and which influencers you work with.
Do your research and be open to learning.
The term “influencer” has unfortunately developed a bad reputation among the general public. Many people hold the misconception that influencers simply post selfies and then cash out thousands of dollars. That’s simply not the case.
Before approaching influencers, do your research into understanding the work that goes into building their platform and the average rates of collaborations. You want to have a clear understanding of what you’re paying for when working with influencers.
If you’re having trouble justifying the cost, think of it as a full-service marketing package. They’re providing:
- Production and creation of high-quality content.
- Social proof of your products through their personal endorsement.
- An audience that matches your target audience.
Focus on building long-term relationships.
Extend the value of your influencer marketing campaigns by getting creative with your collaborations and building long-term relationships with your influencers. Rather than collaborating for a one-time post, discuss more long-term collaborations with them. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Include them in the creative process for a new product or collection.
- Plan an Instagram takeover where they run your Instagram account for a day.
- Do a giveaway with their audience.
Social Media Trend #4: Consumers will care more about your brand’s values.
A recent poll has shown that 60% of people between the ages of 18-37 expect brands to take a stand on social issues. With the past two years calling attention to major social issues, people are no longer allowing businesses to take a “neutral” approach.
It’s more important than ever for brands to take a clear stance on social issues and incorporate values into their messaging. More importantly, consumers will hold businesses accountable to actually carrying out their proclaimed values.
How to Establish Your Brand Values in 2022
Here are some ways you can ensure your brand’s values are being incorporated into your strategy:
Perform a brand value audit.
First and foremost, you need to determine what your values are and how you’re carrying out those values through all aspects of your business. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my brand values seen in the way I manage my team?
- Are my brand values seen in who I hire?
- Are my brand values seen in the way my business spends money?
- Are my brand values seen in the people we collaborate with?
- Are my brand values seen in the way I live my personal life?
If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to do a major reevaluation of what your brand values are and how you can put those values into action.
Take actions to support your community.
It’s important to showcase your values by being proactive in supporting your community. Rather than simply making statements in response to major events, take actions that are inline with your brand year round.
For example, Rare Beauty builds their brand around their values of mental health. They make this an essential core of their brand messaging and take actions year round to support mental health initiatives through advocacy and donations.
Share value-based content.
Make your brand values apparent in your social media content. Share posts that discuss important topics related to your values. Showcase how your brand implements these values with BTS clips or impact statements.
For example, if one of your brand values is empowering women, you can share content like:
- Quotes that empower and uplift women.
- Volunteer work done by your team at a local women’s shelter.
- Resources that support women-owned businesses.
Social Media Trend #5: Short-Form Video Will Takeover
The rise of TikTok has completely changed the game for social media marketing and other platforms, like Instagram, are doing everything they can to catch up. Short-form video has surpassed all other types of content when it comes to reach and engagement.
Why does short-form video perform so well? There are a few reasons. First, video content in general tends to be more engaging. The second reason actually brings us back to one of our earlier points — people want to see more brand personality.
Short-form videos give businesses the opportunity to put a face to their business. Sure, Instagram has allowed this through sharing photos and videos too, but short-form videos take it a step further. With only 15-30 seconds to capture your audience’s attention, short-form videos force brands to get creative with their video marketing. Whether it’s sharing a new trending dance or lip syncing to a trending audio, it adds an element of personality that feels relatable to your audience.
How to add TikTok and Reels to Your Marketing Strategy
If you’ve been putting off posting TikToks or Instagram Reels to promote your business, your time has run out. In 2022, it’s going to be essential to post short-form content in order to grow and engage your social media audience. Here are some ways to incorporate short-form videos into your marketing strategy:
Start as a consumer of your audience’s content.
Before diving into creating your own short-form video content, spend time watching content within your target audience. Take note of what type of videos they’re sharing and interacting with. This will help you get a better understanding of what your audience enjoys and engages with, allowing you to create content around their preferences.
Create a running list of ideas.
One of the hardest parts of creating content is coming up with ideas for what to film. Start a running list of ideas in your phone notes and write down any ideas as they come to you. It’s also a great place to keep links to videos that you like the style or format of. Then when it comes time to film, you already have all your videos in place and you only have to worry about recording.
Batch create your videos.
If you’re somebody who hates being on camera, batching your content will be the biggest game changer for your business. Set aside an entire day to film as many videos as you can. Have your list of ideas and videos ready and work your way down the list as the day goes on.
As you film a few videos, you’ll get more comfortable in front of the camera and each video will get easier to film. Plus, you will be able to film a month’s worth of videos in one day, so you don’t have to worry about sitting down and filming every single week.
Growing with Social Media Trends in 2022
As we kick off the New Year, take some time to reevaluate your social media strategy and implement some of the action items above to prepare for the upcoming social media trends in 2022. By being ahead of these changes, your business will have a better chance at success and growth on social media.
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