Apr 5, 2022

5 New Social Media Trends

There is a global social media boom right now that shows no sign of slowing down. It’s no longer just about established social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, there’s a raft of networks gaining traction in the space and causing waves amongst marketers and brands.  

Take the rise of TikTok, a relatively recent player that continues to explode in popularity, or YouTube, a go-to channel for video-lovers, or Instagram which has refined its formats to focus on video content in 2022. Then there’s a shift in social media demographics as platforms begin to attract bigger audiences and offer more potential to advertise.

During 2022, Statista predicts the number of social media users will top 3.9 billion and grow to a whopping 4.4 billion in 2025. That’s a lot of eyes to get your content and brand in front of and creates huge opportunities for organic search and paid search advertising.

So, what are the most important B2C and B2B social media trends for 2022? According to what our panel of experts revealed on our ‘2022 Trends in Digital Marketing’ podcast these are the key 5 trends to watch and plan for this year:

  1. TikTok marketing
  2. Easier social commerce
  3. Usefulness of influencer marketing
  4. The rise of YouTube advertising
  5. Instagram video creation

1. Marketers Can No Longer Ignore TikTok

Whether you’re a B2C or B2B marketer, you’ll have heard of TikTok. So, are you using it in your marketing activities or have you experimented with content on the platform? If your answer is no, ignoring TikTok could be a huge mistake in 2022.   

According to Apple’s App Store Awards 2021, TikTok was the most downloaded free app followed by YouTube and Instagram. And people aren’t just downloading the app, they’re also spending money on TikTok, resulting in the network’s revenue jumping to $535 million in Q2 2021.  

5 New Social Media Trends

DMI expert Alison Battisby, Social Media Consultant at Avocado Social, believes that advertising potential on the app is just going to grow in 2022. “TikTok has been on the waiting line for a while to become one of the biggest used apps in the world. It's not just a passing trend or fad to do a quick dance routine or a challenge, it's become a really interesting way of reaching a young audience very quickly, with a minimal budget.”

The attraction of TikTok to brands and creators is its algorithm and the potential to go viral. “Videos on TikTok are put into the algorithm in a very fair way, compared to other platforms like Instagram. TikTok doesn't look at how many followers you have, or how long your account has been established, it simply looks at the quality of your content. So, if your video is something that's engaging people, it can perform incredibly well and go viral on the platform,” says Battisby.

There’s also room for experimentation on TikTok. Restaurant chain Chipotle focuses on content created by its employees, while the ever innovative brand, Disney highlights Disneyland with videos of its tours and exclusive behind-the-scenes content. There are also niche businesses that create a lot of fun content that doesn't take a lot of planning.

Battisby thinks that it’s time brands sat up and took notice, especially with TikTok Shopping coming online properly with Shopify in 2022. “Marketers are beginning to see they can reach a lot more people on TikTok than on Instagram or Facebook. So, it’s driving results for brands as well.”

2. Social Commerce is About to Become Seamless

With such a captive audience on social media, it’s been a limitation for many marketers that customers can’t purchase in-app. Until now consumers clicked on a tag or photo and were sent to a website or landing page to purchase. That’s now starting to change!

This year, social media platforms will see the results of big changes they’ve made to enable customers to purchase on their networks. “TikTok has partnered with Shopify, Instagram is making developments with their shopping area, YouTube is enhancing shoppable tags in videos, and you can shop on Pinterest,” states Battisby.

With this type of capability now available on social media networks, Battisby believes that it's the brands that think smarter about how they present their shop windows that will succeed. According to eMarketer data, social commerce in the US will reach nearly $80 billion by 2025.

5 New Social Media Trends

So what can you do as a marketer to create a frictionless customer experience and ensure your products or services stand out on social media networks?

Battisby advises: “It’s not just relying on one photo, for example. It’s about having three, four, five different images per product or adding keyword-rich descriptions in your Instagram shop. There's also the ability to create Instagram collections and put together gift suggestions, or summer/autumn collections.”

Other tips to fully exploit the power of social commerce in 2022 are:

  • Be ‘human’ when responding to queries by offering recommendations, links or a discount code
  • Think about collaborating with influencers to promote products using shoppable tags
  • Consult your analytics to determine performance and gaps in customer experience
  • Experiment with content formats and messaging to determine and engage your audience

3. Influencer Marketing Will Help Build Authenticity

In the 4 years since 2016, the influencer marketing sector has grown from $1.7 billion to $13.8 billion. In 2022, that figure is projected to rise by 19 percent to $16.4 billion according to The State of Influencer Marketing 2022 report.

The Digital Marketing Institute’s CEO, Ken Fitzpatrick believes that the role of influencer marketing will become more mainstream. “It's something that brands who haven't used it to date will look to use on an increasing basis. Particularly, how influencers intersect with video content and B2B and B2C. I think it will be a more regular part of the marketing mix for brands than it has been in the past.”

Influencer marketing can be very powerful for a brand. The key is to choose an influencer that will not only help drive brand awareness but has an alignment with your product or service. It doesn’t have to involve huge budgets and well-known names, micro-influencers (with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) can also create a stir.

Take the modern beauty brand, Glossier as an example. Through an army of 500 brand ambassadors, the brand saw users share images of their beauty routines and favorite products. This lends authenticity to the brand and focuses on wellbeing, two things that are more important to people in a post-pandemic world.

5 New Social Media Trends

A great way to tap into social media influencers is to align with a 2022 social media calendar. This will show you trending and relevant events that you could promote alongside an influencer such as Earth Day, International Cat Day, or Halloween.

Ultimately influencer marketing will only be successful if you do your research and find influencers that bring authenticity and ‘realness’ to your brand.

4. YouTube Advertising Offers a New Revenue Stream

In the last quarter of 2021, YouTube’s ad revenue went up by 26 percent to $8.6 billion compared to the previous quarter. That impressive growth is down to an increase in traditional TV advertisers, brand advertising, and direct response ads.

As a platform, YouTube presents huge opportunities for marketers looking to drive brand awareness. According to their CEO, Susan Wojcicki, the new YouTube Shorts format saw 5 trillion views and in 2022 will test new ways for creators to make money through branded content deals and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens)

Historically many marketers have been reluctant to post content on YouTube as they believed it had to be TV-quality videos. But DMI’s expert Brendan Almack, Managing Director of Wolfgang Digital believes that’s not the case.

“For SMEs that don't have a large creative budget, creating good video content might be a barrier. But YouTube has invested heavily in automating some of that and there are lots of tools that Google provides that allow you to quickly build video assets to use as in-stream ads.”

This opens advertising up to a larger cohort of advertisers this year. “YouTube has now moved down the funnel. It used to be about branding or brand awareness, but Google has invested heavily in helping people use it to drive action, so there's now YouTube traction. A lot of retailers have had enormous success over the last few months using YouTube to drive sales.”

The bottom line is don’t let your inexperience in creating video content put you off YouTube. There’s loads of potential in 2022 and as a network, it’s still relatively cheap to advertise on YouTube compared to other social channels. So, create a YouTube marketing strategy, grow your channel and get advertising! 

5. Instagram Video Creation Will Explode

“In 2021, Instagram's CEO announced they were going to change their strategy to lean into more video-based content. With that we've seen developments in the app, including Reels and the integration of IGTV and feed into one product called Instagram Video,” says Alison Battisby, Social Media Consultant at Avocado Social. 

This change is due to Instagram noticing that their audience responds well to video content and wants to move away from being known as a photo-sharing app, to a big entertainment app. Instagram is also acutely aware of the growing popularity of TikTok and is evolving to compete with the video-sharing app.

With Instagram’s evolution comes new video formats that they're experimenting with such as making stories longer and adding more effects in Reels. There’s also an option to convert an Instagram Stories highlight into a Reels clip and more video ad formats available to purchase in Facebook Ads Manager.

5 New Social Media Trends

“So, if you’re thinking about your Instagram strategy for 2022, it has to lead with video content. You need to think about how you can integrate more video, more Reels, more stories, more gifts into your Instagram feed,” concludes Battisby.

Supercharge Your Social Media Marketing in 2022

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in social media marketing this year. Exciting new developments in YouTube and Instagram, as well as the pervasiveness of TikTok present new opportunities for video content and advertising.

New partnerships with commerce platforms like Shopify mean that transactions will now be possible within social media apps to offer a frictionless shopping experience. Not only that, but influencer advertising continues to grow and is still a successful way to connect with your audience in a meaningful way.

Now’s the time to action some of these B2C and B2B social media marketing trends to ensure that you get the most from your social activities in 2022.

Become a TikTok, Instagram & YouTube Expert

Learn or brush up on your social media skills as 2022 presents huge opportunities for marketers. DMI’s Professional Diploma in Social Media Marketing covers all the latest developments and helps you learn how to divide a successful social media strategy, analyze your social data, and harness the power of social commerce. What are you waiting for?

Clodagh O’Brien
Clodagh O’Brien

Clodagh O'Brien is a content creator and strategist. Over the last 12 years, she has created and managed content for many SMEs and global brands. She's passionate about digital marketing and the impact of technology on culture and society. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.  

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