Top 5 social media marketing trends to look out for in 2022

As we start wrapping up 2021 and getting ready to bid farewell to another year, it’s time to start looking to 2022 and what the new year might hold. Trying to predict the world of social media is a futile task due to the constant evolution of platforms and the speed of the industry. Add to that the impact of the broader social environment and it turns out to be a mission impossible – no one foresaw the pandemic and its impact on TikTok’s rapid rise.

While no one knows for sure what 2022 holds, we can use our best judgment about how the market has evolved over the past year or so. With that in mind, here are five social media marketing trends you should start preparing for in 2022.

1. Social advertising will develop

With Google planning to phase out Third Party Cookies by 2023Over the next year, brands will start adapting their ads on social networks in preparation for the end of cookies. Fortunately, there are a number of advertising options that do not rely on third-party cookies, so all is not lost, it is just a case of adjusting your activity accordingly. Social platforms still give marketers the opportunity to target users with personalized ads, and then there are things like email marketing and search engine retargeting.

Of course, third-party cookies have always been an important part of any strategy, but this provides a great opportunity to really get around the data. Get to know your audience better by diving into the metrics around interests and preferences and you’ll begin to understand your customers on a personal level.

2. The continued rise of TikTok

If you can make it to 2021 without venturing into the world of TikTok, I can only congratulate you. The platform has exploded over the past year, so it doesn’t look like its growth is slowing down any time soon. In September of this year, TikTok celebrated hitting 1 billion monthly active users, which makes it the seventh largest social platform, and if you remove the messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Wechat), it is the fourth largest.

(via https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/)

However, despite the explosive growth, brands have often been reluctant to invest in the platform, possibly due to concerns about its longevity. When TikTok first came into the mainstream, there was no way of knowing if it would be a flash in the pan or if it would start to dominate as it is today. However, this provides brands with the opportunity to get ahead of the competition while still continuing to rely on old, trusted items.

TikTok doesn’t seem to be slowing down until 2022, and if you haven’t considered making it a part of your marketing strategy, now is the time.

3. More in-platform purchases

Social commerce has experienced significant growth in recent years, thanks mostly to the pandemic, and is now at a point where customers are almost expecting. With customers forced to stay at home, there was even greater demand for the opportunity to purchase in alternative ways.

From a conversion perspective, having a chance to make a purchase right after finding the product on social media is a no-brainer. Getting potential customers to navigate to a website is just an extra step as they have the opportunity to step out of the conversion funnel.

Social media has always been a great discovery tool for brands, but now it needs to work hard to become a part of the buying process. If you sell products online at all, it is worth creating a store on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

4. Influencers are the key to success

The number of online influencers/creators has boomed during the pandemic with people looking for alternative sources of income and something to fill their spare time. These creators will not be on the same level as mega influencers with millions of followers, but anyone who creates content for social media.

On 50 million people In the world they see themselves as “creators” of social media in a sense, which makes it a lucrative area for brands. As a result, social media platforms are responding to this growth with diverse features that help brands and content creators work together. Adding tools like branded content ads on Instagram, YouTube Brand Connect, TikTok’s Creator Marketplace, and more just show how important the platforms you are considering are their creators.

If influencer marketing isn’t part of your social media strategy at the moment, you should really consider it. Consider bypassing traditional “influencers” and interacting with smaller creators, who may often interact with your brand more authentically, even though they may not have the largest following.

5. Short content is king

It should come as no surprise that short, engaging content that instantly grabs your attention is key on social media, this has always been the case. However, this has become more and more extreme as shorter-format content has taken over the online video world. This is again most likely a result of TikTok’s growth. Originally, the platform only allowed 15-second videos to be uploaded. This has changed over the years and the maximum length is now 3 minutes, but shorter videos still dominate the space.

A few years ago, we all thought long-form video content was the way forward with the likes of Facebook Watch and IGTV, but honestly, how many times can you say you’ve interacted with that content. Since the arrival of TikTok, other social media networks have followed suit with the likes of Instagram Reels, YouTube Pants, and the continued growth of Stories on Instagram and Facebook (let’s just pretend Fleets and LinkedIn Stories were nothing).

Video content should already be part of your social media strategy, but are you investing in 10-minute videos that no one else is watching? Consider reducing the content and focusing on short, sweet videos that are very engaging.

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