Social media has been a transformative force in the world of marketing and advertising. While it offers brands innumerable ways to reach consumers, the smartest marketers keep a close watch on new trends popping up on various social platforms so that they can figure out how to leverage them in their digital marketing before others do.
To help ensure brands can incorporate the trends that stand to have the most impact in a timely fashion, and thereby get a jump on the competition, the members of Forbes Communications Council share social media trends they see continuing to grow in popularity in 2022, along with great ways for marketers to capitalize on them.
1. Social Commerce
Social commerce is nothing new, but it is going to dominate social media in the new year. Consumers want to have experiences in the places where they are already spending time. We will see more brands testing shoppable functionality on all platforms. From shop buttons to livestreams to ads to influencers, the social sale will be at the forefront of smart social strategies. – Nycole Hampton, MWW
2. Using Social Channels For Customer Service
Social marketing will be getting back to the basics of relationship building and customer service. Marketers need to get back to using social channels to communicate and connect. I realize that organic engagement is tough, even with paid content. The opportunity I see for brands in 2022 is to go back to using social channels for customer service, which is how many brands built a following way back in the day. – Nikki Little, Franco
3. Interactive Elements In Social Selling
We will see computer vision applications, augmented reality and virtual reality become visible in social media marketing. People are looking for an immersive experience and will turn to social media for more long-form content versus typical short-form content. Organizations can embrace social selling with interactive tours, self-guided assessments or instantaneous product demos. – Titus Capilnean, Appen
4. The Birth Of New Digital Entities In The Metaverse
New digital worlds, currencies and social platforms are being born and shaped in the metaverse. The advertising of nonfungible tokens and the minting of brand-building loyalty assets will become increasingly valuable, as this largely uncharted territory will slowly become more mainstream. – Daniel Hussem, Troparé Inc.
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5. AR- And VR-Based Social Media Campaigns
I expect to see AR and VR taking off in 2022, especially in the consumer market. Therefore, marketers should think about using the technologies to create social media campaigns. It’ll give consumers a virtual glimpse into what a product will look like in a physical environment as well as boost customer experience and engagement. – Parna Sarkar-Basu, Brand and Buzz Marketing, LLC.
6. Recruiting On Next-Gen Social Platforms
As Gen-Zers join the workforce, social media strategies must shift to meet audiences on their preferred platforms. Using next-gen social platforms such as TikTok for employer branding and recruiting will be critical for both B2C and B2B in 2022. While TikTok videos aren’t heavily branded, they provide a great opportunity to humanize your brand and give talent a behind-the-scenes view of life at your company. – Jeff Schmitz, Zebra Technologies
7. Brands Showcasing Their Human Side
Something that should not go out of style is brands being human on social media. Consumers are sizing up more than a brand’s products in their social feeds. They are looking at how aligned a brand is to its purpose, mission and social issues. Marketers should lean into this and use social media to showcase their brand’s personality and perspective. – Marija Zivanovic-Smith, NCR Corporation
8. An Emphasis On Giving Back And Finding Deeper Meaning
Giving back and finding deeper meaning will become important themes in social media efforts in 2022. From spotlighting community nonprofits to encouraging donations on Giving Tuesday and beyond, you’ll see an increase of charitable emphasis on social media! – Erica Mau-Schank, Vibe Creative Marketing
9. Brand Accountability
More consumers are holding brands and companies accountable for customer service, products and promises they’ve made with “receipts” via social media platforms. Keeping a pulse on the conversation around your brand and maintaining an honest and authentic response plan will help maintain validity and accountability. – Brittany White, Apple Growth Partners
10. Leveraging Employees As Advocates And Promoters
A top social media trend for 2022 will be continuing to leverage employees as advocates, promoters and original content creators. Employees are your most trusted, authentic audience—they know you better than anyone else. Companies that seek to benefit all stakeholders (their employees, customers and community), not just shareholders, tend to have employees who love the company and can amplify its story. – Amanda Ponzar, CHC: Creating Healthier Communities
11. Engaging With Younger Generations Via Live Video
Brands are turning to live video as a new way to communicate with their customers. In the past, brands have used social media as a way to share posts and images. However, this strategy is being laid to waste given the lower attention spans of Millennials and Gen-Zers. Marketing companies can take advantage of these two generations by providing them with a more engaging format. – Gala Grigoreva, Adsterra
Social media is facing challenges as people are more skeptical of posts and “fake news” than ever before. It is time for people and organizations to be real, authentic, human and compassionate online. As a marketer, use social media to offer transparency into the challenges in your industry, be empathetic to clients and humanize your brand. – Jennifer Best, AAE Speakers Bureau
13. User-Generated TikTok Videos
User-generated videos on TikTok will continue to force businesses to consider it as a primary outlet for brand awareness campaigns as well as a main outlet to share a business’ environment, social and governance commitments. – Boaz Santiago, energyware™
14. Ensuring Information Is Trustworthy
In 2022, people will keep seeking out community and connection on social media. But when it comes to health and wellness, they’ll prioritize being able to trust the information they receive, which will dictate where they spend their time. Marketers should respond by broadening their reach to those communities to meet people where they are, which may mean diversifying across platforms. – Alyssa Kopelman, Healthline Media
15. Using Social Media To Drive Talent Acquisition
In today’s economy, it’s an understatement to say that finding top talent is a challenge. In 2022, we’ll see the trend toward using social media to drive talent acquisition—such as promoting a company’s mission, values and culture and using employees as brand ambassadors to further amplify the message across their own networks—continue to grow. – Jim Hardeman, CMX