The way in which businesses market themselves on social media platforms has always evolved and changed with the passing of trends and emergence of new platforms. However, there certainly has been more of a notable shift in the way companies are conducting their social media marketing over the last few years.
Through 2021, data has shown that, globally, 3.78 billion people are using social media in one form or another in their day to day lives, and given that this equates to almost 50% of the entire global population – we are approaching the mark where more people have access to these platforms than don’t.
This growth has therefore accelerated the rate at which brands focus more attention and budget towards their presence here. But, as social media becomes an even louder echo chamber, businesses need to be conscious of the evolving trends on the horizon for 2022 if they are wanting to keep their voice heard and their brand relevant in the eyes of consumers on social media.
So we’ve created a list of numerous trends and changes to the social media marketing landscape that we expect to see take shape throughout the next 12 months.
Brands Will Embrace TikTok As A Profitable Platform
TikTok is a platform still relatively within its infancy as a social media platform, though it’s rapid growth into mainstream culture certainly shows no signs of wavering as we transition into 2022.
It’s growth had been more limited to influencers and the general public – however, the amount of brands now using this platform as a marketing channel is what will increase exponentially throughout 2022.
We’ve seen with platforms in the past, that businesses and larger brands hesitate to throw themselves into a new social media arena, though now we can safely conclude TikTok is no ‘passing fad’ then the growth of brands creating their own content on the platform will certainly rise considerably in 2022.
Brands Will Also Leverage The Collaborative Nature Of TikTok
TikTok’s concept is to be a ‘micro-content’ platform. With this comes the challenge for brands on how they can effectively engage with their target audience when large brand assets or long-format advertisements are rendered useless.
One such way that brands have begun amplifying their presence and reach on TikTok is by engaging with popular videos that correspond well to their industry/niche. As shown in the image below, a simple video that went viral from one content creator garnered a lot of attention from brands wanting to leverage the reach and show their audience their activity on the platform.
Essentially, what we are seeing here is the way in which brands are beginning to manipulate TikTok’s popular videos as a way to organically generate a touchpoint with their audience. As more and more brands begin to use this tactic it should be expected that what we see below will quickly become the norm.
Advertising Space On TikTok Will Become Some Of The Most Sought After
TikTok’s advertising options have proven to be incredibly effective for many brands so far throughout 2021. One of the revolutionary ways that TikTok has differentiated itself from other social media platforms is with its Brand Takeover Ad format.
Throughout 2021, multiple brands have taken advantage of this ad format as it’s proven its effectiveness with regard to amplifying reach and providing an incredible amount of brand awareness to those running these ads.
As we have seen previously, when a new platform really begins to garner traction with the public – brands quickly transition themselves to using the space as a marketing channel. What then (in the past) has followed, is a boom in the ad spend on the platform. With TikTok already offering different ways for businesses to advertise on their app – it would point to the conclusion that 2022 will most certainly see TikTok advertising space to become incredibly in demand.
A Saturated Facebook Advertising Market Is Making Ads Less Cost-Effective For Businesses
Whilst there is the expected trend for Facebook Ad Spend to increase globally, little has been said about the ramifications this will have for those utilising Facebook’s ad platform.
One noticeable trend which has alarmed experienced social media advertisers, is that due to a saturation in Facebook advertising – the average Cost-Per-Click (CPC) on campaigns globally, has risen by 81.5% in the last 12 months.
A higher average CPC is therefore beginning to make Facebook advertising less cost-effective for businesses, and with this in mind it should be seen as the right time for organic Facebook growth to be pushed. Further to this however, businesses that still wish to factor paid advertising on Facebook into their overall marketing strategy will need to seriously address how well optimised their campaigns are in order for them to remain profitable in the long term.
Facebook’s AR and VR Ads Will Begin To Enhance A Users Interaction With Social Media Marketing
Facebook’s (or perhaps Meta’s) initial attempts at creating an efficient advertising platform in relation to both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) might not have been the flying start they had hoped for. However, their ambitions and efforts have demonstrated the ability these formats have to really enhance the way a user can interact with a specific ad.
With both AR and VR offering a more personalised sales funnel from the beginning (allowing users to visualise or experiment with a product in real-time virtually) businesses will be able to replicate a traditional high street experience through these kinds of ads.
As consumers can interact with products directly on these AR or VR ads, they will have less doubt on things like sizing (for clothing) or colouring and aesthetics (for many other products). These have commonly been objections that consumers have with brands – when it comes to converting a sale online through a Facebook ad.
However, with AR and VR these objections can be resolved, leading to a much more conversion friendly sales funnel for advertisers that will take advantage of these updates.
Whilst these are some of the minor enhancements, the scope for beyond 2022 would point towards the concept of scanning real-world environments into AR/VR in real-time and then creating accurate visualisations of how a certain product would fit within this environment. For example, it could be that a room in a house could be uploaded into a VR server and then a consumer could instantly look at how something like a TV would then fit into that room.
Prolific Twitter Marketers Will Begin To Take Further Advantage Of Twitter Blue
In June 2021, Twitter began rolling out their new subscription based version of their platform, Twitter Blue. With the idea that certain improvements users have been requesting for years will be made available – so long as they choose to subscribe.
Being able to organise saved content more effectively through the implementation of folder bookmarking, the ability to undo/edit tweets rather than having to delete them and replace, and an overall better UX when it comes to scrolling through long threads. There does seem to be some useful improvements to the platform with these services.
Perhaps for many people, these are services they can live without – and that may well be the case. Though for marketers and/or businesses whose primary social media marketing platform is Twitter, there could certainly be some real benefits to Twitter Blue.
Livestream Commerce On Instagram Will Become More Popular
A trend that has been largely associated with influencer marketing and brand reps promoting certain products through social media is the live streaming commerce approach. Most notably, this has taken hold primarily on Instagram – with this platform bearing the most fruit for brands.
The concept is that the traditional product representation once garnered through things like QVC shopping channels can now actually be replicated through livestreams on social media.
Whilst it is a concept still within its infancy, the growth of brands adopting this strategy has begun to increase in recent years, and with a great potential to have an inflated ROI over other methods it should be anticipated for the ascension of livestream commerce to continue.
Either by employing this tactic themselves or finding reputable influencers/brand ambassadors within their niche brands are expected to generate around $25 billion in sales through this method by 2023.
Long Form Video Content Will Continue To Decline On Instagram
With the launch of IGTV in 2018 there was a shift on Instagram of long form video content becoming more popular, more widely consumed and more attractive to marketers.
However, with the ascension of TikTok and shorter form content, Instagram has performed a massive U-Turn when they adopted shorter form into the platform with Instagram Reels. It’s no secret that across the board platforms have had to adapt to promote 10-15 second video content and with the exception of YouTube – no platform has transitioned as quickly as Instagram.
Video content is nothing new in the arena of social media marketing, however for the foreseeable future it would seem evident that long form video content on platforms (especially Instagram) is declining with no sign of being a viable option for brands again any time soon.
LinkedIn Will Also Embrace Short Format Video For Creators
There seems to be a running theme throughout this article surrounding the explosive growth of TikTok and how other, longer established, platforms are adapting to the trend of shorter format video content being the hot trend on social media.
In 2021, we saw the addition of creator mode, and cover stories to LinkedIn – and this is fully expected to be expanded on as we move further into the next 12 months. It has been reported that LinkedIn is planning to introduce a short format video section similar to that of Instagram Reels and TikTok.
With the growth of the personal brand concept amongst business leaders and employees in recent years, it should be anticipated that once this is launched the B2B community will likely embrace the new functions with open arms. A way of quickly showcasing workplace culture in a creative manner will certainly be an attractive option for business leaders that focus heavily on building a personal brand in 2022.
Demonstrating CSR Will Continue To Be Key For Social Media Marketing
Demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility has always been a great way for businesses to engage likeminded people and to also improve the standing of a business in the mind of consumers. Though this has been enhanced by the way in which companies can really harness engagement and increase reach on social media platforms by showcasing an impressive resume when it comes to the socially valuable projects they are involved with.
Future industry leading companies are really making the transition towards having purpose driven and socially valuable cultures, in not only attracting the best workforce but to also differentiate themselves from competitors.
In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic it was evident that consumers had a heightened sensitivity to a business’ own views and social engagements being aligned with their own. In fact, over three quarters of people recently surveyed admitted that they would outright refuse to do business with companies whose social or political beliefs did not align with their own.
With consumers more conscious of the CSR being demonstrated by a company, and B2B networking platforms such as LinkedIn becoming more awash with business leaders looking to build a personal brand through demonstrating their commitment to poignant social causes – it would seem that 2022 will see many businesses transition further to encompassing their CSR profiles into crafting their social media content.
More Businesses Will Hire Dedicated Social Media Marketers
Businesses of all sizes have utilised social media platforms as a way to really promote their brand and business for a long while now. It’s an immensely powerful way to really target your customer base and engage with them on a more human level than any form of advertising has been able to do in the past.
However, with platforms being used by just about every business – it is becoming clearer that those who want to stand out need much better thought out content. This leads us to see that the demand from businesses to have in-house marketers dedicated solely to social media will continue to increase in 2022.
Where in the past, social media marketing has been a part of a marketing team’s focus – we are beginning to see the transition where businesses will hire dedicated professionals solely for crafting content and growing their brands just on these platforms.