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Social Media Trends for 2022

Looking forward to 2022 in the digital marketing world

As we close down the year that was 2021 and look forward to a more hopeful 2022, the giants of social media strategy, marketing and research are alerting us to the trends for next year and beyond. 

With social media evolving at the rate of knots, we’re assuming the trends they’re predicting today will actually come to bear next year. We’re hoping so as The Digital Doctor has contributed some precious thinking time to the narrative to help our clients and blog readers focus on how social media and digital marketing can support and nurture their businesses as we head into 2022.

If you’ve yet to venture into the world of digital marketing, don’t feel overwhelmed and think you’ve missed a trick and it’s too late to embrace the concept. In this blog we’ll talk you through how to start 2022 with a new strategy - and if you feel you need to grasp some of the basics first, we’ve written several articles on social media about how you can use various platforms to promote and sell your products or services:

Hootsuite's digital marketing predictions for 2022

We’ve taken a look at one such major marketing player - Hootsuite. So what is Hootsuite saying we should be looking out for next year and how should businesses adapt their digital marketing strategies?

Hootsuite has produced a comprehensive report, having enlisted the views of 18,100 respondents from across 200 countries and  engaged with the leaders of the major social platforms including Twitter, Google and YouTube. 

Here’s a summary of what Hootsuite has to say (you can download their full report Social Media Trends 2022). Hootsuite has identified 5 key trends to bear in mind next year.

1. The Brand Strategy Trend

Brands are  increasingly aware of how members of digital communities interact with each other and how these online communities are becoming pivotal in consumers’ lives and influence their identities. In order to connect with new audiences, brands will need to partner with creators who have established a following: “earning their trust and gaining cultural capital”. 

It’s not all bad news for small businesses either - companies which typically don’t have a huge digital marketing budget. By researching into already established communities you can enhance your online presence by tapping into an existing group, building rapport and boosting your marketing presence.

“Instead of trying to build a community from the ground up, the smartest brands in 2022 will tap into existing creator communities to learn more about their customers, simplify content creation, and build brand awareness and affinity.”

2. The Social Advertising Trend

Social ads are going to get more sophisticated as consumers demand more creativity in what they see. There’ll be a move towards enriching the end user experience and ads will need to reflect different personas according to the platform they’re advertising on. 

From Hootsuite’s data, they’ve gleaned that over 50% of marketers are planning to increase their budget in 2022 and whilst 2021 was a bumper year for Instagram, the trend will be for Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to also share the spoils. Not only that but TikTok, WhatsApp, Pinterest and Snapchat are in the frame for a fair amount of focus next year.

How effective each platform is at generating interest from consumers and thereby more effective for reaching business goals? Well, based on Hootsuite’s data it looks like digital marketing will experience a move towards the less saturated markets of TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat. 

Hootsuite reports on 3 studies on these platforms. A study commissioned by TikTok, found that consumers ranked TiTok ads as more inspiring and enjoyable than ads on alternative social media platforms. Furthermore, a study commissioned by Snapchat found that their ads had more reach than TV ads. This led to greater awareness and purchase intent across the platform. Pinterest Business, looked at ads on their platform and reported that Pinterest had higher ROI and cheaper conversion rates than ads on other social networks. All 3 studies would suggest that as being relatively new to the game in comparison to Insta, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, consumers are more engaged and more open to social ads. Not only that, but TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat “encourage advertisers to make content that fits organically into the platforms.”

This infographic is particularly interesting:

3. The ROI Trend

“For over a decade, marketing leaders have struggled to quantitatively link social media to business outcomes. Now, after being forced to rely on social significantly more during the pandemic, it seems something has clicked.”

So basically, while many businesses pre-Covid had struggled to see the ROI in having a social media presence, we’re coming out of the pandemic with a new sense of what social media can do to improve our brand and engage potential consumers. Marketers are starting to appreciate the holistic nature of digital marketing - that it’s not just about direct sales. Social media marketing is effective - even more so if it’s embedded in your company’s overall marketing strategy. The added benefit is that it’s a two-way street and you can assess and learn more about your consumer base and what they’re looking for from you.

4. The Social Commerce Trend

We thought the online shopping arena was surely at its peak but with a pandemic creating a requirement to stay at home and shop from home, the opportunity to grow social commerce won’t be shrinking anytime soon. Around 84% of consumers transferred to online shopping overnight when the world went into lockdown. Small businesses which have adapted over the last 20 months or so have potentially reduced their overheads by operating online purchasing and diversifying. 

Hootsuite reports on eMarketer which projects that double-digit annual growth will drive ecommerce sales from $792 billion in 2020 to $1.6 trillion in 2025. These are huge numbers to digest and far from thinking consumers will revert to old habits in a post-pandemic era, the experts are actually predicting the opposite. Tapping into this market - especially to attract younger consumers will be key. Given that the demographic relies on social media platforms to research, shop and evaluate products, then brands of every size will need to embrace social media as a new outlet for their goods and services.

“While the brick-and-mortar storefront lives on post pandemic, it’s become clear that social commerce is an opportunity businesses can’t afford to miss. Small businesses in 2022 will work to extend the experience customers have with their brands across social storefronts and real life, while global enterprises test the limits of the online shopping experience.”

5. The Customer Care Trend

In 2022 customer care has never been so important. With global issues around logistics, supply chain headaches and industries crying out for staff, maintaining or even gaining customer satisfaction will be a challenge. 

“A customer service apocalypse is upon us. And social is where it will play out.”

One way of reaching out to your clients will be over the caring (and sharing) airwaves of social media and marketers who’ve been responsible for brand communication will, it’s predicted, take on more of the responsibility of customer care in 2022. 

As more and more customers reach out to brands and retail chains via social media channels rather than through the traditional consumer helpline, businesses will need to adapt to provide that customer care through the channel consumers wish to converse in. 

Consumers are savvy enough to know that communicating issues through social media gets quick and immediate attention. According to Gartner, 60% of all customer service requests will be managed via digital channels by 2023. Ignore investment in digital customer care at your peril.

Time, Trial and Error

Phew! That’s a lot to take in - The Digital Doctor has given you a summary of Hootsuite’s paper on 2022 predictions and we have only scratched the surface. 

We’re happy to talk to you about your existing marketing strategy and how you’d like to move it forward on a more digital footing over the next 12 months. Learning to understand your audience and which platform works for your brand and business is an investment in time and thought. What works on one platform might not necessarily work on another. 

A digital presence is not always about direct sales and ROI - but more about how you reach out and engage with your consumer base. You’ll also need to learn to advertise appropriately for your demographic and by doing so, you’ll appreciate how social media marketing can be a collaborative experience between the brand and the buyer.

Do you need help with your 2022 social media marketing campaign?

At The Digital Doctor, because we like to get involved in every aspect of marketing - you can be assured of a constant online experience. We write web content, research and publish blogs, manage social media campaigns and more…so contact us.


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