Wondering what new social media trends will dominate 2022? Yep, it’s that time of the year again when digital marketers and brands start looking up social predictions that will impact brand marketing in the New Year. 

So if you are thinking about which new trends to focus on and how to tweak your social strategies for maximum impact, then this article is for you. 

Here are the top social trends for brands and digital marketers to focus on in 2022.

1. TikTok will continue its Dominance

Ok so starting with the now “not so new” kid on the block TikTok – with more than a billion active users a month, the app is here to stay. Instagram has been the social darling for the past few years. However, TikTok is the rage now and it’s going to gain greater digital relevance for brands. And while the general perception is that the app is mostly used by younger Gen Y and Gen Zs, the fact is TikTok offers the perfect solution to the dilemma of “short attention span” syndrome that dominates digital and social audiences. 

People want to consume information in quick, short, and entertaining bursts – and apps such as TikTok and Instagram are perfect for that. TikTok’s success was spurred on by its full-screen immersive videos. YouTube shorts is another example of this style of content consumption option. 

Of course, social dividends are not the same for every industry type. So while e-commerce brands, beauty, and fashion brands can leverage the social dividends offered by TikTok quickly and more robustly, it might take some time for you to develop a TikTok strategy that works specifically for your local business.  

2. People Want To Shop “More” On Social

More and more people will now want to shop on social. So social commerce is another trend that will dominate in 2022. 

The pandemic was one of the reasons for this trend to gain prominence and brands focused on enhancing social commerce experience for audiences. Instagram’s “Shops on Instagram” and Facebook Shops met with great responses. So while social commerce will not replace e-commerce in a hurry, there is every indication that the social shopping trend is going to cement its foundation firmly in 2022 and move beyond the tag of simply being a “social disruptor.” 

For local businesses, this bodes well since you can now look at one more level of audience-brand connection within your digital or retail marketing experience – in parts to begin with, if not in full.  

3. The AR/VR Experience

Customers set expectations, and it is up to the brands to deliver on those expectations. And tech solutions offer the best answers to meeting some of those expectations. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) offer businesses opportunities to provide their audience with unique brand experiences while also driving brand value. 

Customers can try or experience products without physically shopping in a store. Home, fashion, and beauty (make-up) brands, in particular, offer a ‘tap to try on’ option for customers who cannot physically shop in-store. 

AR and VR tie into the above-mentioned social trend of “social commerce.” Social sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, have introduced features and updates that are AR-based as a means of expanding audience experiences.

Other brands will follow suit and look at embracing AR functionality to provide their customers with an enhanced shopping experience in 2022. 

4. The Shift From Influencers To Brand Content Creators

Brand building is all about building credibility within your industry. And influencer marketing is one such opportunity that brands have been using for some time now. But instead of simply partnering with celebrities and social influencers, brands will now focus on working with influential content creators who can share valuable content with their followers. The size of the following is not the prize here – rather it is about interacting with a tighter group of absolute fans who are more readily convertible. 

Local businesses will actively use influencer marketing to power seamless social shopping experiences for customers by driving live social shopping, expanding brand affiliate programs, and by providing audiences with authentic product recommendations. 

5. Tapping Into The Power Of Social Listening

Social listening played a major role in how brands enhanced social connections and built a more interactive connection with social audiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even as the world slowly opens up, social listening is one social trend that will continue to dominate through 2022 and beyond.  

Being able to respond to customer queries in real-time helped businesses expand their brand engagement quotient. An increasing number of local businesses and brands today are learning how social listening tools can expand their understanding of customer preferences and then use this information to prevent PR mishaps vis-à-vis bad reviews. 

6. Live Streaming To Gain More Popularity

Live streams will become more popular in 2022 as brands increase their use of live streams to make important announcements. Live social content is favored over any other type of social posting. And this became even more important during the pandemic – since brands used live chats and streaming to connect virtually with their audience. 

Live streaming is a great opportunity for brands to do away with a common perception they encounter – and that is of being faceless brand image. You can use live streaming to build brand trust and show the human faces behind your brand. 

The key, to successful live streaming, however, lies in offering something of absolute value to your listening audience. So the focus should be on providing users with content that’s useful or trending, and also entertaining, and provides answers to pressing and relevant questions. 

7. Increased Focus On User-Generated Content

2022 will see an increased focus on user-generated content. User-generated content allows brands to leverage their users’ emotions within their community to create compelling content and brand stories. Because the content comes from users, it is highly relatable, authentic, and comes with a high engagement potential. 

Instead of consuming picture-perfect stories, users prefer content from other users and customers – even if it appears to be unpolished and imperfect. They want authentic experiences that don’t reek of brand edits but are more human and honest in their value. 

It’s all about social proof and being a part of a more interactive experience via their queries and comments as well as personal opinions. 

In Conclusion

There is just one big criterion to expanding your brand’s social presence – and that is to build trust. 

The above-mentioned social trends are predicted to dominate the social landscape in 2022. However, as with all things digital, don’t jump on the latest trend simply because it is out there. Do your research, be sure to check the latest news and trends, and then sit down and formulate your social strategy for 2022.  

Remember, you don’t need to employ every new social trend that pop-ups to drive your social presence. So be careful about what you pick and choose for your brand.