2021 was a complex and fascinating year for social media marketers all around the globe. With the continuation of the pandemic, we’ve seen working from home become the new norm. We’ve seen an explosion of content on platforms like TikTok. We’ve even seen Facebook get a new name.
But what can we expect in 2022? As a new year begins, so will some new social media trends. Here are our top 3 predictions for social media marketing in 2022.
#1: Community building will be as important as ever.
Building engaged communities on social media has always been pretty important. But many platforms are making community building easier and more accessible with a wide array of tools that are being implemented with creators and brands in mind.
Twitter has introduced Twitter Spaces – a live audio, in-app experience where you can talk live with your followers. They’ve also introduced “Communities” as another feature that helps to build an ecosystem for like-minded people within the app. Facebook has also jumped into the live audio space recently.
On Instagram, we’ve seen more use of the Instagram Live feature to do chats with fans, influencers and industry leaders. Part of building community comes in working with influencers, and we’ve seen shifts on that front too.
Brands are now partnering with influencers to not only do sponsored posts, but to also do Story takeovers and more – immersing an existing brand following into a new world.
If you’re a social media manager for a professional sports team for instance, think of bringing a local micro-influencer in to take over the team Instagram account one gameday. Give them all access to a practice day and opportunities to meet a coach and players. That style of relatable content (a micro-influencer perspective vs. a brand perspective) will aid in fostering community growth and trust in the long-term.
It’s one thing to have people who follow you and like your posts. But if you can have those same people excited to talk with you, or participate in your content, your customer relationship becomes that much deeper.
Loyal and dedicated fans are more likely to not only buy your products/services, but to also act as a brand ambassador, provide testimonials, etc.
#2: Vertical video content will reign supreme.
2021 saw the continued rise of TikTok and the rise of Instagram Reels as a direct competitor. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, has stated that Instagram as a platform is no longer a photo sharing app. The company is diving deeper into video and entertainment in efforts to stay competitive with TikTok, YouTube, etc.
In January of 2018, TikTok had 55 Million monthly global users. As of today, TikTok has over 1 Billion monthly global users. That rise has Instagram putting a heavy emphasis on Reels usage within it’s algorithm. It’s even offering bonus incentives (up to $35,000 in some instances) to creators who use the Reels feature regularly.
With Instagram’s latest app update, Instagram Reels content is given (as seen above) full-screen viewing space on timelines. So, think about how that plays into engagement, as opposed to an image that’s square or a video that’s landscape (16×9).
Video is driving immense growth for all major social media platforms right now, so expect to see companies lean more into video content (especially vertical video content) in 2022. Vertical videos can be used on TikTok, Instagram (and Facebook) Reels & Stories, YouTube Shorts, etc.
So, when crafting video content for your future social media campaigns, be sure to create assets that can be used vertically as well.
#3: Senior-level marketing roles will require social media experience.
As social media continues to mature as an industry, it will continue to be taken more seriously in the overall marketing world. And with that comes a need for more social media experience in senior-level, general marketing roles.
Social media campaigns are very vital for healthy marketing ecosystems within companies in the 2020’s, and can be very complex. It’s the very reason why social media-specific agencies have seen a rise in recent years. With the amount of paid media dollars that can be spent and nuanced content needs per channel, long gone are the days of a one-person social media department at big companies.
With the pandemic, we’ve seen a shift in the understanding of how social media can help drive business when OOH and print advertising may not be feasible. And for that reason, marketers in senior leadership roles may begin to more frequently come from the social media world.
If we learned anything in 2021 (and 2020), it’s to expect the unexpected. But, we’re pretty confident with these predictions. Where do you predict social media goes in 2022? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Sound off on our social media channels!