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Social Media Predictions for 2022

Many people enjoy the prediction game, especially now that we’re transitioning to 2022. However, the last few years have been challenging, showing us just how difficult it can be to anticipate what will happen in the succeeding years.

This year, we’ve experienced big moves toward privacy protection, social commerce, and the diversification of social media advertising strategies. So now, what trends can social media experts and business owners expect next year?

Given the ever-evolving digital landscape, no one can be exactly sure what to expect in the coming year. And challenging as it may be, some experts vouch on these several social media predictions that everybody should look out for in 2022.

Without further ado, let’s take a peek at the future of social media and how we can use these predicted trends to gain a competitive edge:

Social selling will be mainstream

“Live Shopping will start to become a reality in the U.S. It’s already becoming popular in APAC, but we’re now starting to see signs of life over here.” – Avi Ben-Zvi, VP of Social at Tinuiti.

Today, consumers want and expect to perform consumer-related activities on different social media platforms that they use. And the accelerating growth of social media consumption, coupled with stay-at-home regulations, will create the perfect condition for significant demand for social commerce.

Major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and TikTok’s commerce features now allow consumers to complete a sale without leaving the platform. But Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are the most popular ones. With that in mind, eCommerce marketers believe that the social selling industry will grow into an $80 billion industry in 2025.

While directly marketed to consumers, in 2022, B2B marketers are expected to ride to the tide. And as social selling features continue to enhance how consumers purchase online, so will the need for fast customer service. It’s highly anticipated that customers would want more immediate responses. Therefore, marketers should look for ways to improve their customer service efforts to maximize the benefits of social commerce.

Long-form content takes the spotlight once again

This year was dedicated to bite-sized, short-form content, with TikTok videos, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts having our attention for 15 seconds. But with the sudden changes on the platforms, experts believe long-form content will regain the limelight. For instance, a TikTok video has expanded to 3 minutes in length, while Youtube Shorts and Instagram Reels can be 1 minute long. These minor tweaks will create significant changes, marking the shift back towards long-form videos.

Podcasting will become more relevant

With the rise of trends comes the ascension of podcasts. According to Podcast Insights, as of August 2021, there are 48 million podcast episodes and more than 2 million active shows. And with around 78% of the U.S population already familiar with podcasts, this channel is bound to become more relevant in 2022.

Next year, podcast ad revenue is expected to escalate to $1.33 billion. In addition, data from Podbean concludes that around 62% of podcast listeners consider purchasing products or services after learning about them through podcast advertising. 

This growth in podcast advertising is motivated by increased consumption across the world. That being said, podcast ads will be easier to produce through ad marketplaces like Midroll, Podcorn, Gumball, and AdvertiseCast. Next year, live podcasting, new strategies, and features should also be anticipated.

Edison Research has a solid profile for podcast audiences: young, educated, and affluent. And if you’re a business looking for this type of consumer, it may be a wise choice to add podcasting to your 2022 marketing plan.

Facebook

Algorithm, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, blockchain, and many more—it seems like there’s an emerging Facebook trend every year. And next year, it looks like the trend would be “metaverse,” a recent hot topic made popular due to the hype of Facebook (or Meta).

Just in case you missed it, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced its next project called the “metaverse.” That being said, the company is shifting its name to Meta.

The Facebook platform remains as Facebook, and other related social media applications like Instagram stay the same. What only changed is that these apps now all exist under one larger umbrella company, “Meta.”

In the Facebook announcement, Zuckerberg says metaverse will be “the successor to the mobile internet”—a virtual reality where users can explore, create, and connect. In other words, it’s where people, as avatars, can visit our virtual homes and interact with other avatars—a world where’s anything is possible.

But it looks like metaverse is still far from reality. It may still take years to develop and be fully utilized. But such buzzword is enough to bring many changes to how social media professionals should deal with Facebook in 2022.

1.      More mature consumers – It’s no surprise to social media professionals that people on Facebook are slightly older than the users on other platforms. A recent leak from The Facebook Papers via Bloomberg noticed a troubling trend that seemed to be rising in a fast rate: teens and young adults are taking flight from the platform. Teens spend and engage significantly less on Facebook than adults aged 30 and above. In addition, the number of new signups from teens was declining, and many of their accounts are duplicates, not unique profiles. While this provides an excellent avenue for brands with an adult target market, Facebook will continue incorporating new features next year to attract teen users.

2.      New version of Facebook Business Suite – This year, many users learned to access the Facebook Business Suite, the platform’s page manager. Next year, experts expect that it’ll undergo massive expansion, including new features and functionalities that will make a page manager’s tasks more convenient.

3.      More videos and live streams – In 2022, users will interact much more with video and live streaming content than with the traditional, static ones. Businesses should consider this growing trend when planning their strategy for next year if their goal is to increase engagement and sales.

4.      Facebook Ads – The most significant emerging Facebook Ads trend is the decreasing rich and rising costs, making it harder for marketers to attract paying customers to the platform. To maximize ad budgets, it’s essential to publish the ads containing the right messages to the target customers at the right time. Brands should also focus on designing ads that resonate with their target audiences. To achieve this, businesses should conduct in-depth research to know their preferences, desires, and how they interact online.

5.      Algorithmic updates – The recent spill of Facebook Files is a total awakening to digital professionals regarding that Facebook itself is aware of the negative impacts it can have on users, as well as the efforts to curb such damaging effects. As Meta eyes metaverse, experts from Social Media Today expect that Facebook will experiment with various algorithmic shifts, such as reducing political posts in News Feeds and providing options to turn off the algorithm. The removal of algorithmic amplification, as suggested by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, will give users more control of what they consume on the platform.

Instagram

eMarketer predicts that the number of monthly users on Instagram will escalate from 804 million to 877.5 million next year. This prediction only means that 2022 will be a busy year for Instagram marketers. As the visual brand-consumer relationship continues to progress, businesses should take advantage of all of the platform’s advertising channels: Swipe Up feature, IG stories, ad placements, and IGTV.

1.      IGTV – Instagram’s TV channel remains a force to be reckoned with in the video-sharing industry with unique features. They took advantage of the rising demand for vertical video format and nurtured a solid community of influencers. Although IGTV may not win a one-on-one battle with the father of video content, YouTube, many experts believe that Instagram will tweak the features to improve user experience. First, IGTV will incorporate a search functionality using keywords, just like how a Google search engine operates. Experts also think Instagram would introduce an IGTV channel subscription. This feature will be helpful for businesses to create a solid legion of video-loving followers on the platform.

2.      The age of micro-influencers – Content creators with less than 10,000 followers will become more relevant in the advertising landscape. They may have fewer followers than celebrities, but the audience is denser. With a streamlined flow of true-to-life stories, inspirational posts, and daily updates, micro-influencers keep their followers not only entertained but highly engaged as well.

3.      A total shopping experience – With the rising popularity of social selling, Instagram will make it even more convenient for its users to shop without leaving its grounds. What was once a photo-sharing application will have the opportunity to grow into an eCommerce giant like Shopify or Amazon. Therefore, if you sell products, make sure to set up an Instagram shop.

4.      Instagram Reels – Since videos are becoming core components of an effective digital strategy, the use of Instagram Reels among businesses will continue to progress. And as the attention span gets shorter over the years, the need for creative, quick, new, and innovative content has become more prevalent. The increased usage of Reels since its launch promises an excellent year for Instagram. In 2022, Reels will become a valuable feature to re-engage the existing Instagram audience.

5.      AR Filters – With Facebook gearing up to make Spark AR Roundup for the public, a wave of AR content is bound to make a splash next year. Users can try many things—change their outfits, hairstyles, and more—all with the Instagram camera. With new AR features, users are expected to spend more time on Instagram.

TikTok

TikTok took the Internet by storm in the time of COVID-19, enjoying a meteoric growth since 2020. The platform has opened its doors for people in a pandemic-stricken landscape, encouraging everyone to transform loneliness, trauma, and isolation into creativity and connection. Far from going down, experts believe that TikTok will continue to rise and even dominate the digital landscape.

1.      The top marketing social network –  The Google Search Trends concluded that the platform took over Instagram as the leading platform for short-form video content. And in 2020, the search demand for TikTok has escalated by 173%. The growth isn’t going anywhere and is even believed to dominate the social media landscape. If some brands aren’t taking advantage of TikTok, they will be in 2022. It will be an effective platform, especially if your goal is to expand your reach.

2.      Livestreaming – In 2022, TikTok is expected to increase and improve its livestreaming features to encourage more users as part of its growth and nurture strategy. Next year will usher the era of livestream commerce on the platform, wherein clickable links and the ability to directly sell products from a livestream will slowly become the norm.

3.      Online store – Like Instagram, TikTok is envisioned to create more in-app shopping features allowing big brands and small businesses to create online stores, providing more opportunities to boost sales.

4.      Shortened trend relevancy – With a plethora of video content to watch and with people consuming every piece of information at a rapid pace, it’s likely that trend lifespans will shorten.

5.      Demand for user-generated content rises – Users will favor brands that partner with content creators who provide user-generated content deemed native and dynamic to the social media platform. With TikTok Creator Marketplace and Spark Ads, it’s highly anticipated that brand and influencer collaboration will expand to help businesses locate content creators that are more familiar with TikTok trends.

Keep up with social media trends!

Trends come and go, and more importantly, we’re never sure which of the mentioned ones will occur next year. Some social media platforms may not come naturally for your promotions, but with trends coming at a rapid pace, it’s worth taking these predictions into account before planning your digital marketing strategy for next year. But if you can’t keep up with social media trends and think it’s better to focus your energy on other business matters, we at BrightMinds PH will be on the lookout for you! We have highly-experienced social media professionals that’ll help boost your brand’s social media game. Message us for a quote today!