4 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2022

By Logan Trautman
January 4, 2022

What’s your 2022 social media strategy looking like? As platforms continue to grow (72 percent of American adults are on social media), and the way users interact on social media shifts, it’s important for brands to be forward-thinking in how they’ll stand out in the year ahead. Here are a few expected trends for the coming year that may help shape your digital strategy.

Shopping Through Social Media

2020 altered the way in which brands and individuals interacted on social media, and nearly two years later, that behavior is continuing to evolve. One of the most prominent trends that is here to stay: shopping on social media. From clothing and home décor to publication subscriptions and experiences (did anyone NOT know about the immersive Van Gough experience coming to their city this year?) users can find just about anything they need through social media shopping, and often click-to-buy right from the platform.

In 2022, marketers can expect social commerce to progress even further. Retailers will continue to advertise on social media, and providing consumers with an in-app shopping experience will gain popularity. A Facebook survey found that 83 percent of Instagram users discover new products or services on the platform, and 87 percent said that they took action after seeing product information on Instagram. Whether consumers are turning to social media influencers to learn about new products, researching brands they are considering buying from, or totally embracing one-click social shopping, marketers should be prepared for a broaden shopping environment on social.

Pro Tip for 2022: If you are promoting and selling your products or services on social media, focus your strategy on meeting your shoppers on the platforms where they already are so the experience becomes seamless.

Video Continues to Gain Speed

Those who have yet to include video in their social media strategy should be prepared to fall even further behind in coming year. A recent study showed that in 2020, digital video ads saw 20.6% year-over-year growth. With TikTok reaching 1 billion users this past year, and Instagram Reels gaining in popularity by the day, investment into quality video will be essential in keeping up with competitors in 2022.

Although it doesn’t take a professional camera crew to create engaging video footage, consumers will expect to be informed, entertained or educated by their favorite brands’ videos, and simply clicking “record” on your iPhone won’t be enough. Year after year, the one trend marketers can rely on is the shortening attention spans of consumers. It’s important to keep this in mind as you are creating video for your brand.

Pro Tip for 2022: The first five seconds of video needs to capture your audience’s attention, or else users will likely keep scrolling. Understand the consumers that are most often viewing your videos, and tailor your content to those individuals.

Social Media Ads That Don’t Look Like Social Media Ads

The best way to stand out in 2022 will be to blend in. Social media users, especially those who have grown up with social media, are pros at dodging ads they aren’t interested in. To avoid the dreaded “opt out” option, social media ads will adapt a less flashy, more seamless presence across all platforms.

Take a page out of Pinterest’s book, which has been serving ads to users that fit organically into its feeds for years—ads that preform best will stop interrupting and start educating, informing or entertaining. Self-serving promotions are officially a thing of the past.

Pro Tip for 2022: Marketers should consider advertising on platforms like Pinterest or TikTok, where ad formats already mirror the organic content being shared.

Brands Pick Their Favorite Platforms

In 2022, we can expect brands to work toward understanding which social media platform is working best to reach their target audience and adjusting social media strategies accordingly. Many marketers are starting to realize that it’s better to have a strong presence on the platform that matters, rather than a mediocre presence across them all. This is especially prevalent when your marketing team is stretched for time and may be just “pushing” information out across all platforms, rather than investing more resources on the one where people are most like to find and engage with you.

According to a Sprout Social survey, 80 percent of customers expect companies to interact with them on social media. By not investing the proper time it takes to engage with consumers, brands are missing their biggest opportunity on social media. By prioritizing responsiveness, marketers can positively influence consumer behavior to benefit the entire organization, such as visiting a website, leaving a positive review, or building brand loyalty.

Pro Tip for 2022: Brands should consider conducting a social media engagement audit at the beginning of the year to understand where and how their audience is engaging. If the results favor a particular platform over the others, consider how to strengthen your presence where you are already strong.

What trends are you predicting to see in the coming year? To see examples of how we’ve supported our clients with social media strategy and outreach, view our case studies.