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Since the start of the pandemic, many things have drastically changed from a social media standpoint. For one, people are spending more time on their phones than ever before — an average of 4.8 hours (or one-third of a person’s daily waking hours) to be exact. And with a growing number of new social media features and platforms emerging on the market — from Instagram Reels to Clubhouse — the sheer volume of content created on these apps has increased, from content produced by brands themselves to the efforts of social media influencers.
In light of these changing social media dynamics, brands need to come up with new strategies to adapt. While there’s no doubt we’ll continue to see social media shifts in 2022, we are already seeing positive trends shaping the future of social media and helping businesses stay ahead of the curve.
There’s a reason I put augmented reality first on my 2022 social media trends list: in my eyes, it’s the most critical and exciting of trends to emerge in the sector. Since AR arrived on the scene a few years back, brands started leveraging the technology to better serve consumers’ needs. On Snapchat, for instance, consumers can virtually try on a pair of the ever-popular Nike Air Force 1s, toggling between various color and texture combinations before making a purchase.
AR has already proven to be an effective way to engage consumers via social media. As The Drum reports, AR can capture people’s attention for over 85 seconds, increase interaction rates by 20% and improve click-through rates to purchase by 33%.
It helps to see how brands are effectively using AR in their social media marketing campaigns to prepare to turn the AR switch on in 2022. Consider luxury retailer Farfetch as another example. Using Snapchat’s AR tools, consumers can search for items via voice controls and try on outfits that align with their preferences.
TikTok has seen its share of exponential growth over the last few years. In fact, in 2021, TikTok was the first non-Facebook app to hit 3 million global downloads.
The increasingly-popular social media platform is designed in a way that allows brands to essentially blow-up. Unlike other social platforms, TikTok’s home feed features an embedded “For You” feed that allows users to see content from individuals they don’t follow. This algorithm demonstrates that individuals or brands with relevant content can see a huge spike in engagement and organic growth as they reach a wider audience.
To illustrate just how brands can use TikTok to their advantage, let’s use Starbucks as an example. With many customized drink orders going viral via user-based TikTok videos, the business released a series of TikTok videos of their own to show consumers how easy it is to order these custom drinks from the convenience of their app.
During the pandemic, the number of social media influencers grew amid the rise of social media platforms like TikTok. Alongside this growth, consumers spending more time on social media put more trust into social media influencers, who organically grew their dedicated followings faster. Recognizing these dynamics, more brands have reached out to partner with these influencers as a means to promote their product(s).
When social media influencer marketing first became popular, the pool of influencers brands could choose to partner with was far more limited than what it is today. On Instagram alone, it’s estimated there are at least 300,000 influencers with more than 100,000 followers each. With a larger, more diverse group of influencers that can cater to various industries, influencer brand promotions — a sample of which is highlighted below — are apt to rise significantly in the new year.
Instagram Reels are essentially Instagram’s response to TikTok: short-form videos that can get pushed to the platform’s Explore page. The Instagram Reels feature is a great way for brands to capitalize on TikTok-like content, trends and challenges without the hassle of moving to another platform and starting from square one. Considering this value, this new IG feature is worth any marketer’s consideration when developing a 2022 social media plan. (In case you need a bit more incentive: Instagram has started to reward Reels users by paying them to push out this style of content to their followers.)
Many brands are already taking advantage of IG Reels, with Beardbrand being one example. As an industry leader in beard care, Beardbrand uses Reels to provide short, helpful grooming tips, from how to handle beard bald spots to how to make beard maintenance a pain-free process.
Instagram Live, Facebook Live and TikTok Live have all become staples of their respective platforms. We’ve reached a point where 1 million people tune into Instagram Live on a daily basis, with 26% of Gen Zs and Millennials now tuning into live streaming on Instagram. Seeing this growth in consumption of live social media content, more brands have started to jump on the bandwagon and explore the use of live video to connect with their customer base.
Take the online pet product retailer Chewy, for instance. In their “Vet-to-Vet Live” Q&A sessions hosted on Instagram Live, the retailer offers instant expert advice on care for a variety of pets. The ability to engage with users in real-time and deliver educational content has helped position the retailer as a thought leader in the pet care space and boost customer loyalty.
As in past years, social media will continue to play a vital role in driving engagement and new business in 2022. By aligning social media strategies with the latest trends, marketing leaders can take advantage of new opportunities to satisfy their customers’ needs and see the ROI other brands who have already made these investments have experienced.
If you could use help making this shift, Kuno Creative is proud to be a partner that can help. Schedule a free consultation where we can discuss your needs and strategies to level up both your social media marketing efforts and your inbound marketing strategy as a whole.