2022 has been a fascinating year for trends on social media. The highlight of the year is marked by the growth of short-form content on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube; and trends like BeReal. Interestingly, this year has seen a steady expansion in the creator economy and content encouraging small businesses and self-employed creators to go against the grain and not hop on whatever’s hot at the moment. A trend unto itself, one might argue.
See this video on Instagram. Other small business owners used this reel to make content, and a commentary on the pressure content creators face to respond to every trend.
Online trends are almost inescapable unless you’re Balenciaga.
Let’s quickly go over the stats:
These numbers are reflective of the way people consume content online. In the following sections, we revisit some of the trends that stood out this year.
Instagram’s move to scrap the horizontal IGTV video format at the end of 2021 signaled a definite shift for what was to come in 2022. Thus, it’s no secret that the app’s algorithm promotes reels, a marked departure for a photo-first app.
This is not to take away from the fact that creators still need to strategize other aspects of the post, such as aspect ratio, originality, and, more importantly- figuring out the best time to post on Instagram.
Taking into account the brand’s industry, region, and demographic to post at strategic time intervals are the not-so-secret ingredients to achieving peak audience engagement.
The Meta-owned app has gone a step further in introducing a program that pays creators to use and promote app features. TikTok, a leader in short-form content is now an important channel in social media marketing. Hashtags such as #TikTokmademebuyit help drive sales to the Amazon website and enable influencers to profit from commissions.
The Mexican chain Chipotle famously used the #ChipotleLidFlip Challenge in TikTok to get over 100,000 videos trying to replicate the original feat by one of the company’s employees.
If you’re someone who primarily lives in social media, you’ll notice that entertainment-based content has a lot of takers. However, for marketers, this means that branded content needs to be repackaged to look original. Thus, brands are moving away from hard-sell and jumping on trends, even if it means a not-so-slick video production.
That said, marketers need to maintain that authenticity and still work on reviews and engagement. Therefore, if you’re a small business owner, you can’t play fast and loose. In fact, it’s crucial to keep your eyes peeled for any turns that online reactions may take.
For instance, managing Google reviews is key if you’re a self-employed business owner because reviews can make or break your brand. No consumer wants to settle for less when there’s a plethora of options at their disposal. Facebook is an underrated app that still holds power in terms of access to close-knit groups and communities. This is a gold mine for word-of-mouth marketing.
The key is identifying a demographic, moderating and hiding Facebook comments that deter brand communication, and proactively creating engaging campaigns.
Probably the best part of the shopping feature is that it eliminates the steps for a consumer to shop. Thereby enhancing purchase motivation. The game has shifted from website marketing to something else entirely. In fact, according to statistics, a whopping 70% of shoppers explore Instagram to look for brands they might like.
The Shop discovery feature has virtually created a flea market-like space where people socialize and buy shiny trinkets. The checkout option is available in limited regions for now. Alternatively, customers are redirected to the checkout page of the particular e-commerce site to complete the purchase.
With Spotify investing big dollars into creating original content, it’s safe to say that the market for audio storytelling is seeing a significant uptick. Podcasts rest in that sweet spot between YouTube videos and blogs. YouTube and blogs favor long-form video and text content, both of which require intentional consumption (for the most part). Podcasts work like highly flexible radio channels that one can consume and integrate with other activities in the day.
Social media influencers deliver informational or entertainment-based content via podcasts, creating value with potential customer retention. Brands tap into this market for shoutouts as they would in any other platform, which targets a highly specific demographic of prospective customers.
We live in an era where brand loyalty rests on a precarious ledge. Brand marketing is becoming subtler and more significant - if you catch the drift? Piggybacking off our previous point about authentic marketing, companies are increasingly looking to content creators to humanize brands. If you’re looking to build brand trust using social media, you can look into proven strategies that can help you get started.
As platforms roll out tools that enable self-employed creators, influencer marketing has become a primary channel of marketing. All industries are using influencers from beauty brands to gourmet ingredients, tech products, and more. These posts have direct CTAs (Call To Action) and Promo Codes. Thus, ensuring that branding efforts translate to lead generation.
In addition to working with macro influencers, Rihanna’s cosmetic and makeup brand Fenty was also able to tap into organic marketing. Beauty influencers and reviewers jumped on the bandwagon to create content at no cost to Fenty.
Alternative images are then reposted by Fenty.
Today, a brand's value has multiple touch points, including culture, corporate ethics, and entertainment. However, they must also be good at the actual business. Automating your company’s basic social media workflow can help create the space to explore creating original content. Tech is your friend, but content still rules the game.