While we have some ideas of our own, we love to seek out opportunities to hear from other industry leaders, particularly those with access to loads of data, to deepen our knowledge. Our social team recently tuned into Hootsuite’s Social Trends Hot Takes 2022 webinar, where they shared highlights from their annual trends report, including emerging industry behaviours, breakthrough platforms and new normals for the year ahead.
They point out that while many brands were forced into survival mode tactics throughout recent turbulent times, 2022 will call for marketers to start thinking strategically again. Hootsuite’s CEO, Tom Keiser believes efforts should be focused on creating connected online communities, embracing social commerce and elevated customer care.
Based on extensive research, including an annual survey of 18,100 marketers worldwide and dozens of interviews, Hootsuite has landed on five key social trends for 2022:
1. The Brand Strategy Trend: Brands finally get community right (with the help of creators). Digital communities are only becoming more central to consumers’ lives and identities, and creators are the key to unlocking them. Brands that partner wisely with creators are connecting with new audiences, earning their trust, and gaining cultural capital.
2. The Social Advertising Trend: Marketers get creative as consumers wise up to social ads. Consumers are holding brands to a higher standard when it comes to creativity in social advertising—but rewarding those that get it right. As marketers plan to spend more on social ads in 2022, they’ll have to work harder to create ads that mirror and enrich the distinct experience each social network offers.
3. The ROI Trend: Social quietly matures out of the marketing department. Having seen the value of social in marketing, business leaders are buffing up employee advocacy programs, mastering social listening to gather consumer insights, and looking to deliver the kind of impact they’ve seen social have on their marketing elsewhere in their organizations.
4. The Social Commerce Trend: Social becomes the heart of the post-pandemic shopping experience. The era of social commerce is in full swing and the opportunity is only getting bigger. Competitive small businesses are finding a balance between social storefronts and bricks and mortar, while large brands test the outer limits of the online shopping experience.
5. The Customer Care Trend: Social marketers save their brands from the customer service apocalypse. Amid halting global supply chains and staffing shortages, many businesses can expect an influx of not-so-happy customers in 2022. Meanwhile, demand for customer service over social has been surging. Social media managers now find themselves in an ideal position to play the hero and steer their organizations through the upheaval.
Tint and Talkwalker, each represented by a guest speaker in the webinar, have released their own lists. While Hootsuite’s report mentions it only in passing, notable was Tint and Talkwalker’s inclusion of the metaverse as a key trend to anticipate.
Additional social trends we’re expecting to see in 2022?
– Increased advertising spend in platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest. ROI is far more effective for reaching business goals than they have in the past and compared to the obvious choices (Meta).
– In response to the Great Resignation, a rise in employee advocacy on social, and brands understanding the power of consumer insights they can glean from their own channels to dictate broader marketing trends.
– By embracing inclusivity, brands are intentional about the voices, messages, images and values they select to represent them.
Ultimately, having a solid grasp on the trends allows more opportunity to harness the power of social for your business. If you’re a brand looking to take your social media strategy to the next level, drop us a line here.