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Social media trends to watch in 2022

Social media icons on a cellphone homepage

The social media landscape is constantly evolving.

For marketers and businesses, jumping ahead on popular trends is one way to succeed in a competitive industry.

Below are four social media trends that are predicted to take over in 2022.

TikTok will surpass all other social media platforms

For the past few years, Instagram has been the most popular social media platform with over one billion users every month and the most users of any mobile app, outranking Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

However, this could soon change with the booming growth of TikTok, especially among Gen Zers.

In September 2021, TikTok surpassed the one billion user mark, making it the seventh most popular social media network in the world – and it was only officially launched in early 2018, eight years after Instagram was established.

According to App Annie’s 2022 Mobile Forecast Report, TikTok is set to reach over 1.5 billion users by 2022, surpassing Instagram’s one billion users. Moreover, it’s predicted that online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022, which is 15 times higher than it was in 2017. These projections make TikTok a social media platform that businesses will need to focus on if they want to grow and succeed in the next year.

Users will favour short-form video content

TikTok’s success with short user-generated videos has pushed the social media narrative towards a preference for short-form video content.

With shorter attention spans, users now prefer short-form videos like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories and Twitter Moments. These videos are and will continue to be popular ways to engage with users in a short period of time.

“The growth of social media is causing the human attention span to be shorter and shorter,” said Brandon Sanders, former digital marketer for HubSpot Academy. “So, leveraging the power of short-form content will give [businesses] a leg up on [their] competition and help engage [their] audience.”

The success of short-form video only proves more evident in its results. Short-form videos have the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy, with 30% of social media marketers planning to invest in it more than any other trend in 2022.

Social media platforms will become the new shopping centres

When the pandemic hit, online shopping soared to an all-time high, especially among non-essential retailers. While retail sales fell 17.9% between February and May 2020, retail e-commerce sales nearly doubled with a 110.8% increase compared to May 2019. In fact, e-commerce skyrocketed ahead more in the first 90 days of the pandemic than it had in the previous decade.

Younger generations now turn to social media to research brands more than they do on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, with 53.2% of global internet users between the age of 16 and 24 using social media networks as a primary source of information when researching brands. Social media has now become the new shopping centre where consumers make their purchasing decisions.

Businesses offering an online storefront on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest will help make the shopping experience seamless for their customers. What once used to be just an extension of a brand’s voice has now become a core platform for users to engage with and purchase from.

Influencer marketing will continue to grow

In 2016, influencer marketing was worth $1.7 billion, but looking ahead to 2022, the industry is set to reach $13.8 billion as more and more people are influenced by and make purchasing decisions based on social media posts. Even more so, Civic Science revealed that “nearly 15% of the 18-to-24 age bracket has purchased something because an influencer recommended it in the last six months.”

According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations and 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice. These statistics show how truly influential and engaging influencer marketing is for businesses to connect with their audience.

For many consumers, influencers are also more trustworthy than traditional celebrities, with 70% of teenagers trusting influencers more than celebrities, and four in 10 millennial subscribers say that their favourite influencers understand them better than their friends do.

Investing in influencer marketing can drive purchasing decisions for customers, increase brand awareness and reach, build credibility and trust and increase sales for businesses.

Interested in learning more about social media? University Canada West’s Social Media Micro-Credential by the Digital Marketing Institute is perfect for those who are already social media savvy but want to take their skills to the next level.

The course provides a thorough exploration of what social media means in an ever-evolving digital world and includes a selection of interactive learning formats, including toolkits, videos, podcasts and webinars.

For more information visit, ucanwest.ca/micro-credentials.

Published on Dec. 10, 2021.