The one thing you can count on in social media? Change.
Platforms are changing, updating their algorithms, and introducing new features. Keeping up with all these evolutions sometimes feels like a full-time job.
Let’s talk about how to stay on top of social media trends, which 2021 trends to keep, and how to update them to fit your refreshed 2022 strategy.
What We’ll Cover:
- Instagram Stories
- Instagram Reels
- The Rise of Clubhouse and Other Audio Apps
- Snapchat and Instagram AR Filters
- Shopping on Social
- Video Content
1. Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are still a great idea for brands to build their brand identity. They’re fun, easy to make, and consumers love them.
In a recent study, it was found that more than 500 million people use Instagram Stories every day. With an audience this large, it’s no wonder 51% of brands are already taking advantage of this disappearing Story feature.
Similar to Snapchat, Instagram Stories stay live for 24 hours and allow users to share what’s happening at the moment without clogging their feed with additional images and videos. Stories also provide a unique opportunity to ask followers questions, have followers ask you questions, create polls, share videos, music, and more.
There is so much that your brand can do with the Instagram Story concept that we recommend creating a social strategy just for this type of content (whenever applicable).
Not only can you use it to flex your creative muscles, but Stories also provide endless possibilities to improve your brand’s visibility using real-time marketing. That’s half the commitment of a regular social post with all of the fun. It’s no wonder we are seeing channels like Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn mimic this approach on their own platforms.
Use Stories to highlight what is going on with your brand. Feature sales, promotions, and other special events.
Use them to encourage engagement by asking for feedback. Stories can be video content, graphics, photographs, or text.
Consider sharing an Instagram post from another account. This is an excellent way to highlight customers or other brands you’re collaborating with.
Since they expire in 24 hours, this is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of marketing.
Pro-tip: Be sure to post consistent content so your brand’s Instagram page always has a story running.
2. Instagram Reels
If you didn’t add Instagram Reels to your social media strategy last year, 2022 is the year to do it.
Launched in 2019, Reels is a feature that lets you create short-form 15-second, multi-clip videos. With Reels, you can:
- Add songs from the Instagram music library
- Add hashtags
- Use original audio
- Add filters or other effects
- Increase or reduce the speed of your video
- Select a cover image
- Add captions on the screen
- Tag other Instagram accounts
Instagram Reels is one of those 2021 social media trends that uses a proven, highly addictive formula designed to attract and engage Instagram users. Its concept is modeled after TikTok, which boasts 800 million users worldwide and has become the go-to platform for influencers and brands in 2021.
According to tech expert John Holdridge, it returns “us all to roots of the original appeal [of social media] – the ability to go viral.”
The Instagram algorithm has started heavily pushing Reels to keep up with the explosion of TikTok.
Use this to your advantage by posting 5-30 second videos 1-5 times a week. Consumers crave this type of content. When done correctly, they are a great way to expand your reach and get some great engagement.
3. The Rise of Clubhouse and Other Audio Apps
When it comes to current social media trends, most people think of services like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But Clubhouse has managed to stand out as one of the most unique platform releases in recent memory.
This invite-only chat app enables you to connect with like-minded individuals that you wouldn’t ordinarily have the chance to meet in person or on social media.
What’s great about Clubhouse is that it can be enjoyed throughout the day. Whether you’re in the office or on the go, users can tune in to hear their favorite people speak with other subject matter experts..
This is a great opportunity for industry leaders to make a name for themselves, build a connection with their followers, and find new ways to engage with others on a more personal level.
Clubhouse’s increase in popularity could be attributed to the rise of audio apps, which research analyst Jeremiah Owyang describes as the ‘“Goldilocks” medium for the 2020s: “Text is not enough, and video is too much; social audio is just right. It represents the opportunity for social connection and empathy without the downsides of video.”
Don’t be too upset, though, if you find these audio apps don’t seem to mesh well with your 2022 social media strategy. These apps could have been a bit of a trend in 2021 and could normalize this year.
Clubhouse was so successful that Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have introduced audio features on their apps.
Use them to connect with your audience in a unique and personal way. When your consumers get to hear the voices behind the brand, they feel more connected to the brand and its success.
4. Snapchat and Instagram AR Filters
AR applications have been around for well over a decade, garnering massive public attention when Snapchat released its AR-based Snap Filters and in 2016 with the popular mobile game Pokemon Go.
Since then, Instagram launched its Spark AR studio, which allows anyone to create and share their own filters.
But what made AR filters one of the fastest-growing social media trends of 2021?
For one, users don’t need to download another app to use the feature. They can apply computer-generated effects directly to their faces from within Snapchat and Instagram.
The face-tracking technology helps the smartphone camera monitor a wide range of facial features in real-time, which makes for a variety of enjoyable interactive experiences. Plus, you can save the filtered images to your camera roll for years to come.
Although this type of social feature isn’t for every brand, if you do utilize this type of content, make sure it’s fun, engaging, and shareable.
These filters are fun, but they aren’t for every brand. As you consider incorporating them into your 2022 social media strategy, be sure to keep them fun, lighthearted, and entertaining to capture your audience’s attention.
5. Shopping on Social
While shopping on social media isn’t always a walk in the park, it has transformed the way we interact with these platforms on a daily basis. Users can now complete their entire purchase process without leaving their preferred apps.
Pinterest has found a way to make shopping easier for consumers to discover new products and shop for goods that are similar to the image with just a swipe of the finger. Not only does this change the way users experience the app, but it also gives businesses an easy way to feature their products.
According to Pinterest, 95% of the top searches on the platform don’t reference a specific brand. This means that the shopping experience is driven by a broadened search for a particular product, making the platform an even playing field for companies everywhere. Rather than feeling bogged down by sponsored posts and ads, users are willingly shopping for products they want.
Almost every social media platform now has a shopping feature.
Make this feature active and set up your store. Make it inviting and focus more on your products and less on your brand name. Since users are searching more for products than brands, this will give you a better opportunity to get your product in front of the right consumer.
6. Video Content
Video is a great storytelling tool, generating 1200% more shares than both images and text combined.
Whether it’s short-form videos like those most popular on TikTok or long-form content on YouTube, it’s safe to say that video isn’t just one of those fleeting social media trends, but the future of content marketing.
According to a Cisco study, by 2022, over 80% of all online content will be made up of video content. This clearly illustrates the importance of utilizing video to stay relevant in the social media sphere.
If you’re not currently creating videos, it is time to start including them in your content strategy. In addition to humanizing your brand, video significantly helps improve conversion rates.
When incorporating video content into your 2022 social media strategy, use quick 15-30 second videos and post them 1-5 times a week.
Be sure to include closed captions to make them more accessible.
7. Influencer Marketing
From your grandma to your hairdresser, almost everyone is on social media right now. Take advantage of that by using influencers to promote your brand.
For a few hundred dollars, you can contract a social media influencer. That influencer – who typically has a few hundred thousand followers – will post an ad using your product or promoting your service. Because the content comes from a real person and not a large marketing firm, it comes across as more personal and relatable.
The first step to incorporating influencer marketing into your strategy is to decide how far you want your product or service to reach.
An influencer with a few hundred followers will usually promote your product for a free product. One with a few hundred thousand followers will charge a couple of hundred dollars. If you really want your product in front of people, an influencer with millions of followers is going to charge a couple of thousand dollars.
Regardless of which route you choose, make sure the content feels real and relatable. When you’re selecting influencers to approach, look at their feed. Does it seem like something that would pair well with your product and your current audience? If so, go for it!
8. Social Media Regulations
As social media grows, so do the government regulations. The last thing you want is to break a regulation because you were unprepared to follow it.
From the amount of time people are spending on social media to the content that will get boosted (and what will get shadowbanned), it’s best to know how to stay on top of social media trends so you don’t do something against regulations.
- Accessibility: make sure all website content is accessible to people with disabilities.
- Branding: clearly identify ownership or sponsorship through branding.
- Comment Moderation: review and moderate comments. Keep an eye out for political views, explicit commercial endorsements, discriminatory, racist, offensive, obscene, inflammatory, unlawful or otherwise objectionable statements, language or content.
- Copyrighted Content: third-party sites and applications have specific guidelines for the use of trademarked images and logos.
The best way to adhere to social media regulations in your 2022 social media strategy is to be careful what you post.
Don’t give a platform a reason to continually check your account to make sure you’re abiding by the rules. Losing your account due to regulations violations is never a good thing!
9. Paid Campaigns
Create a strategy that includes re-targeting those who have interacted with your business.
Whether they’ve visited your website, purchased a product, or liked a social media post, all these people are now warm leads. Take advantage of being fresh in their minds.
You can improve your targeting with a paid social media campaign.
Finding those targets will not be as easy as it used to be. With Google eliminating third-party cookies, the Apple iOS update, Facebook, and other platforms limiting their user tracking, it’s hard to figure out the exact portion of the population to target.
This is why bringing in outside data, from email marketing campaigns to past purchases, is so important. A paid campaign works the best when it has good people to target.
From the way we communicate to the way we shop, learn, and view ourselves, social media trends have changed everything. It’s no secret that social media is here to stay and we need to adjust our marketing to thrive in this environment.
But marketing online is no longer as simple as throwing up some Facebook ads and calling it a day.
You need to have a well-designed 2022 social media marketing strategy that is easily adaptable to new platform updates and changes if you want to succeed.