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While we’re quickly approaching an end to another COVID-disrupted year, there’s still a long way to go, and the full economic effects of the pandemic will likely play out over decades. Social Media Marketing Predictions And Trends In 2022.
With the pandemic-induced lockdowns affecting online behaviors and igniting all new trends – including:
this will have effects for digital marketing.
There’s also the change to working from home and the migration to hybrid work patterns, both of which will have an influence on overall digital connectivity.
All of these factors will play a role in what comes next in the social media sector, particularly from the main platforms.
So, what can you expect from Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the social media giants in 2022?
With the pandemic disturbances reducing, it appears that the next stages will be easier to predict, with more stable paths emerging – however our projections for 2020 and 2021, despite the upheaval, were also very correct.
There’s a lot going on, so here’s a breakdown of significant trends you can expect to see emerge over the next 12 months, platform by platform.
Despite increased competition and a regular stream of issues (both real and imagined), Facebook remained at the top of the social media heap in 2021, with its 2.9 billion active members dwarfing all others and becoming the world’s biggest interconnected network of humans.
Although the platform is losing touch with younger consumers, it continues to expand into new markets, countering any big usage decreases, as well as adding new ad tools and business alternatives to build a more complete platform and facilitate the next step of brand relationship.
That’s before you consider its foray into virtual reality or the metaverse’s growing notion.
Of course, it still confronts obstacles and is the subject of many investigations around the world, but Facebook appears to be on the verge of even more expansion as it continues to expand in new and varied ways.
The following are the main development factors for The Social Network.
With the advent of Facebook and Instagram Shops at the start of the epidemic, Facebook made a significant push into eCommerce, giving retailers another method to connect with their consumers.
In-stream shopping has since become a major focus for Facebook, and in 2022, you can expect to see more shoppable posts, streamlined payment processes (possibly through the development of Facebook Pay and its own digital currency, Diem), improved product discovery, and more alerts for buyable products in-stream.
Live shopping will also be a big part of the show.
Live-stream shopping has become a popular trend in China, with the value of the country’s live-commerce business increasing by 280 percent between 2017 and 2020 to reach $423 billion by the end of the year.
With the broad consumer emphasis more firmly oriented on eCommerce, now is the perfect time for Facebook to make a greater push as it aims to make live-commerce a bigger part.
It’s already experimenting with this, and it’ll likely become a bigger priority in the future.
Facebook is also attempting to establish itself as a critical component of emerging economies’ digital infrastructure, with eCommerce expected to play a significant role in this transition.
As a result, as Facebook strives to add more usefulness into the platform to offset potential ad spend losses, you’ll see even more shopping options quietly integrating into the Facebook experience over time.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has already staked his claim to the Metaverse shift, which could conceivably provide a way to combine the company’s many social media and growing tech projects.
Expect the next generation of Facebook’s AR glasses, which will be more tightly connected with Instagram, as well as the introduction of more interactive technology.
such as wristband control for AR overlays and next-generation social and workplace tools for its Oculus VR headsets.
It will be a significant success for Facebook’s future objectives if it can own the trending Metaverse space, and it’s already laying the groundwork in this regard.
The recent ‘Facebook Files‘ expose appears to be a watershed moment, not so much in terms of the company’s revelations (many of which we already knew or suspected).
But in terms of the extent to which Facebook is aware of the negative effects its apps can have, and the efforts it makes – or doesn’t make – to mitigate those effects.
Will Facebook consider addressing these key issues, even if doing so would go against its commercial interests?
As Facebook looks to the next stage of digital evolution, beyond the Facebook platform, I expect the company to be more willing to experiment with things like limiting political content in News Feeds and giving users the option to turn off the algorithm via a simple, Twitter-style toggle or an alternate, swipe able timeline.
Removing algorithmic amplification was a significant recommendation made by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, and giving this as a basic, optional feed choice could be the simplest way forward, in that:
a) It gives consumers more control, demonstrating that Facebook is striving to fix the issue; and b)
b) Because the majority of people will not use it anyway, reducing the company’s effect.
Facebook has tried this before (as mentioned above), but I believe we’ll soon see more prominent, user-friendly feed alternative alternatives, making it more easier for users to control this element – or at the very least feel more in charge of their in-app experience.
Is audio social going to be a long-term trend in social apps, or is it just a pandemic-inspired fad that gave users another option to communicate when COVID limitations were in place?
I believe it’s a combination of the two, but I believe Facebook will finally win the audio social race, owing to one essential factor: discovery.
Audio social, like video live-streaming before it, has become less attractive as it has been more publicly available, because, as with other media, while anybody can create, not everyone has the ability to constantly share fascinating, entertaining content.
Being good at audio or video live-streaming is a skill, and Clubhouse and Twitter are currently struggling with how to ensure that you’re showing the greatest audio content to each individual user, in order to drive optimal interaction with real-time broadcasts.
Both are failing, but Facebook, which has taken a more measured, careful approach by limiting access to its audio rooms to high-profile people and groups, is on a much more sustainable route for the choice.
While Twitter’s unrestricted reach may appeal to some, Facebook’s audio strategy will eventually see it make the most of the opportunity.
Digital identity and creating a bridge between your Facebook profile and your VR/metaverse presence is another major step that you can anticipate Facebook to do in 2022.
We’re already seeing this with the rise of digital art-based NFT avatars, which will shape how you’re perceived by others in virtual space, and Facebook is testing its own NFT profile display options to capitalize on the trend.
Facebook is also leading more users to its digital avatar creation tools, which include:
Complex gesture and response choices, and as the metaverse push gains traction, you can expect to see more of these character capabilities added to enable more users develop their virtual representation and depiction.
As Facebook shifts its focus to the next stage, expect to see a lot more 3D characters of your friends in various forms throughout its apps.
As the effects of Apple’s ATT update continue to confuse the attribution waters, ‘trust the process’ will be a prominent refrain in relation to Facebook advertisements, with Facebook asking ad partners to rely more on its machine learning processes to steer expenditure.
In order to help brands maintain ad effectiveness, Facebook is working to build systems that can assist them with data restrictions, and it will increasingly look to point out examples of the good results it can still deliver.
However, the learning period for each campaign – the early stage when its systems are testing, iterating, and adapting based on user feedback – will become more critical than ever before.
Facebook will continue to encourage advertisers to run longer campaigns and be patient, while marketers will increasingly use a hybrid reporting approach to track response, using Google Analytics and other methods (don’t be surprised if Facebook tries to push in-store QR code scanning as a way to provide more direct attribution).
However, as Page reach and campaign results fall in many circumstances, more marketers will turn to emerging alternatives such as TikTok and YouTube CTV advertisements to replace Facebook ad expenditure.
This will have an impact on the company’s bottom line, but it will work to compensate for the losses through eCommerce tools, as well as pointing to the future stages of digital connectivity.
Over the last 18 months, Twitter has followed a new, faster development timeline, which has seen it introduce a lot more features – albeit many of those new additions have also fallen flat or had little overall impact.
Nonetheless, both in terms of engagement and income, Twitter’s stats continue to improve.
While there are some key elements that will require more attention, it is theoretically on track to meet its aggressive growth targets, which it announced earlier this year in response to a group of activist investors taking up board seats at Twitter and demanding significant improvements or the replacement of the current management team.
To put it another way, unless Twitter improves, Jack Dorsey and his team may soon be out of a job.
Twitter’s main focus in the last year, at least in terms of commercial activities, has been on creating ways for artists to profit from their tweets while simultaneously developing new revenue streams for the network.
Users can now directly monetize their accounts with new features like Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces, while Twitter is also working on its own Twitter Blue subscription option for access to additional tweet capabilities.
Users are hesitant to pay for tweets, and few producers are able to give enough inducement, therefore Twitter’s creator tools appear to have a middling chance of success.
However, if Twitter can get its product right, Twitter Blue, which is nearing its next stage, might end up being a solid income.
Twitter Blue hasn’t been a big hit in testing (it’s only available to Australian and Canadian users), but the next stage, as you can see above, looks more promising, and if Twitter can add more value to the Blue package, it could be a key component in maximizing the app’s earnings potential – and avoiding the wrath of the new board.
Twitter is also enhancing its eCommerce capabilities in order to capitalize on the growing mobile shopping trend.
It’s already experimenting with new store aspects on its Professional Profiles, as well as a variety of company sites and direct, in-stream purchasing from tweets.
Is that going to work?
It all relies on how comfortable users are with paying money in-app, which is another aspect of the app’s creator monetization strategy.
Getting money for creators is one thing, but developing regular habits – such as getting Twitter users used to spending money in the app – is another, and if Twitter can get it right, this may extend to in-stream payments.
In the second half of next year, Twitter’s in-stream purchase tests are expected to grow up.
While Facebook embraces the metaverse concept, Twitter is taking more practical steps into the next stage of technological development with new cryptocurrency payment choices and new display features that fit with the growing trend of displaying NFT purchases in the app.
If both crypto and NFTs stay more than a trend, this might be a crucial area of growth, with Twitter already serving as a key connective tool in both groups and developing connections with prominent people in the industry.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a big fan of Bitcoin, especially as a tool for democratizing payments in emerging markets.
If Twitter can play a role in this shift, and it takes off in a big way (i.e. crypto processes aren’t shut down by governments), then it could be a useful, functional area of focus for the app.
In 2022, Twitter will likely increase its integrations on both fronts.
Next year, expect Twitter to put a greater emphasis on video as it attempts to combine the full-screen presentation options and capabilities left over from Fleets into new areas.
In the wake of the epidemic, huge upheavals in the employment market are expected, and LinkedIn appears set to become a bigger emphasis moving forward, with the site sitting on valuable troves of career data that might eventually help steer more people towards their ideal roles.
The platform is already seeing steady increases in user engagement, which it plans to expand with its own creator tools, as well as expand its options to help facilitate more remote work arrangements and maximize economic opportunity for minority communities, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
In 2022, here’s what to expect from The Professional Social Network.
LinkedIn has looked to become a greater facilitator of live-stream events as part of the broader WFH change, and you can anticipate this to become a bigger part of the in-app experience in 2022.
While physical events will reappear, and many people will be eager to get back to in-person gatherings, LinkedIn will strive to become a significant partner for digital tie-ins, allowing more businesses to increase their event audiences through online broadcasts without having to create separate websites.
Essentially, this will allow smaller firms to host hybrid events similar to the big ones at a lesser expense, while also allowing them to engage with a larger audience of potential buyers and business partners via the app.
The transition to remote work is here to stay, and it will grow more important to many brands as they weigh the long-term economic and lifestyle benefits.
However, recruitment will confront new issues as a result of this, which LinkedIn will be well positioned to manage.
LinkedIn will use its unrivaled library of professional and career development insights to help candidates find better job matches, as well as providing new video interview and engagement possibilities.
With the extension of its own video tools for live meet-ups, LinkedIn has already taken the first step in this direction, and the next phase will see LinkedIn incorporating more technologies to boost distant recruitment and training.
So, what happens to LinkedIn Stories, as well as the engagement data obtained from its use?
LinkedIn highlighted that some features of tales would be built into other products as part of its statement that it was shuttering its Stories option, and LinkedIn also bought how-to video company Jumprope in August.
The combination of the two points to a new possibility for LinkedIn producers, who will be able to generate their own how-to content using a similar Stories style in order to increase their visibility and reputation on the network.
Establishing your expertise and personal brand on LinkedIn can help you maximize chances, and this new, video-aligned option will assist prospective experts in making all new connections while also allowing for a new sort of video engagement in the app.
Expect to see new sorts of professional skill feedback procedures based on answer videos and responses, which will also aid experts in their professional training and insights careers.
While it is still difficult to anticipate exactly where things will go in 2022, based on the disruption of the previous two years, there are some clear indicators of significant trends and shifts that lead to the next stage.
In many ways, this is a period of great transition, with many people eager to move on from the pre-COVID era and create new opportunities in the re-building market.
This could open up a lot of new opportunities for those that pay attention, and these new features will try to keep up with those trends and help them flourish.
In many ways, Facebook’s other social app has become a major player, though it’s difficult to say whether Instagram is still expanding, given that it reached a billion users in 2018 and hasn’t updated that figure since.
With different degrees of success, the platform continues to chase trends, whether they originate from Snapchat or TikTok, and it remains popular among younger users.
But there are some potentially alarming signs from from Instagram HQ – and that’s before you consider reports of the app’s detrimental mental health effects.
What can we expect from Instagram in 2022?
Instagram is focusing on eCommerce and making all posts shoppable within the app. The more shopping possibilities Instagram can provide, the better it will be able to foster habitual usage and get people used to spending.
Instagram would like every goods in all posts to be shoppable, or at the at least, to be able to guide product discovery, and it’s working on object identification capabilities for still images and video to help with that.
IG will be testing new commerce features this year, including enhanced product search by image, product discovery panels in the main feed, and a significant push on live shopping, similar to Facebook.
This will also provide developers more income options and give the app a new focus in developing regions.
Facebook is working to become a leader in the AR/VR market, and it will need to integrate more AR features into Instagram if it wants to maximize its appeal in this area, particularly among younger users.
What will it look like in practice?
Instagram will be integrated directly into its AR glasses and tools, and will be promoted as the place to share your shot video, as well as being linked to Facebook’s expanding AR experiences via wearables.
Instagram will be the AR portal for Facebook, connecting its emerging possibilities to users, similar to how Snapchat is where you can enjoy its AR experiences.
This will also apply to NFTs (which are currently being developed) and digital avatars, which will become more integrated into the IG experience.
I half anticipated Instagram to experiment with this in 2021, but with video becoming even more of an emphasis, I’m more convinced that this is where the platform will finally go.
Instead of the standard feed of image and video posts, Instagram will soon allow users to open the app to their most recent Stories or Reels.
On the platform, video interaction is already king, and Reels is the fastest-growing feature.
Given this, it makes sense for Instagram to focus more on these formats, and I expect it to start with an optional Stories/Reels home screen option before phasing out the regular feed entirely.
Users would still be able to submit still photographs in this new state; instead, they would be shared to Stories, which would then default to staying on your profile.
Then you’d switch to a changeable Stories/Reels feed, focusing on both types of engagement.
That’s a major change from the app’s beginnings, but broader user habits indicate that these are the way things are going to be in the future, and if Instagram wants to stay relevant, it needs to shift away from its original focus.
Traditional static posts would only be used in the eCommerce space.
The market’s newest large player, with usage that matches Instagram.
Despite persistent suspicions about its ties to the Chinese government, TikTok appears to be on its way to becoming an integral part of the broader social landscape – and as such, a vital consideration for all digital marketers.
Here’s what TikTok has planned for the coming year.
While TikTok continues to grow, with over a billion active users, the site’s main difficulty remains successful revenue, both for the platform and its top producers.
If producers can’t make money via the app, they’ll look for other ways to generate money, with direct monetization in lengthier films – via pre and mid-roll adverts – being a much smoother and more equitable approach in this regard.
TikTok can’t compete with this type of direct money generation depending on the performance of each individual video, therefore it needs to make eCommerce and branded partnerships as easy as possible to maximize its revenue potential.
It’s already working on it, with several eCommerce tests and its Creator Marketplace for sponsored content, and you should expect to see even more of these possibilities on the app by 2022.
Given that this is already how TikTok’s parent company ByteDance monetizes Douyin, the China-specific version of TikTok, this is a reasonably safe forecast.
These types of eCommerce listings are now Douyin’s greatest source of revenue, and TikTok is heading in the same direction, with more in-stream buying and revenue-sharing possibilities, allowing creators and businesses alike to make more money.
Understanding TikTok is essential for marketers to succeed on the app, which is also the most important barrier to entry for businesses.
Marketers may often re-jig their promos from larger campaigns and fit them into each offering on other social applications.
However, with TikTok, a dedicated, platform-specific, minimum disruptive strategy is required.
As a result, TikTok is aiming to provide marketers with more opportunities to capitalize on the hottest trends, and in 2022, you can expect even more alternatives.
This will most likely be accomplished through modifications to its ‘Top Ads’ and ‘Creative Center’ display platforms, which highlight emerging trends and instances, as well as more streamlined brand tools to assist marketers catch up with the latest viral memes.
That won’t make it infallible, because it all comes down to your creativity, but TikTok will try to make trend jacking as easy as possible using automated mechanisms and/or creator collaborations.
TikTok is also expected to improve its choices for custom branded hashtag trends and more formal ways to incorporate video challenges into campaigns.
Although I’ve mentioned it in every single eCommerce section, TikTok is also trying to encourage more live-stream commerce in the app, as well as more live-streaming in general, to broaden user habits.
You’ve probably already noticed this, with an increasing number of live-stream broadcasts appearing in your ‘For You’ feed, and soon, more of these will be from businesses, about items that line with your interests, and starring the creators you interact with the most to entice you in.
The feed algorithm on TikTok is excellent at showing you more of what you like. Does this apply to products as well? Over the following 12 months, you’ll find out.
TikTok stores are also on the way, bolstering the company’s brand profiles (which are already present in Douyin).
Pinterest, more than any other major social site, may have benefited the most from the pandemic-driven eCommerce change, with many more users turning to the app as a substitute for the shopping mall and a way to find new products and trends.
The issue for Pinterest now is to capitalize on that drive and guarantee that the new users it has attracted as a result of the flu don’t leave as physical stores reopen.
So, how will Pinterest accomplish this?
Pinterest, like all platforms, is attempting to keep up with consumer trends by introducing new video display formats, such as Stories, with a Pin-specific twist in each case.
Expect Pinterest to grow on its TikTok-like features, particularly with the upcoming ‘Take’ option, which will allow users to reply to Idea Pins with their own variant or effort – the first of several trend-style tools Pinterest will test to see how users react.
Pinterest will also continue to emphasize video content, which is important for Pin marketers, and keep an eye out for AR placement possibilities that will allow users to visualize how specific products would look in their homes.
At the moment, live-streaming is not a part of Pinterest’s product suite, but with the company’s increased focus on live-stream commerce, which is following Asian eCommerce trends, you can expect it to be added to its Idea Pin possibilities in late Q2 next year.
Pinterest has already experimented with its own version of the format, as you can see here, and if live-shopping takes off as many predict, the platform will need to step up, and with the site’s broader push into video, it seems like a natural fit.
Pinterest has made it as simple as possible for businesses and merchants to integrate their product catalogs into the platform, allowing for more buyable Pins and real-time stock and price updates.
The platform already includes connectors with Shopify and other eCommerce systems, and you can expect to see it both grow its relationships and make connecting to the platform even easier, allowing more firms to list on the site.
This is a major goal in order to make things more accessible to everyone, and the more Pinterest can develop on this front, the better.
Despite having a significantly smaller user base than its competitors, Snapchat has carved out a crucial niche in the social media market, becoming a key medium for more intimate connection and community, as well as facilitating new content consumption habits through shorter, snackable shows and content.
This will be critical in Snap’s next stage, while it also stays a leader in augmented reality, despite significant limitations.
Here’s what Snap has planned for the future.
As previously said, Snapchat has long been the leader in AR tools and capacity, and while larger, better-resourced platforms are now showing an increased interest, I expect Snap to continue its leadership position.
Which, considering that Facebook and Apple, among others, are building AR glasses and powerful technologies, appears to be impossible.
Snap can’t possibly keep up with the rate of development due to a lack of resources.
There are two reasons why I trust Snap in this situation.
First, Snapchat simply understands its audience better, and it has repeatedly demonstrated that it has far more creative and cultural nous, allowing it to create industry-leading AR experiences while other platforms floundered, despite technical advantages.
Snap is able to tap into, and even lead, trends in ways that larger competitors are unable to, and this is, in many respects, a major commercial advantage in the ever-evolving, creative digital landscape.
The second reason is that Snap has a clear route to follow and isn’t straying from it by following trends.
Snap decided many years ago that AR was the future when it announced that it was a “camera company” rather than a “social app,” and it’s been developing its own AR tools since then – which could allow it to release its own AR glasses in a similar timeframe to the larger players, despite having far less development and production capacity.
Snap does have a well-established production process, thanks to Spectacles, and a solid relationship with Apple, which might result in a jointly built, fully AR-enabled version of Spectacles in the near future.
Although Facebook’s partnership with Ray Ban is promising, don’t rule out Snap as a big player in the next stage of AR connectivity.
The emergence of NFTs heralds a new era in digital representation, one in which people may better exhibit their distinctive style and interests through online profiles and, eventually, digital avatars in virtual places.
This can be seen on Twitter, where NFT fans have changed their profile pictures to cartoon portraits of apes, robots, and other characters, which are actually artworks that they’ve purchased and, in many cases, will be available as full 3D avatars that they can use in metaverse-aligned digital environments.
Snap, too, is getting in on the game, with Snap users now able to dress their Bitmoji characters in sponsored apparel, giving them more opportunities to personalize their virtual selves and better express their hobbies and tastes.
This has a lot of promise. Online game networks like Fortnite and Roblox, for example, already make the majority of their revenue from in-game cosmetics and options to customize your digital characters, and those trends, which have steadily become embedded behaviors among young users, will eventually be major elements of the expanded metaverse shift.
Snapchat could be on the cutting edge of this. You can already make full-size digital representations of your Bitmoji characters and dress them up in a growing number of fashion items from major companies.
Whether you realize it or not, selling virtual versions of your products will become a key new revenue source for these firms, and Snap is well-positioned to be a top facilitator in this regard.
More virtual objects will be available for purchase in the app, as well as more opportunities to use your Bitmoji avatar in multiple apps.
Snapchat’s Discover original programming has already established itself as a popular source of entertainment for many, fitting with current viewer preferences (short-form, episodic content that fits younger viewer habits).
That’s why Snap sees potential in Spotlight, its TikTok-style feed of short-form video clips, and you can expect to see Snap invest in top TikTok stars to create more dedicated Discover shows that will help them take their content to the next level, and cement Snap’s position as the leading platform for this new TV-like format.
In this way, Snap won’t be competing with TikTok on short-form, user-generated video as much as it will be attempting to adapt the format into a more commercial choice, allowing the top TikTokers to become even greater, real, mainstream stars.
It’s already working on a Discover show with TikTok’s most popular user Charli D’Amelio, and you should anticipate it to invest even more money and production resources at more big-name TikTokers to entice them over.
Snap will be able to expand Discover while also matching with the TikTok short video trend, rather than relying on Spotlight to keep users away from its app.
More Scan options in the app will help connect users to additional information, special offers, and other exclusives by scanning in various items and logos.
QR codes had a moment during the pandemic, and Snapchat will look to capitalize on it with more Scan options in the app, which will help connect users to additional information, special offers, and other exclusives by scanning in various items and logos.
Snap is already working with a few retailers on this, and if it can transfer the habitual practice of code scanning into a more practical, helpful alternative for consumers, it’ll give it more capacity to connect on- and offline activities, which might be a significant win for Snap’s marketers.
Expect Snap to make a huge push on Scan early in the new year, before consumers forget about QR codes and visual scan-in processes once more.
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