The most important 2022 social media trends businesses NEED to know about

- January 20, 2022 4 MIN READ
Hand holding smartphone with Instagram on screen

Knowing what’s hot and what’s not in the world of social media is more important for businesses than ever. Make sure you know the latest trends gaining social traction in 2022, writes Emily Rose Hills, social media lead at the NRL.

What’s trending on social media for 2022? I’m glad you asked.

Most people are starting to return to work if they haven’t already, so it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to promote your business or clients on social media.

The hottest social media trends in 2022

Before you start strategising, take the time to read about the important aspects you’ll need to incorporate for success. Let’s jump right in.

Instagram Reels

Adam Mosseri, Instagram head described 2022 as a pivot year in social media.

Instagram Reels will continue to be a focus. Video and Reels will be combined into your main feed which was beginning to be rolled out in October 2021. As Instagram moves away from being predominantly static images, short-form video will continue to dominate. All video formats – IGTV, feed videos and Reels – will be consolidated.

This isn’t to say you can’t post photos, but Instagram tends to give preference to new features or formats it’s trying to push out to users. So even if you’ve got a face that only a mother could love, it’s time to come out from behind the camera.

The question that remains to be answered is: will Instagrams move to become an edutainment hub be enough to knock Tik Tok from it’s perch?

Augmented and Virtual Reality

Facebook rebranded to Meta as a means of trying to incorporate a new realm of technology for gaming, entertainment and e-commerce.

Social networks are already using augmented reality (AR), but it’s a social media trend that’s going to continue to evolve. For example, Kylie Jenner used AR so her followers could see how her different shades of lipsticks would look before they purchased.

Every time you use a beauty filter, you’re using AR. You can have air-brushed, flawless skin without even putting on make-up. As technology continues to grow, augmented and virtual reality will infiltrate our daily lives, including social media.

Brands who don’t keep up with the trends will get left behind. Whether it’s through virtual shopping at Ikea or turning your face into a cute bunny with ears, or trying out a new hairstyle or hair colour, AR and VR are exceptionally popular.

It’s time to start thinking how you can incorporate it with your brand.

Social shopping

If you’ve been on Tik Tok recently, you’ll notice that brands have started being able to include shop now links in the bottom of the bios, as well as clickable links at the end of the video that take you directly to products.

Being able to shop from the major social media platforms isn’t news, but followers are demanding more from the small business brands they follow, including in-app shopping, also known as ‘social shopping’.

Setting up your catalogue of products can be time-consuming and tricky, so my top tip here would be to outsource this task to a social media expert.

The rise of the micro influencer

It’s no secret that influencer marketing is powerful. Once upon a time it was the more followers, the better. The more followers, the more eyes on your products.

In 2022 that’s not the case. Social media users are are savvy and influencers have earned themselves a reputation of promoting almost anything if there is cash involved.

Micro influencers have smaller audiences, made up of followers who are genuinely interested in their lives – what they eat for breakfast, how their skin looks so flawless, where they shop. They might not have celebrity clout, but they have a fierce following who think of them as a friend.

Hubspot conducted a survey on advertising and discovered 75 per cent of people don’t believe regular advertising, yet 90 per cent will follow up on a word-of-mouth recommendation from family or a friend.

With Instagram focusing on creator monetisation and new tools for creators, micro influencer marketing is a way to embrace authenticity over perfection.

Brands and small businesses who won’t embrace the trends

If I had a dollar for every time I heard the words, “This has always worked for me in the past”, I’d be a millionaire.

Social media is always evolving and changing. Simply because what you did two years ago got results, doesn’t mean that in 2022 your social media will continue to generate interest and return on investment.

A majority of business owners know short-form video is the way forward, except they won’t do anything about it. They’ll continue to do the same thing they’ve always done.

The excuses are always the same: “I don’t have time! It’s too costly! This worked for me last year!” and then complain because they’re gaining no traction.

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