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Social Media Trends 2022 Global Report

Driving success in the accelerated age of the ‘now’ consumer

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Social media trends 2022

The big takeaway from 2021: consumers are now in charge of your brand. They want more personalized content, faster service, and better experiences. And they want it all now. The pandemic has accelerated The Age of the Consumer, and for your brand to survive, you need to listen and respond to consumer demands. With insights from experts, influencers, and industry professionals, your brand will be ready for 2022.

Download Social Media Trends 2022 Report
Social media trends 2022

This year, Talkwalker has teamed up with HubSpot once again to identify the trends that brands need to engage for success. Our free Social Media Trends for 2022 eBook includes:

  • Over 70 marketing professionals and industry influencers, including Daniel Knowlton, Janet Machuka, and Neil Schaffer to help you engage these trends for your brand.
  • Actionable insights you can develop straight away, to get a step ahead for 2022.
  • On-trend examples from brand trendsetters, including GoPro, TikTok, and Louis Vuitton.


TikTok will take over social media, leaving other platforms to adapt

If there is one trend that is almost guaranteed as we move into 2022, it’s the continued domination of TikTok. The short-term video platform has broken download records, quickly becoming the go-to app for connecting with current and future consumers.

Powered by a highly personalized content recommendation system, TikTok can help brands gain exposure to and connect with a qualified, engaged audience. As the app looks to introduce an e-commerce aspect and monetization model, brands that want to connect with consumers need to be TikTok savvy.


Social ads will develop, as cookies get crunched

As Google works to phase out cookie tracking by 2023, the future of social advertising remains to be defined. For brands, this means learning to balance the need for personalized services and the need for consent and compliance.

While the “cookieless future” seems bright for advertisers, good publishers, and consumers, those that have been profiting off of privacy-invasive data collection from users will need to rethink their strategy.


Social selling will simplify the customer journey

While social commerce was previously focused on ads or promotions, platforms are beginning to provide new and innovative selling solutions that focus on making the journey easier for buyers.

For example, Instagram introduced new shopping features which allow social media users to purchase items without ever leaving the app. Moving into 2022, brands should reevaluate the purchasing paths they offer and consider taking advantage of social selling opportunities through Instagram posts, Reels, Stories, and more.


Post-pandemic content will shape up to consumer needs

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers have had to adapt to the content trends that followed, challenging the existing rules of customer relationships and brand building. Social media was already an integral part of our lives, the pandemic drastically increased usage all over the world. There are over half a billion more people using social media worldwide than at the same time last year, indicating an almost 14% year-over-year increase.

In order to remain visible to their potential customers, brands must communicate in local and detailed terms, targeting specific audiences based on what is most relevant to them. This might mean creating specific content for a generation, location, gender, or hobby. Now that companies have their own personal data, users expect them to provide tailored experiences across the entire customer journey.


Omnichannel engagement will change the way consumers engage with social media

64.5% of internet users receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram instead of traditional media. With this rise in information comes the opportunity to expand audiences, and grow your consumer connections, by providing the information consumers want.

But there’s also an increased risk of fake news and misleading content - if you aren’t telling the right story, consumers will find it elsewhere, with content that is possibly detrimental to your business. For brands to keep up or stay afloat for the next year, it’s imperative to exploit every advantage. This means getting your hands on consumer insights.


Maturing influencer marketing will finally come of age

Influencer marketing is now a dominant marketing methodology. As the impact of social media continues to grow, so too does the weight and influence of influencers. New rules have resulted in increased influencer regulation and responsibility, while many influencers have thrived with drastic audience and engagement growth.

Influencer marketing now offers better results, with fewer risks.

The brands that make the most of these opportunities are those that dig into what makes consumers tick and identify the influencers that will drive the most impact. If you’re not considering influencer marketing moving into 2022, you’re at risk of missing out on expanding your customer base.


Brands will lead in social media decentralization

The most important things about social media - socializing, connection, maintaining relationships - are the very things that COVID-19 made that much more complicated. To counter it, brands need to double down on making sure their platforms, apps, and channels include a social component to them.

Communities are key, but they’re not just limited to the main social media platforms anymore. Many brands are now building their own in-house social networks, with in-app forums and features to take back control of their audiences. Decentralized social media has a different infrastructure with no central server and no company controlling the site.

The coming year will see a continuation of brands leading the way with a stronger interaction aspect to the customer experience.


Metaverses will be the next consumer connection

The metaverse: an amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented, and the virtual. An unknown word a few years ago, the metaverse is gaining momentum - and fast. This catch-all term seems to combine subsets of technology, merging them into a single entity. Brands were already slowly moving towards virtual reality when COVID-19 hit, resulting in an acute need for online socializing and interaction.


Brand inclusivity will be brand critical

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) was a huge topic of conversation in 2020 -- and even bigger in 2021. In 2022, brands need to focus on their commitment to CSR by listening and acting on the social issues that matter most to their audiences. 

Consumers are no longer interested in performative allyship, empty promises, or one-time donations. They have high expectations, preferring brands that take initiative to foster connections with their audience, as well as bringing together people with differing opinions. Brands need to thoroughly analyze their actions, deeds, and culture to stay on top in 2022.


Communities will develop, and take control

Many businesses tackle social media incorrectly by hoping something will stick. Brands need to be more strategic, with content shaped around the consumer, with the aim of establishing loyal and engaged communities.

But brands don’t always have control of these communities. Social media allows them to form outside of the brand bubble and 2021 has already shown the power of these communities, with them causing disruption across several markets. It is critical to strategize digital infrastructures and collective spaces, with the strengthening of these online communities continuing to be a priority well into 2022.


For brands, 2022 is the year of the ‘now’ consumer.

If you’re going to succeed, you need to put consumers at the center of every piece of content, strategy, or campaign in 2022. Connection is the underlying key to success, which can be seen  across the 10 trends we outlined in this report. 

Our top 10 trends all feature connection at the core. Download our comprehensive eBook to learn more about:

  • Detailed analysis of why these trends matter. 
  • Insights into how the trends will affect the Age of the Consumer.
  • Inspiring campaigns from brands putting these trends into action.
  • Takeaways you can immediately incorporate to start driving better results for 2022.

Consumer demands may be high, but that just means the possibilities are even more diverse.The brands that accelerate consumer intelligence to the forefront of their 2022 strategy, will be the ones to define and take hold of the year to come.

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