8 Social Media Marketing Trends NopCommerce Store Owners Should Leverage in 2022
Social media marketing offers numerous benefits - more exposure and traffic, highly qualified leads, deeper customer connections, long-term business partnerships, and valuable marketplace insight, to name a few.
To reap these benefits, you must have a solid social media marketing strategy, and stay on top of the latest social media trends.
Today, we’ll discuss the top 8 social media trends for 2022, and show you how to navigate social media in the upcoming months. We’ll cover major and niche social media platforms, we’ll discuss organic and paid marketing, content strategies, and more. Let’s commence!
The top 8 social media trends for 2022
- The main feed: In 2022, the focus will be on social responsibility, personalization, and authenticity
- The popularity of social commerce will continue to grow
- Niche social media platforms are on the rise: The popularity of TikTok is growing at warp speed
- Social media ads will become more sophisticated: In 2022, a successful social media ad should be almost indistinguishable from an organic post
- Creative influencers are on the rise
- Video content will continue to dominate & short video adoption will shape video metrics
- Social media marketing will mature and extend beyond the marketing department
- The use of social media for customer support will increase
The main feed: In 2022, the focus will be on social responsibility, personalization, and authenticity
Socially responsible brands will win over their customers’ hearts and trust
Corporate social responsibility has always been important. Since the pandemic hit, it has become a must for all brands that want to cut through the noise. Today more than ever, people want to know what brands care about and how they contribute to it.
In 2022, you should aim to highlight your social initiatives and speak up about your values on social media. Best case scenario, you should address the social issues that matter most to your target audience.
You should incorporate this in all aspects of your social media presence. For example, create dedicated posts (across all platforms your target customers use), host Q&A lives (Facebook & Instagram), share each small step on Stories (Instagram), celebrate every win with a short Reel (Instagram) or a TikTok video. You can even host virtual events and fundraisers.
Personalization and authenticity will be paramount
Personalization is not exactly a hot topic - it has been a global consumer trend for several years. However, many brands have been thinking about personalization only in terms of email marketing and ads.
But in 2022 this won’t be enough - today, consumers expect a shopping experience that is uniquely tailored to each online surface your brand exists on.
This means that they expect that your social media feed will be personalized as well - news and generic posts won’t cut it. To catch your viewers’ attention, you’ll need to:
- Address specific customer concerns and provide solutions - this will build consumer trust and help you highlight your products’ benefits. You can gather relevant insight from customer support tickets, product return forms, customer feedback, and more.
- Create next level posts about your best-selling products - for example, tell a story (e.g., who came up with the idea and why), highlight the product’s benefits (e.g., share specific ways in which the product can improve your customers’ lives), share real customer stories and video testimonials, etc.
- Leverage UGC (User-generated content). This will make your posts more genuine - people trust their peers more than they trust brands. Also, UGC makes customers feel they are a part of your brand journey - they literally become brand storytellers. This builds brand loyalty, eases hesitant shoppers buying decisions, and helps you grow your customer base in a highly engaging and honest way.
- Take your customers “behind the scenes.” For example, show a video of your team packing and shipping orders, a photo and a story of how the product is made, or an interview with the founder sharing what drove them to create the business. Include customers in the process, show them the big picture, tell them your raw and unfiltered story. This will make you more relatable. As a result, it will increase buyer confidence, make customers feel more comfortable reaching out to you and sharing their concerns, and, ultimately, benefit your bottom line.
To sum up, your goal is to create social media posts that showcase your brand’s personality, provide value, and tell your unique story in an authentic manner.
Achieving this requires a massive creative force, and a ton of patience and dedication. But the results will blow your mind - people will trust you and want to buy from you. Moreover, they’ll share your posts and recommend you to their friends (which is the ultimate social media success a brand can achieve).
The popularity of social commerce will continue to grow
Before the pandemic, social storefronts were nice-to-have - an opportunity that only innovative businesses would consider.
However, today “social is the interface of commerce and the backbone of the new customer experience” (source: Étienne Mérineau). In fact, the global social commerce industry has seen tremendous growth and is now worth more than half a trillion US dollars (source: The Global State of Digital 2022, Hootsuite & We Are Social).
In 2022, people are expected to use social media in every stage of their buyer journey (across different product categories). Therefore, if you want to succeed in e-commerce, having a social storefront is no longer just nice-to-have, but an absolute must.
There are numerous ways to capitalize on this lucrative opportunity. For example:
- Leverage Instagram storefronts, Instagram’s Shoppable Stories, and Shoppable posts. Learn more → Instagram Shopping: The Ultimate Guide & 6+ Instagram Trends NopCommerce Merchants Should Look Out for in 2021 (and Beyond)
- Leverage Facebook Commerce
- Leverage native advertising to ensure a more seamless shopping experience (for example, take advantage of TikTok’s Spark Ads)
- Improve the overall social media shopping experience you offer - from discovery and consideration to engagement and purchase. Pro tip: Provide as many product and brand details as possible - social networks are the primary channel for online brand research for people aged 16 to 24 (source: The Global State of Digital 2022, Hootsuite & We Are Social).
Niche social media platforms are on the rise: The popularity of TikTok is growing at warp speed
The decline of Facebook started in 2019, and continues steadily to this day. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2021 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, in 2018, 67% of marketers described Facebook as the most important social media platform. This number dropped to 61% in 2019, 59% in 2020, and 54% in 2021.
On the other hand, the popularity of Instagram has been steadily growing since 2018. In 2018, only 10% of marketers described Instagram as the most important social media platform. This number grew to 14% in 2019, 17% in 2020, and 22% in 2021. Currently, 78% of marketers use Instagram, and a significant 64% of them plan on increasing their Instagram organic activities in 2022 (Source: Social Media Examiner).
And there is a brand new player whose popularity grows at warp speed - TikTok. In the second quarter of 2021, TikTok became the most downloaded app worldwide (source: Forbes). In fact, TikTok is the first app that isn't owned by Meta to reach 3 million global downloads. With over 74.5% active users and an 18% engagement rate (source: House of Marketers), TikTok is expected to dominate the social media space in 2022. This is further supported by the increasing popularity of short-form video content.
Next, we’ll outline what you need to know about each of these platforms to ensure your social media success in 2022.
Facebook (from Meta)
- Even though the popularity of Facebook is declining, it is still the most popular social media platform among marketers. In fact, 93% of marketers use Facebook, and 54% say Facebook is their most important social channel (source: Social Media Examiner).
- Due to data security concerns, young users have been fleeing Facebook at an alarming rate. In an attempt to attract a younger audience, Facebook will continue to implement new features (e.g., Reels, which is already available to users in the USA).
- In 2022, the Facebook Business Suite is expected to go through a massive expansion. Some of the new features include private message manager, and Facebook and Instagram analytics.
- The hype around the metaverse will continue to grow. However, Meta’s metaverse is still far from becoming mainstream. For now, it is a brand new experience altogether, which is still about to evolve. It will probably be several years before the features are rolled out to the public. For the foreseeable future, brands can focus on delivering a more seamless shopping experience by taking advantage of the already available AR features.
Instagram (from Meta)
- With 78% of marketers using Instagram, it is the second most popular social media platform (source: Social Media Examiner).
- Due to the rise of TikTok and the increasing popularity of short-form video, Instagram will be more focused on video content in 2022. For example, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that the platform will continue to promote video content and keep working towards improving Reels. Also, Instagram will merge its long-form IGTV content into a more general ‘Instagram Video’ format. Learn more → Instagram Retires IGTV Brand, Merges Video Feed Posts into a Single Format
- Instagram will offer new shopping options, such as Live Shopping.
- The power will be in the hands of creators. Instagram is expected to introduce new ways of compensating creators. Compensations can vary based on content virality or subscription methods. Currently, the platform is testing paid subscriptions with a small group of creators. Learn more → Instagram is testing paid subscriptions with a small group of creators & Instagram is developing its own version of Twitter’s Super Follow with ‘Exclusive Stories’
"When the pandemic forced us online, social media became our lifeline — for shopping, communication, and work. Looking for entertainment, TikTok became the go-to channel. It made us smile. It made us laugh. It relieved the boredom of being stuck at home. We were eager to join the party. [...] Lockdown supercharged TikTok. Having grown so quickly, brands can't afford to ignore the platform's potential. With an audience dominated by Millennials and Gen Z — tech-savvy generations, demanding innovation, creativity, personalization, and transparency — TikTok will help connect brands to a younger, more creative demographic." (Elena Melnikova, CMO at Talkwalker, source: HubSpot, 10 Social Media Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2022 [Data + Expert Tips])
- TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms. TikTok generated an estimated $1.9 billion revenue in 2020, a 457% increase year-on-year. Recently, it surpassed 1 billion monthly active users (source: Business of Apps). According to App Annie’s 2022 Mobile Forecast report, TikTok will surpass 1.5 billion monthly active users in 2022. So, the platform is quickly catching up to Instagram, which, at the end of 2021, surpassed 2 billion monthly active users worldwide (source: CNBC).
- Still, TikTok has been widely ignored by marketers. In fact, only 9% of them are using the platform. However, 32% are interested in the platform and want to learn more about it (source: Social Media Examiner). It is apparent that the social media landscape is about to change - niche platforms, such as TikTok, will be in the spotlight.
- TikTok is one step ahead of the trend - the platform is no longer focused solely on young creators. Since 2020, TikTok has been adding useful business features and tools, like ads and business accounts. In 2022, the platform is expected to upgrade TikTok Ads and introduce campaign optimization functionalities.
- But this is not the only reason why you should be using TikTok in 2022 (and beyond). First, with its unique approach to branded content, TikTok offers exciting opportunities to showcase your brand personality and build a recognizable online brand presence. For example, you can leverage UGC, employee-generated content, influencer marketing, etc. Second, TikTok offers fresh and authentic ways to acquire new customers, engage with existing buyers, and foster deeper customer connections. Third, the platform is still not heavily saturated with ads and business pages, giving you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand out early on and reap the benefits of your success for a long time to come. (Plus, compared to Instagram, TikTok has less advertising pressure and the costs are expected to remain competitive.)
- In terms of organic reach, TikTok has an advantage over Instagram as well. This is because Instagram’s algorithm is recency-based. This means that a post will get pushed back after a couple of days, which means that you need to constantly create new and original content. On the other hand, TikTok content can perform well and convert months after it has been shared. Sidenote: Keep in mind that content on TikTok is region-based. This means that TikTok serves content based on the user’s location.
- In 2022, TikTok is expected to become one of the main platforms businesses use to reach millennial and Gen Z users. This is because 25% of TikTok's active users in the U.S. are people aged 10-19, 22.4% of TikTok's active users in the U.S. are 20-29, and 21.7% of TikTok's active users in the U.S. are 30-39 (source: Backlinko).
- Also, in 2022, TikTok will focus on further supporting content creators (this is the next logical step after the launch of the TikTok Creator Portal in 2021). Therefore, aside from short-form video, TikTok is about to jump on another current social media trend - the immense power of creators and the unique benefits creative partnerships offer brands.
To sum up, in 2022, the focus of social media will shift from glossy and polished experiences to more genuine ones.
Consumers crave fun, authentic, valuable, and educational content. They also seek safer online communities and a more friendly social media environment. Niche platforms offer all this. Therefore, they’re about to become more popular than ever. And you must absolutely jump on this trend, because niche social platforms offer brands unique opportunities to increase brand awareness, build brand loyalty, build meaningful long-term partnerships with relevant creators, and cultivate new customer experience options.
You should pay extra attention to TikTok. The platform is no longer just a place where young people share dance videos. As Jackson Zaccaria has put it:
"TikTok is about having some confidence around what you have to offer and speaking on it. TikTok will help you achieve your goals faster, and build a stronger presence in a shorter period of time. The growth potential is huge. Yes, there is the dancing, lip-syncing content, which is fine, but there is a huge growing side of TikTok of people looking for solutions, looking for answers, looking for the way to get what they want. So, it’s a really open-minded solution-oriented high-trust platform. You’re not just hitting views and vanity metrics for nothing - these are people who are really open to buying into and following you on your journey." (Source: Social Media Examiner - Social Media Marketing’s podcast with Michael Stelzner, Spotify)
Social media ads will become more sophisticated: In 2022, a successful social media ad should be almost indistinguishable from an organic post
In this section, we’ll discuss three key factors that will affect social media advertising in 2022: the continued decline of organic reach, the higher creative standards brands must meet, and the increased interest in niche social media platforms.
The continued decline of organic reach & the higher creative standards brands must meet
The decline in organic reach and the need to spend more on paid ads are among the biggest social media challenges brands face. But considering that the organic reach of a Facebook post is just above 5%, it is logical that paid advertising will become a must in 2022 (source: Hootsuite). Therefore, brands are expected to spend more on social ads in 2022.
But running ads won’t necessarily be enough to cut through the noise. Today, customers expect a shopping experience that is uniquely tailored to each online surface your brand exists on. Therefore, simply running an ad won’t be enough to drive clicks and revenue. Today, consumers hold brands up to higher creativity standards and the only way to advertise successfully on social media is to understand your customers' mindset.
To stand out, you’ll need to create highly personalized ads that mirror the unique experience each social media platform offers. In this way, you won’t interrupt the browsing experience of your customers. Instead, you’ll engage them with an enticing offer presented in a highly relevant (i.e., effective) way.
The increased interest in niche social media platforms
“This year, marketers have clear plans to invest more on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn according to our Social Trends survey. But where it gets interesting is beyond these tried and true channels. The largest increases in spend relative to last year will be going towards TikTok, Pinterest, and Snapchat.” (Source: Hootsuite)
So, why are marketers investing in social media platforms that haven’t been a priority so far?
As we already mentioned, the popularity of niche social media platforms is growing quickly. This means that the reach they offer is impressive.
Furthermore, these platforms are still not heavily saturated with brands (which means they’re not heavily saturated with ads). As a result, users may be more receptive to ads (because they’re still not fed up with seeing them all the time). Therefore, brands that get a head start, will have an advantage.
Moreover, niche platforms encourage brands to create ads that don’t feel out of place and fit naturally within each platform. For example, TikTok’s CTA to brands is “Don’t make ads. Make TikToks.” And Pinterest encourages advertisers to “Stop interrupting. Start inspiring.”
Simply put, in 2022 social ads will become more sophisticated. This means that they’ll become more authentic, personalized, and fit organically into each social media platform. To stand out, brands must get into their customers’ shoes and address their concerns and interests. Advertising on niche social media platforms will become more prevalent, considering that it gives brands the unique opportunity to achieve all this with ease.
Creative influencers are on the rise
Throughout the pandemic, we began using social media to connect with loved ones, and find comfort and inspiration. It became an integral part of our lives. As a result, the focus of social media changed - authenticity came in the spotlight. People started craving unfiltered and raw content, and they trusted the people who created it more than they trusted brands. This is why influencer marketing will continue to soar in 2022, and creative influencers will be in the center.
In the following months, we can expect to see the continued rise of micro and nano influencers on niche social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. And with businesses slowly dipping their toes into these platforms, we can expect to see more creative partnerships between brands and creators as well. Of course, as an e-commerce business, you must partner with relevant influencers - creators who share your values and resonate with your customers.
Notice that we said “creative partnerships” instead of “creative projects.” This is because brands will no longer seek to work with influencers on one-off campaigns. Instead, they’ll seek to foster meaningful connections and build long-lasting partnerships that bring continued value to both sides.
Other factors which will shape the future of influencer marketing in 2022 include:
- Higher creative standards - original content, authenticity and personalization will be crucial
- More precise performance measurement
- Leveraging social selling and live shopping
- Influencers with richer, honest, and active communities will be highly valued
Video content will continue to dominate & short video adoption will shape video metrics
For several years, video has been one of the most popular content formats. And for good reason. For consumers, video content is highly engaging. In fact, because of our busy lives and shorter attention spans, we usually prefer video to other content formats. For brands, producing video content is a lucrative opportunity that leads to higher engagement, promotes growth, increases exposure, drives quality traffic, helps them build a recognizable online presence and deliver a richer shopping experience, and much more.
Therefore, it is not surprising that video content will dominate social media in 2022. Short-form video (e.g., Stories, Reels, TikTok video, etc.) will perform exceptionally well. In fact, short video adoption will shape video metrics.
Here’s everything you need to know about navigating social video content creation in 2022:
- This year, Instagram will put an emphasis on video content (over images). Therefore, marketers will be more interested in Instagram video. In fact, over 70% of marketers plan on increasing their use of Instagram video. Also, Instagram is the number-one story-based video channel used by 59% of marketers. Note that the use of Instagram Stories increased from 46% in 2020 (source: Social Media Examiner).
- The popularity of live video (on Facebook and Instagram) is slightly decreasing (source: Social Media Examiner). This may be because live content is more demanding - it requires people to be online at specific times, which may be inconvenient. Things get even more complicated if your customers are located in different countries around the globe - different time zones and lives don’t match too well.
- In 2022, TikTok is expected to become one of the main social media platforms. Therefore, creating video content for TikTok will be an absolute must in 2022.
To sum up, in 2022 you must leverage TikTok and Instagram video. Despite the slight performance drop of live content, you must not completely exclude it from your social video strategy. Live content is authentic, raw, and unfiltered. It gives your brand a unique personality customers can relate to. Therefore, live streaming can improve consumer engagement. So, you should consider hosting a live every now and then. For example, once a week, or once a month - whatever works best for you and your audience.
Social media marketing will mature and extend beyond the marketing department
Throughout the pandemic, social media became one of the main channels for brands to keep up with customers, manage service requests, and make sales. Naturally, business owners started measuring its impact on their bottom line.
Today, brands are eager to increase their social media presence and impact. Since consumers crave authenticity, brands are likely to develop marketing strategies that put an emphasis on personality. This means that their goal in 2022 (and beyond) will be to put the people behind the brand in the spotlight - to share real emotions, highlight actual issues, and express honest opinions. To achieve this, businesses are likely to extend their marketing efforts beyond the marketing department and start employee advocacy programs. This will expand social media’s value beyond marketing, and create richer experiences for employees and customers alike.
The use of social media for customer support will increase
In terms of business, social media is:
- A brand and product discovery platform
- An advertising platform
- A retail platform
In the past year, many brands started using social media as a customer support care channel. This happened, because:
- Almost everybody on the Internet uses social media
- Social media offers an easy and direct way for consumers to contact brands
- Consumers discovered that service delivered via social media is more effective and has a faster response time
This trend will have a huge impact on how e-commerce store owners allocate their social media resources in 2022 (and beyond). In fact:
- 59% of the marketers who participated in Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2022 survey, agree that social customer care has increased in value for their companies over the past 12 months.
- 60% of all customer service requests will be sorted out by means of digital channels by 2023 (source: Gartner). And the demand for customer service over social media is only expected to increase.
Therefore, if you haven’t already started using social media as a customer support channel, it’s high time you started.
“When you bundle social marketing and social care, you’re actually covering the core outcomes that have a huge impact on customers’ buying experience and your company’s bottom line. That’s the big picture many businesses aren’t seeing.” (Source: Christoph Neut, Vice President Sales, Sparkcentral by Hootsuite, Hootsuite’s Social Trends 2022 survey”)
There are several ways to capitalize on this trend. For example:
- Have a dedicated social customer support team. To ensure your success, have marketers cooperate with customer support team members - marketers know which channels customers use most, they know how they communicate, what issues they’re facing, what they need help for, what they will respond best to, etc. Leveraging these insights will give you a competitive advantage, increase customer satisfaction, help you foster deeper customer connections, and boost sales.
- Create FAQs templates
- Invest in a chatbot
Takeaways: 9 actionable ways to capitalize on the current social media trends
The social media landscape is changing. 2022 will definitely be filled with exciting opportunities for social media marketers. We hope this guide helps you level up your social media marketing. Here’s a quick recap of all trends we discussed, and how you can leverage them:
- Speak up about your values and social initiatives on social media. Incorporate this in all aspects of your social media presence across all channels your target customers use.
- Provide a shopping experience that is uniquely tailored to each online surface your brand exists on. Create personalized social media posts that provide value, and tell your unique story in an authentic manner.
- If you don’t already have a social storefront, create one - in 2022, people will likely use social media in every stage of the buyer journey (from discovery to purchase).
- Leverage niche platforms. Pay extra attention to TikTok (which popularity among marketers is growing at warp speed).
- Prepare to spend more on social ads. Also, remember that in 2022, consumers will hold brands up to higher creativity standards. If you want to cut through the noise, you must create authentic ads that fit organically into each social media platform.
- Work towards establishing business partnerships with micro and nano influencers on niche social media platforms.
- Create more video content - short-form video (e.g., Stories, Reels, TikToks, etc.) will perform exceptionally well.
- Start an employee advocacy program. This will create richer experiences for employees and customers alike. Also, it will increase your social media presence and impact.
- Start a customer care program. Have your marketing team work closely with your customer support team.
If you have further questions, just leave a comment below!