Social media marketing in 2022: What do the experts predict?

From Facebook rebranding as Meta, to TikTook reaching one billion month-to-month customers – 2021 was a mammoth 12 months in the world of social media.
But how will social evolve in 2022? We spoke to business experts to get some perception on what the subsequent 12 months might carry, with social commerce, the altering roles of influencers, and the continued domination of TikTook all predicted to emerge.

For extra on what’s on the horizon for 2022, don’t miss Econsultancy’s upcoming briefing, Digital Marketing and Ecommerce Trends For 2022 on twenty sixth January at 3pm GMT/10am EST. Register your house now!

Long-term influencer partnerships divorced from a particular platform
Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO and Co-Founder of Traackr:
“…tensions between creators, manufacturers and platforms are resulting in a platform-agnostic future, the place followers subscribe or pay for content material immediately with influencers and creators. Consumer consideration will migrate away from ad-supported platforms to paywalled content material, so manufacturers might want to divert promoting funds towards long-term influencer partnerships divorced from a particular platform. It’s why corporations like Stripe are enabling influencers to extra simply earn cash. There will at all times be the subsequent TikTook and altering algorithms, however we’ve seen that audiences will certainly observe their favourite creators wherever they go. The medium is just not the message. The creator is.”
Social turns into a studying platform
Tom Jarvis, Founder & CEO of Wilderness Agency:
“With the explosion of TikTook in 2021, we’ve seen social media emerge as a studying platform – all the things from #booktok to #financetok has exploded on the platform. During the pandemic, individuals turned to social media to study and uncover extra about the topics they’re captivated with.
“On a macro stage, that is being pushed by the digitisation of each training and the office by large tech as the method we work and study is disrupted.
“On a micro stage, that is going to filter down in the kind of content material individuals need to eat and a shift in the conventional influencer mannequin from what I’d name “product placement” to “instruction as affect.”
Jim Meadows, Chief Strategy Officer, Takumi:
“Consumers flip to social media as an leisure channel, nonetheless, many are beginning to additionally see it as a spot to teach themselves on new matters and share their information and ideas on present affairs and points.
“Exploring the influencer marketing business particularly, our current analysis discovered that a couple of in 4 (25%) UK and US customers admit to sourcing information updates and opinions from creators over established information retailers – rising to almost half of 16-24-year-olds (44%).”
A slowdown in social sharing (on open platforms)
Tom Jarvis, Wilderness Agency:
“We’ve moved past a spot of social as technique of standing replace to a spot the place social instruments are actually our essential type of communication – each with these we all know IRL and on-line.
“Closed platforms corresponding to messaging apps now play a significant position in our lives – the common US teen sends 50 non-public messages a day! Snapchat has largely remained related for a youth viewers as a result of it has turn into the default messaging app for a lot of teenagers.
“Our want for extra intimate connection and a scarcity of belief in the large social platforms will see a decelerate in “social sharing” or open platform engagement however a continued improve in messaging as we not solely join with pals but additionally manufacturers and the world round us in a extra direct method.”
The domination of TikTook
Tod Nielson, CEO of Talkwalker::
“One pattern that’s nearly assured as we transfer into 2022 is the continued dominance of TikTook in the social area. Our knowledge confirmed a 61% improve in TikTook mentions year-on-year throughout the first half of 2021, and the app has since turn into the first non-Facebook app to achieve 3 billion world downloads.
“What’s extra, a current examine discovered TikTook utilization surpassed that of Instagram this 12 months amongst Gen Z, who discover the platform to be extra optimistic versus different social media networks. With 63% of the social app’s customers below the age of 30, will probably be notably essential for manufacturers seeking to interact with Gen Z to be energetic on the platform in the event that they want to stay related and drive development in the new 12 months.
“TikTook’s success is pushed by customers themselves, and if we’ve learnt something over the previous couple of years, it’s that corporations which hearken to customers fare higher in the long-run. Expect to see manufacturers throughout a number of industries incorporate short-form video into their content material methods in 2022.”
Avatar creation
Jim Meadows, Takumi:
“Expect to see extra conversations round “meta” and the Metaverse following Facebook’s current model replace. With the digital world taking off, it’s seemingly avatar creation will probably be one other key improvement in 2022. Creators could possibly create a number of personas via the adoption of such expertise and influencer marketing will proceed to increase into the digital actuality world. We’re going to see much more avatar influencers, like Lil Miquela, rising in the new 12 months.”
The diversification of influencer roles
Alexander Frolov, CEO & Co-Founder of HypeAuditor:
“Look again to 2015 and social media influencers may very well be segregated right into a handful of classes. Now, we’re seeing new classes rising all the time, with influencers that select to interrupt the mould and affect throughout a number of classes. In 2021, we have now seen the rise of ‘fintok’, in addition to “petfluencers”, “skinfluencers” and “granfluencers”. These new classes will proceed to realize momentum in 2022.
“Alongside this, subsequent 12 months we’ll see digital influencers solidify their place in the world of social affect, securing extra model offers than ever earlier than. This 12 months, we noticed Superplastic increase $20M to increase its cartoon influencer universe, and Rozy, the South Korean digital influencer, earn round $1M in sponsorships. In addition, the current announcement by Facebook round metaverse can be going to have an effect on the way forward for digital influencers.
Continued funding in reside streaming
Pierre-Loic Assayag, Traackr:
“Social media platforms turn into the new QVC for Millennials and Gen Z. Influencers are the new storefront, however social commerce is now not nearly including a buying cart on a platform. It gained’t be only a transaction, however as an alternative will turn into a whole buying expertise. We already noticed Amazon, YouTube and Pinterest add reside buying options to their platforms, and the most superior manufacturers will make investments extra funds and assets towards creating genuine retail experiences on social media corresponding to reside streaming.”
Social commerce comes of age
Jim Meadows, Takumi:
“Our current analysis discovered that over half (59%) of entrepreneurs are utilizing extra ecommerce instruments in their influencer marketing exercise in comparison with pre-pandemic. This has been supported by social media platforms bettering and widening on-line buying capabilities, corresponding to Instagram rolling out Shopping Tags in feed posts and in tales, and TikTook launching its Shopping function.
“Brands will proceed to embrace social media as an ecommerce channel, with new buying options and retailer integrations more likely to dominate the area in the new 12 months. Updates to present cost options will proceed to make customers’ in-app buying experiences as seamless as potential that means we’re more likely to see much more customers partaking in social commerce in 2022.”
Tod Nielson, Talkwalker:
“[Many developments in 2021 were] about making the buying and monetisation course of as seamless as potential for customers, and level to the rising significance commerce will play in the future social panorama.
“Ultimately, no one desires to undergo a ten-step course of simply to purchase a t-shirt – the easier the buyer journey on a social platform, the higher probabilities there are of constructing a sale. To this finish, ecommerce and monetisation options will turn into a centrepiece of social networks as manufacturers look to grasp the potential of social promoting.”
Tom Jarvis, Wilderness Agency:
“There is plenty of speak about “tremendous apps” impressed by the WeChat mannequin however I feel the actuality is we’re a way off that in the West. …the transfer to social commerce may very well be the driving issue in getting us one step nearer to that actuality as extra of our each day habits are delivered by an ever-decreasing variety of cellular functions.”
Communities and closed platforms to flourish
Michelle Goodall, CMO of Guild:
“While everyone seems to be getting enthusiastic about Meta and Web 3.0 and so forth – the sensible cash, particularly in B2B, is in Community Based Marketing (CBM) and creating area of interest, extra precious communities off of social media platforms; the place areas really feel like social, however the place the knowledge is yours, and can be utilized to layer first-party knowledge to assist make significant choices about campaigns, artistic, buyer expertise and innovation and so forth.
“These communities are largely being pushed by the difficulties manufacturers face in producing visibility of content material on social platforms, with many pressured to resort to ‘engagement bait’ ways in order to get their content material seen. Consequently, we’re seeing extra proof of the migration away from ad-funded, knowledge hungry platforms corresponding to Facebook and LinkedIn, and the emergence of other on-line communities – those who allow manufacturers to create experiences and foster discussions that their neighborhood actually values, and at the similar time, respects and protects their knowledge.”
Transparent knowledge assortment
Jim Meadows, Chief Strategy Officer, Takumi:
“Apple and Google have turn into key gamers in the dialog about what tech corporations can do to guard their customers’ privateness and knowledge. It’s inevitable social websites, who depend on person knowledge to boost their customers’ expertise in addition to drive income via promoting, must adapt to make sure the person expertise doesn’t change, even when knowledge privateness restrictions do.
“Asking permission to make use of knowledge is a method that social media platforms can adapt. Platforms have to be absolutely clear about what person knowledge is collected and the way it’s getting used. Transparency will assist platforms foster belief amongst their customers and encourage customers to really feel snug and secure sharing a few of their on-line knowledge with them.”

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About the Author: Amanda