Social media marketing continues to evolve at a rapid pace and is showing no signs of slowing down. 2021 presented its own set of challenges and opportunities within the social media industry. So what can we expect for 2022? We asked some of the industry's leading social media marketing and monitoring experts what we could expect for social media marketing in 2022, and beyond. In this article, you will learn where your focus should be, what changes are coming and some future trends to keep an eye on. The only constant in our industry is change, so stay current, and you’ll see some handsome returns on your marketing campaigns!
Leading Social Media Marketing Expert Predictions for 2022:
1. Aurelien Blaha - Digimind
In 2022, influencer marketing will continue to thrive, as long as brands pay attention to their target audiences by listening to their concerns, and by developing meaningful relationships with emerging influencers. Browser and operating system restrictions on data collection (Google phasing out cookies, Apple’s iOS updates), as well as consumer adoption of privacy-protecting behaviors, have been on the rise and will continue to be in 2022. As social ads’ once long-vaunted precision will deprecate over time, influencers will continue to gain interest from brands as a credible alternative to social ads. It would be too easy however to consider influencer marketing as a mere replacement for social advertising. One-off collaborations with influencers can be costly and often without long-lasting effects. Instead, developing long-term partnerships with emerging influencers, and leveraging these partnerships in always-on campaigns, is the key to a more meaningful and responsible influencer marketing. Now the tough question is, how to effectively identify emerging influencers? By definition, emerging influencers can’t be differentiated by the size of their audience ; but they can be identified by their engagement levels and their relevance to the concerns of the target audience. This is where social listening comes in handy, to identify relevant conversation topics together with promising influencers with growing potential, whether they are living on TikTok, Instagram, or other platforms.
2. Daniel Chessa - Falcon.io
At no time in history has the marketing landscape evolved as fast and as fundamentally as the past couple of years, fuelled by sky-high consumer expectations around greater customization, personalization, and experiences. The seismic societal changes we’ve shared together have only accelerated this transformation and added a host of new opportunities for marketers to effect positive change for our customers and communities.
3. Bartek Piotrowski - NapoleonCat
Facebook rebranding to Meta is just beginning. In 2022, we will hear more and more about the following Metaverse initiatives. And although we will wait a few more years to experience the potential of this concept, many brands are already trying to mark their presence in this field. Therefore, 2022 will focus on solutions that complement this vision naturally. NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) will be the dominant topic here. Already in 2021, many artists, influencers, and companies successfully used these solutions in their campaigns. And by 2022, this trend will only intensify. For example, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, suggested that Instagram will launch its NFT marketplace soon. As a result, more and more activities in social media will promote new initiatives related to NFT. And it is essential here; the success of individual NFTs depends on their popularity on the Internet. Brands that skillfully incorporate this solution into their social media strategies have a chance to create involved communities that will strive to increase the reach of such action themselves. How will it look in practice? An example of this is Warner Bros launching NFTs before releasing the new Matrix movie in two stages. First, users will buy randomly selected tokens with avatars resembling ordinary people living in the Matrix. Next, a week before the debut in theaters, the NFT holders will be proposed to take a "Blue Pill" that will change their avatar's looks, like hairstyle and clothing (the avatar will remain locked in the Matrix if the user chooses a " Red Pill"). This initiative will also include various challenges that allow NFT holders to upgrade their avatars and earn new rewards. Another trend will be the growing importance of the creator economy. We are in for a flood of premium content created for users ready to pay for it. Twitter has already introduced Super Follows, a new way for creators to earn monthly revenue by sharing subscriber-only content with their followers. Similar functionality is also being prepared by other platforms, including Instagram's "Exclusive Stories”. And users who are willing to pay for additional content will be particularly precious to advertisers. Companies will have to create their titles to gain recognition from users or work with independent influencers. As a result, the role of influencer marketing in social media activities will increase.
4. Dan Seavers - Talkwalker
In 2022, brands will listen to their customers more than their CEO. The pandemic was the catalyst that increased consumer demands. Previously, we had seen the customer voice become more demanding, and more urgent. But the pandemic led to massively increased expectations. They now demand better service, more personalized experiences, customized products, and they want it all faster than ever before. Lockdown also led to a drastic increase in global digitalization. Unable to connect face-to-face, many consumers were forced online and adapted their spending habits alongside that. As we move to the ‘new’ normal, this increased online spend isn’t waning. This has inspired new purchasing options, enabling customers to be much more fickle. If your brand makes one mistake, if you do not meet one of these increased expectations, your customers will jump straight over to one of your many competitors. To counteract this, brands will have to rely heavily on consumer intelligence, cleverly shaping the data they have available, to create a complete understanding of their consumers. This will then be the driver behind their decisions, enabling them to create products and services that meet, and even exceed, growing customer expectations. The challenge is making sense of the numerous consumer touchpoints and conversations taking place on the internet. With potentially millions of brand mentions happening across social media, reviews, forums, and within internal data sources like chat and calls, there is an extensive amount of data to interpret. Managing that in real time, to ensure insights are current, is another factor to consider. Plus, brands need to consider a solution that breaks departmental silos, to share a single customer view with every department. One complete set of data. One customer vision. One aligned brand voice. With this in mind, only a consumer intelligence platform will be sufficient to manage this challenge. Without it, brands will be left struggling in 2022.
5. Jim Tobin - Ignite Social Media
Facebook's poor reputation will lead to regulation and poor adoption of new products, even if they're good. Congress knows a winning issue when they see it, and Facebook/social network regulation is a political winner. At the same time, as Meta releases new products their own poor reputation will hurt adoption. Reviews of Portal are quite positive, but a lot of folks won't buy it because it's a Meta product.
6. Austin Shong - Loomly
Live shopping is not a new concept, but with the help of social media, it will reach unprecedented levels in 2022. It’s expected to grow to $25 billion in the USA by 2023. Live shopping allows brands to provide feedback to customers in real-time, as well as showcase some of the faces behind products. These features have proven to be a hit with consumers. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok already offer live shopping capabilities. YouTube announced in October 2021 they’ll launch their own live shopping features. Others will likely follow suit. Just like stories before it, live streaming is becoming ubiquitous. This is indeed a logical next step from a product roadmap perspective. As competition for attention and engagement fosters innovation in the social media ecosystem, live shopping could open the way to a completely new advertising channel for brands. Social media has brought an unprecedented level of interaction to live shopping when compared to traditional players such as HSN & QVC. As more social platforms launch new live shopping features in 2022, interactive capabilities will be a differentiating factor and provide a competitive advantage, to pioneers and new entrants alike, to drive user adoption and engagement.
7. Josh Krakauer - Sculpt
As society grapples with the problematic parts of algorithmic feed-based social media, and the platforms scramble to build new features that promote trust & safety, we're seeing the rapid rise of alternative social spaces not owned by the big tech firms. (Finally.) There are many examples: Chat-based social platforms such as Discord have grown like a weed as they're embraced by NFT, gaming, and other fan communities. Features native to those platforms then trickle down into the others. Pay attention to the digital products and platforms that creators and influencers promote in the next year. Where they go, fans go, and brands follow.