Social Media Trends for 2022 (and How to Leverage Them)

social media trends for 2022

Written by Hannah Richardson

August 10, 2022

Though the year is nearing its close, we don’t need a crystal ball to see that the social media trends for 2022 are likely to continue well into 2023. Social media has been around since the late 1990s, with many of the platforms we’re familiar with today launching in the early 2000s, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. As with most things, social media has evolved from simple status updates to providing business owners a platform to connect with audiences on a much deeper level.  

From brand values and authenticity to connecting with a younger and more distracted audience, we’re sharing the top five biggest social media trends for 2022 that are here to stay well through 2023. 

Here is a sneak peek at the top five biggest social media trends for 2022 (and beyond): 

Social Commerce

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce where everything happens on social media – brand and product discovery, purchasing, and even post-purchase support. With the constant evolution of technology, it’s no surprise that platforms like Instagram and Facebook can sell products directly within the app.  

While social commerce isn’t entirely new, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the concept as many small businesses pivoted to online sales in response to closing their storefronts, with some making the move a permanent solution. Due to these economic impacts and the buying power shifting to a younger audience, social commerce has become a powerful contributor to sales and will continue to grow. According to a report from Composed, 60% of U.S. Gen Z shoppers use Instagram to discover new brands and products, and 48% of Americans, ages 18-34, have made a purchase through social media, according to Statista. 

Fortunately, social commerce has a lower barrier to entry, so business owners can easily experiment to see what works best for them. Start by creating a free social media account and posting regularly to grow a following. Platforms like Instagram require you to demonstrate trustworthiness before you can begin selling within the app, which can take anywhere from a few weeks to months depending on the engagement you’re receiving on the account, number of followers, and other factors. However, once you have your shop set up, you’ll be well on your way to creating a seamless purchase experience for your online community.  

Digital Disruption

We’re bombarded by distractions every day – whether it’s on our phone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop, or TV. It’s the price we pay for fast, easy access to information, leading to a dependency on our devices for the thing we desire the most: instant satisfaction and gratification. This has affected our attention span – shrinking it to just eight seconds, making it increasingly difficult to hold a consumer’s attention.  

So, how can we cut through the noise and grab ahold of those precious eight seconds? Instead of sharing large chunks of copy, try paring it down into ‘bite-sized’ pieces of content that can make it easier for your audience to consume. Video, infographics, and interactive media are all great choices to capture attention quickly. Polls or emoji-react polls and Facebook’s Instant Experience ads are just a few ideas to get you started.  

Brand Values and Authenticity

The challenge of staying top-of-mind with your audience when you’re competing with the masses in the social media world is hard enough – not to mention navigating the rise of “fake news.” That’s where we see a rising trend of businesses leaning into their brand values and practicing accountability and transparency on social media to build deeper and more meaningful relationships with their audience. 

Humanizing your brand, empathizing with your audience, showing compassion, and leading with your values, mission, and purpose are important steps to make and follow in today’s social media world, whether you’re a one-person show or a large organization.   

Google’s sustainability efforts are a great example of the company leading with its values and commitment to sustainability. Not only do they have the goal of being carbon-free by 2030, but they also create small eco-friendly projects on-site, such as Google Gardens. These projects allow the company to continue to share its values and engage with its audience online. When developing your social media content calendar, try incorporating your brand values and mission into the content – whether it’s by sharing team photos or sharing information on nonprofits or charities you support.  

Video Content

We all know video content is king and it’s here to stay for the long run. With the growing popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, short-form vertical video has boomed. Not only is video content an engaging form of storytelling and a way to drive sales, it’s also a great way to grow your community quickly. Remember brand values and authenticity from earlier? Video is one of the best ways to showcase those values, as they allow you to show the human side of your business, connect with your audience on a deeper level, spotlight your products, and raise awareness about causes you care about.  

Showing your face online can be intimidating, but being vulnerable, transparent, and honest with your audience is what creates those long-lasting relationships. Try pulling inspiration from other accounts on Instagram or TikTok to help you get started on your video content journey.  

The ‘No Filter’ Feed

Creators and businesses are starting to shift away from the perfectly curated feed and are opting to showcase more authentic and raw content. This change goes hand-in-hand with the rise of authenticity in recent years, especially as Instagram filters become more prevalent. Through the remainder of 2022 and beyond, we predict businesses and creators will spend less time creating a picture-perfect perception and more time developing deeper connections with their audience.  

During your next social media content brainstorm, try thinking of ways you can more authentically showcase your brand without trying too hard to perfect every detail or over-edit your content.  

It can be overwhelming when trends change or new social media features drop, but it can give you the perfect excuse to experiment and see what works best for your business goals and audience. Will you leverage any of these social media trends for 2022? Let us know by dropping a comment! Need help with your social media or content strategy? Get in touch with our team here to book a consultation! 

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