Social media trends to expect in 2022

Samantha Cunningham profile picture

Samantha Cunningham, Junior PR & Marketing Executive:
  • Short – form vertical video
  • Social commerce
  • Marketers getting creative as consumers become more aware of social ads
  • Brands showcasing their human side
  • Trend lifespan shortens

At the time when we were forced to be physically apart, people turned to social media to stay connected, and in doing so changed the nature of the ever-evolving beast. Shopping is no longer simply done in physical shops or on websites, and YouTube is not the sole source of video content for the youth of today.

As we head further into 2022, we are already starting to notice more social media trends that are emerging. Here are five of the social media trends I am looking forward to this year:

1. Short – form vertical videos

To beat the lockdown blues, most of us joined TikTok; giving users a quick, fun dopamine hit to pass the time. Now boasting one billion users, it is clear that the platform is onto a winner in the bitesize short-form videos. With Instagram Reels trying to challenge the unstoppable tide of TikTok, it will be interesting to see how the short-form video evolves as more platforms try to put their unique spin on the 15 second wonder.

2. Social commerce

Shopping has never been easier; social media is fast becoming the heart of the post-pandemic shopping experience. Whether you are on TikTok or Instagram, shopping is becoming increasingly more streamlined and accessible. Whether through AR or VR it will be interesting to see how brands take ecommerce to the next level with social media this year. Hollister does this quite well and has begun to use its customers as its advertising. Encouraging customers to tag purchases in photos, with the opportunity to be featured on the brand’s main social feed. Products are increasingly being promoted by the people, for the people.

3. Marketers getting creative as consumers become more aware of social ads

Marketers are being forced to create content that fits organically onto platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest. Audiences commonly feel oversaturated by advertising, so, in order to succeed in the world of social media in 2022, ads will need to fit so seamlessly into the rest of the content, that audiences don’t even notice they are there.

4. Brands showcasing their human side

The younger generation of consumers are increasingly more sensitive to the environmental and societal impacts of their purchases. While fast fashion still reigns supreme, there has been a sharp increase in recent years in the second hand and vintage fashion trends among younger shoppers. A brand’s reputation to be sustainable is more important now than ever and over the next year I anticipate an increase in requirements for brands to be transparent in order to succeed. Whether this means explaining their product design choices on Instagram or a CEO featuring on a podcast to explain the company’s growth. One of my favourite examples of a brand showcasing its core values (as well as its personality) is Innocent. I have also enjoyed seeing small businesses going viral on TikTok with their creative content.

5. Trend lifespan shortens

Everything is getting shorter. Attention spans, videos, trends. 2022 looks set to be the year that social media trends receive a reduction in lifespan. With so many successful social media platforms now available is it any wonder that consumers feel spoilt for choice. I look forward to seeing how brands think quickly on their feet adapt to this evolution of shorter social media trends.