2021, it’s been a year of adjustment and change.  So what does that mean for social media in 2022?

With the pandemic and lockdowns affecting online behaviour we’ve seen an increased reliance on digital connection, an acceleration in innovation, and the changing landscape of e-commerce on social media. 

Below are our top 6 social media trends to look out for in 2022. Buckle in, there’s a lot to cover 😅

1. AR/VR Development 

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All artwork by Josella Bray at L&A Social ©

Today’s markets are driven by the needs and desires of customers. As technology advances, brands must keep up with these changes. Augmented reality (AR) will be an approach, allows brands to provide their audience with unique experiences and the convenience of tapping into their mobile devices. But, it can also be an additional tool to help drive enhanced brand value and memorability.

AR usage increased this year to help customers try products when they couldn’t physically shop in-store. Using AR, customers can ‘tap to try on’ clothes, makeup, and home products.  Brands such as Sephora and L’Oreal have started to embrace AR development with customers now able to digitally try on makeup via their websites. How does this translate to social? Well, with a focus on social commerce all of the platforms are embracing AR functionality to help provide a seamless ‘shop the look’ experience.

2. Shopping via Social Media 

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There’s been an eCommerce focus across all major social media platforms this year and is expected to continue its growth in the coming year. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have been equipped with shop now buttons for a while, however, there are two updates to jump on board within 2022 – Instagram and Facebook shop and live-stream shopping. 

Shops

Facebook and Instagram launched their Shops option a year ago and are seeing 300 million visitors per month. The Shop is a feature that allows you to seamlessly shop your brand’s photos and videos aka discovery commerce.  New shopping and discovery tools are being released regularly with the latest update to Shops on Whatsapp, Shop listings in Facebook Marketplace, and new visual product search options. Definitely, a trend set to soar.

Live Stream

These two platforms have also added a live-stream shopping series called ‘Live Shopping Fridays’. Among the brands that participated were Clinique and Sephora. This could become a key tool for brands to connect directly to their audience and provide real-time Q&A for viewers and showcase the latest product offerings a trend that’s huge on China’s WeChat. Keep an eye out for similar updates from Pinterest as they plan to explore this in the new year.

3. Scanning The Scene 

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Since the pandemic, QR codes have made a comeback, allowing us to gain information quickly in a contactless world. Fortunately, it helps out the marketing world, as we can now bridge the physical and digital world with one scan.

There are many applications for QR codes; to facilitate payment in a physical store, to follow a business on social media, to give customers more information on a product, to give feedback, or join a loyalty program.  But on social, Snapchat is leading the way in their QR code applications. They have created scan options past adding friends, you can now also unlock filters, link to websites, and connect with exclusive content.  Let’s watch this space and see if the other platforms follow suit.

4. The TikTok Effect

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There’s no doubt TikTok is changing the way people consume social media. Its success is partly because of its full-screen immersive videos.  But we can’t discount the feeling of FOMO that the next video is going to be even better than the last and the extremely quick algorithm that serves you a fresh feed every time you open the app, satisfying your need for new content. We’ve seen the other platforms follow suit and jump onto this style of video, with Reels placements, YouTube shorts, and Pinterest full screen video option.

The key thing to consider from this trend is to make sure you have a healthy amount of video planned for the month. Reflect on the latest trends, transitions and let sound lead the way with music and voiceovers as a key part of the content creation process. 

5. Trendjacking

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TikTok is looking to provide marketers with more ways to tap into the latest trends in 2022. The focus will be on updates via its ‘Top Ads’ and ‘Creative Center’ which highlights rising trends and top-performing TikTok ads for marketers. To stay on top of the trends, it’s worth checking out these updates on a fortnightly or monthly basis, so you can see what’s relevant to your brand and products. To Trendjack, simply explore the trending categories, this could range from seasonal events such as #christmas to #beauty. 

6. Live Stream Events 

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The working from home shift over the past couple of years has changed the event landscape. As things return back to normal, companies will assess whether they need every event to be in person or if an online event will give them the same impact. 

LinkedIn is moving into the live stream events space to fill this need. They aim to be a key partner for businesses to expand their event audience via the LinkedIn site. This will allow more brands to run hybrid events and reach potential business partners and buyers through the app. Expect to see LinkedIn events pop up in your feed as they happen in the new year.

Overall, it’s shaping up to be an exciting and innovative time for Social Media in 2022. Many of us are looking to evolve even further, align with trends and facilitate growth. 

Want to try out some of these trends in your 2022 marketing campaigns? Contact our team today at [email protected]