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What should social media marketers expect in 2022: 8 predictions!

Read on to discover 8 interesting predictions for what social media marketers should expect in 2022.
Over the years, there have been changes on all the different social media platforms. There are also changes across the social media space, in general. Looking at the way things have evolved over the past year, experts can predict some of the changes to prepare for in the coming years. With that in mind, read on to discover 8 interesting predictions for what social media marketers should expect in 2022.

Changes to social platforms

Social media is the ultimate equalizer for businesses and brands in the modern age. It serves as a powerful platform through which all enterprises, big and small can make themselves available to customers. When it comes to marketing, small businesses and large corporations alike can use social media to expand their reach, attract new customers, build relationships, and make more sales. But, the realm of social media changes a lot every year, which makes it a challenge for anyone to stay on top of the game.

In the coming year, social media marketers can expect changes to different platforms designed to help improve the experience of the end-user. One of the up-and-coming trends that are set to define the way social media looks in 2022 is decentralized platforms.

Although many might be skeptical about the concept at first, the new year might bring with it new advancements and revelations which would increase trust in decentralized platforms that will move away from traditional social media websites. In this vision of the future social platforms, users would have direct access to the algorithms on the decentralized platform. And, with no central authority to dictate the rules regarding engagement and monetization, social media would become an even freer space, giving content creators full ownership of their audience, as well as the investments offered by their followers.

Integration of emerging technologies

There's a rise of new technologies in digital marketing. Social media, in particular, is likely to see the integration of many emerging technologies such as VR, AR, the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain in 2022 and beyond. According to Social Media Today, keyword searches for "social media AR" have gone up by 81% in the past five years.
Many of the top social media platforms are getting in on the trend early. For instance, as early as 2019, Instagram (which already had AR incorporated into its platform’s filters) integrated an AI-powered option for users to actually create their own filters. Customers interact with brands using many different channels, which means businesses need an integrated approach where they can engage with customers on as many different marketing and communication platforms as possible.
In the future, more and more businesses will use different types of technologies to create a multi-channel marketing strategy for a connected digital experience, and social platforms will be a big part of that.

In addition to social media, a multi-channel strategy may also include:

Webinar hosting services to help grow your business.
• A website that can convert leads.
• Blogs to raise awareness and educate.
• Events to celebrate your brand.
Email marketing software to distribute regular newsletters.

… and many others.

But, this integration of new technologies is particularly important for social media marketers to focus on because of the increasing incorporation of shopping capabilities on all the major social platforms. For instance, you can now make purchases directly on Facebook, Instagram, and even WhatsApp.

In the coming year, we expect to see more advanced eCommerce features, including the new Facebook Pay which simplifies the platform's one-click purchasing options, making life even easier for all consumers. The trick to integrating emerging technologies like VR, IoT, and AR successfully is to create relevant content for each platform and still be able to maintain your brand voice. You must have a consistent style across all channels to make the customer’s experience as seamless as possible.

The rise in video content

Whether it's educational images and infographics, text, photos, or links to more information, social media content is increasingly favored by consumers. Videos, in particular, are growing massively in popularity. We are already seeing a rise in video content, and 2022 will bring even more increases in video content across different social networks.

According to Hubspot, a top inbound marketing company, video content will continue being the top engagement media used by most businesses.

Video has many benefits, which is why in 2022 it'll be the most commonly used type of marketing content. For instance, sites like Tik Tok and Instagram have shown how powerful short video content can be for both brands and creators.
Although there is value in longer, more in-depth educational content, these days more users opt for video content that is short and digestible due to shorter attention spans.That’s why the upward mobile video consumption trend will not only not change, but it will likely increase exponentially as the new year approaches. Another reason for this will be due to top social media platforms like Tik Tok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook that are increasing their video capabilities (on reels, stories, etc.). This means that brands and content creators - especially social media marketers can anticipate even more video consumption among their consumers.
With many platforms allowing for native video creation and hosting, it may seem like it’s time to let go of YouTube. But YouTube still has a lot of staying power and can be used to create both long and short videos, unlike many other platforms which focus only on short video content. So if you are using YouTube, you need to make sure you’re also using YouTube editing software to create short, creative, and engaging videos that can be easily cross-shared on other platforms while also focusing on longer content such as product reviews and comparisons.

The rise of new social media platforms...

Although there are always new social media platforms popping up, not all of them stand the test of time. Right now, Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms out there, and experts predict that it will remain on top in 2022. Facebook will continue to be the most used social platform in the world, closely followed by YouTube. Despite the negative press coverage Facebook has received, it's not showing any signs of letting up in its growth. There are currently over 1.9 billion daily users on the platform and in January 2021, the platform had over 23 billion total visitors, with the average user spending about 58 minutes on the platform each day!

So while we may see the rising popularity of some new platforms, Facebook is set to remain the biggest player that continues to dominate the market in 2022 and beyond.

Chatbots...

Chatbots and voice assistants are growing in popularity, and social media marketers can expect widespread use of these technologies in the future. Customer service is key to running a successful business, and chatbots can be perfect for answering questions on social media at any time - day or night, and with very little human involvement from the company's side. And since chatbot dialogue is usually powered by artificial intelligence, it gives the chatbot a personality, which makes the interaction more fun for customers as opposed to simply communicating with the company through social media.

Using chatbots for interactions on social media is an excellent way to increase customer interactions online and ensure that they will want to communicate more often with your company. Also, with the rise of contextual commerce, these types of tools will help to provide customers with a more personalized and enjoyable experience when interacting with brands on social media. That’s why in 2022 we will see more and more businesses using chatbots to handle customer inquiries on social media channels, instead of just on their website and other online platforms.

An increased focus on influencer marketing...

ECommerce on social media is already a big trend these days. An increasing number of brands are incorporating shopping capabilities on all the top social media platforms. And one of the best ways to boost sales is by working with influencer marketing. In the past, experts have predicted the death of influencer marketing, but that is yet to happen. In fact, the influencer marketing industry is estimated to reach over $15 billion by the year 2022. Some experts estimate that the majority of marketers are already allocating at least 20% of their spend on influencer marketing strategies and 2022 will see an increased focus on brands that want to work with influencers of all sizes - from those with thousands of followers to ones with millions.

Regardless of audience size, companies will look to achieve better results by spending more on influencer content. Many influencers may even have PLR courses that you can purchase, which can give your ratings a big boost. Additionally, there may even be a bigger shift toward micro influences as they have more highly engaged audiences - something that is becoming ever more crucial to successful social media marketing strategies. The point is that finding a way to integrate influencer marketing into your social media marketing mix in 2022 is a must if you want to gain competitive advantage in your niche.

More brands will leverage user-generated content...

User-generated content (UGC) is great for gaining the trust of your audience. You can capture their attention and increase your chances of converting them by exploring user-generated content as part of your marketing strategy on social media. A growing number of brands are on the lookout for consumers who are already organically promoting their products and services so they can leverage those opportunities, and this trend is likely to continue in 2022. The reason for this is that just as consumers place more trust in influencers than in celebrities, they also place more trust in fellow consumers than they do a brand's promotional content.

That’s why there’s a higher chance of making sales when using promotional content generated from other consumers. GoPro is a brand that is already using the strategy effectively right now. They ask their customers to post about the brand, exposing the company to its customers' social media followers, and thus expanding their reach further.

Automation of digital tasks and marketing...

Yet another exciting new trend to look forward to in the coming year is the automation of digital tasks and marketing. As technology advances, marketing automation tools and apps must allow workers to work from home successfully. Social media marketers, in particular, can benefit a lot from being able to automate the repetitive tasks involved in their work.

With the right marketing automation tools, you can save a lot of time and effort involved in researching and compiling data, and you can schedule social media posts in advance to make your work a lot easier. Although these types of tools have already been around for a while, 2022 will see more advanced features rolling out that will allow marketers to automate even more of the repetitive tasks in real-time, across a variety of marketing channels. For instance, marketers will now be able to do strategic social media posting which allows them to retain more of their social media followers’ attention and provide them with a variety of content that they find appealing and engaging.

This way, marketers will avoid having to spend endless hours researching the most relevant content for their audience and rather spend more of their time on higher-level, strategic tasks that move the needle in their social media marketing campaigns.

Preparing for 2022!

As 2022 comes closer, you’ll need to begin preparing for these shifts. They’re already happening but only going to accelerate throughout 2022 and the next several years.

The first step is to perform a virtual environmental scan to assess what social networks you’re currently using, which ones you’re most dependent on, and how well integrated these channels are with other parts of your digital marketing strategy. Then you’ll want to look at each of these 8 predictions and assess how you can best modify your current strategies so that you can be ahead of your competition. If you do this successfully, not only will you have prepared yourself for 2022, you’ll also have begun putting things in place for many years to come.
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AUTHOR

Ron Stefanski

As a website entrepreneur and marketing professor, Ron Stefanski strives to help people create and market their own online business with his blog that reaches over 100,000 people each month. You can learn more from him by visiting OneHourProfessor.com. You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.
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