January 28, 2022
Is TikTok still hip? Is Facebook out (or at least morphing into Meta.) The social media landscape is ever-evolving. Here are a few trends percolating to the top this year.
Live, Baby, Live! Live video streaming on social media continues to grow in popularity, and "going live" had a real moment during the pandemic as we looked for ways to connect with other humans that wouldn't contaminate us. This trend isn't going anywhere, and we expect to see live video increasing in popularity in 2022. Brands will be using live videos to connect customers for Q & A’s, product launches, and just good old-fashioned digital chit-chats.
- Video Killed the Radio Star. Tiktok will continue to dominate with its mix of hilarious, mysterious, thought-provoking, and frequently silly videos. Instagram/Facebook will try to catch up with “Reels.” (Sidenote: Whatever happened to Vines? Can we bring that back?) To sum up: Video isn’t going anywhere.
- Going, going, gone. Thanks to Snapchat, we’ve all fallen in love with the idea of disappearing content. Just like a flash sale can entice us into buying something, the idea that content will only be around for a limited time gets folks to engage. Many brands are focusing efforts on Facebook and Instagram Stories that will ride off into the sunset after a limited time. Stories give brands a chance to be a bit informal and let their hair down.
- Rise of the Chatbots. Don't expect your father's chatbots. No longer clunky, the new A.I.-driven chatbots are sophisticated, understanding questions and concerns and offering solutions toot de suite. It's almost like messaging with an actual human. Adding these chatbots to your social media feeds can help you provide top-notch customer support 25/7.
- Welcome to the Matrix. Augmented Reality (A.R.) and Virtual Reality (V.R.) are heating up, and brands are looking to offer exciting user experiences. Platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook allow users to try on a bazillion of different filters to digitally augment their images and videos and then share them. And V.R. gear is now available at affordable prices, so more and more users enjoy immersive gaming experiences and group meetings. The Zoom meetings of the future might look very different.
- Influencers Are Still Influencing. Brands will continue to collaborate with influencers in social media promotion posts. Look for content to get a little more “real” and not just have a Kardashian posing with a product and hoping you’ll buy it.
- Let’s Get Real. User-Generated Content (UGC) will continue to gain popularity as real people post videos of themselves using (and abusing) products and services. The upside? UGC's are about as authentic as social media gets. The downside? Sometimes it can be a little too authentic and less than flattering. As a brand manager, you should prepare to hype UCGs that show your brand favorably as well as respond to negativity.