It is not an exaggeration to say that most people spend a large part of their time on social networks. At least not in the world we live in today.

Social networks have become a fundamental part of people’s lives and daily routine. Some are so addicted to networking that the first thing they do when they wake up is check their social media feeds.

Due to the importance of social media in consumers’ lives, marketers and businesses flock to social platforms in hopes of connecting with their target customers. However, there is an overload of content on social networks and therefore the competition is very great. If you don’t have a clear social media marketing strategy , it can be very difficult to stand out from the pack.

Staying up to date with the latest social media trends can help boost your strategy and stand out from the crowd. Here are eight social media trends you’ll need to watch out for in 2022 and beyond.

Social Media Trends for 2022 and Beyond:

Ephemeral Content Will Continue to Gain Popularity

Ephemeral content is something that is only available for a short time and then disappears. Instagram and Snapchat Stories are clear examples of this type of content.

Today, people’s attention spans are shorter and the way they like to consume content has changed. That is why the Stories format has become popular. They’re short, engaging, and so addictive that people can spend hours sliding from one Story to another. 

Marketers have picked up on this trend and will continue to take advantage of it. According to a recent report by Hootsuite, 64% of marketers have incorporated Instagram Stories into their strategies or plan to do so.

Another study suggests that brands publish a Story once every four days, proving, once again, that they are becoming more and more popular.

Niche Social Media Platforms Will Work Well

Facebook and Instagram have long dominated social media as the biggest and most popular platforms. However in recent years several other niche social media platforms have emerged and achieved a great level of fame.

For example, TikTok is one such platform that started in 2016 and immediately gained popularity among young people. B2B companies prefer LinkedIn for their social media initiatives while the gaming community flocks to Twitch. There are several alternative social media platforms that are gaining in popularity and will continue to do so in 2020 and beyond.

Here are some of the most popular social media platforms by number of registered users or accounts. 

Instagram will remove likes

Instagram is one of the biggest social networks and any major changes it implements can change the social media landscape. One of those changes is the ability for Instagram to remove likes from your posts.

Instagram recently discussed this plan in a beta version and could soon apply this change globally. The reasoning that has been given is that likes determine a person’s social value and waiting for that value is detrimental to mental health.

However, there are many people who strongly reject this explanation and believe that Instagram wants to implement this change to earn more. Brands pay huge amounts to influencers to promote their products. None of this money goes to Instagram. In fact, influencer marketing has become so popular that brands are leaving traditional marketing methods like advertising behind. 

If Instagram removes likes, brands won’t be able to measure the direct impact of their campaigns as easily as they do now. This could encourage some brands to invest in Instagram ads and thus easily track their ROI.

A scenario where Instagram successfully removes likes and gets more marketers to use the feature in their ads could be transformative for social media marketing. This will not only affect influencers, but may also encourage other social networks to make such moves.

Social Commerce Will Expand

Brands have long used social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook to sell their products. Social commerce has become a new retail medium for brands and this trend will become even stronger.

Social commerce is in the process of becoming a popular retail channel, on a par with other mediums such as websites and offline stores. This trend will continue to strengthen with many more social networks introducing pro-sales functions.

From shoppable posts to Instagram product windows, social media is continually evolving to become a selling platform. Brands and marketers will make use of this, incorporating social commerce into their sales strategies.

Video Content Will Dominate

Video content is one of the most engaging forms of content and will soon dominate social media as a clear winner over all other types of content. Whether it’s short-form videos like those on TikTok and Stories, or long-form content on YouTube, videos are the future of social media content.

According to a Cisco study , by 2022, 82% of all online content will be video content. This clearly shows how important it is to start using video content to stay in the social media arena. 

If you don’t currently create videos, it’s time to include them in your content strategy. In the near future, videos are going to dominate social media and anyone who doesn’t realize that will have a hard time.

You can start by using features like Stories for both your social media content and ads. Plus, you can add videos to your social media posts, even on platforms where images or text content traditionally dominated.

Technology Adoption Will Be at Its Highest Levels

Social networks will see a growth in the adoption of technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). As these platforms grow, users will demand better and more engaging experiences, and these technologies can make that happen.

Facebook is already taking huge steps in that direction with the introduction of Horizon , its virtual reality social world. It is a kind of virtual world in which people can connect, play video games and explore. This is a step beyond social connection and could turn out to be the future of social networking.

While the use of VR in social networks may still be in an extremely early stage, the same is not true for AR. Augmented reality filters are currently used on several major platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. They were launched to enhance visual content shared on social networks and are widely popular.

Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Grow

Influencer marketing is not a new trend, but it is one that will continue to dominate. Today social networks are dominated by influencers who are paid exorbitant amounts by brands to promote their products.

The adoption of this trend can be seen from two perspectives. The first can be seen by the huge increase in the number of social media influencers. The second can be seen by the increase in influencer marketing expenses by companies.

Investing in influencers is much cheaper than launching paid advertising campaigns, and even brings good results. Furthermore, influencers can help marketers achieve a variety of marketing goals and not just generate leads. These are the two main reasons why it has become so popular and is getting stronger and bolder.

Currently, marketers are not just collaborating with 1-2 influencers, but they are working with a whole niche network of small but important influencers. This class of influencers get higher engagement and cost less. In the future, many more marketers will use this strategy and work with multiple small influencers instead of working with one celebrity.

There will be more regulatory and legal control

While social media has many benefits, there are some negative factors that have come to light in recent years. Data security and privacy are two of the problems that were the focus of attention on social networks like Facebook.

Social networks can easily be used to obtain information about someone and misuse it. There are even accusations that certain social networks sell user data to other companies.

As a result of this, social networks and regulatory bodies will strengthen their rules and put in more regulations. Social networks are considered insecure by many people and it would be in everyone’s best interest to change that. Thus, you must be prepared for more regulations and restrictions on all platforms.

conclusion

These are some of the trends that will dominate the social media scene in 2022 and beyond this year. Take advantage of these trends and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Social media is a dynamic and competitive space and these trends can help you become a social media ace. So stay up to date with the latest developments and use them for your social media initiatives.