5 social trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2022

By Sarah Joel, Head of Social

What are some of the big social trends coming this year on social and what difference will they make? Despite the dizzying speed of social media change, one constant is that we need to reach our audience wherever they are on social, creating content that best engages the audience on that platform. And when it comes to innovation there’s one platform that is stand out, forcing others to adapt to stay relevant. With that in mind:

1.TikTok – if you haven’t dabbled yet

TikTok is the fastest growing social platform of all time. Around 50% of TikTok users are under 34. Nearly 60% are Gen Zers, born between 1997 and 2012, which makes them the new trendsetters.

TikTok keeps users hooked with the video platform’s snackable formats ranging from 15 seconds to 3 minutes in length. Its organic reach is unparalleled when compared to other social media platforms. It’s also worth noting that 50% of the top brands do not have a presence on TikTok.

That’s exactly why developing a TikTok marketing strategy can be the key to getting a head start on your competition, and gaining an advantage over more established bigger brands in your niche.

What should you do if you’re not doing it already? Download the app and enjoy. Discover communities relevant to your brand. Understand how the platform works and why it’s become so addictive.

  1. Video – keep it short and vertical

TikTok is ringing the changes when it comes to social and one of the most impactful is the short vertical video format.

As TikTok became more popular, Instagram responded by launching Reels in 2020. And that last bastion of long-form video format, YouTube, took notice and launched YouTube Shorts last year.

According to video hosting software company Vidyard, 60% of all videos published on the internet in 2020 were under two minutes long.

Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are not the only places you can post your short-form vertical video. Try it on Pinterest which is expanding further into the creator community launching its video-first feature called Idea Pins. These are aimed at creators who want to tell their stories using video, music, creative editing tools and more. The feature feels a lot like Pinterest’s own take on TikTok, mixed with Instagram Stories, as the new Pins allow creators to record and edit creative videos with up to 20 pages of content, using tools like voiceover recording, background music, transitions and other interactive elements.

What should you do if you’re not doing it already? If you are creating video for your YouTube channel consider including a short form vertical format of it for your other social channels.

  1. Make the most of the resurgence of Pinterest

Pinterest experienced a resurgence in 2020 and 2021, with Gen Z and Millennials helping drive growth. The number of Gen Z users grew by 40% from 2019 to 2020 and the platform now has 400 million global monthly pinners.

A point of difference compared to other social platforms is that Pinterest is not a tainted by negativity associated with other social platforms. Eight in 10 Pinterest users say the platform makes them feel positive. This is perhaps the most significant aspect when marketing to Gen Z, because it’s often where other social platforms fall short.

Based on its research Pinterest says that 89% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest for inspiration in their path to purchase. That’s because Pinterest includes inspiration at every part of the shopping journey, not just for Pinners, but for advertisers, merchants and creators too.

Nine in 10 people use Pinterest for purchase inspiration, and 98% of people polled by Pinterest say they will try new things based on the inspiration they find.

They’re also purchase influencers: Gen Z Pinners are 45% more likely than the average adult to tell their friends and family about new products and purchases.

What should you do if you’re not doing it already? If you have Pinterest boards and create video for, say, Instagram Reels, try using those videos on Pinterest and watch as those video views climb.

  1. Social is the new place to shop

The pandemic has influenced the way we shop and social has stepped up to the challenge.

Before the pandemic, social commerce was an opportunity taken up by the most innovative businesses. But the increased social media consumption fueled by everyone staying-at-home created the perfect conditions for a surge in social shopping. Even though life is returning to ‘normal’ the trend is only going to grow.

81% of shoppers were already using social media to discover new brands and research products before the pandemic, and it only make sense to enable them to purchase in the same app.

Most social networks have in-app shopping solutions now and are working to provide new features to meet rising demand. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are the most popular but TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube aren’t far behind.

What should you do if you’re not doing it already? Check out the new features and make the most of the chance to sell while your shoppers browse.

  1. Find your niche in a booming creator economy

The pandemic has also played a role in fueling growth of the creator economy. People have looked for ways to diversify their income stream due to being confined at home with more ‘spare’ time – and therefore want their own side hustle.

Creators these days can be professional influencer marketers or amateur content creators — basically anyone who writes, edits, designs, and films content to publish on social media with an entrepreneurial motivation.

And almost every social network has features to help creators monetise their work now. Creators can build and sustain their communities and brands can benefit from reaching these niche audiences.

As of 2021, 50 million people consider themselves to be creators on social networks.

What should you be doing if you’re not doing it already? Check out the content creators most relevant to your brand values. Ask yourself if they can help you reach your desired audience?

Sarah is Head of Social at Thrive. She has years of award-winning experience creating B2B and consumer content for clients across print, digital and social.

Here at Thrive, we work with brands, partner agencies, governments and charities who want to transform lives and societies for good.

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