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Social Media Marketing Trends in 2022

19th Jan 2022

I love social media and marketing trends. My favourite thing is how they’re constantly changing and evolving! Something that’s trendy one year will be discarded and never heard of again the following one. And every now and then, trends are so ground-breaking, they seem to be here to stay.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has massively influenced the way that we consume content and the way we interact with brands. How we behaved pre-COVID seems worlds apart from how we behave now. However, something that we can always guarantee is that we’ll need to be constantly informing ourselves on the latest trends for social media if we want our design practice (and more importantly, our clients) to remain relevant.

As we settle in 2022, your business goals should be to gain an understanding of the way that your customers’ needs have changed and how with that, their online habits have too. And that’s why we’re writing this blog, so you can effectively capture the attention of your followers and capitalise on some of these trends we’re sharing with you.

Throwback, baby!

Old school is in session! One of the biggest marketing trends of 2022 is nostalgia. Which after a time of global upheaval and uncertainty, it’s understandable that it made us all long for simpler times. When Corona was a beer, when shaking hands was a standard greeting, and the only masks we talked about were skincare.

But it’s not just the Martin Hopkins team who are enjoying the retro revival! According to Brandwatch, the mentions of ‘nostalgia’ and ‘nostalgic’ has almost doubled since pre-pandemic times. We’re all clearly craving the comfort and safety of the times already gone and it shows.

Don’t just take out word for it though, this nostalgia fuelled trend is everywhere! From ABBA releasing their first studio album in 40 years to Tamagotchi releasing a smart watch. (Has anyone else suddenly got the urge to dig theirs out and see if their pet is still alive?!).

How can I use this retro revival in my marketing plans?

  • Find the right theme for you. Whether it’s bringing back a discontinued product, celebrating an anniversary with a new product, or even just doing a throwback post or product with your old branding!
  • Research who your audience is. If your target audience is Gen Z, you’ll be wanting to look at the Y2K revival. Whereas if you’re marketing to millennials, it would be worth researching the late 80s to early 90s. You want to invoke those nostalgia charged feelings we all love.
  • Don’t delay! If you’ve spotted a trend on social media, don’t hold off because it might not be around for long. Get planning as soon as you see it and get content out quickly!

User 👏 Generated 👏 Content

If you’ve ever done any research into marketing trends, you’ve likely come across the phrase ‘User Generated Content’ or UGC for short. This is where your followers share their own content of your products or services. Whilst UGC is not new, there has been a sudden rise in it, and it’s changing the way many businesses are marketing.

It’s understandable, given the data from Morning Consult, that Gen Z and Millennials are less trusting of the average brand. Only 19% of consumers find brand-created content authentic, according to Stackla. However, in the same survey, 56% of consumers said that they’re more influenced by social posts when online shopping then during pre-pandemic times.

Consumers of today are belief driven and expect authenticity from brands and peer reviews or word of mouth marketing has become some of the most important types of UGC. A fantastic example of brands embracing UGC within their marketing are Saks Fifth Avenue and John Lewis. Both have been well ahead of the UGC trend for years, offering unique hashtags for their customers to use whilst showing off their new purchases on social media, which are then reposted by the brand.

How can I get User Generated Content for my brand?

Each brand is different, therefore the way you’ll get UGC is inevitably going to be different as well! However there’s multiple ways you can jump on the UGC bandwagon.

  • Analyse what your customers are already sharing. See what they’re tweeting or what sort of images they’re sharing of your services or products. Go in depth and research what demographic is posting about you most and what product they talk about most. Are they sharing images of your luxury flannels, or are they tweeting about how fantastic your customer service is? Finding out this information will help you plan a strategy to use this UGC to your advantage.
  • Conduct a challenge! Who doesn’t love a challenge? Whether it’s offering to win a voucher to spend in your shop, or 10% off their next purchase, challenges generate a lot of engagement. It’s one of the best ways to generate UGC.
  • Engage with your community if you aren’t already. If your users are posting content about your brand and you’re not responding, they’ll feel discouraged! By sharing, liking and commenting, your community will be more inclined to create more content for you and your brand!

Hi guys and welcome to my channel… It’s Influencer Marketing here!

Social commerce one of the marketing trends that is set to expand massively in 2022! We’ve already told you about UGC but another aspect of it is influencer marketing. Influencers have grown up! And they are in every section of the internet, from skincare gurus to property moguls, to specialists in how to live more sustainability. Whoever your audience is, there’s an influencer out there for you!

Influencers can help you reach a larger audience, creating brand awareness in your target demographic, they can improve your brand loyalty and influence future customers’ purchasing decisions. Influencers are now heavily regulated by social platforms and as a result, brands are starting to take them more seriously. If you’re not already convinced, 69% of marketers are planning to disburse more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.

Influencer marketing was already a pretty big deal pre-pandemic, but since COVID there has been an increase in the desire for ‘unfiltered’ content which influencers provide. Neal Schaffer, author of The Age of Influence, “Influencer marketing is no longer about throwing previous budget in search of influencers with large followings. It’s about collaborating with content creators and developing relationships with them for a variety of mutual benefits to their business and yours.”

Example from Instagram influencer (@_nelly_london, 458k followers) promoting natural deodorant
Example from Instagram influencer (@_nelly_london, 458k followers) promoting razors

There are so many influencers though! How do I start?

Influencer marketing can seem overwhelming at first, but with these simple tips you can break it down and it will seem more than achievable!

  • Define your goals. Work backwards from realising what you want to achieve. This will help you identify the influencer(s) who will be best to help you achieve these goals.
  • Remember to consider influencers with all number of followers! Different influencers will help achieve different goals. Whilst a ‘celebrity’ might have a large following, a ‘micro-influencer’s’ audience might feel closer to them therefore provide you with a higher conversion rate.
  • Use analytics to measure results. Like any other marketing campaign, influencer marketing needs to have strong, black and white results. You can measure the return of your investment to build a data driven marketing campaign in the future.

The marketing trends for 2022 are overwhelming, and we’ve shared the ones which we think will be most relevant. But it’s always worth doing your own research (or employing an agency who will spend several hours doing it for you!) and discovering the perfect trends for your business. However, if you feel overwhelmed by what’s out there, we can help! We’re experts in spotting new trends, planning and publishing content, creating beautifully crafted ad campaigns, connecting with your consumers and constantly learning what works (and what doesn’t!).

Written by Alice-Rae Pringle
Digital Marketing Manager

Are you a business looking to up your social media game?

We’d love to work with you – chat to us about our beautiful social media marketing solutions (as well as amazing ways to implement these marketing trends into your brand!) and ways we can help your business be the best in 2022.

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