Written by Caroline Cox on Nov 15 , 2021

From social selling to geo-targeting, these are the social media trends poised to take 2022 by storm.

Here, you’ll find:

  • What new and time-tested social platforms have to offer marketers
  • How social media content is evolving
  • Why social shopping has grown in popularity
  • Ways to take advantage of the latest social media trends

Few things make me feel more ancient than having to Google a meme or social media trend because I simply don’t “get it.” 

It makes me, a humble millennial, feel like this:


Such is the nature of social media trends, which crop up and fizzle out like dying stars seemingly every day. 

With social media apps as popular as ever, social media marketing (SMM) is a must-have tool in every marketer’s bag of tricks. Staying up to date with top social media trends can help companies maintain a competitive edge.

The world of social media is changing faster than you can say, “TikTok made me buy it.” Thankfully, the approach to social media marketing stays mostly the same. Let’s take a look at the top social media trends predicted for 2022 and how they can affect your paid social campaigns.

man livestreaming

In 2022, we’ll likely still see live social media content regularly used by influencers, brands, and notable people. (Image via Unsplash)

1. Live feeds help connect you with your audience

Amid the rollercoaster pivots in the last 18 months or so, virtual events became the norm. But not everyone opted to hop on Zoom to host their digital gatherings. Rather, many leveraged live social media instead.

Livestreaming on platforms like Facebook and Instagram allows viewers to interact with the video host in real-time. Attendees can often submit reactions (such as a heart emoji). 

They can also add comments or questions that can be answered live. In 2022, we’ll likely still see live social media content regularly used by influencers, brands, and notable people.

Pro tip: Launching a new product or service? Go live on one of your social platforms (ideally the one with the most followers). You can tease the new offering and answer any questions viewers have about it.

2. Short video content reigns supreme

From TikToks to Reels to paid social ads, videos are taking over social media platforms. The white-hot popularity of TikTok likely (or definitely) inspired Instagram to launch its own version in the form of Reels back in 2020.

But now, even apps like Facebook and Pinterest are getting on board with their own video features.

Social Media Today reports that as much as 82% of online content will consist of videos by 2022. Luckily, you don’t need a huge budget or Oscar-worthy resources to create your own video content. 

Here’s a high-level look at how to make video marketing work at your brand:

  • Build your plan
  • Leverage free or budget-friendly software and tools
  • Determine the goals of your content
  • Create a video strategy
  • Analyze the video metrics

3. Social selling continues to rise in popularity

In the past few years, the omnichannel marketing approach has led to social media platforms doubling as shopping channels, or “social selling.” Customers no longer need to click a button to get to the e-commerce website and make a purchase. These days, they can buy straight from the app.

Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest have been refining and enhancing their shopping features in the last several months. And since social media reportedly influences 71% of buying decisions, platforms making shopping more convenient just makes sense.

TikTok’s collaboration with Shopify allowed merchants to create their paid social campaigns directly from their Shopify dashboard. 

Today, social commerce is becoming more central on TikTok than it is on Facebook and Instagram, with influencers creating sponsored videos and users leveraging tags like #tiktokmademebuyit. (The tag has, no joke, more than 6.3 billion views — and counting.)

pins on a map

Marketers are going further by adding tags of popular locations to their posts in order to garner readers’ attention. (Image via Rawpixel)

4. Purpose-driven campaigns are here to stay

According to a Twitter survey, 74% of respondents expect brands to demonstrate acts of kindness.

Since audiences want brands to take action and show thought leadership on important issues, don’t be afraid to take a company-wide stand on something meaningful. When in doubt, marketing with empathy can get you far while also helping you build brand trust.

Many social media apps make aligning yourself with causes a breeze. For example, you can set up a fundraiser in just a few quick steps on Instagram.

Pro tip: Google recently announced it’s working on deals with Instagram and TikTok to index video content in search results, offering even more visibility. 

5. Geo-targeting can help steal market share

Social media platforms are making it easier for marketers to target local audiences. As such, brands are taking advantage of geo-targeting to reach people based on their location.

Since social media profiles often contain precise information about the person’s location, local targeting is quite effective. By adding a certain location to social media content, you automatically draw the local audience in and provide a more eye-catching, personalized message.

6. Micro-influencers are gaining traction

Micro-influencers (those with 10,000 or fewer followers) tend to generate higher engagement than macro-influencers with larger audiences do. They also often cost less while providing access to smaller segments of your target audience. 

Along with friends and family, most people trust the opinions of influencers they follow. And they also appreciate the transparency of knowing when an influencer is posting an ad vs. when a paid partnership isn’t clearly stated.

In 2022, many brands are discovering the effectiveness of these partnerships on social media to grow their audiences and foster brand loyalty. Micro-influencers are becoming more effective since they are more accessible to both the audience and the marketer.

The takeaway

As consumers continue to spend a significant part of their days on social media, platforms are catering to their demands through new features, convenient tools, and more ways to post. 

By taking advantage of the newest developments, technologies, and trends, it’s possible to stay ahead of the competition without hurting your budget.

This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of reading, yoga, quick vegetarian recipes, and making lists.

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