Being the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 billion global downloads, TikTok, a short-term video platform, is poised to continue its dominance in the social media space, according to the latest report from Talkwalker and Hubspot.
The 2022 Social Media Trends Report provides insights on why trends matter and how brands can take action in driving results for the coming years. Consumer intelligence company Talkwalker and customer relationship management (CRM) platform HubSpot reached out to 70 marketing professionals, global experts, industry veterans, and audiences to come up with an analysis that will guide brands in their brand journeys.
“Consumers have taken control, with more demands, more urgency, more unpredictability,” said Elena Melnikova, Talkwalker CMO. “They’re driving this year’s trends, but we’re giving brands the power to take back control. By revealing the trends for 2022 using accelerated consumer intelligence, and inspiring actions, Talkwalker is enabling brands to drive business value next year, and beyond.”
The report found that TikTok awareness has grown exponentially since its initial release in September 2016. Developed by Chinese multinational internet technology company ByteDance, TikTok’s popularity skyrocketed with a 61% increase in mentions year over year (YoY) during the first half of 2021 with conversations growing steadily until the end of 2019.
According to the report, TikTok has the power to help brands connect with their target market especially when they engage them.
“As the app looks to introduce an e-commerce aspect and monetization model, brands that want to connect with consumers need to be TikTok savvy,” the report said.
The pandemic has given e-commerce a significant boost and social media platforms have jumped into the industry by providing online merchants with new features and channels that complement the medium. For example, the report said that 69% of marketers plan to disburse more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.
Talks on metaverse have been hovering around for quite some time and the report said that it is slowly gaining momentum — and fast. The metaverse is an amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented, and the virtual, which combines subsets of technology, merging them into a single entity.
The Talkwalker and Hubspot report finds that brands were already slowly moving toward virtual reality when COVID-19 hit, resulting in an acute need for online socializing and interaction.
“The Metaverse is becoming the future playground for brands, where real and virtual worlds converge,” said Tania Tai, managing director, DIA Brand Consultants (Malaysia). “It’s exciting to see how this extended reality has evolved and how brand owners have responded. Expect more action in this realm, as a platform to share brand love and reinvent the fabric of society.”
The gaming industry is leading in this trend because it’s been ahead in the utilization of digital reality for a few years now. Ahead of the pandemic, there were already brands that introduced virtual dressing rooms for shoppers using (augmented reality) AR-driven features across social media platforms.
“The widespread availability of technology and social media gives AR games a strong incentive to create and maintain a digital space or metaverse of their own,” the report said in its trend analysis. “Competitive brands can then insert themselves into these virtual realities.”
The other trends that Talkwalker and Hubspot saw when conducting the report include:
- Social ads will develop, as cookies get crunched
- Post-pandemic content will shape up to consumer needs
- Omnichannel engagement will change the way consumers engage with social media
- Maturing influencer marketing will finally come of age
- Brands will lead in social media decentralization
- Brand inclusivity will be brand critical
- Communities will develop, and take control
“The tumultuous events of the last 18 months have created widespread uncertainty for marketers across all industries,” said Susanne Ronqvist Ahmadi, VP of international marketing at HubSpot. “Although we have started to see the light at the end of the tunnel with some of the biggest brands showing signs of recovery from the impact of the pandemic, knowing the trends most likely to define the coming year is one of the best ways marketing leaders can combat the ongoing unpredictability and set their teams up for success in 2022.”
The insights from the report were based on Talkwalker’s Consumer Intelligence Platform for the last 13 months, prior to August 2021. For some examples, up to five years of back data was used. Given the nature of the topic and the importance of forecasting trends accurately, the report put emphasis on examples and data gathered between January and August 2021.