2022 social media marketing trends on our radar

Glass crystal ball with soft lighting in the background

The pandemic caused a shift in consumer behaviors that has led to an increase in screen time. Online streaming services, e-commerce and social media consumption are all booming.

As our online digital habits changed over the last two years, social media platforms have evolved and adapted at an even greater rate to meet consumer demands and increase user engagement. Today, there are more than 4.25 million social media users worldwide with the average person spending about 145 minutes per day on social media.

From launching ads that link to direct in-app purchases on Instagram to short-form videos like Reels, here is a roundup of social media marketing trends Hodges has its eyes on in 2022.

AI and predictive behavior

(Source: Deloitte)

Personalized content is key if you want your social media ads and posts to resonate with your audiences. According to Deloitte, brands will leverage AI to predict customer behaviors, helping inform social media creatives and messaging alike.

Having a separate audio strategy

(Source: Hootsuite)

Podcasts are popular. Today there are over two million shows available to stream, and social media platforms are leaning into the audio-only trend: Clubhouse launched in spring 2020, Twitter launched Spaces and Facebook reported efforts to launch a live-audio format.

Hodges has even launched its own podcast called Teaming Up, if you’re looking for more insights on all things communications and PR.

Hybrid events are here to stay

(Source: Inc.)

Networking, educational and even multi-day conference events shifted to a virtual setting in 2020, many taking place on social media live and pre-recorded streams. While many found online events more cost-effective and flexible to attend, others yearned for the return of in-person events. In 2021, event hosts provided both options to participants with hybrid events and Inc. predicts that model is here to stay.

Rise in social commerce

(Source: Hootsuite)

Major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become popular shopping platforms and ads today allow users to make a purchase with the click of a button. eMarketer predicts social commerce will be an $80 billion industry by 2025.

Co-creation / co-campaigns


Along the same vein of influencer marketing, this trend is about brands tapping into already established social media communities through partnerships. During a webinar last year, Hootsuite shared a great example where Chipotle and e.l.f cosmetics, two brands with a large social media following, collaborated on make-up products. To take things a step further, the brands partnered with famous drag TikTokers Trixie Matel and Kim Chi Chi to produce content.

@trixiemattel ICONIC 🌯+💄 Watch Kim Chi and me try out the @elfyeah x @chipotle collection and our custom Eyes. Chips. Face. Bowl NOW on my YouTube channel! #ad ♬ original sound – trixiemattel

Short-form video content

(Source: Hubspot)

The uptick in short-form videos on social media kicked-off at the start of 2020 with the growth of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. In September 2021, Instagram launched Reels. According to Hubspot, more B2C brands will be investing this type of content to increase brand awareness, advertise products, increase revenue and increase engagement.

Authentic, inclusive marketing

(Source: Deloitte)

Consumers and key audiences will continue to diversify, and brands must be intentional to create inclusive content that represents all customers. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, younger consumers take greater notice of inclusive advertising.

Ads will get more creative

(Source: Hootsuite)

More than half (51.4%) of the 18,100 marketers Hootsuite recently surveyed said that they’re planning to increase their paid social spend in 2022, making it even tougher for brands to break through. Social media marketers need to get more creative in their ads, mirroring them to look like organic content, because the best way to stand out is by blending in.

With more than half the world’s population on some form of social media, it’s important for marketers to keep up with the everchanging landscape.

Amanda Colocho

Amanda joined Hodges in 2015 after earning her undergraduate degree in mass communications and public relations from VCU. Since then, she’s been flexing her media relations, content strategy and social media muscles on accounts like Virginia Distillery Company, Motorcycle Law Group, Hilldrup, Kroger, Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Swedish Match’s Umgås Magazine.

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