Social Media Trends from 2021 to take into the New Year

Michelle HeathersFebruary 23, 2022Tips

Feel like leaving 2021 completely in the dust? While it might be tempting to treat 2021 like a twin to 2020 and just look toward what’s ahead, there are actually a number of valuable trends to carry into 2022, particularly for social media managers. As social platforms continue to grow with no end in sight (hello to the 3.7 billion global social media users in 2021 ), trend tracking can be an important job for marketers as they evaluate their content strategies for the year ahead. Identifying trends also helps social media managers navigate the ever-shifting social media landscape, which saw a big upheaval over the course of the last two years. 

Trend 1: Video is Here to Stay

There’s just no denying it — video content is here to stay! This top trend for the last several years will continue to dominate social metrics in 2022, so social media managers need to strategize accordingly. In 2021, video-sharing app TikTok saw 3 million global downloads , with major brands jumping on the bandwagon with great success. TikTok’s rise in popularity also affected other, more established social media platforms, with increased video optimizations and brand tools. 

Brands that can create short, compelling video campaigns are the ones who will see some of the biggest returns in 2022. To get the most out of your video content, think about leveraging well-performing organic reels or videos into paid ads. Since video is still relatively new to the social scene, there’s plenty of space for brands to make a name for themselves with creative and original content that speaks to their goals and messaging. One of the biggest opportunities of embracing this trend is the competitive edge it offers from a currently unsaturated advertising landscape on TikTok. 

Trend 2: Storytelling is (Still) Key 

The last few years saw an increase in big cultural conversations happening on social media, with audiences expecting authentic brand engagement and stories and, in general, relatable content. What drives these types of content pieces? Dynamic storytelling . Whether your brand highlights customer stories, employee content, or ‘day-in-the-life’ perspectives, going beyond basic product and service posts will resonate with 2022 audiences. 

The key here is to choose relevant social and cultural topics that make sense for your brand’s story and then work hard to keep your messaging consistent . A great example of a brand utilizing storytelling to resonate with audiences is Dove, an ever-present fixture in the social commentary landscape when they embraced their core values in their 2021 #PassTheCrown campaign

Trend 3: Social Selling Keeps on Growing

 Facebook was one social platform that has made a big push into eCommerce in the last few years. New features on both Facebook and Instagram allowed retailers to directly connect users to products and services with in-stream shopping. In 2022, expect these functions (and the metrics) to grow, with options like live-shopping predicted to boom. Chinese retailers have already seen this massive trend soar. More social shopping tools, like links to products nestled within Instagram Stories and integrated cart features , that emerged in 2021 are expected to be fully realized in the coming months of 2022. 

Trends may come and go, but identifying the needs and wants of your social audience will always serve you well. Trends can help you reach new audiences and connect with existing audiences in new and exciting ways. Truly embracing a trend means singling out what will work best for your brand's resources, and then making it your own

What 2021 trends are you taking into the new year? Tell us in the comments!

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