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10 social media trends that will drive growth in 2022 (and how to implement them)

Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge.

For decades, advertisers have taken advantage of consumers’ preferences and fought with ongoing trends with the ultimate goal of luring them on their side and preserving their trust.

The pandemic has changed our shopping habits, and the overall interaction with brands, but what always remained was the sense of familiarity to which consumers had always tended to. The past challenges have led consumers to align their purchasing decisions even more closely with their personal values, and that’s where caution, ingenuity and perseverance won.

Moving from in-person shopping to digital, consumers became quite picky towards brands, not even understanding their own preferences. Some estimate that these shifts are temporary, while others cite that they’re here to stay.

In order to ease your campaign journeys in 2022, Hunch gathered interesting, yet valuable insights on ongoing and rising trends in the industry, backed up with our own platform data, as well as Hunch customer surveys.

Social Media in numbers; TikTok’s 1000% rise

Social Media in numbers

There is more to explore on social media than ever before. It's no secret that the world is in a frenzy. People are flocking to their daily escapes on social media, and there have been some impressive stats about the pace of new social media network platform adoption.

Here’s what we got on social network usage:

#1: Not your usual generation gap

For GenZ:

  • YouTube is the platform they spend the most time on (23%)
  • TikTok is the runner-up (21%)
  • and Instagram (20%)

For Millennials:

  • obviously Facebook (36%)
  • followed by Instagram (24%)
  • and YouTube (22%)

For Gen X:

  • nearly 60% report spending the most time on Facebook
  • followed by YouTube (21%)
  • and Instagram (8%)

#2 Instagram as a no1 buying inspiration

Also, in Stackla’s report, global consumers shared which social platforms they go to most for buying inspiration, and the top three responses were, you guessed it:

  • Instagram (47%)
  • Facebook (38%)
  • and YouTube (36%)

#3 What are users doing on social today?

They’re watching video.

Trends are changing, video is growing. Last year we heard that Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing platform. But, we’re seeing the growth of Instagram Reels, the growth of TikTok as a social behemoth. TikTok even went from a potential ban in the USA to the biggest growing video network. Budgets are moving there, but more importantly, users are moving there as well. They’re spending more time in Reels than in all other feeds combined. The popularity of reels inspired creators who dwelled in other mediums to repurpose their content, for examples bloggers are creating voice over snippets introducing their latest articles and podcasters are starting to create video podcasts for their brands.

Backed-up with some numbers, the recent Hunch Creative Video Studio Webinar data shows that:

  • Facebook users are focused on stories and content - increase of 55% compared to 2020
  • Instagram Reels are growing the fastest, with users spending 64% more time viewing video content than last year
  • YouTube generated 30% more revenue in 2020, or nearly $20bil
  • TikTok dominates with 1157.76% increase in its global userbase
  • Pinterest's growth rate is relatively consistent at 3.1% similar to 2021 and still considered one of the best platforms to promote your business using quality graphics.

So, what does this mean for you? Do you want to keep spending money on traditional media, like still image placements, or do you want to be where your users are?

Advertising on Social 2.0

Paid Social, why is it more important than ever?

If brick-and-mortar is not hot anymore, how do consumers do their shopping then?

Since it's the digital era, and everyone has one, our handy-dandy mobile phones became an extension to our hands. No wonder we’re lighting the room with the little screens.

#4 From IRL to URL by 4.5bil

  • 78% of online purchases made from Facebook ads happened on mobile, as by Facebook’s annual report
  • 56% of consumers say they’re more influenced by social media images and videos when online shopping now than they were before the pandemic
  • 48% of people on Instagram who bought something from a new brand said it was because they saw a sponsored ad

Therefore, paid social advertising should always be a starting point for performance marketers. Businesses tend to leverage paid social because organic reach is tough in the current online landscape.

Not only do 4.48 billion people log in to their favorite social app, but they also check in to an average 6.6 social media platforms daily. Mindblown.

Putting the ‘personal’ in personalization

But, where's the line between boring, static, generic ads and enhanced eye-catching dynamic creatives? People have a really short attention span, so marketers only have less than 8 seconds to charm them.

That’s why users are wandering through the online store space, and McKinsey states roughly 75% of them tried a new shopping behavior during the pandemic.

Familiarity is always a powerful draw marketers have up their sleeve. Consumers tend to bond with things they can familiarize themselves with, especially if it resembles them.

Personalization is the key takeaway here.

#5 Personalizing makes business sense

Companies that capture more value from personalization grow faster. They report 40% more revenue from personalized marketing actions and tactics:

  • 70% of consumers say it’s important for brands to provide them with personalized experiences
  • 72% of people say they are more likely to purchase from a brand if it consistently provides them with a more personalized experience, Stackla reports
  • 76% said that receiving personalized communications was a key factor in prompting their consideration of a brand
  • 78% said such content made them more likely to repurchase

#6 High personalization, high expectations

From web to mobile and in-person interactions, consumers now view personalization as the default standard for engagement. They expect the businesses they buy from to recognize them as individuals and know their interests:

  • 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions
  • 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen
  • 78% of consumers are more likely to recommend companies that personalize, because word-of-mouth has always been the joker card

With great power comes great responsibility. Take note.

#7 Authenticity and consumer awareness

Creative is a way to build authentic connections with your audience, delight them and convince them that shopping for your products is exactly the right choice they could make.

Authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support, and consumers crave personalized experiences.

  • 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support (with 50% saying it’s very important)
  • 83% of consumers believe retailers need to provide more authentic shopping experiences to customers like them

But, be aware that it’s not the end of the game when you just give them what they want and make them buy it. Turning your consumers into lifelong customers should be the completion of the customer journey arc.

Hunch in stats

Hunch in stats

To better prepare you for what’s coming in 2022, Hunch data nerds crunched some facts and numbers from our platform, and here’s what we got:

The catch is, obviously, in building amazing customer journeys on social, which personalize experiences and convert customers with the right creative at the right time.

#8 Indispensable personalization, but with a Hunch

Hunch data shows that 79% of customers show better engagement on direct brand advertisers who demonstrate they know them on a personal level.

Tailoring messaging to user's needs leads to relevant product recommendations, ultimately to better engagement and alas, better results.

'Cause in the end, it's all about numbers:

  • Keeping creatives on-brand can help improve ROAS up to 120%
  • Displaying hyper-targeted ads based on user location drives 3X better engagement

Ever-evolving customer needs have made personalization crucial to your campaign’s success. And what fuels personalized digital advertising more than dynamic creative ads? Yet again, many businesses still rely on generic social ads and blast them to audiences on an endless loop. You can do so much better.

#9 Overcome marketing challenges with Contextualization

Roses are red, advertising can be tricky, contextualize your creatives, ‘cause customers be picky.

A little off-topic sketch, but you know that you need to understand your prospect’s situation in order to position your marketing content effectively. And do that in a divergent way, it’s quite a challenge to differentiate yourself on social.

Knowing that, what do you think is the holy grail for brands and agencies looking to stand out on paid social in 2022? Well:

  • 83% surveyed opted for contextual creatives

Therefore, you should always think about using a behavioral strategy to optimize the messaging and delivery. And try leveraging creative differentiation, since creative is the only variable you’re in control of. But remember, it’s not just about blasting aesthetically pleasing ads.

#10 Rewriting the rules of Marketing

It’s obvious that we’re still processing the effects of the iOS14 and ATT updates, and the newly-emerged privacy restrictions have made it difficult to track attribution on paid social.

Adding to that, users have seen it all, and all your common efforts may lead to your usually well-performing ads being fatigued and ignored. What can you do to freshen up your marketing arsenal?

Of course, give ‘em a little motion.

2022 is all about video and genuinity. The content is no longer static. Video is on the rise + people are also in motion and going places, and the numbers don’t lie:

  • All respondents plan to increase usage of video compared to image ads in their campaigns on paid social in 2022
  • 78% of our respondents said that localization and contextualization of ads is worth investing in to get better engagement

It’s never not a bad time to check in with your users to understand their behavior towards transparency.

What’s in it in 2022?

The challenge for businesses of all shapes and sizes? Understanding which trends are likely to go beyond 2021. So being genuine is a must.

And that’s why various disruptors are achieving such rapid growth after all. Being authentic, responsive, whole-hearted; delivering the right message at the right time. And the key takeaway - personalization. Bingo!

Companies that excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster rates of revenue growth than their peers. And the closer organizations get to the consumer, the bigger the gains. Even so, research shows that personalization most often drives 10-15% revenue lift (with company-specific lift spanning 5-25%, driven by sector and ability to execute).

Authenticity was never enough.

Play-up your content game. The next generation of networks is live, the content is no longer still. There’s TikTok growing purely from video.

​​What this means is that you're no longer in the game with your competitors, but content creators who are making content purely to grab users' attention. So, regardless of whether you are crafting a coffee shop marketing or eCommerce marketing strategy the sole purpose of your marketing strategy is to grab your users’ attention, but better.

You’re looking at the next generation of content, the one which enables you to produce high-quality creatives that convert.

In video we trust, and on creative we rely on. And if you’re not sure how to leverage these opportunities with personalization at scale, dynamic creative is your content bullseye.