Social networking trends for 2022 //HubSpot & Talkwalker

29 November 2021

We are now living in the air of the consumer, accentuated by the arrival of the pandemic. What are they looking for? Faster, better, and fully personalized service.


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The success of Tiktok, its impact

  • Record number of downloads, reference application for getting in touch with consumers. Extremely personalised content, enables contact with qualified audiences.
  • First app outside Facebook to reach 3 billion downloads.
  • Offers cutting-edge options, such as the Tiktok summary, allowing users to respond to job offers in a creative way.

=> Highly used among 25-34 year olds (56%) and 18-24 year olds (36%)

  • A popular app and one that is regularly broadcast on other media, Tiktok is a revolution in content delivery (helped by the global pandemic).

The evolution of social ads

With cookies being phased out by 2023, the future of social ads is uncertain.

  • Social ads are becoming an invaluable resource for advertisers, allowing them to reach audiences in a more personal way thanks to the billions of pieces of information available on users.
  • The use of adblockers is growing, it is important to use user-generated content as consumers trust other consumers.
    Importance of personalisation, making use of the vast amount of data available is essential.

It is effective to “engage, entertain or educate”, it helps to develop the right tone for communication with its consumers.

The growth of social selling

  • Social selling is becoming important as the buying journey of users is changing due to new and innovative selling solutions.

=> increase in influencer marketing.

=> need for attractive visuals.

  • It is necessary to guarantee a fluid path by being reactive and personalising content, while simplifying the customer path, as the process must be fast.

=> use UGC to highlight the product.

You also need to keep up with social selling trends (e.g. pinterest launches buyable pins)

New post-pandemic content formats

  • Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than half a billion additional people are using social networks. There has also been an increase in the use of audio platforms, for podcasts, etc.
  • Consumers are setting the trends. Importance of adapting to wider lifestyles, and listening to understand the consumer. Need to target the right audience. (age, location, language, etc.)
  • Expanding into the world of audio is an increasingly attractive idea. There is definitely value in thinking about creating podcasts or highlighting live conversations.
  • Need for quick, snackable content. Everything needs to be digestible, while of course being personalised.
  • Need to improve user experience, for example through virtual reality features, etc.

Alternating modes of social media consumption

  • Today, 65% of internet users get their information from networks (yt, fb, insta, snap, twitter…), which represents a great opportunity, but also a risk because of the risk of infox, misleading content. There is a real problem of disinformation.
  • Need to fight against disinformation.
  • You have to be honest with your audience. Importance of keeping the client’s trust by not sharing inaccurate or irrelevant information.
  • Sharing information must resonate with the audience: For 84% of consumers, it is the fact of having watched a video that convinced them to make a purchase.

The maturity of influencer marketing

  • Influencer marketing is seeing very good results; more and more followers base for influencers, and the risk is low. But it is important to find a balance.
  • The pandemic has made the communities of different influencers grow. Nowadays, all influencers are important regardless of their size.
  • Define your goals before contacting influencers, so that they are in line with your goals and image.
  • Be authentic; you need a real connection with influencers, and value-driven content.

=>Always take into account the reputation of the influencer in their community and beyond.

  • Never underestimate the impact of influencers. The brands they work with can be rated, so be careful as this can be important when negotiating for a fee.

Decentralisation of social media

  • Aspect that characterises social networks: socialising, connecting, maintaining relationships.
  • Communities are the key to business/customer relationships. Many brands will and have already started to introduce social elements in their user experience.

=>increased engagement

  • Consumers want interaction, so adding a social element within your products/platform will foster the development of a brand community.
  • The user experience must be constantly considered. The slightest error in the hook can cause a user to drop out

The social networking system on its own platform is to be used with care, as it gives more control to the users, who will be less passive about the content that is shared (and/or censored).

The rise of metavers and virtual reality

  • There is a huge increase in interest in virtual reality.
  • There is a need to bring interest to the development of the digital space, as the desire for more immersive experiences is growing. (e.g. video games).
  • Consumer needs will adapt to new innovations and features in the field. Brands will need to be extremely aware of what the consumer is saying and thinking.
  • Although the possibilities in the metaverse are endless, they will have no impact if they do not meet a consumer need.
  • Need to gather a lot of information and create an inclusive space. Too much inclusiveness is better than not enough.

Importance of watching the competition to see what they do well, and learn from their mistakes.

The metaverse is uncharted territory. We need to keep an open mind, and experiment a lot because we don’t know yet how this technology will develop.

Developing the inclusiveness of brands

  • CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is a topic that is increasingly present in conversations since 2020.

=> focus of brands on CSR as a topic that matters to the public.

  • The pandemic has changed many lifestyles, and consumers expect more from the brands they buy from. Sustainable companies are valued by the public, but consumers want evidence of action.
  • There is the same demand from employees, most of whom prefer to work for companies with strong objectives.
  • Consumers have always held companies to account, but it is becoming imperative to address the social issues surrounding the company. It is important to be authentically engaged with the public.
  • The people who represent the company need to be authentic. Speech must match actions, and it is increasingly important to build (and/or support) your community.

=> having a plan for the next crisis is a necessity which was demonstrated by the pandemic

=> include your audience as much as possible by listening to them before speaking/reacting

Beyond words, it is actions that really matter. To keep your audience, you have to make an effort through action and not just statements

The growing power of communities

  • To take advantage of social networks, strategic content creation with the user at the centre is needed to build community. Many communities on the networks have a real impact on the market.
  • Isolation/social distancing has increased the need to socialise, and many groups are developing in a big way.
  • e.g. many social movements have come to the fore in recent years (BLM, #metoo, etc.), initiated by communities.

Now these groups are no longer passive, and are able to take action to address the issues they face.

  • Transparency and brand authenticity, as well as engagement and recognition are needed.
  • Your community will not magically appear, nor will it sustain itself. It takes persistence for them to appreciate the feeling of belonging to a group, and engaging with your community makes them want to stay.

Be careful not to lose sight of the topics of interest that matter to your brand. You should also be careful about the social topics to which you attach your brand name.
Relationship crises can be disastrous.

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