Combining the five key trends listed in Hootsuite’s Global Social Trends Report 2022 and the survey data of more than 18,000 social media agency staffs, this article lists the 9 major social media trends in 2022-as cross-border Sellers, come and master the future competition dynamics!


1. TikTok will become the most important marketing social network


In the past few years, Instagram has occupied the top spot among all major marketing needs, becoming the social media platform with the fastest growth and the highest return on investment. But now, the situation has reversed. In September 2021, TikTok has more than 1 billion users, making it the 7th most popular social media platform in the world. Excluding the chat-type social media software, TikTok is the fourth most popular online platform after Instagram. As of January 2021, TikTok has only 689 million users. It increased by 45% in less than a year. Prior to this, the platform has achieved the largest leap in history: between 2018 and 2020, the global user base has increased by 1157%.

Based on this perspective, Instagram’s monthly active users will only grow at a rate of 6% in 2020. Google search trends show that TikTok has an absolute advantage over Instagram. Last year, TikTok’s search demand increased by 173%. But the search demand of Instagram Reels only increased by 22%, and the search demand of the Story sector dropped by 33%. Despite TikTok’s rapid growth, most companies are reluctant to invest in the platform. Take Hootsuite’s social media trend report as an example. Only 35% of respondents said they plan to expand investment in TikTok next year. Most companies continue to bet on the “predecessors” of social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook. But things are far from this. When respondents were asked which social platform is the most effective for achieving their business goals, 24% chose TikTok, which is 700% more than in 2020.

TikTok has launched several useful business tools in the past two years, including business profile, advertising flow and creator economy. This may also be the reason why companies are more optimistic about this year’s economic prospects. If there are still brands that have not poured into TikTok, it will only be a matter of time. It is recommended that cross-border merchants who have not yet settled on the platform seize the bonus period, rush to explore TikTok to obtain marketing content inspiration, formulate the basic prototype of TikTok marketing strategy, and expand the channel matrix to open the battle situation.


2. A small website costs a lot


New research shows that consumers may be more willing to advertise on channels such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest compared to larger social networks. A study commissioned by Kantar by TikTok found that consumers think TikTok ads are better than ads on other platforms. A study conducted by Snapchat commissioned by Nielsen found that advertisements on Snapchat have a wider coverage than TV advertisements, allowing consumers to generate stronger awareness and purchase intentions. Pinterest business research shows that ads on Pinterest have a higher return on investment and a lower conversion rate. Google search trends also show that in the past two years, ad search demand on such sites has continued to surge. And TikTok is also leading this trend.

Smaller networks are not flooded with advertisements like Facebook and Instagram, so users are less harassed by advertisements. In early 2021, in order to cope with Apple’s iOS 14 update, many social media marketers also had to develop diversified advertising strategies. At that time, Apple officially announced that it would provide all users with the “opt-in ad tracking” option. This updated feature prevented platforms like Facebook from delivering accurate ads to a large number of users and prevented users from being harassed by platform partners. But the most important thing is that TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat all advocate cooperative advertisers, focusing on “fitting” advertisements with the ecological content of ordinary users. Form a benign advertising presentation, which is less disruptive and has a higher conversion rate. French beauty brand MAKE UP FOREVER released an information flow advertisement on TikTok as part of its brand awareness campaign. The event has attracted more than 11 million views in France.

Recommendations for domestic cross-border merchants:
-Examine your own platform engagement to see if you underestimate the user potential of Pinterest and Snapchat
-Study the content posted by other users and try to improve the brand tone to adapt to the atmosphere of the target audience
-Compared with the ecological content published in the past, if there is no significant marketing effect for a long time, it is recommended to change to another social media platform for testing


3. Social media shopping is popular


During the pre-epidemic period, social media business has unlimited business opportunities for highly innovative companies. Moreover, with the fixed consumption habits of social media, coupled with the requirements of home office, undoubtedly created perfect conditions for the explosive growth of social media shopping.

According to eMarketer’s prediction, by 2025, social media business will become a “sweet pastry” with a market value of 80 billion US dollars. This is due to the same large-scale growth of the e-commerce industry (the market size increased by 18% in 2020 alone). Before the outbreak, 81% of consumers had used social media to explore new brands. Many companies have realized that only by allowing these users to directly order products within the social media platform can they “cater to the trend”. Because the jump switching between software or web pages will make users feel cumbersome, so the mobile terminal abandonment rate is very high.

Most social networks now have in-app shopping solutions, including live video streaming, and are working hard to iterate new features to meet the ever-increasing needs of users. Currently, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are still the most popular. TikTok, Twitter and YouTube are also catching up. Social media commerce may not replace e-commerce anytime soon. The type of business differs depending on the positioning of the merchant, and it is recommended to consider clearly before designing the retail experience. It is recommended to create a Facebook store or Instagram store and test Product Pins on Pinterest. These social media stores have a certain degree of flexibility in design, so it is necessary to allow customers to visually connect with the brand as seamlessly as possible. Focusing on the products sought after by platform fans, and trying to place order content or advertisements with shopping links will help open up contact with potential consumers.


4. Brand communication, don’t call!


Between lockdowns, disruptions in the global supply chain, and labor shortages, consumers have placed more stringent demands on companies than ever before. They found that using social media can make it easier to get answers to these questions. In a survey conducted by Nielsen commissioned by Facebook, 64% of people said that they prefer to communicate with companies by text rather than by phone. According to Gartner, by 2023, 60% of customer service requests will be processed through digital channels.

Despite rising market demand, many organizations are not ready to provide effective customer support through social media. According to Hootsuite’s 2022 survey, 71% of organizations either have not yet started building customer support services or have no interest at all. But recent survey data show that this trend may be changing. 59% of respondents believe that social customer care increases the value of their organization.

Recommendations for domestic cross-border merchants:
-Consider social media customer service strategies
-Create web-specific answer templates for frequently asked questions
-Use customer service AI to improve response time
-Hire dedicated customer service agents for social media channels


5. Short videos dominate


Video hosting software company Vidyard said that 60% of all videos released on the Internet in 2020 will be less than 2 minutes in length. This data makes the length of videos on social media platforms more reasonable. Two years ago, with the advent of IGTV and Facebook Watch, many people believed that long video was the future trend. YouTube, known for its long videos, rewards videos longer than 10 minutes, and Facebook also wants to get a share of the same field. Companies have produced “TV series” for their social platforms. Will Smith even narrated the IGTV show of National Geographic. Facebook seems not only to challenge YouTube, but also plans to compete with cable TV networks. But then TikTok entered North America. In response to competition, Instagram launched Reels at the end of 2020. In the fall of 2021, Instagram has abandoned IGTV, and no one talks about Facebook Watch anymore. Even YouTube, the last long video platform on social media, has launched a new format-YouTube Shorts.

Before the success of Reels and TikTok, Story (another short video format) achieved rapid user growth from 2018 to 2020. Unfortunately, since the Reels feature was released in 2020, Facebook’s Story 500 million users have not seen an increase. Twitter’s Fleet and LinkedIn’s Story are also products of attempts to replicate the short video format model for development, but they also announced failures this year. This shows that social media users prefer short videos that are entertaining and attractive. For whatever reason, Hootsuite’s 2022 social media trend survey shows that businesses also prefer business cooperation in the form of short videos.


6. You will outsource (at least part of) your participation strategy to the creator


The “Creator Economy” has existed for about ten years. But during the epidemic, as people tried to diversify their incomes, the trend flourished. But we are not just talking about millionaires or YouTube stars. Now, ordinary people can also realize their hobbies, create sideline income, or find freelance jobs through social media to solve market needs. “Creators” include both professional and influential marketers and amateur content creators. As of 2021, 50 million people consider themselves the creators of social networks. By 2022, companies are expected to invest US$15 billion in online celebrity marketing. In the United States alone, 72.5% of marketers are expected to implement online celebrity marketing strategies by 2022.

Social networks promote this craze by adding many new native monetization tools, such as:
-TikTok Creator Market
-Instagram Branded Content Advertising
-Facebook’s brand partnership manager
-YouTube Brand Connect
-Twitter paid followers

These tools are designed to allow content creators to get paid so they can continue to produce value for brands and users on the platform of their choice.


7. Start running paid ads


43% of respondents said that “declining coverage and increasing paid advertising budgets” are the biggest challenges they face on social media-second only to the continuous production of high-quality platform content. However, the above conclusions are for all interviewees. Small and medium enterprises (SMBs) list the decline in organic coverage as their number one challenge. Especially on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, the decline in user coverage has been documented for many years. And most SMEs have limited funds for “pay-to-play” strategies. The epidemic has caused businesses to reduce their advertising expenditures, which has brought fluctuations in the volume of social media advertising. And those companies that continue to advertise on a constant basis complain that the highly saturated advertising is facing lower conversion rates.

In addition, Apple allows users to choose not to allow Facebook and other software to conduct behavior tracking, which also prompted Facebook advertisers to redesign their advertising targeting methods. In fact, the average user contact rate for content on the Facebook platform is 5.2%. This means that if the business does not invest any advertising budget, only 5% of fans may see the posted post. Of course, you can also extend your social media strategy to other platforms. For example, TikTok can easily help businesses achieve explosive growth. But many businesses actually don’t want to easily give up their previously accumulated fans. Regardless of the current budget, it is recommended that the social marketing team of the business should have specialized operational talents, and even each member should learn the basic knowledge of audience positioning in order to accurately capture the hearts of users.


8. If there is no social listening strategy, you will not post any content


During the epidemic, many companies were still able to maintain truthful dialogues with customers during the crisis of human health. But with the development of the epidemic, businesses have increasingly realized that listening to the voice of society can help them understand the changing preferences of customers and avoid public relations disasters. In Hootsuite’s 2022 social media trends survey data, most respondents said that listening to social feedback in the past 12 months has indeed added value to companies. We have also seen that keywords demanded by Google search, such as “social listening” and “social lisntening tools” have increased by 22% year-on-year, indicating that more and more people are looking for social listening. What, or prepare to buy related tools for this business.


9. Social audio strategy


The instant audio social software Clubhouse was launched in April 2020, and its popularity soared at the beginning of this year. Twitter soon launched the social audio platform Spaces. According to reports, Facebook is also trying to enter the real-time audio platform. Even Hootsuite and many social marketing teams are scrambling to decide whether it is worth investing in a social audio strategy. As shown in the 2022 Social Media Trends Survey, most companies believe that this initiative will help broaden their development prospects. When asked how they plan to invest, their answers were mixed. One of the most popular choices is “being a thought leader or launching an audio live broadcast.” The survey found that the intentions in this regard are often medium and large companies, as well as companies that are already very confident of receiving social media investment returns (that is, using highly sophisticated Social marketing strategy company). Thought leaders may be an excellent breakthrough point for social audio content, because it gives individuals the opportunity to express their thoughts to the masses, which is conducive to building trust in the brand and directly connecting with potential customers. But social audio is not a particularly cheap form of content marketing. This is one of the reasons why small businesses will accept it more slowly.

Finally, Clubhouse has stated that advertising will never be part of its business model. Whether this is good or bad for the business depends on how you look at it. In any case, the platform does not use advertising to monetize means that integrating your brand into Clubhouse requires some imagination. The road to ROI will be long and tortuous, which often includes diverting listeners to other social media channels of the business.