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Social media trends you need to know for 2022

Last year around 4.14 billion people were active on social media. This figure equates to about 53 per cent of the planet's total population. The power of social media is profound, and its reach has evolved exponentially. Where we used to rely on Myspace to post updates of our nights out, uni life and share entertaining status updates, the social media stratosphere has grown, launching the lucrative careers of influencers, brands and digital communities.

The most intuitive brands of 2022 will engage with creator communities, and learn more about their consumer base, facilitating fast and easy to access content creation, whilst building brand awareness and affinity. Learn more about the opportunities available to you and your brand in the coming twelve months, which will allow you to experiment and connect with your audience in innovative new ways.

The creator economy will flourish

More than 50 million people worldwide consider themselves to be creators. Nearly half of these professional creators earn their salaries on YouTube, with 25% making their money via Instagram, predominantly as influencers. The creator economy is valued at over £100 billion, and its growth is staggering each year. This is a social media movement and those who are driving the movement are pushing progressive, top-class content. Content creators are empowered organically by the amount of intelligent content creation platforms available for design, video, streaming, music, podcasts and writing tools to help encourage the growth and development of homegrown brands. In addition, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube endorse creator marketplaces and creator tools, helping the community connect with their audience and collaborate with brands seamlessly. The average digital content creator salary in the United Kingdom is £27,500 per year or £14.10 per hour. Entry-level positions start at £23,000 per year, while most experienced workers make around £32,500 per year.

Additionally, Apple's new iOS updates will enhance consumer privacy, offering Apple users better control over access to their data. This will inhibit traditional digital marketing strategies, resulting in brands struggling to reach and resonate with their target audiences. As a direct result, influencer marketing will only grow and grow throughout 2022.

Short-form vertical video is the best bet for success in 2022

In 2021, in the UK, the daily average amount of time we spent interacting with our online environment via a smartphone device was four hours. The average time spent viewing a social media profile was 52 seconds. Therefore the most effective way to deliver a message to audiences is a punchy short-form vertical running under one minute. In addition, less than 30% of users will turn their phones sideways to watch an ad, and users who do turn their phones sideways only watch about 14% of the video, so avoid ads and make your content viewable in portrait as well as landscape.

The explosive success of TikTok and Instagram Reels has established short-form vertical video as the most prolific strategy for driving sales and accelerating growth throughout 2022. Videos on Instagram boast more engagement than other formats. Tweets with videos level ten times more engagement than those without alongside. Pinterest recorded a 240% increase in organic video pins from 2020 to 2021. Short-form verticals are more manageable and less time consuming to create, they help users foster more meaningful relationships with audiences and allow creators to interact with followers in a more personable way.

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More emphasis on improving social media users mental health

We are all too familiar with the consequences of spending too much time online browsing social media platforms. Sleep patterns and self-esteem suffer whilst isolation rates, anxiety and depression rise. Throughout lockdown, we all spent even more time online, with fewer outside distractions to stop us from scrolling, liking and digesting content. As a result, 90% of creators have experienced burnout, and 71% have considered quitting social media altogether.

Instagram’s advanced new feature, 'Take a Break' alerts users if they have been on the app for a prolonged period of time, scrolling endlessly, suggesting it's time to do just that 'take a break' from your phone and take a deep breath. Users can predetermine how long to take a break from 10, 20  or 30 minutes. In addition, Instagram will suggest other mindful activities such as listening to a meaningful song or completing something on your to-do list. The importance of taking a moment away from the digital universe to pause and reset is crucial to healthy wellbeing. Instagram’s ‘Take a Break’ is set to pave the way in influencing competitor social platforms to develop their features explicitly aimed at enriching their audiences lives from a responsible and ethical standpoint. Self-care is set to be a strong strategy for 2022, so engage in the outside world and detach from the online stratosphere more regularly to keep your mind, body and soul protected and well.

Memes, memes, memes

Memes have kept us entertained throughout the many struggles and controversies of the past twelve months, focusing on the humour in the most shocking of moments. Meme pages gross profits by selling posts on their account as an indirect process for advertising for other businesses. Through indirectly promoting affiliated accounts, sponsored posts, marketing, meme merchandise or directing traffic to other income-generating sources, meme accounts have become successful brands, establishing account owners such as The Fat Jewish as celebrities in their own right.

Last year mega meme creator Saint Hoax even partnered with the Met Gala in 2021 as a "meme correspondent" to report on the outfits and drama featured throughout the themed charity event. A light-hearted strategy for success, try creating your own GIF’s via your socials, connecting with the fun side of your brand's personality to encourage your audience to share a LOL and not take everything too seriously.

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