Social media trends come and go faster than ever, especially in the recent years of the pandemic where people are spending more time online. For us, it is always important to stay on top of these trends, to understand the consumer needs and behaviors based on what they do online, and what content they consume to give us an edge.
One example of this was the webinar presenting the Swedes and the Internet (Svenskarna och internet), hosted by Internetstiftelsen (The Internet Foundation), a survey based on 2,500 interviews describing Swedes’ social media usage, online shopping, what media outlets they consume, teenagers’ internet habits, and much more. In addition, Dansk Markedsføring (Danish Marketing), an industry association, released a magazine with their marketing trend predictions for 2022. In this blog post we will give you a quick recap of some of the key learnings!
Swedes are highly digital: 9/10 use the internet every day, with smartphones being the most used device. Thus, almost all internet users use social media, with the most popular for daily use being Facebook, followed by Instagram and YouTube. While people of all ages are active on social media, Millennials and Generation Z are the most active. These generations are also the ones who are most interested in live streaming, especially watching someone else play video games on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. This provides an opportunity for brands due to the popularization of in game marketing and the metaverse, where integrated marketing can be done in an online world. This is also a predicted trend for 2022 according to Dansk Markedsføring. The marketing material should be in line with the entertainment value that already exists within the game and invite consumers to be a part of it. A good example of this from last year is when the global superstars Ariana Grande and Travis Scott “performed” digitally in the online multiplayer game Fortnite.
Call it a consequence of the pandemic, or the highly discussed social issues in media the past years such as Black Lives Matter or MeToo, but social issues and standpoints are becoming increasingly important. In 2022, supporting brands just for the sake of improving one’s own personal brand, can be deemed immoral and inauthentic, therefore it is important to use messaging that is authentic in relation to the sender. This connects to the sustainability trend, where consumers are becoming more aware of the sustainability issues of the products they consume and becoming more skeptical towards green marketing. Thus, making it crucial to have an authentic sustainability strategy and not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk. In addition, consumers’ emotions are predicted to become more important for brands, both in relation to products that are framed to change emotions but also campaigns that recognize that it is OK to feel, and that life is not always perfect.
The relatively recent explosion of TikTok has of course not gone unnoticed, in the US and UK for example, people spend more time on TikTok, compared to YouTube. TikTok recently prolonged their video limit to three minutes, making it easier for brands to get their messaging across and do creative concepts on the platform. Many people might have the preconception that TikTok is a dancing app for teens, but there is a lot of creativity and storytelling on the app. Compared to other platforms, TikTok allows captivating content, which is consumed in a less amount of time. In addition, TikTok is not currently overrun by brands, as platforms such as Instagram. Since the majority of TikTok users are Generation Z and internet natives, they appreciate when products are part of something more. The content should be so good that it is not obvious advertising, and not identical to what brands post on Instagram and Facebook. In addition, TikTok has become an increasing popular tool for educating its users, under the hashtag #LearnonTikTok.
Another important trend for 2022 are podcasts, they have already been highly popular for the past few years, and 75% of millennials listened to a podcast in 2021.While sponsorships and advertising in podcasts are very common, a new trend that is emerging are podcasts created for commercial purposes, in other words, podcasts created and owned by companies. In Sweden the number of commercial podcasts increased by 40% in 2021, with an example being Sweden’s largest energy provider Vattenfall who created a Spotify playlist with soothing music and stories about positive progress in the fight against climate change, with the title Super Soothing Climate Progress Engineering Tracks, with the aim to reduce the listeners’ climate-anxiety.