How To Prepare For Social Media Trends In 2022
Which 2021 trends stand out in your mind? Take a second to think back over the past year. There were a lot of fun TikTok sounds, Instagram filters, Twitter threads and Facebook memes that caught the public’s eye and gave brands the chance to have some fun.
Even now, social media experts are trying to predict any potential 2022 trends so that brands can get out ahead of the crowd! While we’d love to consult the stars, read our tarot cards, or ask a mysterious woman with a glass orb what we should expect, there’s only so much we can know ahead of time.
Instead of trying to predict the future, let’s focus on what we can do. Here are some things to keep in mind before jumping on the next hot trend.
The Lifecycle of a Trend
Everyone knows there is a sweet spot – that one particular moment when a meme or format is at its peak – when getting involved can garner a lot of positive attention. But knowing the spot exists doesn’t mean you know where to find it. First, think about whether this is a one-off or evergreen trend. Twitter has a lot of text-related formats that can be reused and combined with other trends for comic effect. Trends connected to specific events or pop culture moments will probably only get one lifecycle.
Second, take a look at how much-related content is already out there. If it’s in the early organic stage then you might only see private users and influencers jumping on the trend. This is a great time to get on board as a brand. But if you’ve seen loads of other corporations already inserting themselves into the narrative or, God forbid, if there are news outlets reporting on the trend, you’ve probably missed the boat. Don’t dive in unless you really feel you have a unique and valuable contribution to make.
Play With Platforms
So, you probably already know about Meta trying to drive the TikTok audience to Instagram with their Reels feature. But because they were late to the game, Instagram Reels have consistently been behind on TikTok trends. The good news? We can use that to our benefit! Instagram may not be on the cutting edge of every social media moment, but it still has a massive audience – including many older millennials and non-Gen Z-ers who don’t have TikTok. If you want to jump on a trend but feel you’ve missed the moment on TikTok, why not try your luck on Instagram? Being the first to bring it to that platform could give you a lot of clout.
Act Your (Audience’s) Age
We throw the word trending around a lot but it can be hard to define. Sometimes it seems like everyone on the internet is talking about one topic, but it’s actually just a very niche (but loud) corner of the web. When Gen Z get excited about something everyone wants to jump on board to target this new consumer group. But the reality is if your brand’s audience is not under 20s you probably shouldn’t waste time focusing on them. Every generation has its own kind of humour, interests, and memes. Millennials make fun of the kinds of memes their parents share on Facebook, and Gen Z roll their eyes at the amount of Harry Potter references millennials use in daily life. It’s all perfectly natural! But as a brand, you need to decide who you’re targeting and then focus on the kinds of trends that the audience is going to pay attention to.
Come to Your Senses
Now that you’ve decided what trend to get involved in, when to jump on, and who to target, we have two words for you: sense check. You need to look at this piece of content from every angle and ask yourself – how could this be interpreted? “Edgy” comedians are always complaining that people get too offended these days, but really, we’re just talking about being sensible and sensitive. There are so many ways to entertain people without offending or excluding anyone. And as a brand, you never want to get into an awkward situation that brings negative attention to your products or services. Get the whole team involved and be brutally honest about how your audience might react to the content you’re putting out into the world.
Be Proactive and Reactive
In the interest of always being ready for unpredictable trends, we recommend setting aside time for your social media team or agency to research trends every day. They might not always need this time, but having it saved means you’re unlikely to miss anything big that’s swirling around on social media. Choose your timing based on what part of the world your audience resides in, and focus on the platform where they’re most active. Have a system in place to get content created, reviewed and published as quickly as possible.
Now settle back and relax for the festive period. 2022 is coming round the mountain and we’ll be ready for her when she arrives!
Written by our copywriter Katie Dennison