The big takeaway from 2021: consumers are now in charge of your brand. They want more personalized content, faster service, and better experiences. And they want it all now. The pandemic has accelerated The Age of the Consumer, and for your brand to survive, you need to listen and respond to consumer demands. With insights from experts, influencers, and industry professionals, your brand will be ready for 2022.
Powered by a highly personalized content recommendation system, TikTok can help brands gain exposure to and connect with a qualified, engaged audience. As the app looks to introduce an e-commerce aspect and monetization model, brands that want to connect with consumers need to be TikTok savvy.
“With TikTok, there is a shift from views to creations. There is no ‘formula’ in posting ‘the right thing’. A platform that embraces diversity, TikTok encourages users to project images of themselves without thinking too much about complying to certain standards. Anyone can be a creator or a trendsetter. With this democratization, content becomes more hyperlocal and thrives on being ‘receh’ as the Indonesians would say – where content that is humorous, irreverent, snackable.”
Head of Insights & Analytics at Universal Music Group, Southeast Asia and Korea
"At TikTok, we believe that businesses of all sizes deserve to be discovered, and we empower brands to grow through creative content and storytelling.
Today’s consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and place a premium on keeping up with the latest trends. They are also looking for short, fun, snackable content on the go. Combine these two forces and it becomes increasingly difficult for brands to compete for user attention, especially with ads - because, people have told us time and time again, they don't like ads."
General Manager, Business Solutions, Middle East Africa Turkey and Pakistan, TikTok
“According to our research, 68% of marketers do not plan on using TikTok for marketing purposes in 2021.
However, 32% are interested in learning about this platform. If you are looking to diversify your marketing beyond Instagram, look closely at TikTok. This is especially important if you are targeting Gen Z with your marketing.”
“The continued rise of TikTok is unquestionable. The platform offers such a low barrier to entry when it comes to producing creative, bitesize video content, whilst offering the opportunity of huge organic reach & engagement.
You can also repurpose the videos & share them on other platforms like LinkedIn, like this. Some of the TikTok videos I’ve shared on LinkedIn have helped generate hundreds of thousands of revenue for our video & social media marketing agency.”
Co-Founder & CMO at Knowlton
“As TikTok continues to grow its active users, we will see new opportunities for journalists and news organisations to use this platform in a way which is fitting with the platform’s idiosyncratic culture and format.”
Director at APCO Worldwide
“In 2020, TikTok was the world’s most downloaded app and with more and more consumers choosing to use the creative and humorous entertainment platform, brands are waking up to the opportunity to capture a new audience and showcase their brand personality.
This popularity has also encouraged the more established social media platforms, including Instagram and YouTube, to experiment with new content forms that will grab the attention of the TikTok generation.”
As Google works to phase out cookie tracking by 2023, the future of social advertising remains to be defined. For brands, this means learning to balance the need for personalized services and the need for consent and compliance.
While the “cookieless future” seems bright for advertisers, good publishers, and consumers, those that have been profiting off of privacy-invasive data collection from users will need to rethink their strategy.
“The customer journey is not linear. We all know this by now. It is also shorter than ever. The path to purchase is becoming more and more unpredictable but for sure Community Commerce is and will continue to play a major role not only in driving conversion but also in shrinking the purchase journey as we know it.
Think shoppable ad formats but also organic trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt; those are at the core of transforming the traditional customer journey from one where hesitation and browsing take the lead, to one that goes straight to purchase, thanks to the power of social proof.”
Head of Digital & Social Media, Leo Burnett MEA
“Social commerce has experienced an exponential increase and has significantly changed e-commerce. This trend will continue in 2022. Even TikTok recently jumped on the e-commerce trend and now offers shopping links. In addition, corporate influencers will become more and more important - whether it's to achieve marketing targets or to recruit staff.”
Managing Director, Leipzig School of Media
“Social networks want to occupy a lower place in the purchase funnel of goods and services, and the ease of purchasing via social commerce (including during live events) will be the real game-changer.
This will have an impact on the Customer Experience that will be increasingly fragmented and distributed across various channels, as well as the data generated that will need to be handled by management through a single, ordered, and consistent measurement framework. In this sense, data strategy will become fundamental to understand user behavior and optimize performance.”
Digital Manager, Servier Italia
“Killing the Cookie is a power play from one of the most important and influential tech giants but also the greatest opportunity for marketers to abandon lazy tactics and develop a more direct relationship with prospective and existing customers. Paid social and email marketing will become increasingly important, but the winners coming out of this will be the brands who understand the power of the customer relationship.”
Founder, Social Media Week, Chief Innovation Officer, Adweek
“Whether it's Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, or social ads, innovation is needed to capture users' short attention spans. Those who focus on interactive content, moments of surprise, and emotion will take their content marketing to the next level and be able to meet the demands and viewing habits of target audiences today.”
Marketing Manager, Leipzig School of Media
“This year, consumers and brands alike stayed online due largely to the global pandemic. This uptick in all things digital resulted in a huge spike in social ads, a trend that is sure to continue into 2022. Brands turned to ads as a quick solution, which increased competition in an already crowded ad space.
Social platforms have become a huge asset for brands trying to reach their audiences. The brands that will come out on top are those that use consumer insights and social ads to drive business impact and provide hyper-relevant content for targeted audiences.”
Head of Demand Generation, Talkwalker
Social selling will simplify the customer journey
While social commerce was previously focused on ads or promotions, platforms are beginning to provide new and innovative selling solutions that focus on making the journey easier for buyers.
For example, Instagram introduced new shopping features which allow social media users to purchase items without ever leaving the app. Moving into 2022, brands should reevaluate the purchasing paths they offer and consider taking advantage of social selling opportunities through Instagram posts, Reels, Stories, and more.
“The growth of social selling - seamless social selling is the way of the future and social ads are adapting to the need. TikTok ads showed that 'native' advertising is a lot more compelling for a savvy audience that can see through staged promotions.”
“2022 will see the continuation of TikTokesque functionality popping up on social platforms as TikTok maintains its app download lead. In-platform shopping will keep evolving.
We'll also see if live audio spaces become popular with the mainstream after some major players scrambled to add them in 2021 in response to Clubhouse's sudden user surge.”
Dr. Karen Sutherland
Senior Lecturer, University of the Sunshine Coast | Co-Founder, Dharana Digital
“2022 will see an uptick in social selling as sales teams transition from face-to-face to remote selling and new-age buyers preferring digital channels for making a purchase.”
Digital & Social Media Expert
"Social selling will continue to gain in importance in 2022. On the one hand, influencers who have been promoting products via their channels with vouchers will increasingly launch their own creations.
Capital Bra with its iced tea or CrispyRob's chips are good examples. On the other hand, companies will develop new formats such as product livestreams with direct customer feedback.”
Head of Social Media International, Kaufland
“For me, the trends of 2022 are The Power of Social & Community Commerce. Young brands like "Charles," "Shihuitan" and others are showing how sales will have to be re-thought in the future. The impact on brands is huge. So are the opportunities. Let's tackle it.”
Chief Growth Officer, CEO & Founder, Publicis Groupe Germany
Post-pandemic content will shape up to consumer needs
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers have had to adapt to the content trends that followed, challenging the existing rules of customer relationships and brand building. Social media was already an integral part of our lives, the pandemic drastically increased usage all over the world. There are over half a billion more people using social media worldwide than at the same time last year, indicating an almost 14% year-over-year increase.
In order to remain visible to their potential customers, brands must communicate in local and detailed terms, targeting specific audiences based on what is most relevant to them. This might mean creating specific content for a generation, location, gender, or hobby. Now that companies have their own personal data, users expect them to provide tailored experiences across the entire customer journey.
“Due to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, audio content is the social media trend to watch for 2022. It's perfect because you're able to share valuable content and connect with your audience through live conversations. And you don't need to be on camera or have fancy equipment.”
“Habits have transformed over the past year. From increased digital content consumption, through to online retail, we’ve changed the way we shop, explore, and interact with each other. And it will only continue to change and evolve. The algorithm has a lot to answer for in the way platforms feed us information, as well. User attention span has diminished while the need for meaningful and value-added content is a requisite demand, too.
As it stands, Arabic content is not where it should be despite demand. Right now, there's 1% of Arabic content online, but an Arabic online audience of 5%. Coupled with the post-pandemic trends and changes, content has to fill the gap between supply and demand to meet shaping trends and habits.”
Director of Content Creators & Brand Partnerships, New Media Academy
“The pandemic has had a seismic impact on the media sector in many parts of the world; there are fewer journalists in full-time employment and many publications are prioritizing coverage for advertisers.
That makes the job of any communications person much more difficult. We have to focus on owned media, set up newsrooms within our organizations to produce good content, and pivot to new content formats like audio to remain relevant to our stakeholders.”
Corporate Communications Director MEA, Schneider Electric
"Due to the various restraints of the long-lasting corona pandemic, there is less opportunity to meet people in real life, leading to the importance of social media dramatically increasing.
Companies and brands are now unilaterally disseminating information, strengthening relationships while communicating with customers - connecting through a "dialogue with customers" across social media. The need for this will increase in the future. In 2022, there will be a focus on AI-powered tools that develop a "dialogue with customers", such as intelligent chatbots."
Daiko Advertising Inc. Tokyo Customer Value Development Division Manager
“With consumers accessing more content post-pandemic, brands have to compete for even shorter attention spans across an ever-growing set of platforms.
Understanding which platforms help tell which parts of your brand story is going to be key. The opportunity lies in using different platforms to tell a more cohesive and differentiated story.”
Head of Enterprise & Loyalty Marketing, Hilton APAC
“2022 will be about substance over spin. Amid Covid, geopolitical tension, climate change and a firehouse of fake news - purpose, action and authentic dialogue will make brands and organisations stand out.”
Managing Director, APAC, Telum Media
“The shift in consumer behaviour during the pandemic has led brands to rethink digital business models to meet the growing needs and expectations of their audiences. A key goal is to increase social trust around your brand.
In a more crowded digital landscape, it is harder to capture insights and information that position data-informed creative as the ultimate currency to build that confidence. The decrease in offline experiences also creates an opportunity to complement data-driven content with immersive activity including influencer marketing, UGC content and live streaming that reflect the brand’s unique offline personality to build human connectedness and authenticity.”
CEO and Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners MENA
“The pandemic accelerated a trend toward creating less content - but ensuring it's of higher quality. Producing content for the sake of producing content no longer meets the bar for brands who are tuned in to what their audiences are looking for. It's time to up your game.”
Public Relations Consultant, Garrett Public Relations
“At CARMA we’ve noticed a real shift in the way brands have adapted to this post-pandemic world of bite-sized video content. Even public health organisations are using these channels to convey complex information such as with vaccine rollouts. The format is ideal for short impactful content that sticks in the audience’s mind. It offers up a whole new avenue for creative communication and partnering with trusted social media creators enables a brand to reach audiences in a personable way.”
CARMA, Director of Client Success MENA
"What did Covid-19 accelerate? The digital transformation. Online became the main stream of daily life, while the real world fell away. This was more obvious in the places where more people gathered.
On top of this, social media is now treated as a main channel for ordinary people who would like to connect and share their experiences. This led to a segmentation of social media, specialized for different generations, who want different stimulants for the five senses.
An example of this is that CLUBHOUSE and podcasts specialized in speech are spreading. Although online can’t offer the full five senses of reality, the evolution of technology is focusing on such a movement that helps target specific senses, such as audio."
Professor, Meiji University Graduate School of Global Business
"#ShortVideosRock Video is the most engaging content on social media. But who anticipated that videos would meet their match from its own gang? Short videos! The human attention span is rapidly decreasing, and requires new ideas before boredom kicks in. 'Video Is the Past, but Short-Form Video Is the Now'".
Omnichannel engagement will change the way consumers engage with social media
64.5% of internet users receive breaking news from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram instead of traditional media. With this rise in information comes the opportunity to expand audiences, and grow your consumer connections, by providing the information consumers want.
But there’s also an increased risk of fake news and misleading content - if you aren’t telling the right story, consumers will find it elsewhere, with content that is possibly detrimental to your business. For brands to keep up or stay afloat for the next year, it’s imperative to exploit every advantage. This means getting your hands on consumer insights.
“Digital road mapping is essential to stay top of mind for your customers. Ensure the transition to a transaction is easy and memorable by providing convenient options at every point in their journey with you.”
CEO of Marketing Jumpstart
“I think ‘social audio’ will become mainstream in 2022. This idea is largely underutilized at the moment, but apps like Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse, Spotify Greenroom & Deep Dive will soon be commonplace.
Most importantly, we will start to see browser-based variations appearing for these sites and that will be an absolute game-changer.”
Twitter Marketing Specialist
"Co-creation platforms (IG, TikTok, Koji) will continue to influence pop culture as long as they keep providing the creator economy with templates, filters, and assets that allow users to experiment without the need for technical expertise.
The brands, platforms, and creators that facilitate the most co-creation will have the most opportunities to successfully enter consumer conversations.
To do this with confidence and precision they need to have insight into consumer conversations as they relate to a brand's narrative. Having a finger on the pulse of audience insights will continue to be essential in order to stand out in the crowded digital content ecosystem."
Director of Digital Transformation, Communications, Media & PR, Bacardi
“Video has become a common language to many of us, helping to meet our evolving need for connection, which is stronger than ever before. This is why we’re seeing more people turn to live-streamed, immersive and relatable content on YouTube to find that sense of togetherness.
There is an opportunity for brands and creatives to connect more deeply with their audiences by tapping into the relatable and participatory creativity by YouTube’s diverse community of content creators.”
Director for the Middle East and North Africa, YouTube
“Video has been growing its share as the favored content format in social. In 2022, we can expect to see more nuanced sub-spaces in video rather than the conventional short vs long clusters of content/media.”
Umesh Krishna K
Marketing Director, Swiggy
“As Zoe Scaman puts it: Brands use social media for wide reach and engagement, the real lifeblood of social is to understand the way "deep niche spaces" have risen, grown, and sustained themselves across fan communities.”
Connections Strategist at Digitas MY
“As marketers and communicators, we have to focus on our core stories, key topics and messages instead of following misleading KPIs that tell us how many Instagram Stories we must publish each week.
To achieve this, we have to overcome the separation of marketing, corporate communications, sales and other business units. Consumers and stakeholders don’t care (and don’t know) whether a piece of content comes from marketing, external comms or the social media team. Establishing a Corporate Newsroom or following the ideas behind this model helps to tear down walls between departments and to work more topic centered.”
CEO & Founder, dirico
Maturing influencer marketing will finally come of age
Influencer marketing is now a dominant marketing methodology. As the impact of social media continues to grow, so too does the weight and influence of influencers. New rules have resulted in increased influencer regulation and responsibility, while many influencers have thrived with drastic audience and engagement growth.
Influencer marketing now offers better results, with fewer risks.
The brands that make the most of these opportunities are those that dig into what makes consumers tick and identify the influencers that will drive the most impact. If you’re not considering influencer marketing moving into 2022, you’re at risk of missing out on expanding your customer base.
“Influencer marketing is no longer about blindly throwing precious budget in seek of influencers with large followings. It's about collaborating with content creators and developing relationships with them for a variety of mutual benefits to their business and yours.”
“Smart brands will build meaningful partnerships with relevant creators for long-term collaborations. Alas, many will just try to rent their feeds for what they perceive to be ads, then be disappointed with the outcomes.”
“Influencer marketing is growing at an exponential pace globally. Off the back of recent findings from the WEF report, the future of jobs is digital. Globally, the digital economy is 22% whereas in the UAE it’s 4%.
Therefore, it is evident there is room for improvement for influencer marketing in the region. Right now, there isn’t a sufficient enough ecosystem to facilitate creators and brands to collaborate on achieving results to drive action.
Moreover, we’ve seen influencers disappear during the pandemic due to a lack of value driven content created and strategy. The pandemic however has helped mature influencer marketing as a whole as people turned to their phones for content when the globe was on lockdown, putting a further emphasis on influencer marketing.
Governments need to ensure they have the right ecosystem and laws/regulations in place to help advance the industry where there is a lack of infrastructure to help influencers monetise in their various sectors – as niche as they may be – such as space, technology, law, medicine, sustainability and real estate. It is important that every field builds a global sphere of influence and inspires others to blaze a trail.”
Director of Content Creators & Brand Partnerships, New Media Academy
“The maturation of influencer marketing - Brands want to work with influencers who are not just amplifiers but have a social conscious.
The pandemic has shown us that an over consumeristic society isn’t all good for the planet. Influencers that have clear vision and purpose on their niche will thrive.”
Global Head of Influencer Marketing
Brands will lead in social media decentralization
The most important things about social media - socializing, connection, maintaining relationships - are the very things that COVID-19 made that much more complicated. To counter it, brands need to double down on making sure their platforms, apps, and channels include a social component to them.
Communities are key, but they’re not just limited to the main social media platforms anymore. Many brands are now building their own in-house social networks, with in-app forums and features to take back control of their audiences. Decentralized social media has a different infrastructure with no central server and no company controlling the site.
The coming year will see a continuation of brands leading the way with a stronger interaction aspect to the customer experience.
“Due to the seismic shift in marketing, social media and marketers must provide AI-driven voice-first experiences to ensure their message breaks through the increased content saturation in the right context on the user's choice of device and/or platform based on how, when, and where they want to receive it.”
CMO of Actionable Marketing Guide
“Over the next few years, we will witness the creation of an ecosystem which is platform and channel agnostic. 2022 will see its building blocks - e-commerce, entertainment, music, audio chats, gaming coming together within a platform. Brands need to rethink content, and also how consumers will navigate between these experiences.”
Vartika Malviya Hali
Executive Director, Global Digital Intelligence, Nielsen IQ
“Personalisation and localisation is the key to unlock power of social media in the current and future world. This means niche social media platforms which help you target a specific population and give you the ability to display more personalized content will gain a lot of traction.”
Shreya Kothari Sawala
Product Marketing Lead, Finturi
“We may be physically distant, but we're definitely more socially, even spiritually connected. Keep the social fire burning.”
EVP & COO at PHILEXPORT
Metaverses will be the next consumer connection
The metaverse: an amalgamation of the physical world, the augmented, and the virtual. An unknown word a few years ago, the metaverse is gaining momentum - and fast. This catch-all term seems to combine subsets of technology, merging them into a single entity. Brands were already slowly moving towards virtual reality when COVID-19 hit, resulting in an acute need for online socializing and interaction.
“The Metaverse is becoming the future playground for brands, where real and virtual worlds converge. It’s exciting to see how this extended reality has evolved and how brand owners have responded. Expect more action in this realm, as a platform to share brand love and reinvent the fabric of society.”
Managing Director at DIA Brand Consultants (Malaysia)
“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the need to find the interconnectivity between almost every facet of our lives, discover how they complement one another and learn – to continuously learn.
We have seen this ring especially true in our ecommerce space, with businesses – particularly small and medium businesses – finding their footing in the online space when the physical was limited. It is a process of iteration and commitment, one that results in an approach to our everyday lives – be it personal or work – that is truly unique.
As we evolve into a Metaverse company, we’ll be able to take this to the next level by offering people the most social computing experience, letting them do things together that haven't before been possible, getting closer to the content than ever before – giving phenomenal opportunity to creators and artists, as well as the e-commerce space. I am extremely excited as to what the future will hold.”
Managing Director, Facebook Middle East and North Africa, Facebook
“While Facebook is looking into the metaverse, we mostly witness a rise of the "multiverse", a multi-faceted approach to consuming content on social media. However, we see different understandings of the same message, based on which platform it is displayed on.
Both a risk of misreading/misinformation and an opportunity for brands to speak their audiences' (right) language.”
Founder and Principal Consultant at Resumption
“Most importantly, we will start to see browser-based variations appearing for these sites and that will be an absolute game-changer. Through blockchain and open-source technology, we are seeing the emergence of decentralized social networks where data will no longer be controlled and processed by a central authority but the users themselves.
Social networking will soon be done through the fediverse - a collection of interconnected servers that is independent and free from the control of behemoth tech companies.
In this realm, the user has the final say – how their social network operates and behaves. More importantly, they are in full control of data and content – free from ownership and censorship. In this world, content creators are not bound by somebody else’s rules of engagement and algorithms. Independence and control will be held sacred again.”
Ron F. Jabal
APR. CEO, PAGEONE Group
Brand inclusivity will be brand critical
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) was a huge topic of conversation in 2020 -- and even bigger in 2021. In 2022, brands need to focus on their commitment to CSR by listening and acting on the social issues that matter most to their audiences.
Consumers are no longer interested in performative allyship, empty promises, or one-time donations. They have high expectations, preferring brands that take initiative to foster connections with their audience, as well as bringing together people with differing opinions. Brands need to thoroughly analyze their actions, deeds, and culture to stay on top in 2022.
"Social media today needs to be personal, relevant and values-oriented—no matter who the audience is. And to get there, brands need to start by listening. By listening to what customers, their fans, and what the world at large is saying, organizations can drive human connection in everything they do.
Today, social media strategies that highlight brand values around the issues that matter the most—from social and environmental priorities to DE&I—have become table stakes.
Brands that are driving new belief systems around those things that are undeniably human, like mental health, are creating new business practices for a better world."
CMO at Hootsuite
“In 2022, companies that will stand out from the crowd and build a stronger brand will be the ones embracing diversity and people in the real world. Early adopters of brand inclusivity will have a massive advantage over other brands to influence consumers. Studies are showing that inclusive ads convert better than stereotypical ads and companies simply cannot ignore it this year.”
“More than ever before, brands will need to have an opinion on issues that affect our world.
From racial issues to environmental topics, consumers want to see what brands will say and act and hold them accountable.”
Global Head of Content and Social Media at Les Mills
“Responsibility. Platforms will own up to and address issues around content and harassment in the face of increasing regulation. And brands will need to drop 'purpose marketing' to show they can do the right, responsible thing by their users and employees.”
Head of Brand & Creative Marketing, SEA & India, Google
"Now more than ever, people are prioritizing themselves - their values, personal time, and self-care. Brands that build alignment through personalized, mission-oriented, and honest content will see the greatest traction."
Global Employment Brand Manager at Axon Enterprise, Inc.
“Look for more Hacktivism - social activists/hackers using their skills to shut down or clog up accounts or emails that they don't agree with. As a result culture and social issues will play a much larger role on social media than brands may be comfortable with
Also, brands are looking to target diverse audiences, so look for much more scrutiny and skepticism around social reach and engagement numbers. Today's brands want to reach specific audiences and demographics -- not the whole world. And they are designing campaigns around niche marketing.”
Katie Delahaye Paine
CEO, Paine Publishing, LLC
Communities will develop, and take control
Many businesses tackle social media incorrectly by hoping something will stick. Brands need to be more strategic, with content shaped around the consumer, with the aim of establishing loyal and engaged communities.
But brands don’t always have control of these communities. Social media allows them to form outside of the brand bubble and 2021 has already shown the power of these communities, with them causing disruption across several markets. It is critical to strategize digital infrastructures and collective spaces, with the strengthening of these online communities continuing to be a priority well into 2022.
I'm always saying it - People buy from people and now more than ever we are seeing the power of communities and the power of a personal brand. Build a community around your brand and you will have a whole army of marketeers ready to talk about your brand and how great it is. I created a community of Female Business owners, but any brand can create a community providing you are adding value and making them feel a part of something and make them feel special, valued and involve them in decision making for new releases and news.
Twitter Expert, Community builder, Twitter Spaces host, Director of the Women's Inspire Network
"Over the last 12 months alone there has been a 50% annual increase in member consumption of our learning content.
Within our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, we take pride that four people are hired every minute on LinkedIn.
As businesses and workers navigate the future of work, new models of career paths will emerge-- but no matter how these paths evolve, professionals can find others on LinkedIn to relate to. Our community exhibits a rich diversity of interests, motivations, and definitions of success that everyone can be a part of."
Head of LinkedIn MENA and EMEA Emerging Markets
At the intersection of culture & consumer lies the science & art of community building. The consumer is no longer an on-looker but a very active participant in a brand’s community building, with a vociferous presence of their own, shaping pop culture in real time. The community is now the trinity - the culture shaper, the creator & also the consumer.
Communities are going to experiment with their own economies. Through the use of Creator Coins and other forms of blockchain-based currencies, communities will be able to allow members to unlock new forms of value as they interact, deepening the value of such communities for all participants.
Founder, Serial Marketers
In 2022, people will remain isolated. Brands/tech that help create a community space to belong to, will most likely win. Like using Discord or dedicated servers, for a place to hang out and do activities together. People can’t hang out on TikTok or Instagram!
Head of Marketing at TruTrip.co
“An emerging trend is building communities through voice. Audio-only chat apps & podcasts (Clubhouse, Spotify, Aawaz, Apple, etc.) have seen listenership numbers surge in the last 18 months. Digital audio (voice) presents the opportunity to pick a theme and build a community around that, without the pretension of video or static images.”
Chief Marketing Officer, IBM India & South Asia
“Our world is constantly evolving, shaped by the communities and conversations that build our societies. Those conversations and audiences are Twitter’s superpower, reflective of what’s happening across topics from culture to sport and everything in-between. An example of an impactful cultural conversation was #BlackLivesMatter which began on Twitter and witnessed a global societal shift. Locally, #SaudiNationalDay is a celebratory moment that unites leaders, people, and brands on Twitter. Also, #Sports communities continued to grow during the #TokyoOlympics, which engaged fans, athletes, and brands to chime into conversations. This momentum is expected to continue locally with the #ArabCup, and the #WorldCup2022.”
Head of Revenue, MENA, Twitter
“The pandemic forced the majority of the population online and on to social platforms as a way to stay in touch. In the past it was perceived as a way to flick through memes or another way to read the news, but social media has now emerged as a medium that gave a voice to the masses while the world adjusted to being at home. It encourages creativity, community, and opportunity through which people could not only communicate with each other, but also stay entertained and informed. Working from home and lockdowns made literal home-grown social influencers commonplace with short form videos which reached a peak with the rise of TikTok and Instastories.”
CEO, Edelman Middle East
“We live in times where the sense of community is more valuable than ever. The pandemic has reminded most of us the essence of belonging, feeling cared for, valued and seen as a member of a community. That’s why brands are growing more empathetic to their audiences. Social media users are also associating with brands that make them feel wanted, seen, acknowledged and most importantly helped. That’s why brands are investing more on regular Twitter Spaces, Tweet Chats, Live Webinars, Podcasts, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups because they want to belong in a niche that informs, educates and entertains them.”
Founder, ATC Digital Academy
“Over the past decade, the power of communities has catapulted by bridging interest groups with social media. However, COVID isolation has served as a catalyst to further elevate the need for specialized communities on a professional level given the work-from-home islands of isolation. When the global Insight250 award was launched in April 2021 for market researchers, it received over 15 million views in the first week alone, connecting a network of data-driven experts worldwide due to a community void in the space. This connected professionals globally to discuss evolving challenges and debate emerging solutions. This illustrated the growing need for community support that many professional sectors need.”
“The developing power of communities - Consumers have never been more connected – but it’s never been harder to connect with them. Artists, athletes, and brands have billions of fans on social media. However, Big Tech players have put up walled gardens, are censoring content or squeezing organic fan reach dramatically. Next-level social marketing strategy is about turning ‘fans on lease’ into direct fan relationships and owned communities.”
Speaker, Entrepreneur, Futurist, Activist
“The decline of tracking capabilities will be the headline for social media advertisers in the next few years. Marketers desperately need to focus on building community to counteract increasing data-blindness.”
“As more people come together in communities to discuss large societal topics like sustainability, we will begin to understand more about attitudes, opinions, and the behaviours stopping mass adoption. This will bring better insight to brands on how to frame and position their products and services.”
"Social media will return to its roots, which means that the community idea will once again come to the fore. This will be accompanied by UGC becoming established as a content form."
Team Lead Social Media, Territory
“Over the past two years, we've seen a 30% growth in companies making the investment in creating brand-owned communities. Why? Because companies recognize that while they need to be able to listen and engage on all the channels that matter to their customers, there's tremendous value in being able to host those conversations on a brand's own property, where customers create authentic connections with each other, build brand love, improve customer experience, and create long-term loyalty.”
We will continue to see a strong focus on community, but with the surge in community being used as a buzzword, you’ll see a realization that brands facilitate community but don’t own them. With NFTs, you see this with the receiving/buying of NFTs as an entrypoint into a community with users changing their social media avatar to self-identify as a member. In addition, there is talk of the collective naming instead of the founders that are associated with them.
Senior Marketing Manager, Offline Community & Advocacy, HubSpot
"More and more, brands will need to think about their customers based on the communities in which they participate. The connections between people are increasingly made of shared interests/values and less and less by demographics or geography.
Every customer base is made up of K Pop Stans, Farmers, Pick Up Ball Players, DJs, etc., yet most customer segmentation models/profiles still aren't focused on that. Brands should audit their customer base and find out which communities they are serving, not just what age/income people are."
Head of Developer Platform Partnerships
For brands, 2022 is the year of the ‘now’ consumer.
If you’re going to succeed, you need to put consumers at the center of every piece of content, strategy, or campaign in 2022. Connection is the underlying key to success, which can be seen across the 10 trends we outlined in this report.
Our top 10 trends all feature connection at the core. Download our comprehensive eBook to learn more about:
Detailed analysis of why these trends matter.
Insights into how the trends will affect the Age of the Consumer.
Inspiring campaigns from brands putting these trends into action.
Takeaways you can immediately incorporate to start driving better results for 2022.
Consumer demands may be high, but that just means the possibilities are even more diverse.The brands that accelerate consumer intelligence to the forefront of their 2022 strategy, will be the ones to define and take hold of the year to come.
Download it now!