Marketing

The must-know social platform features for this year

January 2022 7 min read Written by Papirfly

In this article, you’ll learn…

  • The key trends to keep in mind on social media this year
  • Standout features to be aware of across the major platforms
  • How you can harness these features for social media success

It’s impossible to ignore the powerful influence social media has on people worldwide. With approximately 4.5 billion users now on these platforms, understanding their capabilities is crucial for brands looking to maximise engagement with their audiences globally.

But, this is far easier said than done. Social media channels are evolving every day, introducing fresh features and casting away outdated ones. All of this information is scattered across the web, and it’s a hard task to keep track of all the latest developments.

Yet, for marketing teams seeking to harness social media to its full potential, having a clear idea of what’s coming next is vital to effective strategising.

With this in mind, in this article we intend to help brands unlock opportunities and stay one step ahead on social media. Read on to discover 21 features you should focus on in 2022 across five major platforms: Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

General social media trends for 2022

Before we break down the features to be looking out for from the primary social media platforms this year, here are four overarching trends that you should keep in mind to make the most of these channels moving forward.

The rise of social commerce

The crossover of mobile shopping and social media has been a growing trend for several years, but one that will pick up even more steam in 2022. Rather than the focus solely being on ads and promotions, more and more platforms are providing new paths for brands to directly sell their products and services through their social channels.

Instagram is a standout in this area. Its ‘Drops’ feature for example allows users to discover, browse and shop the latest product launches and view upcoming releases. 

Meanwhile, Pinterest will make strides in this area in 2022, with an expanded partnership with e-commerce tool Shopify and the introduction of features such as shoppable pins.

Greater incorporation of VR and AR

As illustrated by moves towards the metaverse, the ties between social media, virtual reality and augmented reality are set to become even tighter in 2022. From virtual dressing rooms to digital meet-ups, these features are here to stay and could make a big difference for brands if employed effectively.

This trend will be particularly important for brands looking to capture a younger audience, as the inclusion of VR is spearheaded by Generation Z, due in large part to its connections to gaming.

The TikTok takeover

There is a strong belief that TikTok will become the go-to social media platform of 2022. After bursting onto the scene in a big way in 2020, TikTok now boasts over 3 billion global downloads – the first non-Facebook app to ever achieve this feat – and in late 2021 reached 1 billion active monthly users.

The message for brands is clear – if you haven’t taken TikTok seriously by now, this year you won’t have a choice. With other social media platforms introducing their own copycat features (Instagram Reels, Snapchat Spotlight, YouTube Shorts), making a splash on this channel can capture a lot of attention from consumers.

Influencer marketing comes of age

Once considered a nice add-on for marketers, influencer marketing is now a dominant technique for brands to apply. Much like TikTok, if you don’t consider influencer marketing in 2022, you could miss out on huge opportunities to expand your customer base.

Having an especially strong influence on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, the power of social media influencers is growing immensely. If your brand can engage with even a fraction of their followers, it may boost conversions significantly.

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1. Live shopping

As live-stream shopping has exploded in China and is predicted to be a $423 billion market this year, Facebook is experimenting with ways to incorporate this into their own platform, which will allow brands to push their products out to viewers immediately during streams.

2. AR/VR development

As they step full-force into the metaverse, expect Facebook in 2022 to announce developments to their AR glasses and introduce other forms of interactive technology, such as wristband control for AR overlays and tools for the Oculus VR headsets.

3. Adjusted ad measurement

Previously, when someone used the same email address for their Facebook and Instagram accounts, or accessed both from the same device, Facebook counted them as one user in regards to the ads they were displayed. Now, it will treat these users as two different people, a move that could change the optics for advertisers.

4. Custom web links for creators

Facebook content creators in 2022 will be able to share custom web links that direct their fans to pay for subscriptions on the platform’s native Facebook Pay system. This will potentially unlock more opportunities for brands and creators to earn money from their content.

5. Marketplace updates

Facebook will roll out several exciting updates to their Marketplace feature this year, such as:

  • Enabling users to create saved searches and get notified when new listings match their criteria

  • Expanded shipping options

  • Highlighting top searches, most popular categories, and sustainable styles

  • A new way to create and share meetup plans for in-person transactions

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1. Effective monetisation

Currently the weakest link in TikTok’s chain, 2022 will likely see ways for creators to directly monetise their videos on the platform. It is engaging in a range of e-commerce tests and using its Creator Marketplace to facilitate sponsored content, so definitely watch this space.

2. Enhanced trendjacking

With likely updates to the ‘Top Ads’ and ‘Creative Center’ features, brands will have a clearer way to discover and latch onto the latest viral memes and use them for their own purposes.

3. In-app tipping

TikTok is testing out a new in-app tipping feature on its platform, allowing creators to accept money from fans on published videos. This would work similarly to their LIVE streams, which already supports gifting.

4. Effects House

Not letting Facebook totally dominate the AR space, TikTok’s Effects House will allow users to create augmented reality experiences, another way for creators to keep their audiences engaged.

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1. Scheduling stories and live-streams

With Instagram Live a huge part of the platform, this feature is being upgraded to allow creators to schedule their upcoming streams. This will notify followers when they will go live, and gives time for users to prepare content around any questions or comments they receive leading into the stream.

2. Partnership inboxes

This streamlined inbox feature will ensure brands’ messages can be clearly seen by creators amid the sea of messages they receive from fans every day. This makes collaboration with desirable brands more achievable.

3. Better influencer searches

In a similar vein, Instagram is making it easier for brands to review verified data for a huge pool of creators, ensuring they can find ideal influencers aligned to their brand.

4. ‘Add yours’ story stickers

When a story comes up as a grid of images, these ‘add yours’ stickers will empower users to add their own content to this grid, much like themed Pinterest boards. This will encourage viral chains of content, helping all contributors reach a wider audience.

5. Posting from desktop

It has been a long time coming, but Instagram is finally allowing users to directly post both photos and videos less than one minute in length through their desktop web browser, rather than simply through their smartphone.

6. Collabs

Collabs is a creator-focused addition, allowing users to collaborate with one another through their posts, raise funds and make better use of music on Reels.

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1. Twitter Blue and Labs

Twitter is focusing on ways for creators to directly make money from their tweets, from Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces through to Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service. Also in 2022, Twitter is expected to announce an update giving Twitter Blue subscribers access to Labs, giving early access to new features and updates.

2. Shopping and payments

Twitter is also not missing the boat on e-commerce, testing new shop elements on its Professional Profiles and introducing options that will allow users to make payments using cryptocurrency.

3. New ad features

With a revamped algorithm determining what ads Twitter users see, as they position the platform to allow brands to sell products directly through their service.

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1. Live-stream events

LinkedIn became a bigger facilitator of live-stream events in recent years, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so expect to see further updates to this feature in 2022 to enhance this experience further.

2. Freelancer connection tools

LinkedIn will provide more opportunities for freelancers by expanding its Services Marketplace feature in 2022, with additions that will open up its freelance listings to a broader audience and forge connections for candidates and employers.

3. Enhanced company pages

LinkedIn is upscaling its company pages in a variety of ways to help organisations, including:

  • Updates to the ‘My Company’ tab, from better content curation and displays of employee re-shares
  • The ability to openly share workplace policies
  • Customisable competitor analytics, where companies can benchmark their performance against up to 9 competitors

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Make your mark on social media this year

As this article demonstrates, there is a lot for brands to wrap their heads around when it comes to how they’ll best harness their social channels in 2022. As platforms continue to evolve and expand their capabilities in the coming months, this will unlock new possibilities for marketers to engage their communities, increase conversions and build brand equity.

We hope that by showcasing some of this year’s most noteworthy features, you’re now in a better position to capitalise on these both now and going forward.

Of course, even among these new features, consistent, frequent content on your social feeds will be just as important as ever. BAM by Papirfly™ can help you keep up with your daily demands by making asset creation fast and fuss-free:

  • Customise organic and paid assets for your social channels in just a click, perfectly sized for your channels
  • Produce static, carousel and video assets from prebuilt templates
  • Switch out colours, copy, branding and imagery to adapt your campaigns for different markets and sub-brands
  • See, save, edit and reuse anything that’s been created in an inbuilt DAM solution

Discover the full benefits of BAM today – get in touch or arrange your free demo.

by Papirfly

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