Social trends shaping businesses in 2022 and beyond
As we look to 2022, there are three trends I think are particularly key to the way we will do business on social media: Creator collaboration, comprehensive commerce and prepping for the metaverse. Here is what you need to know about each of them.
According to reports, there are currently an estimated 50 million creators around the world who have built their own booming creator economy estimated to be worth over $100 billion. From 2019 to 2020, the number of content creators earning more than $10,000 per month grew a whopping 88 percent.
Creators matter to businesses because they speak to their audiences in the native language of social platforms and understand which platform-first creative will resonate best — whether they are cooking up a new recipe or announcing a fashion drop.
They are also ahead of the pack when it comes to experimenting and innovating to connect with their audiences — using AR and VR, for example, with impressive results.
Video is another important medium for creators: It now accounts for almost half of all time spent on Facebook, and Reels is already the largest contributor to engagement growth on Instagram.
Businesses now have lots of ways to communicate with people across Meta using video, including ads in Messenger, in-stream ads and Instant Experiences. Product tags allow customers to buy directly from video, while AR helps create an immersive shopping experience.
The creator economy is only going to get bigger in 2022. For businesses, understanding it is going to be crucial: How creators work, the tools and the visual language they use, and how to collaborate with them.
Immersive technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are becoming the foundation of the shopping experiences of tomorrow. One that is already making waves is the ability to test products before purchasing them, an experience that has been hard to replicate in e-commerce.
Imagine businesses turning their Facebook or Instagram Shop into a virtual space in the metaverse for people to experience their products and brand as they would in a brick-and-mortar shop.
However, in the short term, the primary way people will experience the metaverse is through 2D apps. That is why it is critical for brands to stay focused today on building new commerce channels across Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp or Messenger, as these will be the foundational elements to help grow their businesses in the metaverse in the future.
The metaverse is offering the most significant commercial opportunities since the creation of the internet. Experimenting with these early glimmers of the metaverse now is a great way for businesses to prepare for its arrival, five or 10 years from now.
The creative possibilities for businesses in the longer term are also incredibly exciting. A brand might design limited-edition digital merchandise to promote a new physical line, allowing fans to show their love for the brand in the metaverse.
Service-oriented businesses like painters or plumbers could conduct home consultations in the metaverse using WhatsApp video calls for customer support. An organization could partner with a creator and host a live event there to deepen engagement with their brand.
Businesses that truly embrace the creative potential of these trends and learn to work with the creators — that understand them best — will not only be enhancing their customers’ experience today, but will also be putting themselves in pole position for the metaverse reality of tomorrow.
One thing we have all learned from last year is that technology does not stay still. As business leaders, it is up to us all to keep pace with it next year and beyond.
• Derya Matras is VP Middle East, Africa and Turkey at Meta.