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The Top 10 Social Media Trends to Master in 2022


Social media will always be vital to photographers and illustrators. With a massive uptick in social media use and the introduction of new platforms over the past few years, photographers and illustrators are seeing social media boost their name and business more than ever. For the rest of 2022, we have 10 social media trends that you’ll want to master and harness to boost your marketing and branding.

1. TikTok Will Keep Gaining in Popularity

It’s certainly not a fad. It’s becoming a lifestyle. TikTok has exploded over the past two years. With projections forecasting more minutes will be watched on TikTok than on YouTube in 2022, it looks like it’s only going to continue to grow in popularity. If you haven’t taken the leap, what are you waiting for?

Illustrators and photographers alike are seeing views in the millions on their trending videos. With videos like the step-by-step process of drawing or designing and videos showing the behind-the-scenes of a photoshoot or the insane landscapes photographers have traveled to, TikTok is proving that users of all ages and demographics want to see what it takes to be a creative professional.

2. Short Video Rules the Day

They say our human attention spans are about the same as a goldfish now, right? Well, then there’s no surprise that short-form video is starting to rule social media. With our lives getting busier every day and more mobile or remote, more and more people are finding it harder to sit and watch a full video. Many times, those viewers are even multi-tasking and watching the video while out doing errands or waiting in line.

Because of this, short-form videos and videos that have captions or can be consumed without sound are becoming a bigger trend. As we’ve seen with TikTok, videos that are under a minute prove time and again to be the most successful. Now, YouTube and Meta have jumped on the train with YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels respectively.

3. The Old Guard (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn) Has Staying Power

TikTok may be growing at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean the tried and true platforms are losing influence. Despite TikTok’s gains in users, older social media sites still have a massive influence on people.

For example, many businesses are seeing that users are checking out their Instagram profiles first for information before even going to that business’ website. We also have seen that many Instagram influencers and businesses link directly from their Instagram to their Pinterest pages to deliver a well-rounded experience, especially in e-commerce or travel. And LinkedIn is a phenomenal place for photographers to network, find potential clients and collaborators for projects.

As a photographer and illustrator, don’t ignore the old guard of social media platforms. It’s important to understand where your target audience spends the majority of their time and invest your time across those platforms.

4. Social Media Will Be Used to Reach New Audiences

The lifecycle of social media has been rapidly changing and adapting to fit the use cases of their own users. Remember when social media was simply a place for you to share photos and have quick conversations with your friends and family?

In the past, after businesses began to understand the power behind social media, we saw a massive uptick in ad buyers and boosted posts. These businesses were doing everything they could to get eyes on their advertising. However, it proved to be a negative user experience for many of the platforms.

In 2022, the social media trend is to focus more on actual relationship building. Brands are taking on the personality of the real person behind the screen, and social media is once again becoming more authentic. This is the perfect time to experiment with creating a social media strategy for photographers. Show behind-the-scenes, the accidental shots, and even the mess-ups. Be authentic and show what a photo can look like when you take it versus after you edit it. You never know who will want to start that next conversation with you about your work.

5. The Creator and Influencer Presence Grows

Especially with the boom of TikTok, more people are using social media as their main business and considering themselves “content creators” or “influencers.” For years, word-of-mouth marketing has been the most valuable marketing tool you could use. Influencers are taking that tactic and running with it for the brands they choose to partner with.

As a photographer or illustrator, there are endless opportunities for you to educate and influence your audience. You have many options:

  • Creating content for your own social media channels
  • Promoting a tool or brand you love
  • Creating user-generated content for the brand to use on their own channel

It’s a great way not only to share your passion but to build and market your brand.

6. Social Commerce Creates More Opportunities

With new integrations, it has become as simple as a few clicks to buy artwork from your favorite artist directly from their social media post. Users have benefitted from these new e-commerce integrations, with artists offering products, services, and packages to their followers.

Take note! This means more chances for you to sell your services from your Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube channels.

7. Podcasting Has a New Life

Along with short-form video, podcasting has surged since the pandemic and lockdowns with more people at home and needing different forms of entertainment. In fact, there are now over two million podcasts worldwide.

While it may seem that the industry is oversaturated, new podcasters are seeing traction every single day. As a photographer, explore this channel and start your own podcast, giving you the chance to reach more people and customers while building your authority in your niche.

8. Local Targeting is the Key to Success

People trust brands that are headquartered closer to where they live. It gives them a sense that they are making connections with their own community and supporting someone just like themselves.

In a way similar to local SEO, which helps people in your local community find you on the web, geo-tagging social posts can give you the opportunity to connect with people (and drum up more business) in your local area.

9. Social Media Communities Become Stronger

As we mentioned earlier, 2022 social media trends are leaning towards authenticity and relationship-building interactions. More people are wanting to network and connect with creators, influencers, and brands on social. As a result, communities on these platforms provide a space for creators such as photographers to quickly connect with their audience.

As an industry expert, you can answer questions and provide support to those who are just getting started, generating leads who want to partner with you or hire you, and even further educate yourself through other experts in your niche.

10. Authenticity Enjoys Greater Demand

Thanks to the deluge of content online, it’s become more difficult for many of us to sort through what’s real and what’s not. More people are craving sincerity and honesty from creators and influencers in their social content. This means that behind-the-scenes content, shout-outs to followers, and sharing your values and personality are all things photographers can incorporate into your social strategy for the rest of 2022 and beyond.

As you grow your brand and strengthen your marketing with these 2022 social media trends, it helps to have access to a directory of businesses and other creative professionals to partner or work with. With Agency Access’ database of over 90,000 contacts, along with your prospects’ social media accounts included in the database, you can connect with these brands and creatives to elevate your work and finish out 2022 with a bang.

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