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Our Take: ModSquad’s 2022 Digital Predictions

At the end of each year, we pull together our predictions for the digital landscape in the year ahead. We don’t actually have a crystal ball. Instead, we’ve got a team of CX experts with their fingers on the pulse of what’s now, new, and on the horizon. Here are our five predictions on what to expect online in 2022.

1. Community and creators take precedence

Brands are developing and investing in communities, and for good reason. Brands have seen success connecting with users through communities and collaborations. Real people talking about real products and services goes a lot further than direct selling. It’s more transparent and honest. 

In 2022, the key to unlocking online communities is in the hands of digital creators. Instead of trying to build one from the ground up, we’re going to see brands tapping into creators who already have an established fan base. With an engaged community, brands can learn more about customers, get access to more content from users, and watch their brand awareness and loyalty grow. 

Marketers take note: Creators are definitely influencing brands. Before, brands influenced the influencers, who were often paid to promote products and services. With more channels, platforms, and access, more creators continue to enter the landscape. The demand for authentic content creation is more urgent than ever.

2. Social commerce: To infinity and beyond!

In 2021, with culture changes and the pandemic, there was a huge shift in shopping experiences. Faster purchase paths and more targeted ways of reaching users created new experiences. This year we saw social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offer new and/or revamped features that make shopping a breeze.

These enhanced social selling opportunities drive the need for active social customer service. With disrupted global supply chains and staffing shortages, many businesses can expect even more customers to need support in 2022. Meeting them where they are, efficiently, is vital. Demand for customer service over social media is surging. Social media and community managers now find themselves positioned to create great support experiences. 

3. Platforms are innovating on the fly

It’s not just social selling that’s reaping the benefits of constant innovation. Just think of how much you can do from your mobile device; nearly every transaction can be done online. You don’t have to go to the grocery store, the mall, or even to pick up a prescription. Many deliveries can land on your doorstep within two hours. Businesses need to improve their digital experience and figure out how to deliver products better, faster, and easier. Necessity is the mother of invention, as we saw play out during the pandemic. Companies had to think quickly to get products and services to people while in their homes, whether they were ready to or not.

On top of that, access to data and advancements in algorithms have allowed platforms more access to data. This helps marketers better target niches and ultimately gives the customer more unique and customized experiences in social feeds. These advances have also created opportunities for good causes. This past year, mindfulness took priority and Instagram rose to the occasion with their “take a break” feature.

4. Trust and safety = full transparency

Moderation has taken a new priority as an essential part of the online experience. From a national and global perspective, it’s become clear to more businesses and agencies that moderation isn’t just about deleting comments. It’s key to your digital strategy.

When it comes to online safety, we’re seeing more transparency from companies and more cohesive legislation from governments. In 2022, companies will be challenged to collect and manage data in an open and honest manner. They’ll need to address how they’re collecting data and what they’re doing with it. A renewed focus on personal rights and privacy will continue to bring about more thoughtful data management practices.

5. The collision of worlds with the Metaverse

Online life isn’t just online. Even before Facebook’s corporate name change this year, brands had been playing with the metaverse. In 2022, we won’t see companies diving into these digital worlds head first, but we can expect to see them dipping their toes.

This year, companies including Chipotle, Verizon, and Vans built their own digital worlds on metaverse type platforms (Roblox and Fortnite) to engage customers. According to The Wall Street Journal, this demonstrates that advertisers are starting to embrace the metaverse. The shifting digital landscape is nothing new to us. As ModSquad CEO Amy Pritchard recently blogged, “The metaverse. It’s why we started this company. It was our initial inspiration. It was even in our name: Metaverse Mod Squad.”

With trust and safety at the forefront, new innovations in our back pocket, and creators by our side, we’re looking forward to everything that 2022 will bring to the digital universe. Want more insights from the best and brightest in the industry? We’d love to chat. Contact us today.

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Talk Back

Susie
Posted on December 16, 2021

Every year, this is my favorite blog post. Great work!

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