Congratulations. You’ve made it through two years of upheaval, growing pains, and expansion.
The world of business has grown and stretched right alongside us, making way for a tidal wave of new opportunities for online business owners like you and I.
Think about it. In the past 5 years, we’ve seen short-form video skyrocket to the leading growth mechanism on social media, goliath Facebook become the metaphorical “old folk’s home” of social media sites, and things like texting enter the scene as a viable means of communicating with your customers.
For me, this gets me excited. When I entered the world of business, social media didn’t even exist! I was pitching marketing campaigns to my boss that would be displayed on city buses back then. Lol!
As an intuition-based entrepreneur, I know you often weigh how much energy to roll into the trends. Your desire is simply to pour into your clients and express yourself deeply without having to think about all the annoying details that go into getting likes, follows, and “engagement.”
2022 is coming fast. This post is all about the trends I expect to see grow or emerge in 2022 and how heart-centered, intuitive entrepreneurs like you can make the most of them.
A Look Back
In terms of online service-based businesses like coaching, the 2010s was THE MOST influential decade we’ve seen. Not just because coaching and course-creating became well-known during that decade, but because we saw that market shift and an entire industry of tools emerge to meet the growing need of digital entrepreneurs.
The following isn’t exhaustive, but I’ll highlight a few key trends that happened over the last 10-12 years. I am pulling the market shifts that I believe apply directly to YOU, the online service-based entrepreneur.
- Social Platforms became end destinations, rather than just traffic-drivers.
- This particularly impacted blogging as an industry, adding to the pressure bloggers already felt from the ad changes of the later 2000s and solidifying the need for bloggers to earn money through new channels, particularly social media, partnerships, and more.
- Micro-blogging emerged on social platforms and we saw the rise of the “influencer,” effectively a new word in the social lexicon.
- Smart phones exploded in the 2010s. For the first time ever, mobile usage exceeded desktop usage.
- With “quick tech” in the hands of millions, establishing a platform without coding or deep-tech skills became easier than ever.
- Selfies became a social currency. We put down our DSLR’s, stopped carrying digital cameras on our wrists, and began to use phones for everything except what phones were originally created for, lol.
- In the 2010s, the Millennials hit their 30s and brought with them an entirely new set of ideals that dramatically impacted the market.
- Many Millennials were raised with the internet and cell phones in their pockets. Like no generation before them, this one had the whole world at their fingertips.
- This was juxtaposed against a world that was shifting drastically. No promise of pensions or lifetime employment. Jobs moving overseas and the largest college debts of any generation before them, the Millennials (and yes, late GenX-ers) faced challenges no other generation had.
- And yet, they continued to feel the pressure to ACHIEVE in traditional career settings, despite those settings disappearing.
- …so they innovated, creating jobs where there were none, creating ways of working that never existed in the history of humanship – you and I are a part of that end result.
- Don’t listen to the Boomers. Millennials took rough hands passed down from previous generations and turned them into opportunities… And… hey, they are single-handedly saving the Earth, so there’s that.
- But wait! In the late 2010s and early 2020s, Gen Z began to hit their 20s and wow did that change things.
- The most technologically savvy generation of all human kind, Gen Z are fully digitally fluent, extremely diverse, “spiritual, not religious,” and have zero belief that a job is waiting for them just because they spent four years and $100,000 on a degree.
- Gen Z is entrepreneurial in nature. They grew up with apps in the palm of their hands. With companies like Etsy, Uber, and Airbnb all over the scene, Gen Z is the first generation to grow up seeing alternatives to traditional employment and they have pursued it.
- While this generation is still young in terms of impact on the world of business, their imprint is all over social media. In fact, they are THE trend drivers on platforms like TikTok, where short-form video has exploded.
- It will be very exciting as the 2020s continue to unfold and Gen Z makes its true impact known.
A Few Social Media Facts
- First, let’s do a quick timeline.
- Youtube and Reddit launched in 2005.
- Facebook and Twitter launched in 2006.
- (2008-2009, businesses started to finally catch on.)
- Instagram launched in 2010 and was gobbled up by Facebook two years later.
- TikTok launched in 2016. Also, Facebook launched “Facebook Live” in 2016.
- Clubhouse launched in 2020.
- Facebook is the number 1 social media platform in the world with nearly 2.75 BILLION (with a B) users. Nearly three-quarters of them login every single day. The U.S.-based population on Facebook, however, is getting older. Millennials in particular seem to prefer Instagram and are often sourced for the platform’s wild popularity.
- Youtube is number 2, but it’s number 1 in the U.S. In fact, nearly three-quarters of adults in the U.S. use Youtube. The most fascinating thing to watch about Youtube is that it’s one of the few popular social media platforms that also serves kids. In a 2020 Pew Research study, it was revealed that 80% of parents let their kids watch Youtube.
- Instagram has about 1 billion active users each month and about half of them use Stories.
- Pinterest has nearly 500 million pinners on the platform. Both Millenials and Gen Z populations are growing on Pinterest.
- LinkedIn has nearly three-quarters of a billion users. While long form written content performance has been declining on other platforms, it still performs well on LinkedIn.
2022 Business Forecast for Businesses Like Yours
In 2022, the world will be establishing its new normal and the events of the past two years will begin to be integrated into the fabric of business.
Now more than ever before, intuition-led business owners have the opportunity to make an impact in the world and their communities by leading with integrity, connection, and service.
Here are 10 business predictions for 2022 that apply specifically to your business.
- Traditional Companies will begin to use more connection- and intuition-based language and will shift from morality to spirituality in their marketing and strategies to follow current cultural shifts. This will, in effect, “mainstream” non-traditional spirituality and put pressure on small, heart-centered integrous businesses to lead with quality and depth. It will be imperative that small businesses lean in to their ability to innovate and be flexible. Large companies can never move with the agility of a small company.
- Industries that offer travel and in-person community opportunities (like events and retreats) will see a drastic increase in interest. I believe the desire for in-person experiences will surge in 2022.
- Short form video marketing will skyrocket in 2022. This is a train you want to get on immediately if you want to experience that growth. The “bubble” hasn’t burst, but like all social media phenomena, it will. I predict TikTok growth will be massive. Older Millennials and Gen X will join TikTok in droves in 2022. Facebook will continue to roll out new and innovative ways to incorporate short form video on Facebook and Instagram. You should expect to see tons of features added to Reels in 2022.
- Search-based advertising will become much more popular among small online businesses. For years, Facebook advertising has been the reigning king, especially for coaches and service providers, but with recent changes in privacy and tracking, ads are not performing like they once did. In 2022, I expect to see a surge in small businesses using Pinterest and Google advertising.
- Email marketing will see a (perhaps, surprising) resurgence in 2022. Many people are experiencing an exhaustion point with social media (especially the written form), and this has a big impact on content marketing. Over the past two years, email open and conversion rates have been improving. While people love to say “email is dead,” it is very much alive and growing. I predict more and more online businesses will increase their usage of two specific types of emails in 2022: automated emails (campaigns sent immediately after and in the following days post-opt-in) and newsletters.
- Likewise, blogging will see unexpected growth in 2022. I believe that more small business owners will actively look for ways to grow their business off of platforms like Facebook and Instagram in 2022. This comes from unpredictability and growing distrust in social media platforms (think, the Facebook and apps outage of October 2021), the prevalence of propaganda and the ensuing battle over social media censorship, and the fact that many small business owners are weighing whether it is prudent to deliver so much content on a platform they don’t own. Add to that, the IOS changes that hit Facebook advertising in 2021 and the expected desire for more search-led advertising and SEO strategies and things are looking good for a 2009-esque throwback marketing strategy like blogging.
- Goodbye Clubhouse. I don’t know if it will be acquired or if it will just quietly exit the conversation, but I do think Clubhouse, or “one time use” ephemeral audio live streaming in general, will continue to decline in use. Clubhouse, in particular, began to decline the same year it gained popularity (in 2021) even before what many would consider would have been its peak. I think there is a social media exhaustion in general among business owners that is contributing to this decline. In 2022, business owners want content that can be saved, reused, and that will continue to work for them longer than 24 hours. Another popular form of ephemeral content is Instagram Stories, but with the ability to save it and access it via Archives, Instagram (or Facebook rather) found a way to bridge this gap.
- Text message marketing will rise to more mainstream usage in 2022. It’s not unheard of now, but few entrepreneurs are using it so far. This is the next frontier in marketing communication.
These are just 8 predictions that I see coming down the pike for online businesses like ours.
And, look, here’s the thing. In 2019, I sat down and wrote predictions for 2020, but guess what? The most monumental influence of all (hello, global pandemic!) was obviously unpredictable from a business perspective.
No matter WHAT is happening in the world of business or in social media, YOU can still do this thing. There are people out in the world right now, growing businesses on platforms that marketers would say are “dead” or “dying.”
In the world of business, it ALL works, but you have to work it. Finding the right way to build your business, which is as unique as you are, is the key to your success, not the platform or strategy.
If you want to learn more about your unique energetic makeup and how you can lean into that to grow your business, take the free Spirit Leader Design quiz to learn your energy type right here: www.womenofwoo.com/quiz.
Articles of Reference: