Hootsuite's Social Trend 2022

Move over influencer, the creator is here

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Once upon a time, we were all about the rise of the influencer and their power in connecting brands to audiences. Now there’s a new kid on the block. In their Social Trends 2022 report, Hootsuite explored the shift away from mega influencers towards more authentic communities and the ‘creator’. 

What’s the difference between an influencer and a creator? Unlike influencers who ‘influence’ their followers to purchase products and services, a creator ‘creates’ content to engage their audience. YouTube gave birth to creators who overran the platform with how-tos, tutorials and a-day-in-the-life content. With other platforms hopping on the video content trend, creators have flocked to Instagram, and most notably TikTok to reach wider audiences. 

For brands, building large followings is possible for any business with an online presence, but this does not promise a truly engaged community. If you’re a YouTube or TikTok user, you’d be all too familiar with the process of skipping an ad to get to your video made by a creator. Their content is unique and passionate, which makes it all the more engaging than the usual sponsored content and paid ads. Additionally, while influencer marketing is still on the rise, Millennials and Gen Z have developed a lot of trust issues in this space and are disconnecting from influencer marketing that doesn’t feel necessarily genuine, preferring to follow creators. 

Online communities became an integral part of our socialisation during the pandemic, with Hootsuite reporting over a billion Facebook users engaging in groups. These spaces have never been more diverse and engaged. Meanwhile, TikTok has created a safe space for creators of all kinds to carve out their place on the platform and build a community of followers with shared interests. Some of Australia’s top TikTok creators include Caleb Finn, Millie Ford and The Inspired Unemployed, just to name a few, who are reaching millions of users everyday. 

Hootsuite CMO, Maggie Lower notes “thriving communities on social media present a big opportunity, especially for smaller brands. You no longer have to create  a niche community from the ground up - you can find a community that you fit into and if you show up for them, they’ll do the same for you.”

Marketers have been partnering with creators across various platforms as part of their social media strategies by sponsoring content in an effort to engage prospects and take them through the sales funnel. Finding nicely aligned creators and their communities is that perfect spot for brands to slip into to reach an engaged and trusting audience. 

If you’re keen to look at unlocking communities, no matter how big or small, to support your social media strategy in 2022, be sure to find the right creators to complement your brand.