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Empower’s Six Favorite Social Trends in 2022 (so far…)
As we all know, trends tend to quickly come and go.

Many of the best trends come from those funny and memorable moments that happen in life. Memes are the most common format when pertaining to trends. They are a great escape from reality and have oversaturated the internet.

CultureTap is Empower’s trend identification platform that helps brands participate in moments that matter. Unlike social listening tools, CultureTap isolates relevant cultural, category, brand, or competitive trends so smart marketers can act before it is too late.

Aligning brand content with culture is a solid way to ensure relevancy and uniqueness among competitors. Through CultureTap, we have compiled our top six social trends in 2022.

Top 2022 Trends

1. Did Somebody Say Wordle? 
At the start of 2022, a new web-based word game took the world by storm. Created by Josh Wordle, the game prompts users to guess one five-letter word in six tries. Everyday there is a new word to discover, and everyone has the same board/puzzle.

It went viral by word of mouth and millions worldwide are now sharing their Wordle results, including brands. From creating Wordle boards with their products to boards that make up an image relevant to the brand, some companies have turned Wordle into pieces of art. Since January, Wordle searches increased by over 53 percent and landed at #2 on trending topics on Twitter.

On Twitter brands have engaged with the trend by sharing color blocks that create ​an image relevant to their brand. The copy always starts with “Not Wordle, …”

40+ brands of all categories have found creative way to engage with this trend by creating their own spin off versions of Wordle, which received .08% above the page’s average engagement rate.

 

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A post shared by Jelly Belly (@jellybellycandyco)

 

2. The Slap That Shook America – March 2022
A night that started out with awards and celebration ended with a … slap? At the 94th Academy Awards, actor Will Smith smacked comedian Chris Rock on stage during Chris’s speech after the comedian made a tasteless joke towards Jada Smith, Will’s wife. The internet took off once the video aired online.

The video of the slap went viral on Twitter and Google with searches related to Will and Chris growing over 5,000 percent.

This sparked many memes of the infamous slap and audience reactions which brought lots of laughs and engagement.

Within 24 hours of the occurrence, many brands such as Complex Music engaged with this event, receiving engagement rates as high as 3.07%.

 

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A post shared by Complex Music (@complexmusic)


This trend only lasted for a few weeks so when brands engaged the best performers were the ones posted within 24 hours of the event.

 

3. The Million Dollar Question 
Who would have known that a debate over if there are more doors or wheels in the world would divide the internet?

It all started on Twitter with Ryan Nixon’s tweet poll asking if there are more doors or wheels in the world. The debate sparked many conversations and quickly became the new “blue and gold dress.”

Of course, it made its way to the TikTok community where users and brands really showed what team they were on.

Which team are you on? #TeamWheels #TeamDoors

Brands put in their two cents for the debate in their own way. When both Lego and Hot wheels posted about the debate, the post landed in their top 5 best performers for the year.

 

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A post shared by Hot Wheels (@hotwheelsofficial)

​On TikTok there are over 476M views on #DoorsVsWheels and popular brands such as UPS shared what team they are on and explained why. ​

@ups

We counted the doors and wheels on all 127k+ of our vehicles to settle this #wheels #doors #doorsorwheels #wheelsvsdoors

♬ original sound – UPS

 

4. The Royal Memes 
Long live the queen and the memes surrounding her. Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service, at the beginning of February. During a four day celebration in June, the world was celebrating with her.

On Twitter #PlatinumJubilee earned the #1 spot on the trending page, generating over 500 social pieces of content.

Brands, attractions, retailers, and publishers all played a part in celebrating the Queen in unique ways.

Brands and retailers integrated aspects of celebration into their content from show integrations to deals. Some brands and attractions took it a step further by releasing limited editions and activations in honor of the Queen which earned high engagements.

 

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A post shared by The Drum (@thedrummag)

 

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A post shared by theSkimm (@theskimm)

Others found ways to make into … of course memes.

 

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A post shared by theSkimm (@theskimm)

 

5. Kendall VS Cucumber 
In an episode of The Kardashians, Kendall Jenner is shown cutting a cucumber in quite an unsafe, unconventional way. The clip immediately saw traction on all platforms, with the highest engagement on TikTok and Twitter, where people and brands mocked her technique.

@foodnetworkca

Almost lost a finger don’t let this flop #kendalljenner #kendallcucumber #kendallcuttingcucumber

♬ original sound – Stefano

When brands played on Kendall’s cutting style and made it relevant to their brand it garnered higher engagement rates. ​

@stickyaustralia

Cutting candy like Kendall Jenner cuts cucumber

♬ original sound – Sticky Lollies

 

6. “S/He’s a 10 but…” 
“He’s a 10 but doesn’t like memes.” What would you rate him? A new social game on TikTok with over 40M views is sweeping the internet where people are creating bizarre and fun scenarios about an imaginary partner.

It always starts out with “He’s/She’s a 10, but” and then followed by a negative or positive habit or trait that contrasts it. The number is based on a scale (1-10) on someone’s attractiveness. The purpose of the game is to determine what rating will balance the partner in the scenario out based on the trait/habit.

Most of the content is from influencers, but brands are also starting to participate in it–some even connecting the trend to pop culture.

@enews

They’re a 10 but we wanna know what you give them. 🤔 #hesa10

♬ original sound – darcy 🦦

Aligning Brand Content with Culture

We know that brands that align with trends are more viewed as relevant and experience a 30-50 percent higher average engagement on social. But with trends only lasting 24-72 hours, how can you keep your brand on the pulse? Reach out to us to learn how CultureTap can help.