It is difficult to predict with absolute certainty the social media trends for 2023, as the digital media landscape is constantly changing and new platforms or changes to existing ones may emerge.
What is certain is that communication, marketing and advertising on social networks represents a permanent challenge that requires brands to be highly responsive to changes in audience behaviour and to adapt proactively to constantly evolving trends;
Social networks: changing everything so that nothing changes
The last few years have seen a profound transformation in the world of social media, with fluctuating consumer trends, the launch of new technologies and the growth of emerging platforms;
The pace of change in social networking applications does not seem to be slowing down, which makes it necessary to prepare for what lies ahead in the new year;
While the marketing landscape is full of uncertainties, there are social media trends that marketers can count on over the next 12 months; These are some of them:
The rise of the influential customer
Influencer marketing will continue to play a key role in the campaigns; Businesses of all kinds have taken to collaborating with influencers to help boost brand awareness and substantially increase online sales; However, the figure of the microinfluencer is becoming increasingly important.
Authenticity is one of the qualities most valued by social media users; In 2023 we will see more brands adopting word-of-mouth marketing, using social networks as a vehicle to obtain user-generated content from customers or prescribers of their products, also usingmicroinfluencers.
User-generated content, one of the key elements;
Marketers have observed that user-generated content generates 29% more web conversions than campaigns or websites that do not leverage user-generated content. For brands, it is a no-brainer to tap into the treasure trove of real testimonials;
This not only saves valuable time and resources, but also highlights a brand’s most loyal customers, while helping potential customers make purchasing decisions with more information available;
Brands will take advantage of emerging social platforms
Does anyone know what happened to Clubhouse? Although for quite a few years now it seems that some social networks have become standard, part of social media marketing is about experimentation; If brands do not try new formats, new platforms or new trends, they may be, at least temporarily, out of the game;
Not all tests work, but that is precisely why they are tests; With the success of TikTok and, in general, the online behaviours of the Generation Z, brands are likely to be more confident about starting their activity on emerging platforms.
- BeReal is a sample of a very promising emerging platform; As with TikTok, when the app debuted, brands were sceptical, but for early adopters, the effort may have been worth it;
- Chipotle is a good example of a brand that has used BeReal to offer exclusive promotions and discounts and more and more brands are likely to turn to apps like BeReal or other new platforms to grow their Gen Z community, taking as authentic an approach as possible.
Customer service in social networks, more important than ever
The pandemic forever changed the way customers interact with brands on social media; One of the most significant changes that brands experienced was the number of customers who turned to their social accounts to resolve their queries and customer service needs;
Customer service in social networks has always been a component of marketing on these platforms, but until then it had remained in the shadows; But with the closures and travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the invisible cloak was pulled back as brands realised they were ill-equipped to meet customer expectations without a diligent social media customer care strategy;
Not only has this trend held steady over the past two years, but brands will also see more and more customers turning to social media platforms for service-related issues;
Immediacy and information in customer service in social networks
In fact, a recent Emplifi survey indicates that two out of three consumers prefer to use social media during the purchase process to ask questions, make purchases and request customer support after the purchase.
The report’s findings underline the importance of brands aligning the way customer service and social media marketing teams interact to deliver the best possible customer experience;
On the other hand, a HubSpot survey revealed that 90% of consumers seek an immediate response from a brand when they have a customer service question.
By 2023, brands could leverage new technologies, such as live video streaming, to deliver quality service to customers directly from social media applications; In this context, shoppers will be able to receive the same expert advice they would receive in-store from the comfort of their location;
In fact, brands such as Orbit Baby have already had success after integrating live streaming into their social media strategy; As customers demand immediate responses from brands in online channels, we will see this trend take hold in the long term;
Video will continue to be the star format
Marketers have been hearing it for years: “Video is the No. 1 content format for brands to leverage; In 2023 this will still be the case, but fortunately for brands, in many cases, it will be the short, unpolished clips that attract audiences;
Brands can dispense with high-budget campaigns starring celebrities; Instead, they will pick up a mobile phone to record and edit their in-app content experiences; Instagram reels are a good example of less polished, more authentic content that pays off;
- Advertisers are publishing more reels because they are seeing measurable results. According to a recent study, the number of interactions for reels was nearly 40% higher than for traditional videos.
- In this context, it is also worth reviewing Metricool’s latest study on Instagram, in which we can obtain valuable clues as to the types of formats and content that can work best and offer the best results.
Creation of video and user generated content
What is even more appealing to marketers is that the burden of creating video content need not always fall on in-house teams or agencies; More and more content creators are turning to platforms like TikTok to showcase their products, providing brands with a wealth of user-generated content to use in their campaigns;
With hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which has reached 32 billion views, it seems clear that TikTok content has become the perfect tool for influencers and users to share their experiences in an engaging way.
Brands will go one step further in 2023 and get smarter about partnering with video-first influencers who can help amplify relevant messages to audiences while helping to scale production;
More vertical video in 2023
While TikTok’s astronomical rise is nothing new, its influence on the way other social media platforms operate will continue; Let’s get ready to see more content in 9:16 (vertical full screen) format;
- Unsurprisingly, Instagram has followed TikTok’s lead, and now so have YouTube and Facebook; On Facebook, vertical videos have a 90% higher completion rate than horizontal videos, and YouTube is testing a new feature that reformats video ads to play vertically;
- As the number of platforms supporting this aspect ratio increases, the same content can be reused to extend its reach; Recently, however, TikTok has included the possibility to watch full-screen video horizontally, in a clear battle against YouTube;
Brands will invest more in advertising on TikTok
The success of brands on TikTok will not be limited to user-generated content; The platform is doubling revenue generation with more digital advertising opportunities;
As a relatively new platform, TikTok is achieving tremendous results, holding the title of the world’s fastest growing media app, and has experienced in-app consumer spending of over $2.5 billion;
With around 1 billion monthly active users worldwide, it is no wonder that brands are starting to explore the potential of TikTok, not only for generating brand awareness, but also for its ability to contribute to profits;
Increased ad spend on TikTok
Brands that have used TikTok advertising are already seeing promising results; According to a recent study by Triple Whale, brands increased their spend on the platform by 231% in Q2 2022 compared to the same period last year. Even more impressive, the same study found that direct-to-consumer brands leveraging TikTok were generating between $1 million and $5 million in revenue;
In 2023, we will see an increase in the number of brands and industries allocating more of their digital advertising budget to TikTok, which in turn will drive more innovations on the platform and lead to more TikTok marketing opportunities within the digital advertising space;
Audio gains ground in 2023
In times of extreme competition, podcasts are increasingly essential for advertising and marketing campaigns; In fact, an increasing share of budgets is being allocated to podcast ads, allowing brands to reach a more targeted audience with precision;
While conventional broadcasts remain popular, specialised podcasts are gaining ground; With the increased availability of podcast production tools and platforms, it is becoming easier and easier for creators to generate quality and engaging content on specific topics;
In this way, not only large podcast networks, but also independent creators can address a more focused and engaged audience;
Other social media trends for 2023
Beyond all that has been said, we should also have these other possible trends in social media in 2023:
- Increased use of augmented reality and virtual reality: We may see more people using augmented reality and virtual reality in social media to create more immersive and engaging experiences;
- Use of artificial intelligence: social networks may use artificial intelligence to improve personalisation of content and interaction with users;
- Increased emphasis on privacy and security: As online privacy and security become increasingly important concerns for users, social networks may adopt stricter measures to protect their users’ privacy;
- Increased integration with other platforms: We may see social networks integrate more closely with other platforms, such as messaging services and online gaming platforms;