Curious to know how Social Media Marketing will look like in 2023? What are the major trends to consider for social networks like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter?
Before we go there, let us first do a quick recap of 2022.
Social Media in 2022 — A Brief Recap
Barely emerging from the ravages of Covid-19, the world of social media saw lots of exciting developments in 2022. Here are some of the highlights.
#1 Gen-Zs Makes Their Presence Felt
With Gen-Zs (or Pivotals) making their presence felt online, social issues that matter to them have come to the forefront.
Communities of both woke and anti-woke youths and teenagers express their views online, particularly on short-form video formats like TikToks/Reels/Stories.
Brands have also realised the importance of true authenticity and transparency, as Gen-Zs vote with both their online voices and their wallets.
#2 TikTok Continues to Grow
Becoming one of the most visited websites on the planet, TikTok continues to grow in prominence even as it is banned in countries like India — and possibly US in the future.
With over one billion users worldwide, the video-first social network and app has now become a major player in the social media stakes.
#3 Social Networks Become Search Engines
In line with the rise of social media channels like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest, social media has morphed into search engines.
While hashtags still play a role in finding content on social networks, more users now rely on keywords. Hence, SEO strategies like keyword optimization now applies to social media profiles, posts, and videos. These include using the right alt-text on your images and videos, as well as your content titles and sentences.
#4 Whither Twitter
Thanks (or no thanks) to Elon Musk’s audacious takeover of Twitter, the tweeting world encountered a non-stop series of algorithmic and policy changes.
From reinstating Donald Trump’s Twitter account to allowing users to buy its blue tick verification service for US$8 a month, Musk turned Twitter on its head. His promise to make Twitter more balanced in covering both conservative and liberal views remains to be seen.
#5 Live Streaming Sales Grows
Live-streaming sales has now become the new e-commerce — especially on social platforms like TikTok that has seen a massive growth in both sellers and buyers on its TikTok Shop.
From fashion to food, watches, artworks to crystals, live-stream sales has taken the online world by storm.
#6 TikTok-ification of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube
From Instagram and Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, to the use of trending music, hashtags, and templates, both Meta and Alphabet have tried to keep pace with TikTok’s success in short-form videos.
Conversely, we’ve also seen how TikTok now offers Stories, and is reaching the other direction towards becoming more of a social network and less of a video streaming site. Yes, you can now upload longer-form videos on TikTok, and you can even do carousel-type slideshow posts (similar to Instagram and LinkedIn, albeit with music thrown in)!
Now that we’ve reviewed some of the major trends in 2022, let us look towards the year ahead.
Social Media Marketing Trends in 2023
Gazing at the online crystal ball for 2023, I predict the following major trends to take shape in the world of social media.
#1 Social Media Channels Continue to Coalesce
With social networks copying each other’s features and functions, social media channels will become more and more similar in future.
LinkedIn is now both professional and personal, favouring those who prefer to write than record a video. TikTok, on the other hand, continues to attract professional users and businesses, with paid videos (ads) fast becoming the only way to grow your reach.
(Trying to go viral organically becomes tougher and tougher now that the social network matures.)
We will also see Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) trying to drive e-commerce and sales on their platforms, perhaps with new features and tools similar to what TikTok has rolled out.
#2 Live-Streaming Becomes More Mainstream
There are several reasons why live streaming is likely to continue growing in their impact on social media platforms:
- Convenience: Live streaming allows users to watch content in real-time from anywhere with an internet connection. This is particularly appealing for people who want to stay up-to-date with events or happenings but are unable to attend in person.
- Interactivity: Live streaming allows for interactive experiences, as viewers can ask questions and participate in real-time. This can create a sense of community and engagement that is not possible with pre-recorded content.
- Authenticity: Live streaming allows users to see content as it happens, which can create a sense of authenticity and genuine connection with the content creator.
- Personalization: Live streaming allows content creators to tailor their content to their audience in real-time, based on feedback and interaction. This can create a more personalized and relevant experience for the viewer.
- Increased accessibility: Live streaming technology has become increasingly accessible in recent years, with many social media platforms offering built-in live streaming capabilities. This has made it easier for people to create and share their own live streams.
Overall, the convenience, interactivity, authenticity, personalization, and increased accessibility of live streaming make it a popular choice for both content creators and viewers on social media platforms. This is especially so in the domain of live-streaming sales.
#3 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools Improve Productivity
The biggest fear that many will have is whether AI tools like Surfer, CopyAI, Ryter, Jasper and others of their ilk could take over the job of social media content creators. They are certainly impressive — particularly those that can create videos or images based on text inputs.
These tools have several advantages over humans like us:
- Efficiency: They can analyze and process large amounts of data quickly and accurately, which can save time and resources compared to having a human do the same tasks.
- Consistency: Most AI content tools produce consistent results, as they are not subject to human emotions or biases. This can be useful for tasks that require a high degree of precision and objectivity.
- Scalability: Wish to handle a high volume of tasks without requiring additional human labour? Get a bot to help you with them, especially if they need to be completed quickly or at large scale.
- Cost-effectiveness: AI content tools can be more cost-effective than hiring additional human labour, as they do not require wages or benefits.
The trick here is to use these tools for tasks that are suitable for automation. They can help you to shortcut tasks that are repetitive, data-intensive, or may require a high degree of precision.
However, it is important to note that AI content tools are not a replacement for human creativity or judgment. While they can be useful for certain tasks, they may not be able to produce the same level of originality or nuance as a human.
#4 Short-Form Videos Continue to Grow
Yes, this train isn’t stopping anytime, largely due to our fascination for all things moving.
From video posts to stories to reels/TikToks to video messages, short-form videos will continue to dominate other content formats.
There are several reasons why more people — and brands — are producing short videos on social media:
- Attention span: Short videos are more likely to hold the attention of viewers, as they can be consumed quickly and easily. This is particularly important on social media platforms, where users are often scrolling through a feed and may not have the time or patience to watch a longer video.
- Ease of production: It is easier than ever to produce short videos, thanks to the widespread availability of smartphones with high-quality cameras and video editing software. This has made it possible for anyone to create and share their own videos on social media.
- Popularity: Short videos are becoming increasingly popular on social media platforms, as they can be entertaining and informative. This has created a demand for more short videos, which has encouraged more people to produce them.
- Engagement: Short videos can be highly engaging, as they can be used to convey a message or story in a concise and visually appealing way. This can help to increase the reach and impact of a video on social media.
This brings me to the next trend that will continue to be a thing in 2023.
#5 Edutaining Video Ads Dominate Social Media
Gone are the days where creative “high-concept” ads rule the roost. These days, people are attracted to ads that feature “users” just like them, in everyday contexts that they can relate to.
Edutaining video ads, which combine education and entertainment, are effective on social media for several reasons:
- Engaging: They’re highly engaging and attention-grabbing, offering a mix of educational and entertaining content. This keeps viewers interested and more likely to watch the entire video.
- Persuasive: By presenting information that is both informative and appealing, such videos build trust and credibility with viewers. They are also far more likely to take action after watching the videos.
- Shareability: Tapping on various viral strategies, these videos can be produced in such a way as to stimulate social sharing. This can be particularly effective if the video is entertaining and informative.
- Personalization: Edutaining videos can be tailored to the contexts of specific target audiences, which can make them more relevant and effective. This can be particularly useful on social media, where ads can be targeted to specific demographics and interests.
#6 The Rise of Video Content Creators
The rise of video content creators on social media has been driven by a combination of technological advances and changing consumer behavior. With the widespread availability of high-quality cameras and video editing software, it has become easier for anyone to create and share their own videos on social media.
At the same time, the increasing use of social media as a source of entertainment and information has created a demand for more diverse and engaging video content. As a result, video content creators have emerged as a significant force on social media. Some have built large and loyal followings and generate significant income through their video content.
These individuals may not be models, celebrities, sports persons, singers or actors. Instead, they are folks from all professions and interests who have the knack of shooting and producing a bite-sized video that is both entertaining and educational.
Such content creators are also likely to be niche specialists — doctors and dentists, home chefs, yoga experts, dog groomers, artists, dancers, comedians or educators. Brands may either partner these content creators for the long-term, or possibly hire them to produce content on a regular basis.
#7 Social Media Relationship Building is Key
Against the backdrop of AI generated content, social media users will place greater value on authentic human interactions. These are difficult to scale — bot commenters and likers can be easily caught and accounts banned — which means that you need actual humans to interact with your users.
Here are several ways in which you can do so.
First respond promptly to any user who has either commented or messaged your page. Doing so in a timely manner matters especially if they are customer service enquiries or complaints.
Next, be authentic by being as genuine and transparent as possible. Use actual language and avoid canned responses or impersonal language. Here, showing empathy helps.
Interact and reach out to social media users not only on your social media accounts but in other communities and groups. Ask questions, start discussions, respond to their comments with useful answers.
Tap on the power of social listening, and find out what your users are saying about your brands or your products. Use this to build trust and credibility with your users.
Finally, find a way to show your appreciation by thanking those who compliment your brand, or consider even featuring them on your socials.
Learn more about building a loyal brand community online here.
Recommendations and Conclusion
In summary, social media marketing will continue to be a prominent part of your digital marketing arsenal in 2023.
To ride onto these trends, consider the following:
- Tap onto 2 or 3 social media channels to grow your brand, particularly newer channels like TikTok
- Consider live-streaming as a part of your social media marketing strategy
- Use AI Tools to improve your productivity, but do not over rely on them as your originality and creativity is still needed
- Short form videos will be the way to go — find a way to integrate them into your practice
- Work with (or hire) video content creators
- Deploy edutaining videos for your paid ads — feature everyday users in a relevant context
- Interact and engage with your users in a human fashion
Are there other major trends that we should consider for 203? Let me know in the comments below!