Social media is in the middle of a revolutionary change. Social channels are constantly evolving and adapting their features to suit user behavior and potential platform growth. This continuing transformation also presents opportunities for marketers to be more creative with the content they produce and how it reaches their audiences.
The level of social media usage is on the rise and growing steadily. There is currently 4.74 billion active users across the globe, a boost of 4.2% from the year before. People are spending more time on their preferred social channels, and it’s continuing to have a positive impact on how they engage online.
Now, this is great news for businesses. More users grant a bigger target audience, but it can also come with a downside. Concentrating your effort on a number of high-performing social media channels can result in content saturation, going over budget, and user engagement fatigue. So let’s stop this and look at where it’s best to focus your marketing efforts in the new year to come.
The Social Media Trends To Look Out For in 2023
Utilising the social trends below is sure to help you stand out against your competitors and increase your user engagement, brand visibility, and market reach.
Apart from the ongoing video content trend, authenticity has slowly become a key factor for success across various social media platforms. The time of overly-edited & filtered images is over and being authentic & in real time is in. These are the posts customers can relate to and are in demand when it comes to their viewing expectations.
The increasing popularity of TikTok and the BeReal platform demonstrates that filter-free content and relatable personalities and situations are trending.
Tik Tok & Short Video
When it comes to video content, it’ll come as no surprise that the OG, YouTube remains the giant in that area. For 92% of marketers, it’s a vital part of their marketing strategy. The rise of video has helped to enhance major social media platforms such as Facebook & LinkedIn to meet the needs of their growing popularity and new trends.
But, the interesting trend of short-form videos has sprouted due to the rise of TikTok. This has become a popular phenomenon with Generation Z audiences, who are the driving demographic behind the trend. And the result of why short engaging videos are so naturally loved is the fact they are easily creatable and inexpensive to produce.
Instagram Reels have too helped to boost the popularity of short-form content with this type of “microcontent” playing a major role in social commerce and how influencers promote their partnered products and services to their audiences.
The Effectiveness of Micro-influencers
Staying on the topic of influencer marketing, their trend is set to become even more important in 2023. With more online users shopping from home, your brand promotion strategy should be influenced by partnering with influencers, although it can come at a cost.
Due to the level of the spotlight on social media and reality television (such as Love Island), well-known influencers are asking for high payment when promoting a brand. This results in smaller businesses being cut off from this important form of marketing. Therefore, reaching out to smaller influencers who sit within your certain niche is much more effective.
Whilst Macro-influencers have a huge following, they actually have difficulties engaging their followers. Micro-influencers, however, have a smaller audience but a stronger engagement rate. They are cheaper to partner with and collaborating with several smaller influencers better suited to you can have a better ROI for your business.
The Rise of Social Commerce
Facebook and Instagram were the first platforms to offer social commerce options to businesses. They proceeded to follow the switch to online shopping, and active users have since flooded in. I can guarantee that a Facebook Shop or Instagram Storefront will become your most used marketing tool, if not set up already.
Today’s buyers are more knowledgeable than ever before. They are researching your brand and offers before buying, hence why this approach to commerce has unprecedented potential. Convenience is important for potential customers, so allowing them to research and shop in one place makes for a better-informed decision and quicker checkout.
The final point to consider is that this trend is sure to evolve as other social channels begin to experiment with similar features and visit other sales avenues. They will form the goal of reaching new customer acquisitions and meeting audience expectations.
Using Social Networks for Customer Service
Social media networks are now worlds away from what were once used to simply connect people and to share content with each other. Businesses are utilising them more, and as commerce becomes more prominent, it’s only natural that they’ll be soon used as a customer service channel.
It is vital to have a direct line of communication with your customers to quickly act upon potential issues. And, what better way to connect with them than within the same hub they use for everything else? It also looks great when brands publicly respond to and help customers.
Whilst, Twitter may not have a specific feature available for customer support, customers can tag a brand within a tweet to grab a brand’s attention. Facebook, however, has dedicated features like using a common inbox, automated responses, and a chatbot for customers.
Tight-knit Social Communities
The increase of users on social media can cause some to feel overwhelmed. For the minority, all the noise is becoming hard to cope with and they are seeking other ways of communication. Such as seeking comfort in smaller communities alongside like-minded people where content can be shared and created more freely. A micro-community may have a smaller audience but its engagement rates are mighty.
Facebook & Linkedin took advantage of this trend, and it has truly worked in their favor. Facebook Groups saw an increase in the number of groups relating to the current situation of the world, in a safe space where their voices and opinions are shared. Brands are taking notice of this social media trend and showing interest in building up their communities even more.
Social communities can be used to draw in your audience based around a focal point, from your brand itself through to a specific product. Drive the conversation with your audience, offer valuable content, gather feedback and gain great insight. You’ll empower your brand and make them feel important.
The Rise of Social Justice and Brand Involvement
A significant number of brands have decided to enter a public discussion on social media when it comes to topics like social justice, politics, and the environment. Whether it be a bold marketing move or a sincere involvement, it can have a strong effect on your audience. It’s now almost expected by younger audiences for the brands they follow to get involved in business activism. Especially on difficult topics.
It can also humanize your brand, being involved in a given topic that your customers are passionate about. Say the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, or the Black Lives Matter movement. You just need to be careful about how you approach a sensitive subject and that you meet the approval of your audience.
Cross-channeling Social Media and Email Marketing
The gap between different digital marketing channels is getting smaller. In order to gather more data and use it effectively, marketers want to bridge more tools together. If you wish to go with this multichannel approach, you need to set and stick with your brand tone, & align your social and email campaigns together.
A fantastic way of combining the two is to utilize them for different purposes. While social media platforms are brilliant for building brand awareness and audience interest, email marketing is based on conversion. For example, run a cross-channel giveaway on social media in return for a sign-up to your email newsletter.
This action can be reversed too, by uploading a segmented email list to Facebook to better connect with your customers and find potential ones. Facebook Custom and Lookalike audiences can be used here, and it too can benefit your ad retargeting campaigns.
A Rise In Augmented Reality
What began as fluffy bunny ear filters, is now helping to improve social shopping experiences for online users. Augmented reality effects through Facebook and Instagram are helping to support the consumer market for a small selection of products, such as sunglasses & makeup. The items that normally require an in-store try-on before being purchased.
With the rise of social commerce and the need for only a smartphone, this trend is set to grow and continue in the upcoming months.
Some of the smallest trends can lead to great things, so I recommend keeping a close eye on the elements above to ensure you make the most of them. eCommerce Expert will also be documenting on how they evolve, so stay tuned here too.
Thanks for reading,
Myk Baxter, eCommerce Consultant