For brands of all shapes and sizes, social media offers the opportunity to grab consumers’ attention and, when used effectively, move them along the path to purchase (and in some cases, even toward brand loyalty and brand ambassadorship). But to achieve the highest levels of success on any of the growing number of social platforms, it’s important for marketers and other brand decision-makers to pay attention to the latest social media trends — and to harness them before the competition does.
To help put your brand ahead of the curve in its social efforts, the social media experts at Brandon have put together this list of 2023 social media trends, all of which we expect to have an outsized impact on the social landscape in the coming year:
1. Short-form video’s growth keeps truckin’
Despite being a relative newcomer among social networks, TikTok — a platform uniquely focused on short-form video — has seen an astounding rise in its popularity over the last few years. In fact, the TikTok app was the world’s most downloaded both in 2020 and again in 2021, a year when the app’s total number of all-time downloads since its 2016 launch also eclipsed 3 billion. And short-form video’s surge in popularity among consumers extends well beyond TikTok. According to statistics, Instagram’s short-form Reels, which debuted in 2020, delivers about 22% more engagement among the platform’s users than traditional video content on Instagram. Meanwhile, YouTube Shorts, launched in July 2021, has since amassed more than 5 trillion (and counting) collective views and is seen by more than 1.5 billion logged-in viewers every month. For all of these reasons and more, we at Brandon highly recommend that brands of all shapes and sizes get in on the short-form video craze, as we don’t see it fading anytime soon.
2. ‘Social SEO’ sees its popularity rise
Google has long been the undisputed king of internet searches. But especially among the newest generations of consumers, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest have become increasingly popular places to go when looking for restaurants, products, reviews, recommendations and more. In fact, according to recent comments by a Google exec, studies by the search engine giant show that nearly 40% of young internet users choose TikTok or Instagram when searching for a restaurant. Moving forward, we see this trend escalating further, and we recommend that brands leveraging these social networks optimize the content they post there to rank highly in the platforms’ search engine results.
3. Twitter could suffer a continued slide
Since its takeover by billionaire Elon Musk in late October 2022, micro-blogging platform Twitter has experienced its fair share of chaos, to say the least. Worker layoffs have been rampant, advertisers have been leaving the platform in large numbers, multiple (and some quite substantial) corporate-leadership decisions have been made based on user polls and, most concerning to typical users, hate speech on the platform has seen an unprecedented rise. To make matters worse, users seem to be leaving the platform in significant numbers, too. Musk, of course, has a long track record of success in leading tech companies. And the platform’s present-day direction could certainly change based on his next moves. But if Twitter continues moving on its current trajectory, we suspect it will begin to lose much of its prominence as a social platform in the coming year or two.
4. Marketers move more toward micro-influencers
For brands looking to grow their online audiences, booking the influencers with the biggest names and most followers on social media can definitely produce results. But influencers with huge follower numbers also bring sky-high price tags. Further, “micro-influencers” with 1,000 followers typically generate an 85% higher level of per-capita engagement than influencers with 100,000 followers — and do so at much more budget-friendly prices. This can make tapping into influencers with smaller, more targeted and loyal audiences a big win for brands. And considering this, we expect to see more small- to medium-sized brands leverage this powerful marketing tactic in 2023.
5. Social commerce will make more strides
For brands looking to make online conversions, as a general rule, the fewer clicks to checkout, the better. And with social platforms like Facebook and Instagram each introducing their Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops features in 2020, selling to consumers directly on social media platforms has become much easier for brands in recent years. Other social platforms are following suit, and we don’t see the trend slowing anytime soon. In fact, for the platforms that host them, we think that social commerce features will become some of the networks’ most popular offerings. And for marketers and brands (especially e-commerce businesses) that haven’t yet done so, it may be high time to look into creating these friction-free shopping/purchasing experiences for their consumers.
6. Social audio will advance
Podcasts have been around for quite some time, and they’ve seen a spike in popularity in recent years. And the era of audio-based social media officially arrived in 2020 with the launch of Clubhouse, which allows users to communicate through real-time, virtual chat “rooms” that can host thousands of people. Now, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all launched social audio features, and additional competitor platforms are popping up in the space. To get in on this growing trend, brands and businesses should consider an investment in creating and posting audio-only content such as podcasts, sound clips and live events, all of which enable consumers to follow along while carrying out other tasks such as walking, running or driving. They can do that all without having to fully immerse themselves in viewing or reading on-screen content.
Want to elevate your brand’s social media presence — and its effectiveness at capturing new customers — in 2023 and beyond? At Brandon, our social media team stays abreast of all the latest trends on every social network — and knows how to put them to work to boost your brand and its business. To get started with help ranging from a simple social strategy analysis to a full handoff of all your social calendar planning and posts to our experienced, data-driven team, contact us today.