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January 12, 2023

2023 Social Media Trends

Dakota J. Booth

2023 Social Media Trends article.

The only thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same. That describes the world we live in but sits squarely on the nose of social media. Social changes are so fast that it’s tough to keep up sometimes. One thing, however, that is surely going to stay the same is that paid ads will still rule the space. Excellent copy, quality visuals, and attention to posting schedule data all matter, yet run the risk of being met with radio silence if not bolstered by some cash. How can you maximize your return on investment if the rules of the game keep changing? Skate where the puck is going. Here is where we at Creative Energy predict the social puck is headed in 2023.

Customers as influencers & the rise of the micro-influencer

Who better to talk about products we want people to love than the people who love the product? As TikTok continues to be the search engine replacement for younger generations, everyday customers with smaller-than-10k followings on social media will become the trusted outlet. Gen Z and the surrounding ages often put more stock into the creators they see on their phone screens every day rather than the most famous people on the bigger screens. There is a sense of community that social is building, being driven by Gen Z with their empathetic views and desire to be connected to the world around them.

Higher emphasis on Reels on Instagram.

Instagram has been pushing users towards Reels since its inception. However, that was pushed forward a bit in 2022 with the adjustment to their core feed algorithm, deprioritizing other content. Instagram made the move during the summer and changed the preferred ratio to a more vertical video-friendly size, encouraging users to post Reels to their feeds. This trend will continue as Instagram aims to rely more heavily on AI to show more posts the user is likely to interact with. We aren’t saying that Instagram is integrating TikTok functions into their own platform, but we aren’t not saying that either.

Youtube gets shorter, and TikTok gets longer.

Following suit with the overall trend of short-form videos and giving more space for people to create, YouTube is making Shorts a more desirable place to create. From engaging with the community and gathering input on features to launching a more creator-friendly ad revenue split than its competitors, YouTube Shorts is bound to be another landing place for the videos currently being made and produced for TikTok and Reels. While YouTube “regulars” are already taking advantage of Shorts, there shouldn’t be surprises if brands and companies begin to make their way to the platform, namely in industries where “how-to” videos are ripe for creation.

TikTok, on the other hand, will continue to push the boundaries of its “short form” reputation by pushing creators toward the 10-minute-long video option as well as live streams. This is a bit of a precarious position for brands, as this would most likely require consistent on-air talent. So, are social media managers tasked with getting themselves on camera on behalf of the brand, or is the role filled by another individual? Having a social media manager be the “content creator” begs the question of what happens if/when that person leaves the role or company? A potential to need to start over is undoubtedly present. However, hiring someone to be the talent in video content is not always financially feasible. Creativity is key to finding your organization’s balance.

Attention grabbers > clickbait

This next point is actually split into two points, so stick with me. Across all platforms, the same issue will be present—getting people to stick around. (See what I did there?) The “hook” for content will be more important than ever in 2023, which is saying something since it’s pretty important already. Offering viewers a reason to stay and consume the content is going to make or break the metrics in the coming year. Something that has kept me engaged throughout 2022 is the offer of information. What are you using or promoting? What does it do? Why is it cool or useful?  Use the information as your hook—and lean into your niche. People like it when people like things.

Community engagement through lo-fi content

So, you’ve hooked ‘em. Now what? Well, that’s arguably the easy part! Now, just show up. Engage. Keep offering that information but also don’t put pressure on yourself to use a 4K camera to capture it. Take people along for the journey of whatever it is that’s happening in the brand’s day-to-day. Show behind-the-scenes. Introduce the staff and the office. Give that Nickel Tour to everyone. Thanks to social media, everyone is a marketer in some regard now. They understand that content is a sausage that’s made up of lots of different pieces of talent, ideas, and trials. The trick to gathering a community and keeping them around in 2023 will be to do the most taboo thing that’s existed behind the veil of marketing and creating for the last decade plus—show people how the sausage is made. Extend a hand to the viewer and help them to have the same connection with your brand as you do.

Social commerce has matured

Have you ever been scrolling and saw an ad for something that looked cool? Did you go on to buy it? Or were the steps to actually purchase the item something that threw you off the trail? That instance is something that will soon be a thing of the past. Brands and platforms are beginning to incorporate social commerce—purchasing things straight from the social platform. This is particularly a hot topic on TikTok, where the parent company has already heavily implemented the feature onto other platforms. The product marketing funnel is being greatly shortened and will be contained to a single post on a platform–from introduction to purchase, all in one single social post. This means that product marketing will almost have no choice but to move faster and more efficiently.

Small business renaissance.

All these aforementioned trends really set the stage for something we should all be excited about—small business thriving. In a world where everyone is a “marketer” having grown up in the age of social media, people are beginning to use those skills for their passions and businesses. Micro-influencers? Every town has them. Lo-fi & authentic content? That looks a lot like the everyday person’s social feed. Small businesses are often the heartbeat of cities, and they are gaining notoriety not just on the streets they call home, but in the digital marketplace as well.

We want content consumers to love us, after all, right? What if that love was genuine and had some depth behind it other than, “I like how this product tastes/makes my life easier/looks.” What if we gave people exactly what they’re looking for and established a type of loyalty that is usually reserved for sports or music? What if we created… cult brands? Good news, reader. That’s exactly what we do here at Creative Energy & we’d love to help you raise the level of fandom that you’ve already done a great job at creating. Let’s take it to the moon together, yeah?