Social media marketing is an ongoing challenge that requires brands to respond to changing audience behaviour and proactively adapt to ever-changing trends. This year has been transformative in the social world as we have seen consumer trends fluctuate, new technologies roll out, and emerging platforms grow.

The speed of change in social media apps sees no sign of slowing down, forcing marketers to prepare for what’s in store in 2023. While the marketing landscape is filled with uncertainty, there are social media trends marketers can count on over the next 12 months, all based on consumer expectations, social engagement with younger demographics, and current KPIs driving the success of the brand.

As we head into 2023, we predict the following five trends are likely to impact social media marketers.

The Rise of the “Influencer Customer”: We’ve long said that influencer marketing will continue to play a bigger role in marketing campaigns, and data has shown that this is true now more than ever. Companies of all sizes have joined forces with influencers to increase brand awareness and substantially increase online sales. We’ve seen the micro-influencer footprint grow, but what about micro-influencers?

Authenticity is such a powerful force with customers. Brands don’t always have to pay out of pocket for materials that can have a real impact on their KPIs. In 2023, more brands will embrace word of mouth and use social media as a means to get user-generated content (UGC) from customers.

Marketers have found that UGC drives 29% more web conversions than campaigns or websites that don’t use UGC. It’s easy for brands to tap into the wealth of real testimonials. Not only does this save valuable time and resources (since the content is plug-and-play), but it also puts a brand’s most loyal customer in the spotlight, helping potential buyers make decisions, and informed purchases.

Brands will explore new Social Platforms: Remember the clubhouse craze? Part of social media marketing is experimenting.

If you’re not trying out new formats, new platforms, or new trends, you’re already in the know. Not every test will work, but that’s exactly why it’s a test. With the success of TikTok and the overall online behaviour of Gen Z, brands are growing more confident in jumping into emerging platforms.

BeReal is an excellent example of an emerging platform full of promise. Like TikTok, when the app debuted, brands were sceptical. But for early adopters, the effort was worth it. We are already seeing creative strategies with brands like Chipotle using BeReal to deliver exclusive promotions and discounts.

This is just the beginning. More brands will turn to apps like BeReal to grow their Gen Z community and take an authentic approach to the market.

Clients will turn to Social Assistance: The pandemic has forever changed the way customers interact with brands on social media. One of the major changes brands have experienced has been the number of customers turning to branded social accounts to address customer service questions and needs.

Social customer service has always been a part of social media marketing, but previously it remained largely in the shadows. But with the travel lockdowns and restrictions of 2020, the invisible cloak was removed as brands realized they were ill-equipped to meet customer expectations without a dedicated social customer service strategy. Not only has this trend continued solidly over the past couple of years, but brands will see more and more customers turning to social media platforms for service-related issues.

A recent Emplifi survey found that two out of three consumers prefer to use social media during the buying process to ask questions, make purchases, and seek post-purchase customer support. The report’s findings highlight how important it is for brands to harmonize how their customer service and social media marketing teams interact to deliver the best possible customer experience.

We predict that by 2023, brands will leverage new technologies, such as live video streaming, to deliver quality service to customers directly from social media apps. Customers can get the same expert advice they would get in-store from the comfort of their location. Brands like Orbit Baby have already found success after integrating live streaming into their social media curation strategy. As more and more online consumers demand instant answers from brands, we will see this trend continue over the long term.

Video will Dominate: Marketers have been hearing it for years: “Video is the #1 content format brands should embrace.” In 2023, that will still be the case, but fortunately for brands, it will be the seedy, unpolished clips that will attract audiences. Brands can ditch big-budget celebrity campaigns. Instead, they grab a mobile phone to record and edit their content experiences on the app. Instagram Reels is a great example of how less polished, more authentic content pays off. Brands release more reels because they see measurable results. According to a recent study, Reels generated nearly 40% more engagement than traditional videos.

Even more appealing to marketers, the burden of creating video content doesn’t have to fall on internal teams or agencies. More and more content creators are turning to platforms like TikTok to showcase products, giving brands a wealth of UGC to use in campaigns. With hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt reaching 32 billion views, it’s clear that TikTok content is perfect for influencers and users to share their experiences engagingly. In 2023, brands will go even further and become wiser when it comes to partnering with video influencers who can help amplify targeted messages while increasing production.

Brands will Invest more in TikTok Advertising: The brand’s success on TikTok won’t be limited to UGC. The platform doubles revenue generation with more digital advertising opportunities.

As a relatively new platform, TikTok is achieving huge results with the fastest-growing media app title in the world, seeing over $2.5 billion in consumer spending in the app. With nearly 30 million daily active users worldwide, it’s no wonder brands are starting to explore the potential of TikTok – not only to drive brand awareness but also for its ability to contribute to the bottom line.

Brands that have used TikTok advertising are already seeing promising results. According to a recent study by Triple Whale, brands increased their spending on the platform by 231% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier. And even more impressive, the same study found that direct-to-consumer brands using TikTok generated $1 million to $5 million in revenue.

In 2023, we will see an increase in brands and industries devoting 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.

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