January 24, 2023

2023 Social Media Trends to Keep An Eye On

An up-to-date social media presence is valuable for a wealth of reasons — strengthening branding, driving web traffic, managing reputation, and helping keep a pulse on the competition. But staying “up-to-date” on social media is no small feat.

Greg Jarboe, co-founder of SEO-PR and author of over 1,600 articles for a range of digital marketing publications, set the tone for this year’s social media outlook — “Marketers need to ‘skate to where the puck is going’ to be in 2023, not where it has been.” Our team of social media research fanatics agrees!

We did our research, so you don’t have to guess where the puck is going this year. Here are five research-backed social media trends that will help your business increase brand awareness and engage your audience.

1. Short-Form Videos Dominate Content Creation

You’ve likely consumed more video content in this past year than ever before — visual content is engaging, easy to process, and leaves ample room to weave in what makes your brand unique. Google’s Product Manager, Danielle Marshak, defines a “short-form video” as a vertical video that is under five minutes long. Here are three of the ways we anticipate this type of content taking over in 2023.

Tik Tok

Tick-tock… time is ticking for you to make the most of video social platforms! TikTok’s user-oriented algorithm makes the app a hot spot for vetted customer engagement. While Twitter and other social platforms are reporting flat or declining engagement, TikTok users are projected to exceed 800 million in 2023.

The trendy app is competing for your ad budget and has even overtaken Google in niche categories like gardening. The application? If your business provides a “low-stakes” product or service, such as a restaurant or tourist attraction, try creating some TikTok content and let their powerful algorithm find the right audience for you.

However, the staying power of this platform is in question. Over 20 states have placed bans on the app, citing its questionable data-collecting practices. This is a helpful reminder not to put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to crafting an effective digital marketing strategy.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are full-screen (9:16) vertical videos that can be up to 90 seconds long as a post or 60 seconds long as an ad. They are the ever-popular social media channel’s fastest-growing feature worldwide, equipping users with intuitive editing tools and a vast collection of trending sounds to choose from.

Instagram reported that 91% of their users watch reels at least once a week. With frequency like this, it looks like this format will be very popular in 2023.

Google Search

Google is using Web Stories to test displaying short-form videos in search results. Gary Illyes of Google’s Search Relations team shares that because TikTok videos can be viewed in a web browser, Google may be able to index them in search. Short videos on Snapchat and Instagram, on the other hand, likely could not be indexed in Google since they require an app to view. Keep an eye out for opportunities to pursue an omnichannel SEO strategy that includes video.

2. Social Media is Going Multi-Sensory

With options to add music to Instagram posts, publish to a dedicated podcast page on YouTube, or capitalize on further development to the metaverse, it’s no surprise that strictly visual content has some new competitors vying for your audience’s attention.

There’s no need to radically change your usual strategy to focus on the metaverse. Adding relevant elements such as spoken audio over an informative graphic or music to a fun, culture-building picture are great ways to engage your audience in a new way.

3. Customers Want to Know About Your CSR Efforts

The Harvard Business Review anticipates that 2023 will be a “test of corporate America.” Are corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitments a core part of your business or tied to the state of the economy? Resolve to use the likely recession of this year as an opportunity to stick to your core values in a dark place. Let this be a bright, shining differentiator for your company.

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

— Thomas Jefferson

People care about what your company cares about, and increasingly so. A recent KMPG study reports that 70% of U.S. CEOs acknowledge that taking responsibility for social issues improves financial performance, a 33% increase from last year.

If being an ambassador for social issues is something your company is centered around, use social media to reflect this. Captions are prime digital spaces for walking your audience through how your company is living out its values.

4. AI Allows Personalization at Scale

Helpful AI tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT are a conversational favorite here at PHOS. It has been referred to by the NY Times as “the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public.” From its entertaining ability to pull together a convincing Hallmark Christmas movie plot to its amazing ability to quickly synthesize content on a wealth of topics, AI-produced content is a force to be reckoned with.

When asked “How can AI such as ChatGPT be used to improve social media marketing in 2023?” the bot summarized its findings with stunning eloquence.

The bot’s response to this query loaded in under 50 seconds. Impressive, right? While these powerful tools can be intimidating, it’s best to get ahead of learning how they can help improve your business early. ChatGPT is currently free while OpenAI is capitalizing on user feedback.

5. Keep it Human

AI is cool and has many time-saving implications, but, at the end of the day, we’re all humans. We desire content that relates to us in a way that only other humans can. That’s one of the reasons why we expect people-centered engagement methods to continue to be powerful social media resources this year.

Rise of UGC

User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content — from photos of doodled-on Starbucks cups to raving reviews — that is created by product users. In a world that is rapidly trending towards automation, content created by other humans is viewed as authentic, trustworthy, and downright creative.

Over 93% of consumers reported that UGC has influenced their buying decisions. Here are some effective uses of UGC that we’ve found inspiration from recently.

For your business, this could look like sharing personal photos from a positive comment on your local Google My Business listing with a social media graphic curated by one of our in-house graphic designers. We also love hosting collaborative brainstorms to find ways to help your company’s authenticity shine online.

Declining Partnership with Influencers

With the likelihood of a pending recession, budget for influencer partnerships has been one of the first categories to feel the pinch. Small and midsize content creators report receiving less sponsorship offers this year.

From our perspective, you have two options. You could cut spending here or see this as an opportunity to stand out.

There’s a currently unoccupied corner of experienced creators looking for opportunities to produce unique content for your brand. Additionally, social media users’ feeds will be less inundated with sponsored posts so your content will have more room to stand out.

New Year, New Social Media Strategy

For some, skating to the puck of this year’s social media trends is an exciting challenge. For others, it’s a time-consuming distraction. If you’re looking to spend more time prioritizing your company’s operations and less time managing your company’s social media this year, let us know! Our digital marketing strategists are happy to help you stay up-to-date on market trends and communicate your company’s purpose via social media in a new way.

Amanda Smith

As an Inbound Marketing Executive, Amanda uses her love for creative copy and financial analytics to craft solutions that convert needle-pushing results for her clients. Applying her marketing and economics education from the University of Florida, she empowers each PHOS partner she works with to forward their mission through effective campaign strategy and implementation.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Amanda looking for any opportunity to visit one of Florida’s springs or craft a new Spotify playlist.