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What’s In And What’s Out: Social Media Marketing Trends in 2023

What's in and what's out: Social Media Marketing Trends in 2023

We’re only a few months into 2023 and there have already been plenty of interesting social media trends and developments.  If your brand wants to succeed on social media, you need to stay on the forefront of what is happening across the industry.  Here’s a rundown of 4 social media trends that are hot, and 4 flops that are not in 2023.

What’s In On Social Media In 2023

Edutainment

It started to pick up steam in industries like finance and tech last year.  Now, the edutainment genre is spreading more widely across social media.  As most people know, algorithms on the various social media platforms have changed over time, and many put a much stronger emphasis on saves and shares now than likes and comments.  Thus, brands and individuals alike are trying to provide valuable content that people not only want to look at once, but want to share with their friends or save to reference later. 

Edutainment, providing information in a fun and entertaining way, is the perfect example of shareable and saveable content.  When done well, it provides value to viewers far beyond just looking cool.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

Brands relying on user-generated content is nothing new.  But it is a trend that continues to grow more and more each year. As social media users place increased value on authenticity, their desire to see genuine, real-life content from users of a product or service increases. Businesses have been making use of UGC in a variety of ways, from stories to videos to posts.

Social Audio

You can thank TikTok for this one. Up until about 5 years ago, video on social media was primarily a sound-off experience.  Very rarely were users actually listening to the content they were watching.  Captions and visuals were the primary ways to get information across when it came to video.  But now, especially with the popularity of TikTok and other short-form video content, audio has made a comeback.  While videos should still be created to be understood with sound off (for accessibility purposes), it’s now becoming common practice for songs, sounds, and audio elements to really play a role in video content on social media.

Social Commerce

It started taking off during the early pandemic years of 2020-21, then growth slowed as we faced a recession and reduced spending.  Yet despite the unstable economy, social commerce (selling directly through social media platforms) has been booming in 2023! 

If your business is in the eCommerce industry, you’ll want to take advantage of social commerce if you’re not already.  Shopping directly on sites like Instagram, where they’re already spending much of their time, offers extreme convenience for consumers.  It can help you drive sales with very minimal effort. 

What’s Out On Social Media In 2023

Curated photos

To clarify: Professional product photoshoots and high-quality images are still essential. However, feeds that look overly manicured and highly-produced are not resonating with viewers like they may have before. As was mentioned above, users are placing more value on authenticity than before (which is evident with the popularity of channels like BeReal).  So while you still don’t want to be posting pixelated photos in shadowy lighting, you also don’t want your entire feed to look like it’s straight out of a magazine.  Infusing some life into your social media content will get you farther in 2023 than relying solely on staged product shots.

Hypertargeted Ads

There was a time when targeting your digital ads to exactly the right audience was an art.  For instance, Facebook used to offer hundreds of options to narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, activity, and more.  Over time, those options have been slowly disappearing.  

While targeting is still important, more and more channels are introducing their own optimization tools they want you to rely on. Instead of manually targeting ads yourself as a marketer, platforms want you to basically let them do the targeting for you.  On Facebook in particular, the ads without too many demographic, geographic, or activity-based restrictions are performing much better. 

Easily Achieved High Organic Reach

Another relic of the past is the widespread ability to grow your organic reach quickly and easily.  Of course, there will still be the rare account that gains a following and is able to grow completely organically.  However, this becomes more of a rarity with each passing day.  

To put it simply: The algorithms on various social media platforms just aren’t showing your day-to-day content to as many people as they used to. Unless your post or video goes viral, there’s a good chance not too many people outside your core followers will ever see it. Marketers and businesses need to make use of paid ads and other means to grow their social channels now.  

Sustainability Claims

If you spent any time on social media around 2021-22, you likely were bombarded by brands and businesses making claims about how eco-friendly or “green” their practices were.  Users were, and continue to be, focused on sustainability as a major factor in the companies they choose to support and purchase from.  

But many of these claims were functionally meaningless.  Non-profit organizations and informed users began calling out brands making pretty much empty claims about how green they were, while actively engaging in other practices that were harming the environment.  For this reason, many companies have taken a step back from crowing about their sustainability efforts loud and proud.  Unless they’re really making a difference and supporting the environment in a meaningful way, consumers don’t want to hear it.

We’d like to hear from you: What are some other trends (or busts) you’ve been noticing on social media in 2023 so far? 

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