In 2023 Annual Conference

Contributed by Madelene Skinner, VP of Digital Media

“What social media trends should I keep my eye on now?” It’s a question on all our minds, all the time. Social media consultant, long-time blogger, podcaster and professor Arik Hanson shared 10 social media trends he believes will emerge – based on research, data and real-world examples. He offered fresh ideas and approaches to chew on that you can integrate into your social media plans immediately.

As we’ve seen in the last few weeks, social media channels are changing and transitioning – from new platforms to new names. We are in the era of the rise of the next big social network. Practitioners are looking for alternatives to X (formerly Twitter), as well as social audio and other tactics that impact our work.

Arik Hanson, provided the ten social media trends we should track and which platforms matter in 2023.

Social search becomes bigger priority. It is taking off in the industry with the need for brands to know and understand their audience.

  • 73% of all users 18-34 use TikTok as a platform for research
  • Search is also a big behavior on Instagram
  • 83% discover new products on social media
  • 81% research products or services on social media
  • 80% decide whether to buy a product or service on social media
  • YouTube is also used as a source for social search

What can you do now? Here are the top ten social media trends:

#1 Optimize your social profiles

#2 The big channel priority shift

  • Companies are not investing in Facebook or Twitter
  • B2B number one channel is LinkedIn – 28%
  • Video content remains among the top trends

#3 Focus on accessibility in social will increase

Diversity and inclusion are a priority for many organizations, and accessibility should be a top concern in 2023. Fifteen percent of audiences have a disability. Another thing to look out for when being inclusive is alt-text. Take advantage – it’s worth the added time.

#4 Keeping up with the video-first shift

Video is the most engaging type of in-feed social content. As far as algorithms:

  • Instagram prioritizes reels
  • Video is now the priority

The top social media marketing challenges for practitioners:

  • Number one is budget
  • Time/availability
    • Our time is precious – give yourself permission that you can’t keep up two reels a week – It’s okay to cut back
  • Develop realistic goals to be sustainable

#5 Post in frequency

How often should you post on social overall – 11x per day? Not really – pay attention to your analytics.

Being a social media manager is already tough with content marketing. Free up to be more innovative and intentional about content.

#6 Native documents

Yasss, this was a good tactic! Native documents are getting the reel treatment. What was happening with reels is happening with native documents. You’ll see this feature getting more attention on LinkedIn and a great way to share infographics. Brands are using them in all kinds of ways such as highlighting volunteer work, recognizing the team, etc. Don’t forget the call to action.

#7 Twitter/X/Whatever we’re calling it

We’re seeing the demise of Twitter. As you may already be aware, some brands have paused using Twitter (X) – including the big brands – Target, Best Buy, etc. Should you still use Twitter? The numbers aren’t looking too great since it may not have been working as a brand marketing tool for most brands. There are other platforms where you can market your brand, so review your own analytics to see if it’s still a platform that works best for your campaigns. It’s okay to pause and look into other effective ways to share your content. See what works for you.

#8 LinkedIn becomes an influencer channel

Best-selling author Ann Handley is a common industry influencer on LinkedIn. Why LinkedIn?

  • Your brand wants the level of engagement
  • Know your influencers (Influencer 101 – get to know people first)

#9 Reels – short-form video play for most brands

Instagram reels organic post engagement rates in 2022 were at 1.44% while video itself was lower at .65%. The smaller the account the more important reels become. Read that again.

There are key factors to implementing reels in your comms plan – most brands are already active on Instagram, IG clearly prioritizes Reels in the feed and Instagram is many brands’ number one choice as a social platform right now.

#10 Social media as we know it starts to fade or die

  • User growth is slowing
  • Social ad spend continues to grow
  • Social media marketing is going to become social media advertising
  • People are sharing less news – sign of the times???

So what should we do moving forward –

  • Evaluate your current channels – what’s not working
  • Put more focus on reach vs engagement
  • Put more focus on dark social
  • And more focus on ownable content (blog, podcast, web)
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