These social media marketing predictions can benefit your brand in 2023.
Over this past year, the pace of change has felt faster than ever, and the landscape of digital marketing is no exception. From Meta’s faltering year to Musk’s Twitter turmoil and from AI art to e-commerce, the major stories just kept coming…and 2023 is not likely to be any different!
That’s why it’s so important to stay ahead of the curve.
As we near the end of 2022, we took the opportunity to ask several key members of the Sociality Squared team what they think the new year might bring…and, well, we all had a lot of thoughts!
To help successful brands and markets have a better sense of what to expect and what it will mean for their business, we’re sharing some of those thoughts here.
While our predictions differed occasionally, there were a few areas we all agreed that we’d be keeping an eye on in 2023. For example, the consensus was that Twitter was unlikely to disappear entirely but will not maintain its relevance in the global digital zeitgeist. Additionally, we all predicted the continued development and prevalence of AI and felt that the ambitious vision Mark Zuckerberg outlined for Metaverse had failed to spark, or, in the least, it may be too early to tell.
Of course, nobody can truly predict the future, and we can’t be sure how these predictions will look this time next year. Nevertheless, we hope this will help you understand and prepare for the trends that we here at S2 think are likely in the year ahead.
To discover what four members of the Sociality Squared team predict social media marketing will look like in the new year, continue reading below.
Social Media Marketing in 2023: S2’s Predictions
Kristy Beagle – Account Executive
Consumers Will Continue to Reward Brands That Share Their Values
The impacts of the pandemic are myriad and may take years to understand fully. When it comes to brand marketing, however, specific trends are already becoming clear. For example, the average shopper is now placing a higher priority on principles. 82% of consumers prefer to purchase products from companies that align with their values, according to recent research, with three-quarters of shoppers willing to part ways temporarily or permanently with a company over a values mismatch. This trend is here to stay, and specific, clear, consistent values and practices will be decisive for brands moving forward.
Age-Old Marketing Wisdom Still Applies
These days, every brand wants a community — even around everyday staples like over-commoditized everyday objects like pencils. Of course, brand communities can be very effective for certain kinds of brands, but when it comes to everyday things we just need, it gets to be a bit much. I have a preferred toothpaste brand that I tend to purchase, but that doesn’t mean I want to engage every day with their Instagram posts. Moreover, social media users are increasingly inured to many of digital marketing’s most common tactics. Not every brand needs a community, but in the new year, we may see more brands shifting back towards being a part of a community in the long tradition of small businesses across the country. I may not be interested in following a toothpaste brand’s posts. Still, if that brand sponsors an event within my digital community, it may go much further toward generating goodwill and loyalty.
Edward Gibbons-Brown – Content Creator
AI Everything, Everywhere, All at Once
AI-generated written content. AI customer service chatbots. AI-assisted content recommendations in your social feeds. AI-powered personal assistants. And, frustratingly, AI-generated art mimicking the work of specific human artists without those pesky inconveniences like having to pay them. In 2023, generative AI technology will continue making leaps and bounds toward becoming even more mainstream and high-quality than it already is. It will move closer to being indistinguishable from human-generated work, be used to create personalized content at scale, and, if not next year, then sooner or later, it will put me out of a job. One thing it will never achieve? Actual creativity.
Meta Will Explore Multi-Sensory Instagram Integrations
As Meta flounders and flails, Mark Zuckerberg will seek fresh ways to make his carelessly rebranded empire connect with users. Instagram is probably the best avenue for luring more people onto his $100 billion albatross. That probably means 2023 will bring a slew of new integrations bridging the gap between traditional social media platforms and Zuckerberg’s virtual conference room. We’ve already seen 3D and augmented reality posts spilling across our Facebook feeds over the past year; in 2023, expect to see this type of content get more interactive and be used more often for ads. We may also see more immersive content that pushes into the ever-spurned other sensory component of social media: Audio.
The Metaverse Will Find a Less Ambitious Niche
Speaking of the Metaverse, Zuckerberg’s grand (if slapdash) attempt to transform the internet for a second time now appears dead in the water. Personally, I don’t find it hard to believe that a clunky $400 piece of equipment that allows you to show up to work meetings as a floating cartoon was sort of a tough sell…but then, I’m no visionary. That said, much like Musk’s Twitter, Meta probably isn’t going away anytime soon. Zuckerberg won’t get his wish to pioneer the internet’s future once again, but virtual reality does have some appeal, especially for gaming. There may even be a social niche for it, too — as Kashmir Hill wrote in The New York Times, after spending a few months visiting the Metaverse every hour of the day and night, the Metaverse is currently reminiscent of the AOL chat rooms of the internet’s earliest days. In today’s hyper-commodified digital landscape, any new frontier has a certain allure (although, as Zuckerberg is the original boy king of commodification, that vibe is unlikely to last). Of course, the equipment will have to get much, much less expensive.
Suzanne Brick – Project Manager
Twitter Alternatives Will Get Their Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Since Musk’s Twitter takeover, there has been plenty of discussion about alternative platforms, with some like Hive and Mastodon currently leading the pack. Will those two specific platforms end up catching on over other possibilities? Hard to say. But people are clearly remaining interested in jumping ship. I don’t think Twitter is going away anytime soon…but I also don’t think it will become less of a trainwreck anytime soon, either. In fact, I think it will only get more toxic in the near term. Meanwhile, I think each and every Twitter alternative will get their fifteen minutes of fame in the new year.
Familiar Platforms Will Gain New Life
LinkedIn has reported record levels of engagement and growth over the past year. Of course, LinkedIn has reported “record levels” every year since 2018 without providing the context of the scale of comparison…so we should take that announcement with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, I’ve been hearing a lot more chatter lately about LinkedIn for B2B marketing and our old friend Pinterest for B2C — and even a little B2B, too!
Users Will Re-Evaluate Their Relationships with Social Media
Whether consciously paring down social media usage, getting off specific platforms entirely, or using social media only for business purposes, many people are re-examining the role digital spaces play in their lives. At the same time, some platforms, like YouTube, are still going strong — even as creators become more irritated with navigating algorithms. We may see a shift back to forums and communities, rather than networks, as a way of connecting on social media.
AI Chatbots Will Change the Game
The next wave of OpenAI innovation, the highly-anticipated GPT-4, is coming…perhaps as soon as 2023! In the meantime, ChatGPT, a fine-tuned version of GPT-3.5, has recently been unveiled. Essentially a general-purpose chatbot, ChatGPT can convincingly engage on various topics. It’s hard to overstate the likely impact of these fast-developing AI technologies, but one application that is not mentioned as often is the use of chatbots to manipulate algorithms. We may see more discussion around this topic in the new year.
Helen Todd – Co-Founder and CEO
Twitter Will Survive But Become Less Relevant
One question that has been at the top of everyone’s mind lately: Will Twitter survive? It’s already survived longer than some predicted. It seems likely that Twitter, as a platform, will indeed survive the chaos of Musk’s takeover. However, what is much less likely is that it can remain the important social force that it has been. Twitter has never truly been the “digital town square” — as Christopher Koopman and Will Rinehart wrote in Newsweek, it’s more like a coliseum. But under Musk’s leadership, it will likely continue to lose the broad relevance it has enjoyed. At worst, it’ll become a site comparable to Parler and home to the worst parts of the internet. I don’t want this for Twitter as an avid Twitter user since 2008; however, the dumpster fire it has become doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
The Rise of SMS and Messaging Apps
The social media landscape is more fragmented than ever before. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly complex for marketers to reach a broad cross-sectional audience all at once. We have all gotten better at ignoring the many ads we encounter in our digital lives. But with MessageMedia research indicating that 93% of Americans still open text messages, we may see marketers adjust in the new year. In fact, MessageMedia foresees a 52% rise in SMS marketing in 2023! Likewise, marketers may find themselves dusting off methods they’d previously discarded as outdated, like phone lists, to find ways to break through the noise. Marketers are also looking at ways to leverage messaging apps to reach their audiences — there’s a myriad to pick from, so just make sure your audience is on it!
2023 Will Be the Year of AI
The groundbreaking impacts of AI will only continue to increase and improve in the new year. It’s not hard to focus on the discourse surrounding the negative potential of the technology, like the social and economic consequences of machine learning or the ethical and IP questions surrounding, for example, AI-generated art. But as we approach the new year, I think it’s also useful to remember that there are positive possibilities, too. AI will dramatically change the creative landscape and is already being used as a brainstorming tool, editing, and collaborative tool for the team here at S2. We’re seeing text in and text and images out. It won’t be too long before we see text in and video out. This opens up the potential to do more creative at scale. There’s plenty to be concerned about as we watch the explosive growth of AI technology, but in “the year of AI,” there will also be positive innovations, too, especially for anyone in the creative industry.
Video, Video, and More Video!
As TikTok users are turning to the platform for search and eating into Google’s lunch on this front, don’t be surprised if we’re all thinking about how to create video to optimize for search in the coming year. FAQ lists as text? That’ll be so 2022 next year! Turn your content, especially searchable content, into video. Instagram has Reels, and YouTube has Shorts which will all likely be following TikTok’s lead on this video search frontier. Beyond short-form video, there’s a place for long-form too. It’s all about answering: Is this interesting to the viewer? (And for those who monetize their YouTube channels, long-form is where the moolah is!) Brands need to invest in video, especially as more and more people consume content on their smartphones. Just make sure it’s accessible with captions so that any viewer can enjoy the content with or without sound. As e-commerce has merged with live video for Live Shopping which is already popular in Asia, it’ll only be a short time before we see that more prevalent in other parts of the world too. 2023 will definitely see the rise of more video, even potentially video that AI creates for or with us!
Reach Out to Discover More
To learn what these predictions could mean for your brand and to start the conversation about maximizing your opportunities in the new year, reach out today.