Social Media Marketing Trends for 2023: Predictions From the Pros
Want to discover emerging marketing trends that you can put to work right away? Wondering what top marketers think will matter in 2023?
2023 Content and Marketing Strategy Trends
#1: Brands Prioritize LinkedIn and TikTok
While I'm personally bummed about what's happened to Twitter in the latter half of 2022—since it’s where I’ve had my largest, most engaged audience—I think these changes will continue to bring about some much-needed reflection and recalibration for marketers in 2023, particularly those (like me) who might have relied a bit too heavily on Twitter.
For many brands, the changes at Twitter have created a clear conflict with their stated ideals, mission, and purpose. No doubt there’ll be plenty of consumers who are watching to see how their favorite brands prove their commitment to those values… or don't. It’ll be interesting to see which brands end up pulling their advertising budgets from Twitter in 2023, or leaving the platform entirely. I'm sure I won't be the only one keeping an eye out to see which ones stand strong in those decisions.
Let's face it: for those of us who were active on Twitter, it could easily become a pretty significant time-suck. Whether folks abandon the platform entirely, reduce ad spending, or even just cut back organic activity, that newfound time means there's bound to be some exciting new developments on the docket for social media marketers in 2023. I'm excited to see which marketers and brands discover previously neglected, overlooked, discounted, and ignored opportunities for brand- and audience-building on other platforms.
For many brands, this will mean increased investment in and attention on the platforms that previously got deprioritized in favor of Twitter and Facebook. I wouldn't be surprised to see many brands and marketers ramping up their existing efforts on LinkedIn and TikTok in the new year. Some brands, though, will take this opportunity to embrace “existing-but-new-to-them” platforms they weren't using at all when Twitter was at its best. I expect we'll see investment in and fresh effort on platforms like Reddit, Twitch, Mastodon, and Discord, for example.
Whether your brand is making the call to cut back spending and organic activity on Twitter or not, marketers should take the new year as an invitation to take a step back and re-evaluate how efforts and budgets are being allocated across platforms. For too long, many of us have prioritized the “big few” and missed out on opportunities on networks without a blue logo.
#2: Short-Form Video Leads Content Mix
Without question, the one major platform shift that’ll quickly separate the brands that succeed and those that fail in 2023 is going to be short-form video.
Even LinkedIn is shifting to elevating video content and most platforms are bullish on live content as well. Consumers have simply fallen victim to their own attention spans. Short-form video, spurred on by the amazing appeal and success of TikTok, is now the content of choice.
To ensure that your business or brand is navigating that change, I recommend a few things:
Do what's right for you and don't follow the crowd. Not every person or brand has the personality to be goofy on TikTok. But everyone can probably be educational or informal. Instead of shooting for a style you don't find comfortable, find what you can provide via video that’s useful to the audience you're trying to reach.
Create videos when you have something to say. Don't do it just to do it. Forget what the talking heads say about the frequency necessary to break through algorithms and such. If you produce one good video every month, your audience will get used to seeing that one good video every month. Forcing crap in between will hurt more than it helps.
Prioritize YouTube Shorts.
Yes, you should be looking into TikTok and Instagram Reels. But YouTube Shorts should be your priority. Why? It and its parent company are No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, in the search engine market. YouTube is already dropping Shorts videos in search engine results pages. If yours are there and tagged well, you’ll see faster business results as people see them, click through to your website, and potentially convert.
Create a vertical video template in your video editing software of choice. Or try building one in Canva, which is cheap and user-friendly. Take a video on your phone, drop it into the template that has your branding, logo, URL, and so forth, and publish. Video doesn't have to be difficult to look professional.
#4: Social Customer Care Leads to ROI
With our current economic climate, companies should be working overtime to retain the customers they have while showing potential customers how their brand experiences far outpace their competitors.
The brands engaging in a social media customer care program will win, even during these difficult times. That’s because social media customer care is one of the only marketing initiatives that tackles both acquiring new customers and taking care of current ones.
Many marketers replaced “social networking” with “social media” and made it more about content and less about connecting. This is just another reason social media is in trouble; the whole premise of connecting and building relationships gave way to the broadcasting of information with no real aim at building trust and loyalty.
Instead of focusing on content, marketers should focus on conversations and customer experience. Take a moment and put yourself into your customer’s shoes. Your customers are increasingly using social media to:
Discover new brands and products
Research product features and reviews
Make buying decisions
Ask support questions or lodge complaints
Because of this, they expect to be able to converse with the brands they’re reaching out to. Simply put, they want to talk with your brand digitally with just as much ease as they would in a traditional brick-and-mortar store.
Studies show that brand conversation is extremely impactful early in the purchase journey. This subtle but key point suggests that people (your buyers!) may be more impressionable during the acquisition portion of their digital customer journey. So when someone reaches out on social media and asks, “Hey, [brand]! Is your [product] compatible with Alexa?” You better have a quick, friendly answer or they’ll be heading to your competitor to ask that same question.
These same studies underscore that brand conversation—whether brand- or shopper-initiated—greatly impacts the buyer’s purchase consideration during the customer journey. Even so, research shows that since the pandemic, brands have gotten worse at responding to mentions on social media.
It’s never been easier for brands to communicate directly with their customer base. A social media customer care program provides the perfect opportunity for brands to both attract and keep customers. All they must do is listen and engage in brand conversation.
Brands spend enormous amounts of time and money on content marketing. But people aren’t starved for content. There’s plenty of that. What they really want is connection. Embrace this thinking by:
Examining your social media channels to see where most of your customer care conversations (acquisition/retention) are happening
Creating content that gets people talking (e.g., soliciting or eliciting opinions and feelings)
Responding to questions and complaints as quickly as possible on your social channels
Using social listening to find conversations where your brand or products are being mentioned but you aren’t being tagged
Ultimately, the companies that use a social media customer care program to connect and converse in ways that make their brand more human and personalize their customer experience will win in 2023 and beyond.
#5: AI Content Recasts Content Creation Models
I am a person who explores the edges. I experiment with every new technology so I can be a better consultant, teacher, and author. I recently plugged into something that gave me the same feeling as the electric moment I connected to the internet for the first time. It’ll change everything in social media and content creation.
About 6 years ago, I attended a presentation at SXSW and saw an entire movie whose script was written by AI. It was both beautiful and stunning. When would this technology creep into our everyday social media experiences? Until now, this sophisticated AI has only existed in the complex world of coders and developers. But with the introduction of a new, user-friendly interface, anybody has access to this breathtaking technology. One million people signed up for OpenAI in the first week.
OpenAI is a research laboratory dedicated to creating artificial general intelligence (AGI) that can benefit humanity.
Their mission is to ensure that AGI is developed safely and responsibly, and that its benefits are as widely and evenly distributed as possible. OpenAI is one of the leading organizations in the field of AI research, and their work has the potential to revolutionize many areas of society, from healthcare and education to transportation and energy.
This will also revolutionize the way content is created, distributed, and consumed. AI could help creators develop better and more engaging content, in dramatically less time by using automation. AI-generated content could help creators reach more people by helping them efficiently create content tailored to their target audience.
By the way, the last two paragraphs were created by AI.
One of the common arguments is that AI can never replace the human voice. False. This technology will level the playing field and make everybody an excellent content creator. In many cases, it’s better than a “human voice” if that human is a lousy communicator.
In 2023, social media marketing will be transformed.
OpenAI can do a lot more than just blogging and copywriting. It can generate images and ideas, answer questions, correct your copy, and provide sentiment analysis. I forecast that by the end of the year, it’ll provide audio and video production capabilities.
There are obvious implications for you and your marketing career.
If you thought Content Shock was a problem before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Standing out amid the social media noise is about to become much more difficult.
You need to be involved with this technology. Don’t fight it. Master it.
Many content production jobs will be lost.
The ONLY thing that’ll help you stand out is an effective personal brand. In a world where everybody can create great content, you’ll have to show up in a way where YOU matter.
You can choose to be scared or you can choose to be excited. I choose excited, and I hope you do, too.
#6: Artificial Intelligence Revolutionizes Marketing
We are living through an age of massive AI innovation. MidJourney, a text-to-image AI tool, enables anyone to create stunning visual images with nothing but written prompts. And ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool, brings incredibly high-quality writing assistance to marketers.
These are simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Throughout 2023 we will see rapid adoption of AI tools. This will unlock creativity at a level and scale that has never been seen before. As creatives and marketers are able to allow AI to do the creative gruntwork, this will allow marketers time to explore ideas that were beyond their reach. Those marketers who employ AI solutions will have a strategic edge over those who do not.
Want to see how this works today? Below is a ChatGPT-enhanced version of this entry, with small edits.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the field of marketing, and this trend is only set to accelerate in the coming year. AI technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning are enabling businesses to automate and personalize their marketing efforts like never before, delivering personalized, relevant, and engaging experiences.
One of the key AI tools driving this transformation is MidJourney, a text-to-image AI platform that enables anyone to create stunning visual images with nothing but written prompts. This powerful tool allows businesses to quickly and easily generate high-quality images that are tailored to the specific needs and interests of their target audience, driving greater engagement and conversions.
Another game-changing AI tool is ChatGPT, a natural language processing tool that brings incredibly high-quality writing assistance to marketers. With ChatGPT, businesses can automate their customer interactions, delivering personalized and engaging conversations with their customers in real time. This not only improves the overall customer experience, but it also helps to drive sales and conversions.
As AI technologies continue to advance, we can expect to see rapid adoption of AI tools in the field of marketing throughout 2023. This will unlock creativity at a level and scale that has never been seen before, allowing marketers to explore ideas and strategies that were previously beyond their reach. Those marketers who embrace AI solutions will have a strategic edge over their competitors, positioning themselves for success in the rapidly-changing world of marketing.