You don’t need to be a fortune teller to guess which social media trends are poised to take off in 2023. All you need is data.
Combining performance and consumer preference data can create a vivid picture of the year ahead. We’re not talking about which TikTok audios will blow up in a few months. We’re talking about what’s driving audience behavioral patterns and where your brand fits in the mix.
If you’re a part of the 60% of organizations that rely on social data daily, you’re already halfway there. In this article, we’ll cover the need-to-know stats driving new social media trends forward in 2023.
1. “Edutainment” content will rule
Edutainment isn’t just for kids anymore. A few select industries have tapped into the value of creating entertaining, informative content. In 2023, everyone will get in on the fun.
Last year, brands in the fintech space found massive success in creating thoughtful, save-worthy content. To find out what we mean, turn to Chime’s TikTok account. Their content strikes a balance between jokes about relatable financial woes and seriously helpful tips on money management.
Short-form video’s rise in popularity fosters the perfect conditions for fun facts, tutorials and explainers to thrive on social. No wonder educational content is on most marketers’ minds when partnering with creators.
Brand Takeaway: This is your opportunity to demystify a common industry misconception or provide the perfect life hack featuring your product. Comb through your FAQs and inbound social messages to find questions or discussion topics. Brainstorm how you might address those using a TikTok or Instagram Reel.
2. Businesses will put more money behind video production
At this point, it’s safe to say that video isn’t going anywhere.
When TikTok was still an emerging platform, it made sense for businesses to task video creation duties as an additional responsibility to their social media team. Now that the average American is watching 80 minutes of TikTok every day, business leaders realize that it’s no longer “emerging”. It’s here.
To ensure their brand can stand out in this new social media landscape, forward-thinking companies will invest more in video production equipment and staff. So you’ll probably be getting a few extra hands to help with video editing, direction and brand storytelling.
Brand Takeaway: If the discussion isn’t already in motion, it’s time to start petitioning for a new team member now. Help your management team understand the risks that come with failing to expand your social media team at the right time. Then, paint a specific vision for what will be possible with additional video production resources.
3. BeReal will be a turning point for brands
BeReal was one of the hottest social media trends of 2022. The new kid on the block delighted users and mystified marketers. After all, what are we supposed to do with an app that doesn’t incentivize its constant use?
I bloody love BeReal, it’s so nice posting on a app to genuinely connect with people and see what everyone’s doing and not worry about engagement
— Talia Mar (@TaliaMar) September 1, 2022
While many will attempt to figure out how to market their brand on the network, you should use this as an opportunity to zoom out. Understanding why vertical networks, closed communities and apps like BeReal are thriving while consumer social media fatigue rises will be crucial to shaping your strategy.
A lot could happen in the coming months. For all we know, BeReal could introduce advertising features for brands. What really matters is figuring out what authenticity looks like for your brand and leaning in.
Brand Takeaway: In 2023, brand authenticity will make or break your business on social. Shift your focus away from fleeting viral trends and dig into what matters to your audience and business.
4. Businesses will experiment with emerging (and re-emerging) networks
Speaking of emerging platforms, keep tabs on some of the new social networks. Chances are, you’ll be creating a new brand account on at least one of them sometime in 2023.
In 2022, shake-ups at core networks left consumers feeling deprioritized in favor of profits and business dealings. Now, many are on the hunt for their next favorite corner of the internet.
Networks like Mastodon, Tumblr, Hive and Discord have become notable rising stars in a shifting social media landscape. As audiences continue experimenting with these new playgrounds, brands will be able to identify what’s a passing trend and what’s sticking around.
Brand Takeaway: There are a few ways to figure out whether or not your audience is adding a new network to their social media mix.
First, try running a poll on your most active social media account to gauge interest in a specific network. Then, use a social listening tool to see the full conversation surrounding the network. Dig into sentiment and demographic data to determine if it positively aligns with your audience preferences.
5. The creator economy will continue to blossom
According to video analytics firm Tubular Labs, creator and influencer viewership will hit 10 trillion views per month across all platforms in 2023. In 2022, influencer content was watched 13.2 times more than media and brand content.
If you don’t leverage creator marketing over the next 12 months, you’re missing out on a major opportunity.
Marketers across industries collaborate with creators to generate more engagement, strengthen social communities and reach new audiences. As the playing field becomes more diverse and focused, more brands will be able to find and connect with creators that operate within their target market.
Brand Takeaway: If you need help finding your next great creator partnership, start within your community. Search through your followers, superfans, customers and partners. Chances are you’ll find a crop of individuals with growing audiences that will be thrilled to work with your brand.
6. Employee advocacy will be the social media trend to talk about
In 2023, brands will tap their workforce to become creators.
Employee advocacy has been a hidden social media marketing gem for quite some time. This year, thanks to a costly paid ad environment and declining organic reach, it will step into the spotlight.
Companies that have already implemented advocacy programs are seeing an increase in brand awareness and qualified job applicants, on top of gaining more control over brand messaging and thought leadership.
As more success stories come to light, advocacy will become the go-to method of building a brand presence within an industry.
Brand Takeaway: Use this program launch checklist to brainstorm on what advocacy might look like at your company. Narrow in on what goals you’d like to achieve and how you’ll measure your success as you execute on your strategy.
7. How brands talk about sustainability will change
For the past few years, brands have proudly disclosed their environmental sustainability goals to meet the interests of conscious consumers. Now, many are opting for a quieter approach.
This practice—known as “green-hushing”—comes as a response to fears of being called out for greenwashing. Numerous nonprofit watchdog organizations are dedicated to calling out faux-sustainability claims. Overstating your brand’s practices can land an entire business in hot water.
4% of global CO2 emissions come from the clothing industry + 93% of fashion companies don’t pay livable wages. This industry profits off the backs of 70 million underpaid mostly-women, garment workers as billionaire fashion execs get richer. Donate today: https://t.co/fu6UeCboWr pic.twitter.com/cVguUqXAE0
— Remake (@remakeourworld) November 29, 2022
Brand Takeaway: Treat every post that discusses your business’s corporate social responsibility practices as a PR announcement. Vet the copy and claims with a PR and CSR rep to make sure what you’re saying is accurate and to identify any potential risks that post presents.
8. Social customer care will become a vehicle for surprise and delight marketing
When people reach out to a brand on social media, the best-case scenario is typically a timely response. Now, savvy brands are raising those expectations.
I love that you remembered me whining about this over two years ago 😁
— Thomas Frank (@TomFrankly) December 22, 2022
According to all known laws
of aviation, there is no way a bee
should be able to fly.
Its wings are too small to get
its fat little body off the ground.
The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.
Yellow, black. Yellow, black.
— tumblr dot com the website and app (@tumblr) December 28, 2022
Brands like Notion, Tumblr and more are going above and beyond in inbound message responses to gain organic social marketing traction. Whether they make you laugh or simply feel heard, it creates a delightful experience for the customer and for everyone else that sees the brand response in their feed.
These proactive marketing strategies drive more personal connections, creating new fans in the process.
Brand Takeaway: To create these personalized customer care experiences, you’ll need an integrated social media marketing solution. For example, Sprout’s partnership with Salesforce provides social customer care agents with a 360-degree view of a customer’s history with your business from within the Sprout platform.
This visibility allows teams to quickly reference a customer profile to deliver a more personal, thoughtful response online.
Start your free Sprout trial
9. Social and legal will be the strategic duo no one saw coming
Relationships between social media and legal teams have had their pain points in the past. But, if brands want to hop on the latest social media trends in 2023, they’ll need an excellent working relationship between the two.
As content formats and social media memes continue to pull from existing intellectual property, your legal team is the only thing that stands between your brand account and the risk of copyright infringement.
It may not be the most exciting trend in social, but it will have major implications on how your brand shows up online.
Brand Takeaway: Meet with your legal team to review and update your social media governance policy. Remember: Their goal will be to mitigate any potential risk, so they may try to tack on some cumbersome preventative measures. However, you understand the channel more than anyone else. Push back where you need to and make this a learning opportunity for both teams.
10. Social commerce will get up and dust itself off
Social commerce was the social media trend on everyone’s mind late 2020 and in early 2021. Then, mounting recession fears promptly pushed it into a backseat. Networks rolled back features, brands made strategic pivots and we all braced ourselves for whatever lies ahead.
And then people kept shopping.
The end of 2022 saw a record-breaking Black Friday/Cyber Monday, a surge in spending on luxury goods, and the return of “haul” posts on TikTok and Instagram Reels. Despite a gloomy economic outlook, people are still spending on their favorite must-haves and doing their purchasing research on social.
Brand Takeaway: Get up to speed on social commerce features by network. You can complete tons of quick optimizations on your profiles to ensure a speedy checkout experience for when a follower finally becomes a customer.
The 2022 holiday season spurred some outstanding metaverse activations from brands like PacSun, American Eagle and Klarna.
These campaigns have given brands a taste of what’s possible with metaverse technology. More than half of marketers anticipate investing at least a quarter of their budgets into a metaverse/AR/VR social strategy, and 2023 is when we’ll see the fruits of that labor.
These activations will provide learnings for brands that have yet to experiment with the latest frontier in social.
Brand Takeaway: Now’s the time to get up to speed on how to join the Metaverse. There’s a bit of a learning curve here, so give yourself time and take inspiration from brands you admire.
What social media trends are you most excited for?
Trends are the spice of social media. They ensure no work week, month or year is the same. Isn’t that the best part of working in social?
If you want to learn more about how you can embed these trends into a rock-solid annual plan, check out this article on developing a social media marketing strategy. Use it to help define the goals and tactics that will bring you success this year and beyond.