Social Media Trends in 2023: The State of Social

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Social media is an ever-evolving industry – and as social media managers, it's crucial to stay ahead of the curve to ensure success for our clients and our business. But with the rise of new technologies, changing consumer behavior, and the constant evolution of algorithms and features, it can be hard to keep up. That's why we've researched and compiled the top social media trends in 2023 that social media managers should be aware of.

Particularly, we wanted to look at these trends as they pertain to social media professionals – what we need to know for our clients and how to best incorporate these topics into our work.

Some of the trends listed here are relatively new while others are trends we've seen before that are continuing to expand, but all of them will be important to our work this year.

Here's what to know as a social media manager in 2023.

Opportunities for Social Media Managers in 2023

Before we jump into the trends, let's discuss the opportunity here.

This is the harvest season for digital service providers.

Social media marketing is becoming increasingly enmeshed with other forms of digital marketing.

Content marketing is now the gold standard and with that, an onslaught of new responsibilities and services have emerged for social media professionals. It's no longer just social media marketing for us, but also email marketing, blogging, SEO, paid ads, etc. All of these elements work together and because of that, many social media marketers are finding themselves in a place of relative security in their roles.

There's also a massive revenue opportunity, with U.S. social commerce sales set to grow 34.4% this year to $53.1 billion in revenue. This is huge news as the United States has been slower to adopt social commerce, which is the practice of buying products directly from social media platforms without leaving the platform. If you have clients that are retail or consumer brands, this is a great opportunity.

On top of this, the global number of social media users continues to grow daily. By 2024, we're projected to hit 5 billion social media users worldwide. And because more and more people are joining social media, the platforms themselves are also continuing to grow.

All of this growth means the opportunity to grow as a digital service provider is only becoming greater in 2023.

If you understand the fundamentals of social media marketing and keep your finger on the pulse, then you'll have what you need to be successful. So let's jump in to the top social media trends for 2023.

Social Media Trends to Look Out for in 2023

1. The (Ongoing) Rise of Short-Form Vertical Video

Short-form, vertical content is here to stay.

It's been found that 73% of consumers prefer to learn about products or services via a short video, compared to:

  • 11% would rather read text-based information
  • 3% prefer to download a manual or e-book
  • 3% favor attending an in-person pitch or webinar
  • 3% want a demo or sales call

This 73% preference for short-form video is overwhelmingly higher than other ways to find out about products or services. In addition to this, the preference for vertical video continues to dominate with 92% of smartphone users watching videos in vertical orientation.

The statistics make it clear that short-form, vertical video will maintain its power this year or grow even further.

2. Multimedia & Content Marketing

As I've mentioned before, content marketing has become the gold standard for digital marketing best practices.

People want to consume content in whatever media format is their preference, whether that's TikTok, YouTube, podcasts, or blogs. This means we need to be creating multimedia content to engage users on each of the platforms and meet consumers where they're at.

Multi-sensory content is also on the rise, which is the creation of social media content that taps into multiple senses for the user. You can incorporate this into your content marketing strategy by adding music to still images and utilizing audience interactions such as polls and question boxes.

3. More Cross-Posting & Repurposing (platform-specific content)

With all of the different platforms that exist and with this idea of multimedia and multi-sensory content, it's important to keep in mind the reasons that people are on each social media platform and what type of content shines on the platform.

People who are on one social media network are often on several others. Most social media users spend time on multiple platforms, and they explicitly use different social media networks for different purposes.

In 2023, it's important to master a repurposing strategy where you're taking one topic or core piece of content, and figuring out how to share it in the most native way possible to each of these platforms. This will maximize your content's impact.

4. Accessibility

1 in 5 people globally lives with a disability. That's an entire population of potential customers that many of us are failing to ensure have ease of access to our clients' digital content.

We've covered in detail how to ensure your content is accessible in the linked blog post, but one of the simplest ways to get started is to add captions to your video content and alt text to your visual content.

With accessibility in mind during content creation, we have the opportunity to effectively include an additional 20% of the people in our communities and in our target audiences.

5. Social Search

Social search is on the rise as more and more people are using social media platforms as their search engines.

In January 2022, Hootsuite found that 49.6% of 16 to 24-year-olds use social networks as their primary source of information when researching brands vs. 46.1% using search engines, and 25 to 34-year-olds were nearly tied between using social networks and search engines as their primary source.

This shift in the way users are finding their information means that social media accounts are now also acting as landing pages for brands. SEO tactics will be hugely important to understand as social search becomes more prominent.

If you aren't already, adding keyword research into your social strategy for clients is going to be crucial. This will help you find the best keywords for your clients so you can craft keyword-rich captions that will aid in discoverability and engagement, and start adding SEO to your overall content and social media strategy.

6. AI (Artificial Intelligence Tools)

Of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning AI (artificial intelligence).

With the launch of ChatGPT in late November, AI seems to have taken over the internet overnight, but this is a trend that has been boiling under the surface for a while now.

If you're not quite sure what AI is, it's simply software that automates jobs, like efficiently drafting social media posts or writing ads – improving over time as it's exposed to more data.

As a market, AI is expected to grow yearly by 120%.

We've heard social media professionals express concerns that this means they'll be out of a job, but the truth is that AI is just the software. You still need the human behind the software to do the thinking.

While these tools can help you come up with new ideas and caption starters, they'll never be able to capture your client's unique voice and brand like you can!

So get excited, because the AI boom is here to help you do your job more efficiently and in less time.

We're diving deep into all things AI at Social Media Pro right now. Check out our latest blog posts:

7. AR / VR / Metaverse

We started talking about this trend last year with the Metaverse Social Summit, and it's still a big area to keep your eye on in 2023.

Key trends in this space include consumers experimenting with creating and using avatars, a focus on VR, AR, virtual stores, and NFTs, and a format war between different “metaverses”.

We're continuing to learn through implementation with our Platinum members this year. Our Platinum members will receive an exclusive Social Media Pro NFT that grants them access to our new Platinum Member-Only Discord channel.

The most important thing you can do in this space is to get started and play around with these new platforms and technology.

8. Notable Mentions

I also wanted to highlight a few notable mentions of social media trends to watch in 2023.

  • Omnichannel Marketing: As mentioned earlier, this trend is a rollover from last year's trends. Omnichannel marketing is the seamless integration of messaging across various channels that an organization uses to communicate, so that the same conversation is happening across each of its platforms with consumers. This approach leads to a 250% higher purchase frequency and 90% higher customer retention rates.
  • Community & First-Party Data: Community will still be a big opportunity this year, and one of the reasons community is important is because of first-party data. Rather than chasing consumers around with retargeting, building community on your own website means you can have access to first-party engagement data. It's your data, you own it.
  • UGC (User-Generated Content): There's been an uptick in users or customers creating content on behalf of brands, whether it be brand-specific customer influencers or nano-influencers, and this trend will continue to grow in 2023.
  • Challengers to Mainstream Social Networks: There are several platforms that have popped up in recent months that are acting as challengers to mainstream social networks, such as BeReal and TikTok Now. These platforms are serving as the counter to “fake/curated” content and are growing in popularity.

Put These Trends Into Action!

With these 2023 social media trends in mind, remember that the best way to grow your business using trends is to keep up with the trends in real-time and put them into action with your clients, which is why we're having in-depth training sessions on each of these topics RIGHT NOW in our Social Media Pro Connect group!

We’re bringing on guest experts to teach you more about these topics and we're figuring out new tools and technologies together through over-the-shoulder learning.

Connect is our private members-only thriving community of social media pros where you can stay sharp with “What’s Working Right Now” in Social Media.

Group perks include a supportive community where every question is answered, live weekly training and Q&A sessions, and access to our library of 270+ past video trainings.

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