Some trends come and go, and it’s important to stay on top of them if you wish to keep up with the ever-changing digital world. From the rise of AI and automation to the increased focus on privacy and data protection, these ten Digital and Social Media Marketing Trends will help guide your marketing efforts and drive success in 2023.
1. Social Networks For Customer Service
Now more than ever, social networks are being used more as a tactic rather than an afterthought. A 2022 survey by Hootsuite confirms this, with 59% of marketers saying social customer care has increased their organization’s overall value.
This highlights social networks’ ability to facilitate communication between customers and brands. Companies are using multiple channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as an almost near-instant chat.
Paypal, for example, responds to “mentions” on Twitter to help customers and respond to feedback. Some platforms like Facebook offer companies automated responses and chatbots to improve overall customer service experiences.
2. Preparing For Post-Cookie Changes
It’s the beginning of the end for third-party cookies as more users refuse to be tracked on websites. Loss of cookies is great for individual data privacy, but a challenge for organizations that heavily rely upon them for tracking and engagement.
With GA4 replacing Google’s Universal Analytics permanently in July 2023, it’s important to become familiarized with the update. GA4 relies upon first-party cookies – those used by the website that the user is actually visiting. By leveraging machine learning and statistical modeling, GA4 can fill in data gaps as the world becomes less and less dependent on cookies.
Marketers can leverage paid social on social media applications like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn among others. These social channels are considered “walled gardens” that contain first-party data with identity-based audiences. While limited, access to this data will aid marketers in targeting and retargeting consumers within their target audience.
3. Micro-Influencers Continue to Dominate Brand Partnerships
Among the influencers on social media there exist a subset of micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are deemed to be among brands’ most powerful collaborators, and for good reason.
This group of influencers has between 10k – 100k followers—a presence slightly larger than a normal person, yet smaller than a celebrity. And in 2023 they are sure to dominate influencer marketing as a whole due to their ability to reach a much higher engagement rate to a niche-based following.
4. Short-Form Video is Here to Stay
According to The Tree Top Therapy, the average human attention span is 8.25 seconds. While this can vary depending on the individual’s age, environment, and type of activity, keeping this statistic in mind is clutch when creating a short-form video.
According to Wyzowl 2022 Video Marketing Statistics, 86% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool. They are also utilizing videos for various topics, having explainer videos coming out on top at 74%.
Influencer marketing and short-form video are trends that are continuing to grow. In a study by Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing has grown from 1.7 billion to $13.8 billion since 2016. And with a projected value of at least $16.7 billion by EOY, it’s key to prioritize maintaining influencers within your content strategy.
5. Niche Social Communities To Engage Consumers
We are seeing brands move further and further away from personas and allowing brand communities to work independently. Their ability to focus on these communities is essential for brands because it increases loyalty.
Without brand loyalty, a community will still prioritize the groups’ voice over influencers. Connecting and catering to these communities can help to understand the consumer ecosystem.
Strategically broadcasting marketing messages can work to captivate niche audiences. Depending on the brand, LinkedIn and Facebook groups offer community member exchange, which can hugely impact your brand’s messaging and trust component.
6. Digital and Social Shopping
A 2022 report confirmed 84% of Instagram users have purchased products on social media platforms. This trend gained major traction in the past months, and the statistic proves that developing a strategy for social shopping will be increasingly important.
Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are continually making social shopping easier for users. People can currently shop photos and in-app stores on Instagram, or even shop live streams on TikTok.
Meta decided to venture beyond VR by launching “The Meta Avatars Store” for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram Stories, and DMs. Encouraging digital sales by providing digital outfits to purchase from Balenciaga, Prada, and Thom Browne.
7. Sustainability And Brand Accountability
No one wants to hear environmental buzzwords in 2023. Millennials and Gen Z are all about real sustainability and less greenwashing. Social media has amplified our awareness of climate change. Climate neutrality will continue to become the norm as more younger consumers demand brand transparency.
Consumers expect brands to act on environmental issues over pure profit.
With impact-driven expectations currently trending, prioritizing these interactions on social should be a top priority. Brands must be ready to answer all and any questions to increase trust.
8. Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality
AR and VR have opened up new opportunities for user engagement. This is due to their ability to connect with audiences and help brands build better brand engagement. According to Acumen Research and Consulting, AR’s 2022 market size reached more than USD 28 billion and is expected to reach USD 451.5 Billion by 2030.
We have been seeing growth in the popularity of Virtual Humans like @lilmiquela which has accrued 6.2 mil followers on Instagram alone. Other popular Virtual Humans include @imm.gram and @rozy.gram with over 500k followers combined.
Two brands keeping up with digital shopping innovations are Nike and Ikea. Nike allows customers the opportunity to scan items like shoes or clothing for additional information. Nike’s customers can also immerse themselves into a VR world to experience the different steps in Nike’s supply chain to see where items are being made.
Ikea on the other hand, allows shoppers to use AR with their smartphone camera with the help of “The Place App”. The Place App helps customers visualize how specific furniture items can look in their homes or any setting.
9. TikTok to Compete With Google as a Search Engine
TikTok has now positioned itself as a search engine in direct competition with Google by prioritizing high-quality results.
In a recent Google survey, 40% of Gen Z are using TikTok as a search engine over Google and Instagram.
Brands may need to rethink how they’re prioritizing social media marketing and traditional SEO. Brands can use TikTok as a tool to rank within search by using trending sounds or working with micro-influencers.
10. BeReal Creating Change Within Social Media
Consumers are craving authentic, real-time content. BeReal saw this demand and created a new platform focusing on true-to-life content by allowing users to post once a day within a two-minute notification window. Their incredible one-year growth from 10,000 to 15 million daily active users proves viewers want to see this authentic content more.
And brands are jumping on this trend. Tourism Fiji promoted their country with an image a day in various locations, highlighting the unedited beauty of their destinations. On the other hand, Chipotle tapped into the right-now need for consumers by posting a coupon code to their account available only to the first 100 followers to use it.
There is no question that 2023 will increase many of the social marketing strategies that were kick-started last year. The focus on authenticity, short-form video, and the use of micro-influencers will continue to rise.
In addition, sustainability and brand transparency will be more sought after, with social being even more incorporated into other aspects like VR and AR. With so many developments on the horizon, now is the time to review your strategy and ensure that you are prepared to adapt and thrive.