Social media is always evolving. New platforms come on the scene. Users find different ways to appeal to audiences and beat the algorithm. Platforms continuously update features to improve the user experience. Keeping up with all the changes is important, so you can adapt your social media marketing strategy to get the best results. Here are the trends we think will most impact the social media landscape in 2023.

User-Generated Content (UGC) – UGC is content created by your fans and customers about your brand or products. Let’s say a customer loves your product so much they post about it in their Instagram Stories and tag your company’s account. That’s an example of UGC. It’s rapidly growing in popularity because it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to get buzz. Audiences love UGC because it’s a peer recommendation. They trust that more than a splashy ad campaign. You can find preexisting UGC by searching social media with hashtags and keywords. You should get permission from the creator before using their content. You can also encourage UGC with a campaign by asking for reviews and testimonials that customers post to their socials. Offer an incentive such as a discount code for anyone who posts a video review of your product using a specific hashtag.

Micro-influencers – Micro-influencers are social media users who are popular, but are not celebrities. They usually have anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Because they’re everyday, relatable people, audiences find them more authentic than celebrity endorsements. Micro-influencers generally target a niche audience, which means they’re a great way to zero in on a specific demographic. Often compensation is a combination of product and money. While micro-influencers do work for less, their time and talent are still valuable. Don’t insult them by offering too little or expecting them to promote your product for free. You can find micro-influencers by searching your follower list and looking for customers already creating UGC about your business. There are also agencies that connect companies with micro-influencers. 

Short-form Video – Short-form video took off during the pandemic when TikTok exploded in popularity as people in lockdown were starved for a platform that offered entertainment and a way to connect with the outside world. Instagram and Facebook, under their parent company Meta, offer Reels as an alternative to TikTok. Short-form video can also be posted to Stories on Meta’s platforms. YouTube Shorts, introduced in 2020 when they saw the potential for short-form video, is also set to take off in 2023. Small businesses can use short-form video to raise brand awareness, do how-tos with their products, or give behind-the-scenes looks at company culture. If you are looking for UGC or want to work with micro-influences, it’s probably the most effective format to use. 

Social Commerce – More and more consumers purchase products directly from social media platforms. Instagram and Facebook allow sellers to create a catalog on their platforms that buyers can shop without going to another site. Other social commerce platforms like Shopify make it easy to integrate your social media channels with your website to drive sales. The numbers show the importance of social media when it comes to reaching buyers. Seventy-six percent of online shoppers made a purchase after seeing a product on social media. Forty-four percent of those consumers made the purchase immediately. Social commerce will only grow as people are more comfortable than ever making online purchases.

Social Media Customer Service Gone are the days of customers waiting on hold on the phone or sending an email to your customer service department. Now they’re sliding into your company’s DMs looking for help. They like the immediacy and personal touch that comes from reaching out to you on your social media channels. As this area of customer service grows, companies need to commit resources to responding in a timely manner. 

Original Content Short-From Videos that Tell a Story – When short-form video first hit the scene, it was easy to go viral by copying trending dances and audio. Content creators have moved beyond dance moves and catchy music in 2023. Copying someone else’s idea like, “Play this sound and show us what your dog does,” is also out in 2023. Instead, creators are telling stories and using clever editing to create more cinematic videos. Businesses can do the same. Tell the story of how the company was built or encourage UGC with customers telling their stories.

Keywords and SEO Have Entered the Chat – In the feed, hashtags featured prominently on Instagram for years. While some people used them for search, the main purpose was to tell the algorithm what posts were about. Getting views and growing a following on most social media platforms depended on creating quality content that was shareable. But Gen Z turned all that on its head. They’re logging into TikTok and Instagram and searching for content using keywords. So you’ll need to research what keywords your audience is interested in and incorporate them into your short-form video descriptions organically and as hashtags.

Need help incorporating social media into your small business marketing plan? Reach out and see how Keep It Real Social can help.

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