Whether we like it or not, social media marketing is here to stay, and its role in branding has become more important than ever before.
But can you implement it effectively?
This means staying up to date with the latest trends on social media. They can make or break your marketing campaign and are key performance metrics for any business.
Luckily, you’re following Whizcase, so you’re always connected to the pulse of social media worldwide.
Below, I’ll talk about the 9 most important social media trends of 2023:
- Short-form video content is more engaging and popular than ever before
2. Social media commerce has skyrocketed in importance to an all-time high
3. Content creators are the go-to source of credible brand research
4. Building a community is essential to successful social media marketing
5. The emergence of AI content has revolutionized social media marketing
6. YouTube is still the king of video online marketing
7. Growing consumer interest in targeted social media ads
8. LinkedIn has gone through massive changes due to dwindling trust in social media
9. Social Media Is the New Search Engine of 2023
Keeping track of these changes could change your online marketing dramatically. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Short-Form Video Content Is Much More Engaging
Remember when TikTok appeared and we all thought it would be a passing fad? I’m here to tell you that it caught on and it’s more popular than ever before.
TikTok had around 1.5 billion monthly active users in Q3 2022. TikTok swiping is one of the most addictive things you can do in 2023.
Wizowl offers some interesting insight into video marketing:
- 90% of consumers are using mobile devices to watch video content
- 91% of all businesses capitalize on video as a marketing tool
- 42% of all video marketers are spending between $0 – $500 on a
- 63% of video marketers agree that the number of views is a key metric for video content ROI
- 96% of users have watched explainer videos to research a service or product
- 88% of users have been convinced to buy into a brand by watching their videos
- 78% of users have been convinced to download or buy software after watching a video
What’s more, Oberlo estimates that in 2023, TikTok usage will rise by 7.3% in the US, reaching an all-time high of 55.8 minutes per day.
You also shouldn’t be surprised that short-form videos (vertical format) usually have a higher average view duration vs. long-form (horizontal) ones.
This clearly shows that short-form content is not only still here but it has become the most engaging form of content on the internet.
However, long-form content hasn’t died either. In fact, most marketers are avoiding TikTok like the plague due to its content not being very suitable for branding.
Even when considering all this, you should remember that value is still the number one goal of any video, long or short. That hasn’t changed at all.
Make sure you:
- Define a clear goal for your video
- Make a killer CTA in the beginning
- Satisfy the consumer’s expectations and go above and beyond
- Stick to powerful and easy-to-follow content that converts
- Get to the point fast because viewers have a low attention span
- Repurpose long videos into short ones
So, there you go, actionable advice. Implement it (or don’t) to see immediate results in your marketing campaign!
2. Social Media Commerce Has Skyrocketed in Importance
This one is a no-brainer but you still don’t fully understand just how much social media commerce has evolved over the years.
Let me phrase it this way:
- Stores with at least one social media account are making, on average, 32% more sales
- 84% of all US online buyers will first do research on social media before committing to buy anything
- Millennials will make around 54% of their shopping online
- 23% of all online shoppers say they are influenced by social media recommendations
- 30% of all online shoppers claim they are more likely to buy something from social media platforms
- 96% of all Americans have purchased something online in their life, with 80% making one in the past month
The Covid-19 pandemic only led to the stabilization of social media commerce as one of the main forms of online commerce.
Did you also know that mobile commerce has grown exponentially in the last years? In fact, experts believe that the mobile commerce volume will rise to $620.97 billion by next year.
This means that almost half (42.9%) of all eCommerce will be made on your smartphone. And we all know what the most used apps on a smartphone are. That’s right, social media apps.
The two go hand in hand thanks to technological convergence. Essentially, when two technologies merge, industries are revolutionized. In this case, commerce is wholly transformed by the integration of mobile phones, the internet, and social media.
And who uses mobile phones more than Gen Z? A new study from Composed discovered that 60% of all US Gen Z shoppers are using Instagram to find new products and brands.
And here’s a table that shows the gross merchandise value (GMV) for social media commerce in the US from 2022 to 2028, courtesy of Statista:
|Year||Gross Merchandise Value|
Gross Merchandise Value is how much consumers are spending in a given period, which is the very essence of commerce.
As you can see, by 2028, it is estimated that US consumers will spend around $145 billion. You can be sure that a large portion of this commerce will be done through social media.
Social media is also the preferred place for brand reviews when consumers want to buy something, according to Disruptive Advertising. Around 84% of all online buyers scroll through social media to find reviews and opinions about a product before buying it.
Social media commerce marketing is all about consistency and quantity. With Instagram, for instance, you should put out around three posts per day and make strategic use of Stories to produce engagement.
CTA is the name of the game on social media, and you have to make the message as poignant and straightforward as possible. People have a low attention span, after all.
3. Content Creators Are the Best Source of Credible Brand Research
In 2023, people would rather listen to content creators when buying products rather than read brand marketing.
That’s right, content creators have taken on a much more important role in online marketing. What they say goes to many social media users.
This is why the biggest companies are collaborating with content creators to promote their products. They know that they can exert a lot of influence on average users like you and me.
Here are a few facts:
- 91% of all 18 to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 43% of consumers would expect a product to have more than 100 reviews
- 84% of millennial consumers don’t find conventional advertising trustworthy
- Customer reviews are, on average, 12 times more trustworthy compared to brand marketing
- 2/3 of all consumers trust online reviews of other customers
- Consumers believe user-generated content is 9.8 times more impactful than influencer content when buying something
What does this mean? Simply put, it means that brand content is less trusted and more likely to be ignored by customers. They’ve realized brands will naturally be biased about their products.
And they want an objective opinion about a product they’re buying. So, they turn to regular people who’ve bought that product and tested it.
Influencer marketing bears the same stigma of bias because the content creator is being paid by the company to praise the product. There’s the underlying idea that if you’re being paid for it, then you can’t be objective.
Which should be true in most cases.
However, this isn’t to say that influencer marketing is dead. Quite the opposite, in fact. But you’ll have to change up your game plan to succeed:
- Create a good product that just works. Make sure it satisfies the main goal it was created for
- Look through user-generated content talking about your product and see what they’re saying
- Find all the happy customers and share their reviews on your social media channel
- Work with small influencers who don’t have a massive following yet. That’s where the future lies, with heartfelt communities
Your goal should be to showcase genuine user-generated content that tells a straightforward story about your brand. Build trust with your customers!
4. Communities Are Essential to Social Media Marketing
Recently, there’s been a transition from massive follower bases to communities. This isn’t some hearsay but actual fact – 66% of all branded communities claim that community had an impact on customer retention.
Think about it – an online community of close-knit members appears more genuine and less likely to engage in fake advertising. They have no reason to.
Instead, they’re your most dedicated customers because they love your products. And 76% of all internet users are part of online communities.
That should tell you just how important building a community is. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Reply to all comments, whether they’re positive or negative. People need to see you engaging your customers
- Don’t ignore negative feedback and do NOT insult your customers. Act genuine and try to help them in any way you can
- Ask content creators if they’d want to talk about your product (if they like it) without sponsoring them. This brings a more genuine approach to marketing
- Try to reply quickly to user comments
- Don’t automate replies, mentions, and the rest of your social media interactions. It’s incredibly annoying and appears disingenuous
- Let your customers know that they can tag you in other posts on social media
Why do you think social media campaigns have skyrocketed in popularity recently? Companies are hiring community managers to write social media posts, manage them, and engage with the community.
You need people doing this. People who care and who are genuine with customers. This will create a positive impact in the long term, you can be sure of that.
5. The Emergence of AI Content
You’ve heard of ChatGPT, right? Of course, you have. AI-generated content has been making the rounds recently, being touted as the reinvention of the internet.
Large language models like GPT produce seemingly human posts on any topic from sportswear and food trucks to cosmetics, senior care, and anything in between.
The best thing is that AI content is very engaging and high-quality. With an editor to fact-check the information and edit it, AI content can easily pass for human-made content. As of late, marketers have begun mass-implementing it in their campaigns for this very reason.
Here are a few examples of AI tools you can use:
- ChatGPT – Widely recognized as the best text-generating AI tool out there, ChatGPT can create stellar social media content
- Midjourney – One of the most popular image-generation AI tools
- Synthesia – An AI video creation tool that you can use to scale your marketing campaigns
- Lexica – Create AI-generated images using casual language
Do be careful, though. AI tools are not the world-changing tools they’re touted to be. Not yet, at least.
For instance, next-generation tools like ChatGPT, while they do produce great posts, they’re not that authentic or original. Creativity? Yeah, not really.
People will figure out that the content you’re pumping is not human-made because it doesn’t have a soul. It’s just…marketing spiel.
You can use it to increase your social media campaign’s efficiency but don’t overuse it. Authenticity and creativity are still the bread and butter of a great brand, no matter what.
There’s also the legal/ethical dilemma of using AI tools. As you know, both text and image generation AIs have been trained with data from the internet. And a large part of that data was taken without asking anyone for consent.
6. YouTube Is Still the King of Video Online Marketing
If you thought YouTube was going to go down under and be replaced by other social media platforms, think again.
YouTube is as strong as ever and its performance is up to par with TikTok even, which is arguably the most addictive platform in the world.
In 2022, YouTube’s daily average watch time was around 45.6 minutes, which is only 0.2 minutes less than TikTok.
Moreover, as of January 2023, YouTube had a fairly equal gender distribution among its users (51.4% women and 48.6% men). This means that the platform is ideal for all sorts of marketing campaigns aimed at all audiences.
YouTube is also great for planning long-term brand identity campaigns through video content. Another great thing about YouTube is that you can bring external traffic much more efficiently than on other social media platforms.
Last but not least, YouTube long-form content has one major use that many marketers ignore – it can be repurposed for other social media campaigns.
Cut a large video into smaller videos and you can post them on TikTok or Instagram, for instance. This will expand your marketing campaign across social media at almost zero cost to you.
You already have the content. Just divide it into interesting bits of information, edit them if necessary, and post them as short videos.
Here are a few recommendations when posting on YouTube:
- Make a killer title, keywords included
- Use the best thumbnail you can build – eye-catching and easy to understand
- Write a short but relevant description, with keywords and tags, and include links
- Create a custom subtitle for each video
You must ensure that each video is accessible, valuable, and relevant to your viewers. You’ll either need to hire an experienced YouTube marketer or do some deep research yourself and learn as you go
7. Growing Consumer Interest in Targeted Social Media Ads
Social media ads are one of the strongest marketing tools a brand can use to promote its products. But it takes a very specific strategy for ads to make them work.
Primarily, you should consider the following:
- That you narrow down your target audience
- Your client’s budget options
- The current economic situation
- The saturation of the market for your product
- Ask yourself who your core audience is. Why do they buy your product and what KPIs matter the most to them?
- Can you repurpose old videos to attract new customers?
- Will your audience like user-generated content in your ads?
Here’s a Statista study performed in February 2019 that shows the frequency of online purchases made by consumers after seeing a social media ad:
|Frequency||Percentage of Users|
|1% to 25% of the time||37.9%|
|26% to 50% of the time||23.7%|
|51% to 75% of the time||13.6%|
|76% to 100% of the time||4.5%|
13.6% of all the respondents to the study made an online purchase at least half of the time after seeing an online ad.
All in all, around 79.7% of all the respondents made online purchases after seeing social media ads (in different frequencies). So, social media ads are incredibly powerful tools for any brand.
How about a PWC study that shows what consumers think is the best type of ad that influences them to buy something?
|Type of Ad||Percentage of Responders|
|Ads that link me to offers/promotions for my favorite brand or product||37%|
|Traditional TV ads||35%|
|Sponsored ads on social media (photo or video)||34%|
|Product placement in movies, TV programs and other media||26%|
|Personalized display ads depending on my location (e.g., pop-up ads on my phone)||25%|
|Ads with famous influencers/celebrities||24%|
|Pop-up ads on retailer websites||21%|
|Personalized ads via email||21%|
|Ads at/during sporting events||13%|
Around 34% of the 8,975 responders agreed that social media ads are most effective at influencing them to buy something. Social media ads are in third place, after personalized link ads and TV ads.
You might notice that the first and third categories don’t exclude one another. You can create personalized social media ads that offer links to products and brands.
There’s also the fact that Gen Z is using social media quite a lot to research a product before buying it. Here’s a study from PWC:
|Type of Platform||Percentage of People|
|Websites or Apps that Sell Resale, Upcycled, or Previously Used Products||32%|
|Speaking to Other People||30%|
|Price Comparison Websites||29%|
|Websites or Apps that Sell Resale, Upcycled or Previously Used Products||18%|
|None of the Above||2%|
31% of Gen Z is using social media to make purchasing decisions and research about products and services. That’s more than enough to focus on social media campaigns for your brand.
Oh, yeah, and around 56% of all the Gen Z interviewed said they rely on mobile phones to make pre-purchase research and to find reviews (54%).
8. LinkedIn Transformation Due to Social Media Distrust
Internet users are losing trust in social media platforms, a study performed in 2022 discovered.
As it stands, every social media platform has lost community trust. Here are the benchmark scores for 2022 vs. 2021:
- -5.9 for Instagram
- -5.8 for Instagram
- -5.7 for Reddit
- -5.1 for Facebook
- -4.8 for Twitter
- -4.4 for Snapchat
- -3.8 for TikTok
- -3.4 for Pinterest
- -2.8 for YouTube
I should explain how these benchmark scores are calculated. We take five elements (Security, Community, Legitimacy, Ad Experience, and Ad Relevance) and weigh them. This creates the total score for a platform.
In 2022, the total score for a platform ranged between 66.55 to 83.9 out of a total of 175 possible points (taking into account all five elements mentioned above).
So, on average, all social media platforms have decreased in one or more of the following aspects from 2021 to 2022:
- Ad Experience
- Ad Relevance
This leads to the main topic of this section – LinkedIn has changed massively over the last two years. The posts are becoming less professional/jargon-filled and more personal. Often, links are omitted.
Moreover, LinkedIn implemented a Creator Fund in which they invested $25 million, which was used to pay 100 creators $15,000 each to create conversations and share content.
Curious about how LinkedIn posts look now and what they have in common? Here’s a general breakdown of how you should post on LinkedIn in 2023:
- Try posting videos and see how people react
- Post linkless posts in the content calendar
- Don’t make the posts too personal or use only personal posts. LinkedIn hasn’t suddenly lost its
- Use carousels for tips and advice
- Post content you posted on other social media platforms and see how they perform
In a nutshell, you’ll need to post less artificial content that people can trust because they’re made by a human being and not a brand.
But you shouldn’t give up on professional content either. Combine both types of content for the best results. And try using videos and carousels to make your content more flexible and engaging.
9. Social Media Is the New Search Engine of 2023
Didn’t you hear? Gen Z prefers TikTok over Google when searching for stuff.
Back in 2022, at the Brainstorm Tech conference, Google senior VP Prabhakar Raghavan, said that “something like 40 percent of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.“
Apparently, that’s because social media platforms like TikTok offer more personalized information in bite-sized nuggets of quick info.
Moreover, the info is usually up-to-date and may include the content creator’s own opinion about a certain product or service. It’s also more engaging to watch than a sterile Google Search results page.
Are you a marketer thinking about cutting into the TikTok landscape? Then you’ll need to know more about the factors that influence the TikTok algorithm:
- User Interaction
- Watch Time
- Video Information
- Location and Language
- “Not Interested” Feedback
It’s not about hashtags anymore. Not just about them, at least. There are many more factors involved in building a good SEO strategy on TikTok.
A few recommendations I have for social media SEO:
- Do your keyword research
- Learn what topics you should cover and the formats you should use
- Write your keywords in the post caption
- Add alt text to your images
- Make the content short and engaging
TikTok and Instagram won’t replace Google as a search engine, though. That will likely never happen because social media platforms are not focused on this. They’re not supposed to act as a search engine.
That’s all I have for you today. If anything else comes up, I’ll update this guide or create a new one with more information.
Until then, stay tuned to Whizcase for all your social media research needs!
- Wyzowl – Video Marketing Statistics 2023
- Oberlo – Average Time Spent on TikTok (2019-2024)
- Yans Media – Vertical Video Statistics
- Disruptive Advertising – Be In the Know: Ecommerce Statistics You Should Know
- BigCommerce – Navigating Social Media Advertising: How to Choose the Right Platform and Ads for Your Brand
- Shopify – Mobile Commerce
- Composed Creative – Unlocking Brand Loyalty Insights Report
- Statista – Social Commerce Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in the United States from 2022 to 2028
- Search Engine Journal – 18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know
- Pew Research – Online Reviews
- Nosto – Stackla Survey Reveals Disconnect Between the Content Consumers Want & What Marketers Deliver
- Sendible – The Top Social Media Trends for 2023 That You Need to Pay Attention To
- Statista – Frequency of Online Consumers Who Have Made a Purchase Based on Online or Social Media Advertisements as of January 2019
- PWC – June 2023 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn Just Launched a $25 Million Creator Fund
- Fortune – Brainstorm Tech 2022: Organizing the World’s Information
- Sendible – How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work: Myths and Best Practices