Social media predictions for 2023

Jan 3rd, 2023

Creative campaigns have experienced huge growth over the last few years – brands prior to the pandemic were experiencing the kind of growth that made investment possible and, during and after the pandemic, brands faced economic conditions that made investment necessary. However, as the various political and economic issues continue on for another year, brands are likely to become increasingly cautious.

As ever, when times get tough, marketing needs to deliver more for less, and this will have a direct impact on the methods and channels that brands use to reach their audience.

From a social media perspective, I feel that I have been ahead of the game in terms of the importance of authentic engagement from brands with their users/followers and the effect this has on brand performance.

Social media platforms such as Instagram in recent months have been prioritising authentic content that is being produced by brands and those posts that are being engaged with by both brands and users together are being bumped up on the feed to get more eyes on that content by the algorithm.

Influencers will now have more opportunities on social platforms to make money from the content they produce with added ‘creator features’. We have already seen this happening on Instagram.

It won’t be long before all social platforms will add a feature that allows their users to schedule their content natively from the platform. Instagram recently announced a couple of weeks ago, a new scheduling feature. What does this mean for scheduling software companies such as Hootsuite, Sprout, Buffer, etc? It will be interesting to see how it all evolves.

Short form videos will likely continue to dominate the social scene, but with the recent news from ByteDance – cutting hundreds of jobs in China and the US ban of TikTok on Government issued phones and rumours the platform could face a complete ban – I think TikTok will likely be in for a tough year. Whether we see a resurgence in the OG TikTok “Vine” following comments to that effect from Twitter CEO Elon Musk, or a new app on the scene, will be interesting to find out.

In addition, social commerce is becoming the new normal, and I see clients taking their social presence more seriously in terms of using it to reach their customers directly through TikTok/Instagram shopping.

If 2022 taught us anything, it’s that the social media space is primed for disruption. Twitter is finding it difficult to convince advertisers to put aside brand safety concerns, Meta have struggled against regulatory issues (including a fresh privacy fine this year from the EU that could jeopardise its advertising model) and a misjudged shift to a technology that simply isn’t ready and Tik Tok – as mentioned above – could be facing regulatory problems of its own.

Whatever the question, however, the answer doesn’t appear to be Mastodon. It may be a tempting year for brands to chase the next big thing, but the better move may be to keep that budget in reserve – stick with platforms that have delivered in the past and be prepared to react to trends on those, or to be ready should a new platform establish itself as a real contender.

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