Social media - Projected development in 2023
Social media as a communications phenomenon has been revolutionizing marketing communications for years while exerting increasing pressure on the "old school of marketing", which likes one-way and wide-ranging communications.
It seems that social media is entering the mainstream and brands that want to reach their audiences with their offerings have to take them quite seriously already, incorporating them into their communication strategies.
In the social media predictions we observe, the most common recurring themes are:
1. Ephemeral content - stories.
The idea of quickly disappearing content was introduced by Snapchat. And just as quickly as they disappear the project was copied by Instagram and Facebook. Now few users remember Snapchat, but that doesn't stop them at all from engaging more with ephemeral content.
Users love stories, especially for their immediacy and authenticity. In addition, they provide ample opportunities for interaction - surveys, quizzes, question badges or a countdown clock to events.
This visual publishing space will be quite a field for brands to exploit, especially since people have an innate tendency to peep at others - how they live, how they work, what they do behind the curtain.
Moreover, according to a study by Hootsuite (2021), 58% of people say they became interested in a brand or product after watching it on Stories, and this brings us to the next trend....
2. Social commerce
According to research, 93% of us trust recommendations from people we know. Such an assumption provides a huge opportunity for marketers to use social media reviews of their products or services. After all, aren't we more likely to buy a book that our friend has recommended?
In addition, thanks to new solutions implemented on Facebook and Instagram, we can already instantly add products tagged in photos to our shopping carts. For brands, this is a great opportunity to reach users faster with the products they offer.
3. Social Selling
Social selling is nowadays very much associated with the LinkedIn platform, which has experienced its second youth in the last year attracting more and more attention to itself from business users.
However, it would be a mistake to assume that social selling is exclusively the domain of this platform. Fortunately, more and more business people are consciously taking advantage of the opportunities offered by social media (Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.) to build relationships (including selling services/products) with their market.
Extremely important in interpreting Social Selling activities is to see them as skillful communication on social media aimed at building valuable business.
So in this case, it is necessary to start from the brand strategy and brand communication strategy in order to coherently and consistently carry out activities that lead the audience to purchase decisions.
4. Influencer marketing - Marketing trends 2023
According to various studies and reports (e.g., Influencer Marketing Hub, 2019), every dollar invested in influencer marketing returns 5 to 7 times. Such returns on investment make 63% of companies intend to increase spending on influencer activities in the next 12 months.
In addition, 51% of marketers believe they gain better customers through influencer marketing.
Is such data irresistible? No, and brands do not intend to give up this form of reaching their customers. In the near future, we will see a lot of involvement in influencer marketing.
However, brands will be more likely to choose a few so-called micro-influencers (those with 1K to 15K followers) for collaboration rather than one influencer with a community of millions. Why?
All because micro-influencers more often have a stronger relationship built with their community - they are able to respond to messages and comments, and community engagement is proportionately higher than for celebrity influencers.
5. Chatbots - Faster customer-brand communication
In a lightning-fast world, every hour, minute and sometimes even second is at a premium.... and this can also be seen in customer-brand communication. Customers expect instant answers to their questions and concerns. According to State of Conversational Marketing, Drift, 2019, customers' expectation of response time from chatbots is almost identical to that of a face-to-face conversation.
Additionally, Facebook's (2018) research shows that:
58% of users feel more confident messaging a business than contacting them by phone,
58% prefer messaging with a business than filling out a form on a website,
53% prefer to shop with companies they can write to directly,
55% prefer to communicate with a business through messages rather than email.
Users want to use chatbots to:
However, it would be a mistake to assume that social selling is exclusively the domain of the
get answers to questions - 32%
get detailed answers or a full explanation of the issues with which they report - 29%
resolve a problem or make a complaint - 27%
get access to customer service - 27%
pay bills - 23%
make a reservation (such as at a restaurant or hotel) - 22%
make an appointment - 19%
communicate with brands - 19%
join a mailing list or news service - 18%
make a purchase - 17%
get inspiration, an idea - 10%
Such customer expectations, make the trend of implementing chatbots on an upward wave and will continue on for a long time to come.
6. The power in groups
Facebook groups are immensely popular, and the communities in them have taken root there. Users of groups feel safer in them, are more active and more open to talking/commenting - especially in private groups, whereby users' activity is not visible to their friends not in the group.
Facebook itself is also betting on the development of this part of the platform, because as it itself admits - FB is a social medium and around such communities (groups) it wants to gather users.
Users extremely appreciate groups in which they can count on the help of others - so brands that can respond to this need and become helpful to their audiences will get a boost in 2023 thanks to Facebook groups.
7. LinkedIn - The rising star of business social media
LinkedIn has experienced a real surge of interest from business users in the past year, and the best is yet to come. With the increased availability of Live stream fulfillment capabilities, brands will be accessing their network of contacts and building engagement on a very large scale.
8. TikTok - There will still be a buzz about this platform in marketing
The TikTok platform can undoubtedly be considered an absolute hit in recent years. The basis of the platform's success is its highly engaging content format based on short, often several-second videos. As a result, TikTok brings together a billion active users in its community, many of whom spend hours each day scrolling through new content.
Will TikTok dominate the social media market?
We'll still have to wait for that, but according to a recent SensorTower study - TikTok has been the clear leader in terms of downloads among non-game apps available in stores in recent months. This allowed it to break the historic barrier of 3 billion downloads, something no non-Facebook app has managed to do before.
For a summary of social media and its use by brands in 2023 - it's worth noting that investing in social media and fully relying on it as the only source of traffic can be very dangerous. Joe Pulizzi and Roger Rose of the Content Marketing Institute warn against "putting all your eggs in one basket," which in this case are platforms over which brands do not have full control. Be sure to diversify your traffic sources.