Should you run after social media trends? Logically, the answer is no. But we do.
Keeping up with marketing trends is critical to developing your digital content strategy. However, your business and marketing goals should be front and center when deciding to change course or expand your digital outreach. As we’ve seen over the last year, what’s hot today can quickly cool or become irrelevant.
Unfortunately, chasing after digital marketing trends is tempting, but doing so can cost you time and money with little return on your investment. So, how do you know when you should pivot?
Let’s look at the most recent social media trends and predictions for 2022/23.
Cookies Will Be History
Consumer concern over privacy and data collection will reduce, if not eliminate, crucial third-party reporting data that has been the mainstay of digital advertising. Among 2023 social media trends, this one is creating the most buzz. As a result, marketers anticipate a severe decline in ad impact.
Consumer demand for authentic, trustworthy content will grow. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to create video or other digital assets to establish authenticity. The research shows that consumers prefer less-polished, true-to-life content.
Walk The Talk
Consumers are in the driver’s seat. The lines between social issues and purchasing have become blurred. Consumers want to do business with brands that take action on the issues they care about, not just put slogans in their content. According to surveys, they will spend more if the brand aligns with their socio-economic issues. This is true for B2B and B2C buyers.
YouTube remains the leading social media channel for video marketing content, a favorite of 92% of digital marketers. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have improved video capabilities, but none has been able to bump YouTube from the top spot. However, social media trends reveal that YouTube does have one formidable competitor—TikTok.
Generation Z, millennials, and younger generations are the primary drivers behind TikTok’s rise in popularity. However, they’re not the only driver. Consumers’ thirst for engaging, fun, interactive user-generated content has helped to propel TikTok to the top of the social media industry.
Naturally, brands have had to follow suit, especially if marketing to these demographics. Recently, there has been a surge in B2B TikTok marketing, increasing revenues for the channel.
Some social media trends can push you to change your content game, and Instagram Reels is one of those. To compete against the rise of TikTok, Instagram began promoting its Reels feature. Instagram’s short video is not meant to mimic TikTok (and posting the same video on both channels is not a good marketing strategy). The demographic on Instagram is different, and so is the tone of the content. Still, the trend toward Reels will only grow, mainly because the algorithms boost their popularity.
As the attention span of consumers shrinks, creating bite-size content, such as short videos, is going to be something you might want to add to your toolbox.
Brands will need to offer interactive digital experiences such as games, Q&A sessions, and digital malls to retain and grow their customer base. Of course, consumers want this, but social media algorithms also want to see brands be more interactive. It’s not a bad thing, though. Interactive content enables you to create more meaningful relationships with your customers. You’ll build loyalty, develop brand ambassadors and increase sales.
Social Media As A Support Network
Social media will be the new “digital community.” Experts predict that brands will create dedicated in-platform social media support channels. The conversation will need to be more welcoming and inviting like it would if they stopped by in person at your retail store (if you have one).
“In this new environment, marketers must focus on forging symbiotic relationships through a better understanding of online conversations and taking quick action.” David Low, global chief marketing officer at Talkwalker.
Microinfluencers And UGC
Influencer marketing continues to be an essential element for most brands. Social media trends indicate, though, consumers prefer to see real people promoting products and services. Furthermore, mega-influencers may have a larger following but a low engagement level. As a result, the ROI on your investment will not be worth it. Social media trends hint that the days of paying tons of money for influencers with thousands of followers may be coming to an end for most brands.
Businesses will do better by increasing their user-generated content (UGC) and working with smaller influencers. As a result, you’ll improve trust between your brand and your consumer base. Word-of-mouth marketing still works!
The global consumer audience was already shopping online, but the pandemic accelerated the growth of e-commerce. Online commerce experts predict that social commerce will continue to grow and become mainstream.
Buyers today are digital first. They take time to research your brand and comparison shop. Social media profiles will need to resemble websites (not a replacement). Everything a customer needs to know should be visible on your social profile. Be sure to publish valuable content that a potential customer needs to make a purchase and offer a sales venue to help them purchase more quickly.
Social commerce is a marketing trend expected to accelerate further in 2023 as audiences look for ease in the shopping experience. You’ll want to create seamless interactions with your brand to remain competitive.
Surveys indicate that more than half of all businesses intend to increase their social media advertising budget. Why? Because highly targeted, personalized ads work.
The digital environment is crowded. You can work hard and optimize your visibility, but you’ll need to be creative and relentless to reach your audience organically.
All the social channels expect to see an increase in ad revenue, with Instagram taking the majority. However, marketers also focus on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook for advertising and content promotion.
When Should You Pivot?
So, when is it worthwhile to chase after social media trends? Never. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t optimize or adjust your social media marketing strategy according to market trends.
An alternative is to pay attention to the features of digital platforms that other channels adopt or copy. This lets you know that the feature, say, short videos, is a trend here to stay. You don’t necessarily need to jump on another platform. Instead, you can add more short video content to your current social media channels.
Before jumping on new channels or producing trending content assets, you first need to return to the basics.
- your business vision, mission, and values
- your brand voice
- who is your audience?
- what are their needs?
- how do they consume online content?
- where do they hang out?
- what is your marketing budget
- how much time do you have to market your products/services?
According to research conducted by Cure Media, social media is the most important platform for engaging shoppers in the lifestyle and fashion spaces. Their survey confirmed that 100% of those surveyed turn to their favorite social media platform for inspiration, information, and consumer reviews before making a purchase.
Investing in your social media marketing strategy is crucial to growing your business. Staying abreast of social media trends should serve to guide your marketing strategy throughout the year. But every trend is not worth the chase.
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