Our guest author takes you through top social media trends that brands can leverage to maximise audience reach and appeal this year.
Welcome 2023, the year when social media is predicted to grow and thrive like never before. With Gen Z and millennial entertainment preferences gaining popularity across social media, brands worldwide are using this powerful medium to connect with young consumers, who are difficult to impress.
Given the last few years of disruption in the digital world, consumers have become more demanding and their behaviour is changing faster than ever. At a time when social media is becoming increasingly dynamic, technology is advancing rapidly and the lines between online and offline advertising are blurring, brands need to stay agile.
Here are five top social media trends they can leverage to maximise audience reach and appeal this year:
1. User-generated content in the spotlight
While consumers have been creating content for a long time, there has been a steep rise in this trend since the arrival of TikTok. According to a Stackla survey, 79% of people say that UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
Not only is UGC authentic, but it also gives creators the freedom to ring out brand messaging in their own flavour, with a personalised touch that resonated with audiences. Authenticity is increasingly important to consumers, and branded content created by users, is considered more relatable.
Brands that effectively utilise UGC on social media in 2023, will strike a chord with their audiences, by connecting with them in an authentic and real way.
2. Artificial intelligence to go mainstream
AI-based creative lenses are already in use across social platforms. Players like Instagram and Snapchat are widely using AI-powered capabilities. From visual effects that include AI-generated backgrounds and objects, to copy generators like Jasper.ai, AI is quickly gaining popularity with social media users.
While AI can never replace human creativity, it can provide new ways to target, attract and engage social media users. AI-powered social listening tools can also unearth valuable insights from a brand's social media audience and conversations.
Brands will, therefore, need to rely on advanced forms of AI to deliver innovative messaging and retain consumers in 2023 and beyond.
3. The rise and rise of influencers
The creator economy has evolved swiftly over the past few years. In the cluttered mix of the digital advertising hotpot, influencers are an effective medium to break through the noise. With large numbers of followers as their captive audience, influencers will continue to rise in 2023.
Further, regional influencers creating content for sub-cultures in various geographies or local languages, will thrive. Brands can leverage this trend by partnering with the right influencers, giving them creative freedom, and keeping these collaborations authentic and transparent.
In the coming years, seamless social commerce led by influencers, will flourish across platforms and become a prominent part of brands’ marketing plans.
4. Using social to drive a positive brand experience
Social media is no longer a place where consumers go only for entertainment. According to HubSpot, 90% of global consumers prefer an immediate customer service response from brands.
This expectation of pace and personal attention, will drive brands to consider social media, for not just entertainment and education purposes, but also customer service and support.
Many brands already consider Twitter as an extended arm of their customer service, and this will become one of the key pillars of their content strategy in 2023.
5. Sharp focus on integrity and authenticity
Today’s “social-first” audiences are digital savvy and discerning of anything sponsored or inauthentic. They desire authenticity in the content they consume and the brands they interact with.
To elevate consumers’ trust and grow brand love, businesses will need to move away from staged content and lean towards content that is genuine and relatable. Social media platforms, too, will need to adjust to deliver a user experience that is more ‘real’ and less filtered and polished.
(The author, Aditi Mathur Kumar is AVP – content strategy & partnerships, Interactive Avenues (a Reprise Network Company)