Social media has established a strong foothold in the digital marketing arena. As it continues to evolve, so, too, should the way marketers utilize what each application has to offer. What do we need to know as we move into the new year?

NEW TWIST ON A THEME

Some of our favorites are adding features to their existing platforms to keep up with the new platforms on the scene.

Instagram

Instagram is seeking to be your “all in one” platform. With the new Scheduled Posts in the Instagram app, you can now schedule a picture, video, carousel, or reel to post up to 75 days in advance. In addition, they are adding some parental controls to protect teens.

Instagram influencers, a large user group on Instagram, can now earn money while their fans and followers buy badges showing their support. They are also revealing a new feature, a “Collab” option. This option allows users to collaboratively upload a post or video, and content creators can invite others to collaborate on posts and reels, showing all on all collaborators’ feeds. This poses some great potential for some amazing collaborations, particularly within marketing teams.

Instagram is also using live streaming, entering the live audience interaction capabilities of marketers with their audiences, and with fetching they can now interact directly with their commenters. New layouts on their web and tablet applications will be more engaging for users and more visually appealing.

Facebook

Facebook is also making changes to its already wildly popular platform. Stories could replace the typical newsfeed, providing real-time, engaging updates to followers and “friends”. Facebook Live will continue to provide live streaming to engage users. This continues to pose great potential in the engagement arena for brands wanting to have real-time interactions with consumers, and live streaming performs better on Facebook’s algorithms than prerecorded content. Of course, their “shorts”, short-run videos, will continue to be popular as the video market only continues to grow! Chatbots are also growing in popularity and Facebook continues to use them, improving customers’ interactions with the application.

Facebook ads continue to generate solid revenue, and with their retargeting you can reach the customers who have an affinity for your brand, making this one of the key Facebook features for marketers. Facebook is also featuring new customer journey tracking with identifies clear touchpoints along the customer experience, providing some great metrics for your varied sales channels within the platform. Facebook Spaces, a virtual gathering space, offers marketers some great options for putting forth their branding, sharing products and services, and engaging directly with consumers.

TikTok

TikTok is a great application for tapping the influencer market, and its skyrocketing appeal speaks to the potential for content creators and businesses. With a strong user community, this app provides opportunities to engage sub-audiences of niches that like your brand. The Duet and Stitch features will continue to be the “it” factor in content creation on this platform. The easy-to-create entertaining videos with music, filters, and other special effects contribute to its customer attraction!

According to datareportal.com, “the ad reach predicted for buyers 18 and older is 1.02 billion users.” With this kind of potential, users unfamiliar with the platform are branching out and giving it a try, offering marketers yet another option in the market channel menu! Live sessions, like those on other platforms, are gaining popularity as ways to engage directly with your targeted audiences, helping to showcase your brand in an authentic and approachable manner.

Pinterest

Pinterest, the king of boards and visual collections, continues to evolve within the marketing sphere. They have introduced “Shuffles”, which allows users to create collages with animation, dipping their toes into the “video” arena. According to their statistics, the hashtag #shufflesbypinterest has “over 9 million views on TikTok”. Content creators can use these new collages to showcase their work and it allows for sharing across other video-based platforms. “Shuffles” also allow for direct engagement and interaction, allowing marketers to invite users to provide feedback on products,

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Other Trends Worth Exploring

Branding:

A focus on brand building and brand awareness are bubbling up in many of the trend forecasts online for 2023, but what does this mean for social media marketing? Authenticity and trust are the “new currency”, so using social media platforms to build both is worth your attention for this focus on branding. Another piece to branding that is taking a bigger role is brand accountability, especially as it relates to current events. Customers are more likely to support brands that align with their core values. Conversely, they are more likely to drop brands that don’t. Customers want to believe that your brand cares about what they care about.

What it means:

  • Focus your attention on long term growth versus short term marketing. Reports indicate that there is at least a 6-month window before your brand takes a full hold
  • Use blogs, YouTube, social media posts across platforms and be sure you are targeting the right audience features…those who need your products or services
  • When posting and providing content, make sure it is strongly aligned with your brand and your messaging.
  • Use the increasingly popular live streaming apps and add-ons for launching products and promotions, sharing content, and inviting feedback and discussions on topics of interest.
  • Think about what is on the minds of customers in your market. Social and environmental issues are big ones for consumers so keep this in mind as you present your content. Make it a point to include content that showcases your core values and speaks directly to your audiences.
  • Take advantage of Facebook Ads. They are cheaper than some other applications and be consistent. Consistency builds trust in your brand!
  • Solicit user-generated content through calls to share ideas and interact with your content via comments, live discussions, and surveys.

Social Shopping

Have you seen ads for something you were talking about recently popping up in your feeds as you are scrolling through content? This is purposeful and is tapping social media as a marketplace. It makes sense! Consumers spend a lot of time on their social media sites, so why not take advantage and make shopping more convenient for the user?

What it means:

  • Do your research, as the social market is not necessarily right for all businesses. Analyze the target market and what social media channels they are using to see if social commerce can be supported and is scalable for your business.
  • If you decide to use social commerce, make sure all the pieces are in place to provide customers with a smooth and pleasant buying experience, including having responsive customer support. This builds trust in your brand.
  • To enhance your customer experience, build in an increasingly popular
  • Explore your options. Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and many other social media options are jumping on the social commerce bandwagon. Some lesser known are Twitch, Taggshop, and WeChat. Do your homework and choose what is the best fit for you and your business.

Short-Form and Bite-Sized Content

According to wyzowl’s Video Marketing Statistics 2022 Report, 73% of people prefer to watch a short video to learn more about a product or service. Short videos are already quite popular with TikTok, Reels, and Shorts flooding all the social medial apps with widely varied content that runs the gamut from entertaining to emotional to educational content.

What it means:

  • If you haven’t jumped on the video craze, what are you waiting for? There are many different video options available.
  • Consider cross-posting your “bite-sized” content and videos on all social media sites. There are many apps that can help automate this process and increase cross-posting efficiency.
  • SMBs sometimes lack resources to generate content, even in bite-sized pieces. Explore AI options for content generation. It can save time and help with more original content geared to your users and followers. This personalization can help drive traffic your way.
  • Use options within the metaverse or augmented/virtual reality (AR, VR) spaces for concise content postings. There are tons of gamers out there tapping into these spaces so why not market to them when it fits?

Many more trends will crop up as the calendar rolls over into the new year.

Be on the lookout for these and other trends that come onto the marketing scene. If you have had some success with any of these marketing trends already, share your experiences with us in the comments!

Table of content
1. New twist on a theme
2. Other Trends Worth Exploring

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