Social media is ALWAYS changing, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up with!
2023 is here, and for many the new year is the chance to refine their marketing strategy, and set some goals for year ahead. To help you get the most out of your social media, we have put together our social media observations of 2022, and recommendations of what to watch out for in 2023.
Short-form Video Content
We know we keep harping on about it, and you may think it’s old news, but short-form videos are not going anywhere.
With more than 1 billion monthly active users, TikTok has undoubtedly been the biggest platform of 2022, and certainly won’t be going anywhere in 2023. There is something about short, snappy video content that grabs users’ attention, stops them scrolling, and keeps them engaging.
Instagram have not let this pass them by, and made changes in 2022 to make Reels the only form of video content in the app, along with a statement explaining that their algorithm will prioritise Reels over all other content.
Although users definitely go to these channels for a bit of light entertainment, don’t underestimate the power of promoting your products and services here too. The Hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt reached 32 billion views in 2022, with users finding new products and influences within the app.
Many businesses have been hesitant to embrace Reels and short-form video content in their social media strategy, and we do understand it can be a daunting task! But the truth is, if you are not embracing this style of content, you are almost certainly going to be left behind and drowned out in the noise.
2022 has seen a huge rise in authentic content gaining mass engagement. Social media (and Instagram in particular) have long had a reputation of not being an accurate reflection of ‘real life’, with highly edited photos, obvious airbrushing, and filters often used to create something picture-perfect.
In the past year however, we have seen an obvious switch away from this clinically perfect style, with more and more authentic, made-at-home style videos and photos taking the spotlight.
Users have even jumped on this with trends such as ‘Instagram vs Reality’ and ‘Behind the Scenes’ posts, to highlight this and show their authentic self.
So, why does authentic content work so well?
Being authentic is all about being relatable, and having your followers see you as someone they can connect with and understand. Insights have shown that users are more likely to engage with and buy from brands who feature ‘home-made’ videos, rather than over-produced professional videos.
Don’t get us wrong, we still believe in the importance of high-quality, professional video content, but the key is finding a balance of both. If you’ve recently posted a professional product video, why not mix it up with a home-style video of someone enjoying that product in a real-life setting for your next post? This will show the best of both worlds, and will help your audience to visualise themselves using that product, instantly trusting your brand more.
What should you take from this in 2023?
Our advice for 2023 is to stop being a perfectionist! If the stats say that homemade ‘imperfect’ content works well, then embrace this! Don’t get bogged down on trying to achieve a crisp, finished look, or feeling you need to invest in masses of fancy equipment. Authentic and engaging videos and posts can be achieved using just your mobile.
Similarly to the argument for authenticity, UGC (User Generated Content) has certainly made its mark on 2022. Just as users are more likely to trust and relate to authentic content, they are ten times more likely to relate to content that comes directly from the consumer.
It’s one thing a brand saying how great they are and how much they can change your life, but when a ‘normal person’ says it, suddenly your brand is everywhere.
Not only is your brand then getting seen in front of a wider audience, but this audience is taking note, and ultimately, purchasing. A 2021 study revealed that a whopping 80% of consumers said UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
It’s not always easy generating UGC as it’s not content you are able to create yourself, but there are still ways of reaching out for this. If you are finding UGC hard to come by, consider running a competition, hosting a giveaway, or even getting in touch with influencers who can create some content for you.
Have you ever seen a Reel or TikTok that’s taught you something or inspired you, so you’ve saved it for future reference?
We’re seeing so much more of this kind of educational and inspirational content of late, and it’s a great tool to add to your 2023 social media strategy.
Short bursts of information and inspiration are a great way to grab your audience’s attention, and give them a feeling of purpose, rather than scrolling down their feed for the lols. Popular examples of this are Life Hacks, Myth Busting, Top Tips, and Inspiring Photo Dumps.
More and more, social media has become a place people go not only to consume content and connect with each other, but also to shop.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have all had shoppable posts for a while now, allowing brands to tag products in their photos, and the trends around selling on social media are continually developing.
A trend we have seen emerging in 2022 is that of live selling. Livestreamed content is the ultimate authentic content, as users can see exactly what’s happening, as it happens, giving viewers an added reassurance of genuine, trustworthy content.
Joining a livestream also has an added interactive benefit, as viewers can ask questions and leave comments, which can be responded to there and then. This is a great way for consumers to connect directly with brands, and also to create a community amongst themselves.
This makes livestreaming a great tool for creating a relationship with your audience, and demonstrating the benefits of your products.
Livestreaming has seen a bit of a lull in 2022 but we definitely see it making a comeback in 2023!
New/Upcoming Features we are LOVING
We couldn’t let you go without highlighting some of the new features we’ve seen emerging which will help you up your social media game even further. (We are VERY excited about some of these!)
In-app Scheduling for Instagram Reels
So, not everyone has this feature yet, but if you don’t, you certainly will soon! We have been able to schedule Instagram content for a while
now through both Creator Studio and Meta Business Suite, but the feature has not been available for scheduling Reels. Pretty annoyin
g if you’re trying to embrace this brilliant and popular content style!
BUT, worry not! You will soon be able to – and a lucky few of you may already be able to – schedule Reels within the Instagram app itself, allowing you to save time and wave live posting goodbye!
When publishing a Reel, simply head to Advanced Settings, tap the toggle next to Schedule this Reel, and set the date and time you would like your video to be live.
In 2022, YouTube announced a new way to share short-form videos within the platform – introducing YouTube Shorts. YouTube’s version of TikToks and Instagram Reels, YouTube shorts are short-form, vertical videos of up to 60 seconds long.
From the rising popularity we’ve already seen from short-form video content, we can only predict that YouTube Shorts are going to be BIG this year. If you are already on YouTube, Shorts are a great way to share short, snappy content, and bring more visitors to the longer videos on your channel.
LinkedIn has been behind the times for a while now, being one of the few remaining social platforms that doesn’t offer built-in post scheduling. Well, no more! We are THRILLED with the announcement of their new, built-in scheduling feature, allowing users to draft up their posts within the platform, and schedule them for a later date.
When creating a LinkedIn post, you should now see a little clock icon beside the blue Post button, allowing you to select a date and time for your post to go live.
At the moment, this feature looks to only be available for personal profiles and not company pages – bummer. But we are very hopeful that the feature will expand to cover pages soon!
Instagram Subscriber Content
2022 saw the introduction Instagram Subscriptions, allowing creators to share certain content exclusively to paying subscribers. Initially, at Social Progress we thought this was going to be a flop and that no-one in their right mind would pay for a subscription.
However, with all the algorithm changes resulting in users seeing more and more recommended content rather than posts from people they actually follow, subscriptions could be the answer.
If you’re looking for new ways to monetise your social media activity and build a loyal subscriber base, Instagram Subscriptions is definitely something to consider in 2023.
We have loved keeping up with the emerging trends and new social media features throughout 2022 and can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store!
As ever, if you’re looking for support with your social media strategy, or embracing the new social media trends and features of 2023, be sure to get in touch, and our team of experts will be happy to help!