“New year, new you” doesn’t just apply to personal resolutions. What are you doing to improve your small business in 2023? Try looking at social media. Social media is constantly evolving whether it’s a new in-app feature or the latest content trends.
And while it seems unpredictable at times, the truth is, platforms are updated as a reaction to user preference.
We looked at what’s happened lately so you can prepare your small business for social media trends in 2023.
Although this social media titan reported its first drop in revenue in over 10 years, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg is still determined to pioneer the next biggest social media trend in 2023 and beyond.
Algorithm Shake Up
The phrase, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” came to mind when Facebook brought Reels to the platform in 2021. Even more recently, Facebook took another page from TikTok’s playbook with its new discovery engine algorithm, which shows curated content.
However, Facebook aims to take it a step further and combine your friends’ content and suggested content all in one Feed.
The change is coming, but slowly. It will take a couple of years to fully implement because of Facebook’s unique situation where users create and consume images, polls, Reels, links and more — not just videos like the top competition.
This new outlook on the Feed means potential for more engagement on your content, which helps business owners who might have trouble reaching new customers. This might also make it easier for consumers to discover local businesses and brands they didn’t know existed.
All in on the Metaverse
On another slowly-but-surely note, 2022 saw the rebranding of all Facebook properties into Meta, “the social metaverse company.” Zuckerberg is on a warpath to create a mixed reality space where consumers and businesses can talk, shop, work and just about everything else.
If this space will become as ubiquitous and basic as internet access in every home is still unknown.
Meta is creating new VR hardware like the Quest Pro and new software that combines virtual reality with reality. For example, sitting in your actual home office and interacting with a real keyboard but having virtual monitors.
Right now, the biggest benefit for a small business to exist in the metaverse is being able to connect with a marketplace that’s unreachable in physical reality.
There is also the opportunity to provide a more engaging experience than traditional electronic means by operating within an immersive real-life-quality atmosphere only achievable by augmented and virtual reality.
This idea of performing real-life functions in a mixed-reality space is exciting, to say the least. And it might even bring younger generations back to Facebook’s table once it comes to fruition.
As a key partner in Meta’s outlook on social media trends in 2023, Instagram is making similar moves to Facebook regarding algorithms and favoring short-form video content.
Give People What They Want: More Videos
Facebook wasn’t the only Meta property to copy TikTok’s AI-content recommendation model, Instagram joined the party, too. In fact, in 2021 the app tested this model, and it didn’t go smoothly for users.
In the not-so-distant past, Instagram Feeds were a hodgepodge of old and new photos, videos and ads from people inside and outside friend lists. It was an unorganized nightmare.
This prompted a response from the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, to scale back algorithm changes and post a video about the future of the app.
Along with reassuring users that photos would not fall by the wayside, Mosseri insisted on an inevitable shift to more videos.
“I do believe that more and more of Instagram is going to become video. We see this even if we change nothing … So, we’re going to have to lean into that shift.”
Short-form video content will remain a social media trend in 2023 and it doesn’t look like the train is running out of steam anytime soon.
There is a variety of trends that cycle in and out of various online communities for consumers and businesses. It’s never too late to play in the space if you aren’t already.
The Preferred Space for Creators
Mosseri has stressed the importance of creators’ existence on Instagram in many videos. Whether it’s improving the Feed algorithm to put small-time accounts in front of people who don’t follow them or updating creative tools, it’s clear Instagram is facilitating a space for creators to thrive.
Another strategic move by Instagram is the introduction of AR and 3D tools, which will help build the Metaverse. It won’t be surprising to see more tools like these introduced this year.
Consumers and businesses have the potential to get in on the ground floor of what could be the biggest technological advancement in decades. You might even discover a new way to reach and engage an audience by experimenting with these tools.
TikTok has dominated the social media space for several years. Expect the machine to keep turning, burning and shaping social media trends in 2023.
Show Me the Money
Along with new video and audio editing features users have been clamoring for, TikTok has been working both sides of the coin when it comes to making money for itself and its creators.
In October 2022, TikTok approached TalkShopLive to create an infrastructure for live-stream shopping.
Live-stream shopping is already an enormous hit for TikTok’s Chinese counterpart, Douyin, and pulled in $220 billion (¥1.5 trillion) in 2021.
It’s no secret that the U.S. version of the app wants to cash in on this social media trend. It integrated Shopify in 2021 and tested a shopping feature in June 2022. Plus, the I-bought-it-on-TikTok trend has been around for some time.
But how can businesses and brands that don’t sell products capitalize on TikTok’s money grab? TikTok Pulse. Until now, the Creator Fund was the only form of income for TikTok’s elite creators and trendsetters. However, as more gain popularity, the paychecks get smaller.
TikTok saw a need for change and introduced a 50/50 ad revenue-sharing program called TikTok Pulse in May 2022. The new feature is designed to, “help brands be on the pulse of entertainment and culture on TikTok.”
The app will place ads from brands in the top 4% of videos and split the profit down the middle. And with its competitor YouTube introducing the monetization of Shorts this year, this couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Trouble with Data
There has been continuous fret that China could push misinformation on the app or would even seek legal recourse to seize American user data.
TikTok has always been aware of these fears, which is why in 2021 it partnered with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to move 100% of U.S. user traffic onshore. Although, this move didn’t completely satisfy everyone.
Congress passed a spending bill in December 2022 that included the ban and removal of TikTok from most government-issued devices. Additionally, Virginia joined 11 other states in a similar ban shortly after Congress’ bill passed.
This is the latest response to the constant thorn in TikTok’s side of having its owner, ByteDance Ltd., reside in China. Rest assured, TikTok’s more than 1 billion monthly active users can expect the app to continue distancing itself from the Chinese government and strengthening its data storage and security measures in 2023.
LinkedIn is doing better than ever and is doubling down on how its users interact, specifically with video and audio. With a 26% annual revenue increase in 2022 and over 100 million new users from 2021, LinkedIn is poised to trailblaze some social media trends in 2023.
Live Stream Events
The video phenomenon is not lost on the powers that be at the 20-year-old social network, which certainly plays a part in their continued success. It introduced LinkedIn Live in 2019, Events in 2020 as well as cover story videos and native video chat functions in 2021.
While you might not see the latest dance or meme trends on the app, you will see a more dedicated space for video in the robust Events function.
It received a healthy round of updates in 2022 with several benefits for hosts, attendees and even users who may have missed out on the Event.
LinkedIn Events can now be LinkedIn Live sessions, which are also newly discoverable by a search and visible to everyone. If you host a live session using a preferred streaming partner, it displays on the feed and your profile.
Additionally, Event posts in the feed have the same discovery benefits as a regular feed post. In short, LinkedIn made it much easier for anyone to find and engage with your live-stream event.
Hosts can also include a registration form to capture attendee information and export it for future CRM uploads.
Sounds like a great way to bolster your small business’ customer list after a few successful live streams. Lastly, attendees and non-attendees can view the content after an Event has ended.
Another way LinkedIn is bringing users together is through Audio Rooms. This feature works just like Twitter Spaces, Reddit Talk and Clubhouse.
Maybe video isn’t your thing, but you want to give current and potential customers the chance to discuss topics you’re knowledgeable about in real-time. You can keep the conversation alive with Audio Rooms.
LinkedIn has shown it’s not shying away from the supremely popular video wave that’s taken over the digital marketing space.
And while it may look different than 15-second clips of cute dogs, thirst traps and green screen filters, it’s definitely working for LinkedIn.
There might be something salvageable for social media trends in 2023, even though what you’re about to read will seem as though you’re watching the Hindenburg plummet to the ground.
The Musk Takeover
This entangled saga started in April 2022 when Musk became the largest shareholder of the app with the intent to purchase it. The Twitter board attempted to thwart his “hostile takeover,” but it didn’t work and the two parties agreed to the purchase for $44B.
Throughout the summer, Musk and former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal engaged in a tête-à-tête over the number of bots on the app, which led Musk to eventually, blow up the deal.
After everything, Musk became the new owner of Twitter on October 27, 2022, and promptly fired Agrawal and several other executives. Not to mention the firing of 3,700 employees and the resignation of hundreds more the following month.
Poorly Laid Plans of Musk and Men
Many view Musk’s vision for “Twitter 2.0” as cocktail napkin ramblings. For instance, increasing Twitter’s revenue by five times over five years while slashing advertising income in half seemed questionable at best after the takeover.
In the first week of December, revenue dipped 80% below projections. In addition, Musk’s declaration of a return to free speech and reinstatement of hot-button accounts scared advertisers into pausing their spending.
Next was the Twitter Blue subscription aimed at giving everyone the coveted blue check along with Tweet editing and longer text and video posts.
This eventually brought in some dollars for Twitter, but not after the rockiest of starts. With the low $8 verification cost, many seized the opportunity to create and verify fake accounts for brands and public figures – insert calamity here. Twitter suspended the service only after a couple of days.
Other recent changes include two new Feed views eerily similar to TikTok’s (For You and Following), a reversion to the cropped photo format (another poorly received update) and the introduction of a new vanity metric: views.
This is nothing new for short-form video creators where views actually mean something, but when it comes to Tweets, views mean nothing. After all, most social media success is about engagement.
Any Hope Left?
While many accounts have been closed or abandoned, most continue to soldier through the uncertainty. While the space has become slightly unstable, it makes for great entertainment.
I believe some are sticking around simply in hopes that Musk makes good on his promise to find another CEO after 9.7 million users voted for his resignation on a poll he Tweeted.
If you don’t have a Twitter account, now might not be the best time to dive in head first. However, if you have one that is even mildly beneficial to your business’s social media strategy, don’t fly away just yet.
Social Media for the People
Giving people what they want seems to be the social media trend in 2023 for the most popular platforms.
Whether it’s TikTok looking to introduce the U.S. to a highly successful international live stream shopping feature or Instagram leaning hard into short-form video content, social media in 2023 will be a mix of expanding on what consumers love and experiments into finding the next big thing.