Want to keep up with social media trends in 2023? Well, you first need to recognise that the world of social media is constantly changing. Over the last few years, or even just the last few months, social media has changed enormously.
Before nominating someone in your team to be your resident in-house TikToker, ask yourself: Why?
Twitter has drastically been impacted under the ownership of Elon Musk – controversial accounts have been reinstated, the timeline has a new look and a new subscription service has been rolled out. We’ve also seen TikTok taking over since the pandemic and Facebook dealing with a decline in revenue.
All of these changes have a domino effect and impact the way you do social media marketing. What worked well a few months ago may not work as well now, so to help brands succeed in an ever-changing social media landscape, and to help you better connect with your audience, we’re sharing five ways you can evolve and adapt on social media in 2023.
1. Focus on both organic and paid social
At one point in time, if you consistently posted good content on a given social channel, you could expect a community to start organically growing around your brand. As organisations exploited this, the platforms introduced algorithms to prevent over-saturation of branded content (and, of course, generate ad revenue) by only displaying what was ‘most relevant’ to the user. Thus was ushered in the pay-to-play era of social media marketing.
Today, it might not be enough for some brands to rely solely on organic social, especially if you want to reach a large target audience. So this means you need to bring organic and paid social together for best results – make sure you have an effective organic social media marketing strategy in place and then make sure you have enough budget to put money behind ads.
Key takeaway: Make sure your paid and organic social compliments one another and is relevant to your audience. You want big, high-quality, hero pieces of content supported with paid media, but also a swathe of organic content to back those assets up. Look to create different series and styles that appeal to the full range of your audience, and which are tailored to their behaviour on different platforms.
2. Question your purpose
Why are you on social media? Do you want to raise brand awareness, educate your audience or just have fun? Either way, you need to take a step back and consider what social media success looks like for you, whether that’s a big following or a high engagement rate. Once you have this understanding, you’ll clearly know what type of content to post on your channels.
An energy supplier, for example, is never going to compete with a sportswear designer on positive sentiment or number of likes. ‘Normal’ social interchange for the former is likely to be dominated by people complaining about the price of gas. Instead of hoping for a viral hit and blithely producing a light-hearted comedy video that falls flat, the energy supplier could listen to their audience and compile a list of the most common complaints. From this, they could produce content which addresses some of the most persistent comments and move the sentiment dial a fraction or more.
Key takeaway: To discover your purpose, consider employing some social listening tools, so you can find your own ‘normal’. What is your average engagement rate? How many @ mentions do you get per month? And, perhaps most importantly, what is the typical sentiment towards your brand? With these questions answered, the question of what constitutes success for you will become much easier to answer.
3. Think twice before starting a new channel
TikTok is the place to be right now, isn’t it? The video-sharing app has been downloaded 3.5 billion times worldwide and is predicted to grow even bigger – Statista has predicted there will be 15 million UK TikTok users in 2025.
It’s obvious that TikTok may be the ideal platform for some brands but this doesn’t mean you need to jump onto it as well. Before nominating someone in your team to be your resident in-house TikToker, ask yourself: Why? It’s often more important to say no to new platforms than to jump on them immediately. If you’re not targeting a youth audience, then you may very well not need to worry too much about TikTok, for example.
You should let your wider business strategy dictate the channels your brand appears on as it’s not necessary to hop on the band wagon whenever a new platform arrives.
Key takeaway: Invest most of your time and energy on those social channels where you know your audience congregate, and that you know have worked for you in the past. If you have some spare capacity, sure, then you can start to experiment with new channels. Social is great for experimenting, after all. But don’t lose your focus on the channels that work hardest for you.
4. Don’t treat influencers like paid advertisers
If you want to evolve on social media and tap into a larger audience, you might want to think about working/collaborating with influencers but avoid treating them like paid advertisers.
Influencers are typically very smart, creative and personable people. They know what their followers respond to and may well have ideas you could never have thought of.
You should, as a result, focus on building a mutually beneficial direct relationship with an influencer who you know is engaged with your brand. You can then discuss your goals with them and develop ideas together.
Key takeaway: Again, think hard about your goals. Are you purely after reach? Are you looking to gain credibility? Trying to directly increase sales? Hoping to appeal to a new market? Try and tailor the people you work with to what specifically you’re trying to achieve and don’t forget that in today’s society, people aren’t afraid to call out influencers and brands for their work if they think sincerity is lacking.
5. Let data drive your decisions
Last but not least is the power of data. You won’t be able to evolve and adapt on social media if you aren’t tracking your progress and relying on data to make changes.
Social media marketing is most effective when your goals and plans are based on raw data such as engagement (clicks, comments, shares), reach, impressions, follower count, profile visits and demographic data. Look at this social media data alongside your KPIs to better understand what’s working, what’s not working, and what you can do to improve.
Remember that all of this key data can be easily accessed in the backend of your social accounts. Download reports, take out the data that matters to you, track it in a separate document and over time you’ll be able to see if you’re succeeding on social media.
Key takeaway: Don’t underestimate the value of data. Train up a member of your team so that they understand how to track and report data and start tracking your data from today. The more information you have to look back on, the easier it’ll be for you in the future to see if you’re evolving the way you want.