src=”https://buffer.com/resources/content/images/2023/01/shunsuke-ono-VxYFu9D8ovk-unsplash–1-.jpg” alt=”7 Social Media Predictions for 2023 (according to experts)”>
Trends are what we love to look at at the beginning and end of every year. Which one was right? What was the surprise? It’s fascinating to see.
Despite my passion for trend-watching and the fact that predictions are often counterintuitive to my love of it, the most important lesson I have learned from them is that no one can predict the future. We can only make predictions based on data and cultural context and then cross our fingers.
We, along with experts, outline the things we have noticed people are grabbing more of in the industry. Then we make observations about the future for social media in 2023.
1. More AI-generated content and the accompanying tools to track it
This prediction is based on the current trajectory for interest. However, it must be made regardless.
With the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, 2022 was a great year for AI. The tool’s potential applications caught the attention of many people on the Internet. It has been used to create and manage tweets, emails, and more controversially, art.
Mohammed Asaduallah, the CEO of BetterwithBenji, a tax software platform that allows creators to file taxes. ChatGPT will generate social posts according to Asaduallah, who has been trained with the brand personality of a company. CoWrite is a feature of Writer, an AI writing platform.
The danger is that more AI could result in a flood of mediocre content flooding the Internet. Windscribe’s Head of Community, Daniel Sobey Harker, predicts that companies mistakenly believe they can replace writers using AI tools. This will lead to a flood of mediocre content and aversion towards long-form articles.
There is also a golden opportunity to be a writer, artist, or creator with a unique voice, style and perspective. Human creativity will be more valuable once the hype has passed, I believe. AI doesn’t learn from AI-created content, it learns from human content.
2. Creators will be ordinary people
The age of the aspirational, wealthy creator is rapidly disappearing, leaving room for everyday voices. Kasey Bayne is a marketing consultant and founder at KBConsulting. He predicts that more people will be able to voice their opinions, particularly on video. Kasey predicts that more people will become creators on TikTok. However, this is not necessarily to make it their full-time job, but to share the content and get rewarded.
I would like to add that people are now more interested in hearing other people’s opinions on products and services. According to Stackla, 79 per cent of respondents believe that user-generated content has a significant impact on their buying decisions. These everyday people’s user-generated content will prove to be more valuable than ever.
Keith Lee is a great example of this. He reviews small family-owned restaurants in the same format. His videos have helped small businesses increase their revenue and fans.
Karen Okoro from DG Sentinel, Head of Digital Media, said that authenticity will also be a key component to social media marketing. This could be with influencer or content marketing. As people are beginning to understand what paid content looks, creators will need to push the boundaries on how they create.
3. Brands will employ social media managers per platform
Kendall Dickieson, founder of Flexible Creative and social media expert, predicts that more brands will see why their social media team cannot also be their PR, copywriters and content creators.
Kendall predicts that per platform social managers will be a thing, as brands can be more efficient by focusing their attention on one platform. Social media managers will be more likely to choose to focus their attention on one platform or two because of the nuances that exist between them.
This may be unrealistic in an era of layoffs that have disproportionately affected marketing and other roles that are more difficult to prove their impact on revenue generation. There is a solution for everyone: celebrity social media personalities.
4. Celebrities will be more prominent on social media.
Brands that need to consolidate their budgets will have to deal with changing demands of social media managers. Paddle’s social media manager Hayley Rodgers says that shrinking budgets could lead to more consolidation in the role of social media managers and a shift to the skills required to succeed.
Great video content creators will be sought to create TikTok’s social-first, video content and YouTube Shorts. Zaria Parvez is the Global Social Media Manager at Duolingo. Her work on behalf of the brand’s social media, especially TikTok has seen it reach millions of users per post.
User-generated content may be an option to help manage their team. Signs are pointing to brands choosing to work with existing creators in their niche to create content on their social media. These creators don’t just use their product or sell their video. They are also not trying to be a brand ambassador but are instead looking to become a familiar face that consumers can trust.
LinkedIn partners with DeAndre brown, a comedian whose content focuses primarily on Gen-Z at work, helping the brand to connect with a new generation.
WhoWhatWear is a partner with Andrea Cheong, a creator who focuses primarily on sustainability in fashion. Andrea is an expert in the fashion industry, and she focuses on helping customers make better purchasing decisions.
5. Creators will be focusing on brand building via owned platforms
Many creators realized that the platforms that they built their following on were not theirs. Anything can happen to them. 2022 was that year. No creator or platform was safe, from “Make Instagram Instagram Again” to TikTok’s takeover to TikTok’s will-they won’t-they with different governments.
AltExchange Communications Director Jennifer Reardon predicts that creators will focus on email marketing, and less on brand partnerships and more on creating their own brands and businesses.
Creators will need to find other ways to make money besides social media. Some may turn to newsletters, while others might opt for courses and some still look to paid communities.
6. To make up for the decreased social spending, more organic and higher-quality content is required
Paid ads have come under fire in recent years. Major ad platforms like Google and Meta have been subject to fines after fine and restriction after restriction. Businesses will need to find new ways to reach their customers as users have more control over the use of their data.
Arielle Sanchez, a marketing consultant and owner Marketing Chica, expects a rise in targeted content of higher quality to counter the decline in paid social.
Duarte Garrido (Global Head of Social Media, Standard Chartered), agrees with that statement, stating that organic content will rebound due to the shift from the social to the interest graph. Instead of being hyper-focused on individual interest, audiences will be more interested the overarching ideas and communities that support them. Not following one influencer is enough. Follow multiple influencers to find the best. Companies who create content that is relevant to their audience’s interests will not need to pay for it.
Bobbie Goods is a small business that produces coloring books. This is an interesting example. TikTok, the business’ video sharing TikTok with friends and family allows them to view relaxing videos featuring the founder using their products or packing orders.
7. Unexpected collaborations between brands & creators
Natalie Sportelli, Head Content at Thingtesting, predicts we’ll see more unexpected and creative collaborations between companies and celebs and influencers.
This is a well-known practice. However, as brands attempt to reach important audiences but are not capturing, it is possible to see small and large scale examples. I can already think of two collaborations that fit into this category:
First, Mr. Beast teamed up with Shopify to travel to Antarctica and do an ad spot. He also named a mountain in honor of Shopify – to Hans Zimmer’s music. In just two weeks, the video was viewed over 73 million times.
Martha Stewart’s collaboration is smaller in scale with Liquid Death, a water brand. For Halloween, the celebrity chef made a candle in a shape of a severed arm. The brand’s social media accounts have seen the video reach a few million times.
Collabs can be used to create memorable moments for consumers, as well as help each party tap into the other’s audience.
Don’t rely on predictions for certainty
Reiterating, predictions are only assumptions about the future based on the current. Don’t follow the crowd, and don’t be tempted to take everything in this list as gospel. While it is important to think about these things, it is even more important to have a strategy in place and to understand your audience so that you can create content that will help your brand.
Are you imagining what social media might look like in the new year? Send them to us @buffer on social media!