Advice from business leaders and industry experts
Business Victoria | 14 February 2023
With over 82% of Australians using social media, it’s crucial for your small business to have a strong social media presence. It allows you to connect better with your customers, provides a platform to develop your brand and lets you keep an eye on competitors.
But social media is in a state of constant change which can make it challenging to keep up with new trends. That’s especially true if you’re a small business owner wearing multiple hats and taking a DIY approach.
So where should your focus be in 2023?
To help cut through the noise we’ve picked seven social media trends for you to watch for this year.
It won’t come as much of a surprise, but 2023 will be a huge year for Artificial Intelligence (AI). Marketers are already using AI tools such as ChatGPT, Jasper and Plann to help with copywriting tasks. These work by inputting prompts related to a topic and having the app create copy suggestions. AI copywriting tools might not be able to replace authentic content that captures your company’s tone of voice, personality, and values, but the generated content is editable, and can be a time saver for your small business.
With the help of AI, improving your web site content so you’ll be ranked higher by search engines (that’s SEO for those in the know) has also become easier. AI can help you to create top-ranking content by discovering related keywords and rewriting copy to incorporate specific keywords and topics you’re trying to target.
Video is now the preferred content format for most social media users. Video works because it gets your message across quickly and effectively.
Since 2018, the number of videos watched online has nearly doubled. TikTok and the continued growth of Instagram are a big part of this, with almost 3 billion people logging into the two platforms each month.
A 2022 study by Cisco stated that video was on track to make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. Social video has also been shown to generate 1200% more shares than text and image content combined so it makes sense to make video a central part of your digital marketing strategy.
Some of the benefits of video are:
In a world where the majority of online content is carefully curated and filtered, users are turning to social media platforms such as BeReal and Instagram Stories for a more genuine experience. While BeReal prohibits advertising and commercial use of the app, companies are finding creative ways to engage with users, such as sharing photos of their team in the workplace or at an event.
Creating authentic content can help your small business form stronger relationships with customers and build brand loyalty. Customers’ values are often reflected in the brands that they support. Knowing your business is genuine can make them feel good about their choice.
If you’re using LinkedIn, you may have noticed the people in your network posting more personal content. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that trust in Facebook, where you would normally post personal content, is at an all-time low. Or maybe it’s because hybrid working has blurred the lines between our personal and professional lives.
Whatever the reason, personalising your social content has many benefits. It can help build your personal brand, make you more approachable, and help increase engagement on your posts.
LinkedIn is still a business platform, so start slowly and don’t overshare. The occasional post about taking your dog to the office might be just the trick but 20 posts about your new puppy is probably overkill.
Social media listening allows you to gain a better understanding of what current and potential customers think about you by analysing what they say on social platforms. It also provides you with the opportunity to:
As social media use is only going to trend upward in 2023, it’s more important than ever to use social listening to reach the right audience and provide a personalised customer experience.
Twitter has helped small businesses build their brand and community for years. However, since Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover, it’s been estimated the platform may lose as many as 32 million users in the next two years. And those users are looking for alternatives.
So far, the platform that’s been getting the most attention is Mastodon, a non-profit social platform with no algorithms or ads. Mastodon is a server-based platform where most users sign up to a general room, before gravitating towards a particular interest. Examples of the servers include Mastodon.green (climate change activism) and Mastodon.lol (LGBTIQA+).
The number of companies currently on Mastodon is limited. As each server has its own rules, the moderators can block businesses that promote their brand. Companies can create their own server though and are free to talk about their products. Keep in mind that as the content is mostly conversational, posts promoting your company may not receive a lot of engagement from users.
Other emerging social platforms to put on your radar include:
Not all trends are upward, and social audio hasn’t seen the boom that was anticipated after the initially strong rise of Clubhouse which peaked at 10 million monthly downloads in February 2021. That said, other major companies such as Twitter (Spaces), Facebook (Live) and Discord have invested in their own audio-based social media tools.
The number of new and returning users of social audio platforms hasn’t been earth-shattering, but sometimes it takes time for new trends to find their footing. A decade ago, Vine, which offered 7-second videos folded in the face of overwhelming competition from the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Now TikTok , which also offers short-form video, is one of the most used apps on the planet.
So should you invest your time and money in social audio? The crystal ball is a little hazy, but social audio does have some benefits including the ability to interact with users in real-time through audio messaging and conversation rooms.
This provides your small business with the opportunity to: