Social media is steadily becoming more and more important to business growth. Today, social media is the go-to place to find information, learn, engage with others, shop and seek out customer support. For Gen Z, social media has even replaced search engines. What does this mean for brands? Well, social media teams will need more resources and new skill sets to the already demanding role of keeping up with different social media platforms, new AI tools, algorithms, trends, and best practices.


We’ve pulled together our recommendation for harnessing growing trends to building on communities and leveraging growth.



Building an active online community is no longer optional.

The biggest change social media marketers have seen in the past year is the growing importance of building active social communities to the point where brands are now prioritising growing their social

The landscape has changed a lot in the last year, from stricter privacy and data protection rules, to the rise of disinformation, platform changes, and the emergence of decentralised social networks. Users are turning away from traditional platforms, and businesses are seeing lower revenue gains from advertising and social media efforts.

The solution? Building niche communities as incubators for building brand awareness, engagement, loyalty, and trust.



Social media is the future of ecommerce.

Visual social media apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are natural fits for ecommerce marketing — they show products IRL, support brand-influencer partnerships, and inspire user-generated content (UGC). Most social platforms now have built-in ecommerce features.

If brands aren’t taking advantage of social commerce, they’re missing a trick to reach audiences across all generations. Instagram and Facebook are still the most popular social selling platforms. Not only do they offer the highest ROI, but they also have the most developed social shopping tools for selling products in social media apps.

The biggest challenge facing social selling though is trust. To increase trustworthiness, brands need to address consumers’ biggest concerns with shopping on social media by using testimonials, data-driven brand research, and user-generated content to connect with potential customers.



Social search is becoming more popular than search engines with SEO entering the social chat.

In the past year, TikTok surpassed Google as the primary source of information for Gen Z.  Now, consumers are much more likely to search for brands on social media than through search engines Almost a quarter of consumers aged 18-54 already go to social media first to search for brands.

Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are generally regarded as the platforms with the best search capabilities. To optimise your accounts, overall social presence and individual posts for search, make sure to use keywords and keep a pulse on the trends in your audience.



Influencer marketers ditch celebrities for micro-influencers + content creators.

In 2023, companies are more likely to have a creator/influencer as the face of their brand rather than a celebrity.

Influencer marketing has been an effective way to reach engaged audiences for several years and now, marketers are seeing more value in niche micro-audiences and creators for targeted campaigns.  Eight in ten influencer marketers currently report working with smaller creators, versus only one in ten who report working with mega-influencers or celebrities with over 1M followers. More and more influencers are partnering with brands too, with a rise in posts using #sponsored over the past few years.

Brands increasingly partner with influencers because it works. People trust recommendations from creators they follow. More and more companies are working with influencers on performance-driven campaigns, optimising for down-funnel metrics like app installs or purchase conversions. As a result, performance-focused marketers often work with mid-sized creators and emerging talent rather than traditional celebrities and macro-influencers.

Compared to celebrities, working with small influencers and creators is less expensive, leads to long-term partnerships and offers access to tight- knit, engaged and loyal communities. When deciding which influencers to partner with, brands should be looking for high-quality content, aligned audiences, and similar values to their organisations.


Short-form video is driving business results and will continue to grow.

Instagram Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts are the most-used content format and generate the highest ROI.

Brands are doubling down on short-form videos and want to do more on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube right now. Out of the most popular content formats, investing in short-form video is extremely effective for increasing brand awareness and engaging with social audiences.

Gen Z and Millennial consumers prefer to learn about new products and services through short, dynamic videos, so brands would do well to transform educational product content into video format.

To save money, marketers can lean into one of the big trends in short-form video — low-budget, casual videos. You don’t need expensive full-studio production to be hip right now. Your smartphone, a sense of humour, and a call-to-action might be all it takes to create the perfect video for your brand.


Funny, relatable and trend-led content will stand out.

Relatable content has the biggest ROI. When people are scrolling through social media, what catches their attention? Right now…it depends on your goal. Do you want your audience to engage? Take action? Learn? For brands looking for the best possible return on their social media investments, relatable content is the way to go. Relatable content shows your target audience that they’re not alone in their struggles, challenges and successes. Being relatable is an important part of community building. When someone feels like they identify with your posts, they’ll be more likely to follow and engage with you in the future. Trends are great opportunities to find new audiences and reach new groups of people.

Which type of content offers the biggest ROI on social media?

  • Relatable posts: more brands are trying relatable content for the first time and investing in relatable posts over other types of content.
  • Behind the scenes content: show your work culture, and feature posts from creators in your organization.
  • Memes + funny content: use humour to engage and expand your audience.
  • Interactive content like polls, games, and AR/VR experiences: the metaverse and AR/VR content are gaining interest — has your social team tried it?
  • Educational content and news stories: start a series that explores a news article in your industry each week and why it’s relevant.
  • Content that reflects your brand values: interview your founder or leadership team or start employee takeovers.
  • Trend content: half of those using trendy content plan to invest more in 2023. Make sure you follow industry resources that recap timely topics so you don’t get burned out scrolling for trends every day.



Instagram is still the highest ROI platform.

More than half of all brands currently using Instagram plan to increase their investment further this year. Despite TikTok’s popularity among Gen Z, on the whole, marketers believe that Instagram has the greatest potential to grow this year. Instagram has proven to be the best source of ROI, engagement, and quality leads. Arguably, the algorithm is the most accurate which is the best place to grow a brand audience.


Re-sharing the same content across platforms won’t fly in 2023.

Brands use an average of four social media platforms as part of their job — but each one has unique trends and styles. Most marketers are strapped for time and creating consistent content for one platform is hard enough, never mind four. It can be tempting to make a few small tweaks and publish to different channels, but each social platform has its own nuances, trends, and content styles and we’re seeing them become even more individualized.

When repurposing content this year, be extra thoughtful and tailor it to the unique tone, aesthetic, and demographics of each platform. Two areas of interest are AI to help generate content ideas for multiple platforms and support faster content creation, and UGC to encourage engagement and reduce content creation time.

If you can’t keep up with every platform, choose your players and build stronger communities in fewer places. It’s not that your audience will find the content less interesting on Twitter vs. Instagram. It’s about creating the value to follow your brand on both. If you are posting the exact same content in the same format on every network, there’ll be no need to follow you on all your active channels.


AI has reached the masses and is changing how we create.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic of conversation for several years.  It’s more popular than ever before, especially after becoming more accessible to the masses in 2022.

ChatGP became the fastest-growing app of all time when it reached 100M users only two months after launching. In this industry, the success formula is pretty straightforward: use AI tools to brainstorm ideas, blog outlines, and campaigns. Then use these ideas to inspire your final product. Once you have your draft ready, use tools like ChatGPT to paraphrase, repurpose, and create endless social media and marketing content.

AI is reshaping marketing with new applications elevating everything from copywriting to personalisation. While some may worry that AI will replace elements of their craft, savvy marketers should embrace these new tools as complementary to irreplaceable human elements of marketing— instinct, creativity, and empathy to launch bold new endeavours.

Work to understand the right prompts and strategies to make the most of AI tools. There’s an art and science behind leveraging AI, which is why those who are savvy with AI for social media will be in high

AI can help social teams speed up content repurposing from one platform or media format to another.  Turn all of your text-based posts into designed images in one click, or translate your podcasts into short-form social media posts using AI tools.

ChatGPT can be used on multiple levels:

  • Ideas for social media campaigns and content calendars
  • Creative and attention-grabbing captions for social media posts
  • Social media posts in multiple languages
  • Technical writing and product copy
  • Headlines, taglines, and descriptions for social media ads
  • Personalized responses to customer inquiries and comments on social media
  • New versions of your existing copy to repurpose for social media
  • Outlines for content projects
  • Conversation starters and questions for live Q&A sessions on social media
  • And the list goes on!

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