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At Marketing.com, we don’t see making predictions for 2023 as putting on a swami’s hat and gazing into a crystal ball. Sure, there may be some game-changing app or innovation that bursts onto the market and completely disrupts something. That’s rare, however. Tik-Tok is everywhere these days, but it was launched in 2017 and it took a few years for its popularity to go stratospheric.

Instead, we’ve studied the social media landscape to identify five things that have been around, gaining in use, and now ready to dominate social media strategies in 2023. We’re confident that putting one or more of them into practice can help your business generate brand awareness and grow your business.

1. Keep (or Get) Real – Authenticity Matters

Social media audiences will continue to want authenticity when they choose who to follow in 2023. Cliches and jargon just won’t cut it anymore. In fact, authenticity is not just an expectation, it’s a demand.

The old axiom is that people don’t want to be sold to. With social media, that’s not necessarily true. According to Twitter Marketing, 80% of respondents agree they don’t mind being sold to on social media as long as “it’s fun, useful, entertaining, informative or moves me in some way.” This means you can develop stronger bonds with social media followers when you share honest and relevant content on social channels.  

One way to keep on top of the issues that matter to them is through social listening. What you learn can drive conversations with them and create communities around issues that can create fuller and more meaningful relationships.

2. Customer Service Goes Social

In 2023, it will be more important than ever to quickly address potential problems through a direct line of communication to your customers. People have grown to expect fast responses to social media questions and complaints. If someone is experiencing problems, you don’t want to exacerbate things by taking hours to get back to them. In fact, even one hour may be too long.

According to Sprout Social,  88% of business executives say social media will become the primary channel for customer service and support. One way that will happen is through expansion of chatbots that can be available 24/7 to enhance customer service activities.

One of the biggest benefits of adding social media to customer service is the ability to turn a potential problem into something positive and immediately strengthen your relationship with your customer.

3. Selling on Social Takes Off

Your followers spend time engaging with your business through your social media app to learn more about your business and the products you offer. It only makes sense to give them the option to make a purchase when they’re there. Online stores give customers the ability to browse products and make purchases without leaving your social media app. Statista.com projects that by 2025, social commerce in the United States is set to grow to nearly $80 billion. 

Social media ecommerce is about more than making sales, however. It’s an opportunity to nurture your followers through strategies to build brand awareness, manage your communities and communicate through personalized ads.

Augmented reality (AR) use will grow in 2023 and further enhance the customer shopping experience. More businesses will give shoppers the ability to “try on” apparel or see how furnishings will look in their homes before making a purchase.

4. Dependence on Influencers Grows

Businesses have been relying on influencers for several years now. For good reason. Businesswire.com reports that in 2022, 61% of consumers trusted influencers’ recommendations as opposed to only 38% trusting branded social media content. Their importance will grow even more significantly in 2023.

One significant shift in the next year will be the growth of the micro and nano influencer. When used strategically they can increase social media engagement without busting your marketing budget. Matching your product or service to their smaller, yet devoted base of followers might help you hone in on your targeted audience.

Businesses will also increasingly rely on influencer-created content not only because it’s viewed as more authenticate than branded content, but it costs them nothing to produce.

5. Social’s Role in Omnichannel Marketing Grows

In 2023, businesses will more fully integrate social media across other channels like email and direct mail into omnichannel marketing campaigns to engage with their customers at multiple touch-points. People are gathering information across multiple channels. The research firm Forrester reports that 95% of customers using social media use at least three channels in a single interaction and 62% change devices midstream.

Historically, social media has been used as a tool for building brand awareness. That will not change but, as discussed above, it is transforming into so much more. It will become a vital component in personalized, seamless experiences that reach customers where and how they choose to interact. Social media, with its in-the-moment conversations and ability to share videos, reinforces the popularity of direct mail that uses QR codes and the effectiveness of email for permission-based communication.

Chances are your business is more prepared than you think to take advantage of the growing inclusion of social media into your digital and omnichannel marketing strategies. Wise implementation of influencer-generated content can reduce costs and reach new followers. Social media ecommerce can change the way you connect with customers. Chatbots responding to queries strengthen customer satisfaction and trust.

There’s a lot happening in social media. Our predictions are based on what trends we believe have the potential to generate results for your business over the next twelve months. It’s up to you to find the best fit.