Public Relations and Social Media Specialist Alexis Bennett, from marketing, public relations and advertising agency PriceWeber, looks at how companies can increase brand awareness in the coming year through social media.
Louisville, KY — Now that it’s 2023, it’s time to discuss this year’s new social media trends! Social media environments have drastically changed in the last year, focusing on short-form videos, viral video views and the utilization of influencers of all sizes; however, 2023 will continue to shake up social media and how we interact with brands and creators. In this edition of Plain Talk, we will break down five key social trends to successfully build trust and a better social media strategy for your brand.
Customer service at the forefront
The customer experience will become even more social in 2023, and social media will be the go-to place to connect with your customers. According to Forrester, 75 percent of customers say the pandemic has driven long-term changes in their behaviors and preferences, one of which is a more significant focus on urgency. Customers demand authentic and quick interaction when reaching out to brands, and brands must prioritize customer experience by quickly providing support, information and solutions. In 2023, it will be important to dedicate more time, energy and staff to in-channel customer service support.
This is where community management on your social media pages is key – from responding to comments to sharing tagged posts, ensure you stay engaged with your pages. Reacting to positive and negative comments from customers will become even more vital in 2023. According to Business Wire, 97 percent of customers buy something based on reviews, and more people are going to social media to express their concerns than calling customer support. Equipping social media managers and communications specialists with workflows to provide quick, accurate and informative responses will be vital in 2023.
By listening to customer preferences on social media, brands can gain insight into product innovation, address supply chain issues and learn how to enhance their overall customer experience.
Invest in social listening
As marketers and social media specialists, we continuously try to tell our customers how to follow and interact with our brands. In 2023, people will gravitate toward the most convenient channel, and it’s up to your brand to be there. Understanding your audience and demographics is even more vital in 2023, so do your research and meet your customers on the platforms they prefer. You may have a general sense of your current customers; however, expanding your knowledge to find out how to reach your target demographic will be extremely important for your overall social strategy. Social listening will be crucial in understanding your customer’s behavior now and over time. Utilizing social listening in your social media strategy will help your brand:
- Monitor your social media channels, competitors, products and keywords related to your business.
- Analyze the information to help put learnings into action.
- Avoid crises before they happen by tracking the sentiment in real-time, allowing you to find the problem and solution before it impacts your brand.
Social personas are fizzling out
The recent world events have formed a different kind of customer with a new range of interests and drivers. So, in 2023, brands will move further away from personas and target their broader brand communities, focusing on gaining a more profound knowledge of their customer ecosystems.
According to CustomerThermometer, loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company. Over the past few years, the advertising industry has moved from talking “to” its customers to talking “with” them. This communication is heavily due to influencers and creators collaborating with brands and their communities. Influencers and content creators produce raw, genuine interactions through personalized content that instills trust and authenticity in the brand. Make sure to use influencers that align with your brand’s target demographic and interests. Social listening and research will be vital when choosing influencers for specific campaigns.
When looking for influencers, look beyond the follower count and understand who’s interacting and engaging with these creators. The rise of micro and nano influencers will continue to grow and provide brands with an affordable option for influencer marketing. Put your customer first and prioritize their needs. When you start with your customer, you will end with success.
Social commerce will fluctuate
With the rise of personalized content and influencers, social commerce has been a natural next step; however, not everyone is on board … yet. According to Insider Intelligence, 44 percent of Americans have made a social purchase, which is expected to grow. U.S. retail and social commerce earned $26.97 billion in sales in 2020, and that number is predicted to double in 2023.
Social commerce will depend on the social platform. For example, social commerce will continue to increase on platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. TikTok is relatively new to the social commerce game; however, TikTok now has over one billion active users, and 61 percent of users say they have engaged in e-commerce behaviors on the platform. As this number grows, so will the popularity of social commerce across all social platforms.
Sharing inspirational content and making it actionable within social media platforms will allow customers to make their purchases quickly and easily. Evaluate your customers’ buying trends alongside product conversation using social listening and content performance to optimize your brand’s social commerce. Utilizing these tools will help convert your social media audience into purchasing customers.
Transparency is key
Fake news is still around, but consumers are wiser than ever. Consumers need to be able to trust the content they engage with, so expect to see an increased demand for integrity and authenticity that the brand will have to adapt to in 2023. Depending on your product, mission and past credibility, utilize a content strategy that includes educating your audience on how your brand protects personal information. According to a recent survey by Ipsos, 84 percent of Americans say that they are at least somewhat concerned about the safety and privacy of the personal data they provide on the internet. Consumers have learned if it looks too good to be true on social media, it probably is. Be authentic and truthful when delivering messages to your target audience.
Transparency is also relative when talking about the environment and sustainability. Environmentally friendly brands have been trendy for a while now, but consumers are gaining insights into what environmentally friendly means; brands will have to do more than use buzzwords like “net zero” and “sustainability.” Proving your brand’s environmental footprint will be important in 2023, and consumers will not just take your word for it. You will need to demonstrate how and why your brand focuses on sustainability and less on greenwashing.
Understanding these five trends and incorporating them into your 2023 social strategy will allow your customers to learn more about your brand, increase customer loyalty and keep yourself engaged in your brand awareness on social media. A social media refresh is a good thing; you should look at it as an opportunity to learn more about your audience’s preferences.