Social media is an ever-changing landscape, ripe with possibility. In 2023, in order to best leverage social media for your business, you’ll need to prepare for what’s on the horizon.
Chances are if you own a business, you’re using social media for marketing purposes. As a matter of fact, according to multiple published sources, 30.57 million businesses in the U.S. alone are using social media for marketing in 2022, and that number is only expected to increase in 2023. How can you best utilize social media marketing in the new year to stand out from the other 30 million businesses? How can you be certain you’ll be prepared for the changes 2023 brings with social media? Whether you have created an account on every social media platform already or you’re just starting out, the following ten tips will help you achieve success with your social media marketing efforts in 2023.
1. Audit Your Current Social Media Platforms
Before you begin to plan or schedule any of your content for next month, it may be time to do an inventory of the platforms you are using. Many companies think they need to make accounts on every social platform, giving them all equal attention. If that sounds like your company, take stock of performance on each platform over the last year.
For example, if you’ve been posting tweets on the company’s Twitter account consistently but have seen no indication of growth, engagement, or sales from Twitter, it may be time to phase that out and redirect that energy and attention to a platform that is actually working for you. It’s okay not to be everywhere all at once, all of the time. Prioritizing the best platforms for your business can help you free up the time and energy to make content that will actually convert.
When it comes to social media marketing, you must have a concrete strategy (as opposed to posting anything, everywhere, just to see what works). So how else can you be intentional about the platforms you utilize most? Go where your customers are. If you know generally the demographics your customers fall into, you can find out which social platforms they are spending the most time on, and you can meet them where they are.
According to a 2022 study by Sprout Social, platforms like Facebook and Instagram tend to be more popular with millennials, gen-X, and baby boomers, and see slightly more males than females using those apps. Meanwhile, TikTok’s users skew younger, with 25% being between the ages of 10-19, and a whopping 61% of users are female. Dig into the numbers of each platform and see if this aligns with your customer base before determining how much attention to give it.
2. Prioritize Video Content
Now that you’ve done your research and have taken stock of which platforms are working best for your business, you can begin to plan your content for 2023. At the forefront of your content planning should be video content, short-form, or long-form. Every social media platform has video capability, and with TikTok speedily rising in the ranks to become the most popular app, all other social media platforms are trying to follow suit. On Instagram and Facebook, Reels are being pushed to users above all other types of content, and in 2023 we can expect to see this continue. This year, brands overall earned nearly 40% more engagement using Reels on Instagram than they did with other types of posts.
We know that video ads consistently outperform static ads, and the same can be said for organic content. However, with short-form content gaining so much traction over the past 2 years, we may see people growing fatigued with 10-second videos and instead opting for things that are 3 minutes or longer in length. Recently, TikTok updated its maximum video length from 3 minutes to 10 minutes, and other platforms may follow suit. If it makes sense for your business to use long-form video as a marketing strategy, you may want to consider producing content like this. Either way, video content will still be more popular and effective in 2023 so long as the algorithms continue to prioritize it.
3. Use Social Media Personally
As a businessperson, you may feel that you don’t have time to engage with social media on a personal level, and you only interact with it while using it for marketing purposes. However, doing so may be a mistake that’s costing you. If you’re posting on social media for your business, you need to be consistently using social media on a personal basis.
Many businesses are missing the mark when it comes to successful social media, and the key reason is that they are approaching it like traditional marketing and not from the viewpoint of the user. Anyone on your team that has the power to influence your social media marketing must interact with social media personally daily. You would never sell a product that you yourself haven’t used and can attest to its value; why would you create content if you’re not a content consumer as well? Pencil in time to unwind on Instagram or TikTok and try your best to approach it with a consumer mindset, not a marketer’s mindset.
In using social media apps, you will not only keep up with trends that your company could follow, but you will also be able to gain priceless insights from your customer base by seeing how they interact with competitors or even other businesses in different industries. Your algorithm will become personalized the more you use these apps. With that, you will pick up on what makes social media marketing successful. You’ll soon begin to notice how bad social media marketing sticks out like a sore thumb. Finding success on social media can sometimes be as simple as jumping in at the right time or understanding the hard-to-describe “it” factor. These things may sound easy to replicate, but they can’t be manufactured genuinely. The best way to “win” at social media marketing is to embrace it as an average daily user would.
4. Make The Jump To Tiktok
TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users and counting, with the average use time being around 90 minutes a day. With impressive statistics like this, it’s surprising that many businesses are slow to make the jump over to TikTok for their marketing efforts. If your company hasn’t started utilizing TikTok yet, why is that? Is it because you’re not sure about adding yet another platform to manage, or are you being misled by some common misconceptions?
Brands are seeing immense growth on TikTok and are even tapping into new audiences completely organically. In fact, it’s likely you may already have supporters on TikTok, who are ready to support and engage with your content as soon as you join. If you are convinced that the app is only used by teenagers and think they aren’t your customers, think again. While TikTok is a favorite of Gen-Z, they are not the only users of the app. In fact, the vast majority (73%) of users are between the ages of 18-35.
Not only do users go to TikTok for entertainment, but also to learn and research. Nearly half of Gen-Z is using TikTok for search instead of Google, according to Google’s own data. On top of that, not only is TikTok’s algorithm powerful, but its SEO is huge with tens of millions of searches per day. By simply having a presence on TikTok, your brand awareness could increase exponentially, bringing with it more valuable and genuine social listening than you’ll even know what to do with!
Do you have to dance to be on TikTok? Absolutely not. In 2023, social media is trending toward being more about the value it brings to the consumer rather than purely entertainment factor. This means that you could create content that highlights your products, your brand story, and behind-the-scenes footage of your facilities without anyone on your team ever having to learn a single dance move. That being said, keeping your finger on the pulse of what is trending will give you a leg-up on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean you have to participate in every single trend, either. With TikTok beta testing live shopping, companies shouldn’t wait a minute more to start building their presence so they can take advantage of the sales features on the horizon.
5. Use The Resources You Have
You may be a small operation, but when it comes to marketing on social media if you want to do it well, it might be all hands on deck. A few years ago, a small business could easily manage and maintain its social media accounts with just one person handling it part-time. In 2023, social media marketing is likely going to require more energy and brainpower than before. The best way to tackle this challenge without getting overwhelmed is to utilize the resources you already have.
Now that you’ve followed steps 1-4 and you’ve found the platforms worth prioritizing (including TikTok) and you’re ready to start making video content, you might realize it can be a big undertaking. If filming video content seems daunting to you, try and use the resources available to you to simplify it. Use your phone to film and don’t worry about doing any flashy editing to start off with. On TikTok, many people who simply record while sitting in their car still gain massive followings! Contrary to popular belief, your content does not have to be perfect or polished to be worth posting, especially when you’re just starting out. People will find less-than-perfect content to be more authentic and relatable anyways, so don’t let that stop you from getting started.
Maybe you already have product photos or instructional videos that you’re using. Great! You can repurpose those in a new and fresh way on social media. No need to go through the process all over again if you already have assets that can be refreshed. This will also help free up the time it might take for thinking up new content.
Depending on what stage of your business you are in, you may also consider bringing on an extra set of hands. If your business is more than just you, try and get your other team members involved to help think of ideas and create. Even if you don’t have other team members, you could always try and involve friends, family, or even your VIP customers! You’d be surprised by the valuable ideas people can offer or even how willing they might be to help you. A video of a customer’s testimonial can be a really powerful marketing tool.
6. Define Your Metrics For Success
Now that you’re ready to strategize how to make your social media marketing stand out in 2023, how will you do so? It’s pivotal that you define what success looks like for you.
Up until this point, how have you defined success for your company’s social media? Many small business leaders might honestly answer “just by having the social media and remembering to post on it.” There’s nothing wrong with starting out with simple goals like this, but without clearly defined metrics of success, your efforts may become disjointed and growth will be difficult. In 2023, if you really want to see success with your social media, you need to figure out what that “success” really is and give it a clear definition.
At the end of the day, social media needs to be delivering results. But sometimes, the path is not so direct. Start by recognizing any roadblocks within your company as a whole and ask, “How can social media help us navigate this?” For example, perhaps a roadblock you frequently hit is customer confusion, and you are always educating customers on your product or service. How can social media marketing help? Maybe by creating short- and long-form video content on social media that addresses common questions and educates people on the product or service. So how would we measure the success of that effort? Probably through metrics like the number of videos posted, the amount of engagement those posts receive, and a decrease in the number of questions coming your way. Assign some specific numbers to those metrics to create your goals, and now you’ve got somewhere to go.
7. Create a Cohesive Social Media Presence
Remember when we covered that social media marketing needs a concrete strategy? One place this will really matter is when trying to create a cohesive, branded social media profile. The try-anything approach can often happen when a company is trying to jump on every trend and posting without defining the metrics for success. Maybe they just want to post daily to check off that task, but they aren’t being strategic about the quality of the content posted. What results is a discombobulated collection of content that looks unprofessional and tells the audience a whole lot of nothing.
Having cohesive social media is important because it’s part of your branding. When someone taps into your business’s Instagram profile, does it look curated and organized? Can they tell instantly who you are and what you do? Do they pick up on your branding? They need to be able to view it as easily as your website, where they can find all of the information they need with very little effort.
Cohesion with video content is also important. Try to think of your brand voice and the brand values you want to communicate. If your brand voice is young and fun, you might shoot a lot of your video content with an iPhone and do some TikTok trends such as “POV” and situational comedy to communicate with your audience. If your brand voice is more professional and polished, you may want to set up a dedicated recording space where someone can sit at a desk and address the audience directly. Either way, establishing this early will help you have cohesive content that matches your brand.
8. Be Consistent
You may have heard how often you post affects your distribution across social media platforms. There is definitely a connection between the two. Simply put, posting more and posting consistently gives you more chances to be seen than other accounts that might post few and far between.
How often should you post on social media? The truth is it really depends on several factors. On TikTok, many successful accounts are posting multiple times per day. However, these accounts are typically celebrities or influencers who could post something with very little substance and people will still want to watch it. This is different for businesses. The more important thing is that consistently posting content will provide value to your audience at a rhythm that you can maintain. If you try to post daily but in order to do so, your content is thrown together hastily, and no one finds it valuable, the daily posts won’t do much for you. Instead, if you post on a certain platform once a week every Thursday, and it’s packed with valuable information for your customers, they will show up to check that out regularly. Consistency is important, but not at the expense of quality.
One trend that’s been increasing and can be expected to continue to gain popularity in 2023 is serialized content. Serialized content is when your content is part of a series. It may be multiple videos on one topic, broken up into smaller parts, or static posts on Instagram that each gives you a little more information on something. On TikTok and on YouTube, you can find lots of companies and creators alike with serialized content. It’s telling an entertaining story, it’s following the daily progress of something interesting and inspiring, or it’s a mini-course on a topic that people want to hear more about. This not only ensures that you have consistent content, but it keeps bringing people back for more. Serialized content is a win-win and, moving forward, you should try it out with your company’s social media marketing.
9. Go Live
In 2023, social media live streaming is going to continue to be a great marketing strategy for brands. Nearly all social media platforms now have live streaming capabilities including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok. Customers love to tune in to live streams because they don’t want to miss out on something exciting that might be happening, or they might want to use that opportunity to ask questions. For businesses, this is a great real-time feedback system and customer touchpoint.
Live streaming is also great for brand reputation. By going live, you are building trust with your customers. You are also humanizing your brand and showing how authentic you can be. This kind of brand reputation building is hard to come by any other way. You can connect with your existing customers and expand your reach at the same time.
Try planning out consistent times to go live and let your followers know when you’ll be doing it. Use that time for customer Q&A, unboxing new merchandise, or educating customers on a new product or service. You can even surprise your viewers and reward them with a special coupon code for viewing, incentivizing them to join again next time. There are so many options on how to utilize live streaming, and in 2023 this method will likely be prioritized on apps like TikTok and Instagram.
10. Go For The Soft Sell
As you plan out your content for 2023, one of the most important things you can remember is to opt for a soft sell. Consumers are tired of being inundated with ads, and it’s no wonder they feel fatigued when the average American is exposed to anywhere between 4,000-10,000 ads per day. But when consumers don’t want to be sold to and you need to sell, what do you do so your content isn’t muted?
Today’s consumers are generally distrustful of ads and are growing cynical about the attempts to win their buy. Influencer marketing is dying a slow death as Gen-Z finds these efforts to be fake. In 2023, traditional advertising is going to work less and less, and “sneakier” methods of selling, such as product placements and paid user-generated content (also known as UGC) will leave a bad taste in the mouth of customers. What people are desperate for is brand authenticity.
Being straightforward with a soft sell is the most effective way of getting the information out there about your business. People will respect the genuine approach and will appreciate not being hit over the head with your call to action. Focus on using your social media to build your brand awareness, create community among your customers, and provide useful information. It’s a slower pipeline to sales, but it’s one that will make loyal repeat customers. In 2023, brands that connect with their customers on an authentic level will truly see success, and social media marketing is the perfect way in which to do so.
With these 10 tips up your sleeve, your brand will definitely see success with your social media marketing in 2023.
This article was written by CallRail and was originally published on Score.