Content Marketing
11 Real Social Media Trends for 2023: What Insiders Won’t Tell You

11 Real Social Media Trends for 2023: What Insiders Won’t Tell You

August 29, 2023
9 min read

Change is the only constant in the world of digital marketing–especially when it comes to social media trends.

Gone are the days of generic, one-size-fits-all content. The current expectation of users leans heavily towards authentic, community-driven campaigns.

As we navigate these shifting sands, understanding the latest social media trends is more important than ever. In this article, you’ll uncover the top social media trends of 2023, and arm yourself with strategies that can elevate your brand’s uniqueness, visibility, and bottom line.

1. “Edutainment”

Edutainment is a fusion of “education” and “entertainment”. It refers to content that educates its audience while simultaneously entertaining them.

On social media, this trend manifests as:

  • Engaging videos
  • Infographics
  • Quizzes
  • Interactive posts

The goal is to convey valuable information in a fun and captivating manner.

Why is it trending?

With the influx of information on social media, users often have short attention spans. They’re also looking for content that offers genuine value. Edutainment grabs and keeps users’ attention by making learning enjoyable, and shares knowledge in bite-sized, digestible formats.

Not to mention, platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube reward engaging content with more visibility. Edutainment, being inherently engaging, often gets prioritized in your audience’s feed.

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How can your brand take advantage of Edutainment?

  1. Showcase expertise. Brands can use edutainment to demonstrate their industry knowledge, positioning themselves as thought leaders.
  2. Engage your audience. Instead of traditional ads, create edutainment content that resonates with your audience, leading to higher engagement rates.
  3. Tutorials and how-tos. Create entertaining tutorials showcasing how to use your products or services.
  4. Interactive content. Quizzes, polls, and challenges related to your brand’s niche can educate users about your brand while keeping them engaged.
  5. Storytelling. Narrating brand stories or customer testimonials in an entertaining manner can humanize your brand and foster a deeper connection with your audience.

2. Domination of Video Content

Social media platforms are seeing an increasing preference and consumption of video content, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.

graphic shows that 91% of consumers want to see more video content from brands

Image Source: Oberlo

From short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels to long-form content on YouTube and Facebook Watch, video has become the most consumed form of content on social media.

Why is it trending?

Recent marketing statistics show that 86% of marketing professionals are already using video content as a marketing tool.

Videos are inherently more engaging and can convey emotions, stories, and information better than text or images alone. Because of this, social media platforms are prioritizing video content above all else.

This is great for brands because:

  • Smartphones allow users to easily watch and share your videos anytime, anywhere.
  • Videos cater to a wide range of content, like tutorials, reviews, entertainment and news, appealing to a wide audience.
  • Videos tend to generate more likes, shares, and comments compared to other forms of content.

How can your brand take advantage of video content?

  1. Product demonstrations. Showing products in action can help potential customers understand their value and functionality.
  2. User-generated content. Encouraging users to create and share videos using your brand’s products can boost authenticity and trust.
  3. Live streaming. Hosting live sessions on platforms like Instagram or Facebook allows real-time interaction with the audience, answering queries, and showcasing products or events.
  4. Collaborations. Partnering with influencers or other brands for video content can help reach a broader audience and bring fresh perspectives.
  5. Optimize for search. Just like written content, videos can be optimized for search on platforms like YouTube, ensuring they reach a wider audience.

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3. Booming Creator Economy

The ecosystem of independent content creators is growing. Influencers and artists are monetizing their skills, passions, and followings on social media.

This economy is powered by platforms like YouTube, TikTok,  and Patreon, among others, where creators can earn directly from their content, collaborations, or fan contributions.

Why is it trending?

Platforms now offer creators various monetization tools, from ad revenue sharing and sponsored content to fan subscriptions and virtual gifts. This allows content creators to cater to specific niches, building loyal communities around specialized content areas while monetizing their skills.

How can your brand take advantage of the creator economy?

  1. Sponsor content. Sponsor videos, articles, or podcasts, integrating your products or services into a creator’s content in an authentic way.
  2. Affiliate partnerships. Offer creators affiliate deals, where they earn a commission for every sale made through their referral.
  3. Engage in direct sales. Platforms like Instagram now allow for direct product sales. Collaborating with creators can drive their followers directly to purchase points.
  4. Offer exclusive deals. Provide creators with exclusive discounts or early access to products, which they can then share with their audience.
  5. Feedback loop. Engage with creators to gain valuable feedback on products or services, as creators are often closely in tune with consumer sentiments.

4. Employee Advocacy

More and more companies are asking their employees to promote the brand on their personal social media channels. Specifically, employees are sharing positive news, stories, and insights about their workplace, products, or services.

graph shows employee advocacy as one the best performing social media trends

Image Source: Oktopost

Why is it trending?

Content shared by real employees is often perceived as more genuine than corporate messaging. Collectively, employees also have a much larger social reach than a brand’s official channels. Encouraging employee advocacy can boost morale and foster a sense of belonging and pride in the workplace.

graphic shows employee advocacy statistics 

Image Source: Peer To Peer Marketing

How can your brand take advantage of employee advocacy?

  1. Training programs. Offer training sessions to employees on how to represent your brand online to ensure consistent messaging and brand safety.
  2. Content creation tools. Provide employees with easy-to-use tools or platforms where they can create or customize content to share.
  3. Incentive programs. Introduce rewards or recognition programs for employees who actively promote the brand.
  4. Internal communication. Regularly update employees about company news, product launches, or success stories so they can share the latest happenings.

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5. Social Media: A Shopping Platform

Recently, social media has transformed from a mere content-sharing space into an integrated online shopping experience. Global sales on social media platforms were estimated at 992 billion US dollars in 2022.

Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok have introduced features that allow users to discover, explore, and buy products directly within the app, making an effortless purchasing possible.

Why is it trending?

Users can go from discovering a product in a post to purchasing it without leaving the platform. Social media is also inherently visual, making it an ideal space for showcasing your brand’s products and creating personalized experiences through preferences and behavior.

How can your brand take advantage of social media as a shopping platform?

  1. Shoppable posts. Use platform-specific features to tag products in posts, allowing users to shop directly.
  2. Utilize stories & live features. Platforms like Instagram offer “swipe up to shop” features in stories and live broadcasts, providing an immediate call to action.
  3. Engaging product demos. Use video content to demonstrate product use or benefits, making it more compelling for users to purchase.
  4. Exclusive deals & offers. Launch platform-specific promotions or discounts to encourage users to shop from social media.
  5. Feedback & reviews. Engage with users who comment or ask questions about products, and showcase positive reviews to build trust.

6. User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-Generated Content (UGC) refers to any content—be it videos, photos, reviews, testimonials, or blog posts—created by unpaid contributors, often fans or users of a brand, rather than by the brand itself. On social media, this usually takes the form of tagged photos, reviews, or content created by fans about a product or service.

Why is it trending?

UGC is perceived as more genuine and unbiased compared to brand-produced content. A recent survey shows that 84% of customers trust peer reviews and testimonials above all other forms of traditional advertising.

graphic shows that users interact with UGC more than branded content

Image Source: Tintup

Unique and creative UGC is also more likely to go viral, significantly amplifying a brand’s reach and encouraging a sense of community and engagement around a brand. Not to mention, UGC cuts out high production costs.

How can your brand take advantage of UGC?

  1. Encourage sharing. Create campaigns or contests that motivate users to share their experiences with your brand.
  2. Feature UGC. Repost, retweet, or share user-generated content on your brand’s official channels, giving credit to the original creators.
  3. Integrate into advertising. Use standout UGC as part of larger advertising campaigns, showcasing real user testimonials or experiences.
  4. UGC platforms. Utilize platforms like GoPro’s user submission portal or Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign to gather and showcase UGC.

Video Source: Campaign

7. The Rise of LinkedIn Creators

LinkedIn is seeing a growing number of professionals and thought leaders who are actively creating and sharing content. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn’s focus is on professional networking, making it a hub for:

  • Industry insights
  • Career advice
  • B2B content

With features like LinkedIn Articles, Newsletters, and native video, the platform is encouraging more users to become content creators.

Why is it trending?

LinkedIn provides access to a network of professionals, making it ideal for sharing industry insights and expertise. The platform alo offers an opportunity for individuals to establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective fields.

Since LinkedIn’s introduction of “Creator Mode”, over 9 million users have converted their profiles into a showcase of personal content. Not to mention, LinkedIn posts that provide value often see higher engagement rates compared to other platforms, making it a prime place for lead generation and networking.

How can your brand take advantage of LinkedIn content creation?

  1. Encourage employee advocacy. Motivate employees to share company news, insights, and successes, amplifying your brand’s presence.
  2. Host webinars and live sessions. Utilize LinkedIn Live to host webinars, Q&A sessions, or panel discussions, engaging with your audience in real-time.
  3. Publish content consistently. Use LinkedIn Articles and Newsletters to share in-depth insights, case studies, or industry trends.
  4. Showcase company culture. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses, employee stories, and company achievements to humanize your brand and attract potential talent.

8. Increasing Brand Connection and Personalization

With the recent shift from generic messaging to individualized interactions, brands are now focusing on building deeper, more meaningful connections with their audience.

By analyzing your audience’s individual preferences and needs, you can share content, products, and experiences that really resonate.

Why is it trending?

Modern consumers expect brands to understand their preferences and deliver personalized experiences.

graphic shows that 87% of industry professionals say that customers expect personalized experiences

Personalized content tends to resonate better, leading to higher engagement rates and more conversions. Personalized interactions also make consumers feel valued, fostering brand loyalty.

How can your brand take advantage of brand connection and personalization?

  1. Data analysis. Use analytics tools to gather insights about your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and interactions.
  2. Segmented marketing. Create audience segments based on demographics, behaviors, or interests and tailor content for each group.
  3. Personalized recommendations. Use algorithms or AI to offer product recommendations based on past user interactions or purchases.
  4. Tailored ads. Use targeted advertising to deliver specific messages to niche audience segments.

9. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Goes Mainstream

Artificial Intelligence has made its way into social media trends. From chatbots and content recommendations to image recognition and predictive analytics, AI is becoming an integral part of enhancing user experiences and optimizing brand strategies on social media.

Why is it trending?

AI-driven tools, like chatbots, provide instant responses to user queries, improving customer service and the overall user experience. AI can also predict future trends or user behaviors, allowing brands to be proactive in their strategies.

How can your brand take advantage of AI on social media?

  1. Predictive analysis. Leverage AI to forecast trends, helping in proactive campaign planning and product launches.
  2. Ad optimization. Utilize AI algorithms to optimize ad targeting, ensuring the right audience sees the most relevant ads.
  3. Image and voice recognition. Engage users with AI-powered features like voice commands or visual searches.
  4. Automated reporting. Implement AI tools that generate regular performance reports, highlighting key metrics and insights.
  5. Content creation. Some AI tools can generate basic content or posts based on data inputs, aiding in consistent content delivery.

10. Gated Content

Gated content refers to online materials, like articles, videos, whitepapers, or webinars, that require users to provide some form of information (usually contact details) or take a specific action (like subscribing) before they can access the content.

On social media, this might appear as exclusive content available only to members of a private group or followers of a specific account.

Why is it trending?

Gated content is a powerful tool for collecting valuable user information, which can be used for future marketing campaigns to generate leads. Content that’s gated is also perceived as more valuable or exclusive, making users more willing to exchange their details for access.

graph shows that most brands are using gated content to generate leads and brand awareness

Image Source: Wordstream

How can your brand take advantage of gated content?

  1. Exclusive offers. Share special deals or discounts to users who sign up or provide their details.
  2. Webinars and workshops. Offer in-depth training or informational sessions that require registration.
  3. Ebooks and whitepapers. Share comprehensive guides or industry insights behind a gate to attract professionals and industry enthusiasts.
  4. Content series. Release a series of content where the initial pieces are freely accessible, but subsequent pieces are gated, encouraging users to commit for the full experience.
  5. Engage and nurture. Once you’ve gathered user information, engage them with personalized content, newsletters, or offers, turning leads into loyal customers.

11. Keyword Search & SEO

Keyword research and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have traditionally been associated with improving website visibility on search engines like Google.

But, with the evolution of social media platforms, these practices are now being applied to optimize content on social media platforms. The goal is to make sure that content (be it a post, video, or image) appears when users search for specific terms or keywords on social media.

Why is it trending?

As social media platforms evolve, their search functionalities become more sophisticated, making it essential for your content to be optimized for search. With the volume of content on social media, brands need to stand out, and SEO practices help in achieving better visibility.

And, just like on search engines, users on social media platforms search with specific intent. Optimized content caters to this intent, leading to better engagement.

How can your brand take advantage of keyword search and SEO?

  • Optimize profiles. Make sure that your brand’s profiles are complete, using relevant keywords in the bio, description, and even the username where applicable.
  • Research platform-specific keywords. Use tools or platform-specific analytics to understand what terms your target audience searches for.
  • Use keywords in content. Integrate relevant keywords naturally into post captions, video descriptions, and image tags.
  • Engaging content. SEO isn’t just about keywords. High-quality, engaging content will always receive more engagement, boosting its visibility.
  • Analyze & adjust. Regularly review the performance of your content. See what’s working in terms of SEO and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Conquer 2023’s Social Media Trends Today with MIG

When you stay on top of the latest social media trends, you can position your brand at the forefront of digital engagement.

Each trend offers unique opportunities to connect with audiences, enhance brand visibility, and drive business growth. By understanding and embracing these trends, brands can craft strategies that resonate with modern audiences, fostering lasting relationships and ensuring continued success.

Are you ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content published consistently? Check out our SEO Blog Writing Service or schedule a quick consultation to learn more about how Marketing Insider Group can help you earn more traffic and leads for your business.

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Lauren Basiura

Lauren is a writer for Marketing Insider Group, a top-rated Content Marketing Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.

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