New York, November 30, 2022 - Emplifi, the leading unified customer experience (CX) platform, today announced its top social media marketing predictions for 2023. According to Emplifi, 2023 will be the year of authenticity with brands turning to “customer influencers,” user-generated content (UGC), and emerging platforms such as BeReal and TikTok, which have already solidified their place as go-to social platforms for brands.
Emplifi has one of the largest social media databases in the industry, working with over 7,800 global brands across industries. This abundance of knowledge combined with deep social insights gives the company an unparalleled view of what’s happening in the industry.
After analyzing historical brand performance across social media platforms, Emplifi has identified four key social media trends that will dominate marketing strategies in the upcoming year.
Top Social Media Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023:
1. UGC and the Rise of the “Customer Influencer”
Campaigns and websites that implement user-generated content (UGC) delivered 29% higher web conversion rates compared to campaigns or websites without it. These results will push brands to ramp up their UGC initiatives, galvanizing customer participation and engagement. “Authenticity will be key going into 2023, and what could be more authentic than shining the spotlight on your very own customers? Expect brands to encourage customers to share their content and experiences,” said Emplifi Chief Strategy Officer Kyle Wong.
With 45% of US consumers stating that they gain inspiration for new products from friends and acquaintances and 41% from social media and websites, UGC will become a perfect solution to showcase products from brands in “real-life” environments.
Marketing campaigns can be costly, and even more so when influencer marketing is added to the mix. Brands spend more than $100 on average per content piece created by an influencer. In contrast, UGC is free, provided the brands secure the right permissions to feature images on their website and social media pages.
As Generation Z continues to grow their purchasing power, more emphasis will be placed on a brand’s authenticity. In fact, 82% of Gen Zers surveyed claimed that they put more trust behind brands that leverage images of real-life customers in their marketing versus those that do not.
"In short, using social media as a vehicle to source user-generated content from customers is a scalable and powerful solution for brands. Big budgets don’t guarantee big returns. Companies will further look to UGC to meet content demands, learning how to do more with less."
2. Short-form Video Will (Still) Dominate
"TikTok’s massive growth is proof that customers are demanding short-form video content. With other video content formats coming to rise such as Instagram Reels, marketers will face the challenge of readjusting their current content strategy to adapt to the evolving trends and invest more of their budget in video," said Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia.
According to Emplifi data:
Instagram Reels have outperformed all other post types since the start of the year, with 80% of brands on the platform publishing at least one reel in Q3 2022. This is a significant increase since 2021 when only 41% of brands on the social media network were posting Reels content.
When looking at top-performing posts for brands on Instagram by median interactions, Instagram Reels came in first place (35% higher compared to other formats), followed by carousels, video, and then images. Single images received the least number of median interactions.
Brands earn more interactions and more video views on Instagram, but brands earn higher reach engagement on TikTok, gaining a 57% to 43% advantage. Follower growth for brands on TikTok continues to climb, up 200% in Q3 2022.
3. Customers Will Turn to Social Platforms More Frequently for Support
"Social customer care has always been in the shadows, but with lockdowns and travel restrictions the invisible cloak was removed. Brands quickly realized that they weren’t equipped to manage customer support efforts via their social platforms without reconsidering their social care capabilities," said Emplifi CMO, Zarnaz Arlia. "This trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We will increasingly see customers turning to social media platforms more frequently to connect with brands about service-related issues."
A recent survey indicated that 2 out of 3 consumers prefer to use social media during the buying process to ask questions, make purchases and seek post-purchase customer support.
Slow response time is the leading contributor to a negative experience, followed by a lack of 24/7 customer service support. Out of the consumers surveyed, 52% expect brands to respond to customer service inquiries via digital channels within an hour, with 22% expressing a preference for social media, 19% for email, and 16% for website chat.
Brands like Orbit Baby are already implementing live-streaming into their social media care strategy. Customers can connect with a sales representative via video call straight from Facebook and Instagram resulting in immediate and convenient service.
"In 2023 we will see brands leverage new technology like live streaming to provide quality service to customers straight from social media apps. Customers will be able to receive the same expert advice they would get in-store from the comfort of wherever they are," said Arlia.
4. Brands will invest more in TikTok advertising
"Boasting nearly 30 million daily active users globally, it’s no wonder that brands are beginning to explore TikTok’s potential - not only in generating brand awareness but in its contribution to the bottom line," said Arlia.
Brands increased their spending on the platform by 231% in Q2 of 2022 compared to the same time period the year before. The same study found that direct-to-consumer brands that were leveraging TikTok were generating revenue from $1 million to $5 million dollars.
Brands will get more creative on TikTok, looking to influencers to generate original sounds in order to increase the visibility of their advertising campaigns. Pizza Hut has already tapped into the power of original songs on TikTok with other brands rapidly following their lead. To announce the relaunch of a customer-favorite menu item, Detroit Style Pizza, Pizza Hut teamed up with influencer Jon Moss (@jonmosslol) to create a song celebrating the event.
With TikTok product discovery gaining momentum, brands are more frequently using the platform to showcase products. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt gained nearly 31 billion views, demonstrating just how effective the platform has become for influencers and users to share their experiences in an engaging way.
"Authenticity will rule all aspects of marketing and will be the powerful ingredient that makes a good marketing campaign great. The rise of UGC and organic low-budget video will play an increasingly dominant role in the digital space as audiences shift away from flashy celebrity-endorsed campaigns and, instead, gravitate toward real-life reviews and testimonials from customers and influencers," said Arlia.
Emplifi is the leading unified customer experience (CX) platform that brings marketing, commerce, and care together to help businesses close the customer experience gap. More than 7,800 brands, including Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor Company, and McDonald's, rely on Emplifi to provide their customers with outstanding experiences at every touchpoint. For more information, visit www.emplifi.io.