Ever see someone’s Facebook posts or Instagram stories and cringe? You know the ones. They follow the same lame script that was being used in 2018 (the last time that script actually worked). But what worked five years ago is now cringe-worthy. Hell, what worked a few months ago might be cause for cringe today.
Social media trends change all the time. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll be left behind while others race on a completely different track.
Knowing what our culture is looking for and how you can speak their language will help you grow your accounts (and your client’s accounts), sell more products and services, and reach an audience you otherwise wouldn’t.
With that in mind, here are some social media trends to watch for in 2023.
Content Types Trending on Social Media in 2023
There’s rarely a single piece of content that drives a trend. Instead, it’s a collection of content that acts as a catalyst for the larger trends. Here are some content types currently generating momentum in 2023:
1. Any New App Features
This is less of a trend and more of a baseline all creators need to know.
Social media companies like Instagram and TikTok don’t deploy new functions and features without a reason. So when new features are deployed, these companies want to ensure they get used. To do so, don’t be surprised if you see their algorithms pushing content that utilizes the new feature.
Whenever a new feature launches on an app, use it. Try it out, test what’s working, and see how others are utilizing it. If you’re quick to adopt, there’s a chance your content will pushed to the front of the line.
People are tired of the overly polished, Photoshopped life we’ve been fed for years over social media. We all know it’s fake. And who is interested in fake anymore?
Real is in. Social media followers want authenticity. The blemishes and the scars.
What are you about? What do you stand for? What is your life actually like? This dirty, messy, confusing, make-up free, roused hair realness is what 2023 social media is craving.
In the name of authenticity, anyone who is giving any sort of advice on social media should be documenting more behind-the-scenes looks at what they do.
If you’re an influencer sharing life advice, share how this was actually applied to your real life. If you’re a digital marketing agency, walk us through a real campaign you built, mistakes and all.
Pull back the curtain and let your audience in. It’ll only add to your authenticity.
Businesses on social media are now trending toward teaching material, with Gen Z specifically using platforms like TikTok as search engines instead of Google.
The content you’re making should be aimed to add value. Educate. Inform. Give away some of your “secrets” for free. Don’t underestimate the power of good will—especially online.
5. User Generated
Give the people what they want. Host Q&As, reply to comments in TikToks and Reels, and make content about the comments and messages you’re receiving.
This is trending for a couple reasons:
- People feel seen. You’re answering direct questions and showing your followers (and new potential followers) that you value the community in your online space. Many people will see this and be drawn to the potential of being a person you interact with—to be seen.
- It’s another peek behind the curtain. There’s a reason screenshots of DMs and text message conversations catch attention. Our messages are private—intimate. Being able to see what that looks like for a creator makes us feel closer to them.
Interact with your people and post about it. It’s really that simple.
Everyone’s afraid of fake news. What’s real? What’s not? How do I know this information is trustworthy?
As we continue to tackle the issue of misinformation online, there will be a growing need for reliable information. If you garner a reputation for trustworthy information, research, and fact-driven content, your followers will grow.
Just take SharonSaysSo for example. During the 2020 election, Sharon McMahon began posting facts about politics, elections, and how the government worked. All unbiased, all factual. As an ex-government teacher with a Master’s in these studies, that was easy for her, but she also always provided research links, statistics, and cited the actual constitution.
This trust had her grow from 30,000 followers to over 1 Million in only a couple years (along with raising millions for charity, a podcast with millions of downloads, and even a book deal with Penguin’s new Thesis imprint).
The need for truth on social media is palpable.
Conversation has been lacking in the online world. Not debate. Discussion. The social bridges are plagued with trolls hiding in the depths, ready to argue at a moment’s notice but there are far more who want a good discussion but aren’t sure how to ask for it.
Being a facilitator of these conversations is a social trend to watch in 2023. When you can be a mediator to differing opinions and offer a means to converse without attacking, you’ll be a unicorn in the online space.
While social media is typically teeming with political extremists every year, we’ll see this increase significantly in 2023 due to the 2024 election. Those in the running will start building their platforms and anyone who’s vocal will be right there providing commentary about said platforms.
This is a great time to pair politics with discussion to capitalize on these trends.
Netflix & Chill is out. TikTok & Talk is in.
Kidding—sort of. The reality is we crave entertainment. And while that entertainment once came in the form of binge-watching TV shows and movies, we now scroll more and watch less (or scroll while watching, in many cases).
TikTok exploded for a reason, much like its predecessor Vine, which was the turning point in short-form video content. The desire for short stories and skits is still here. Keep delivering this short-form content in 2023.
10. Personal Opinions
“Keep your opinion out of it!” used to be the norm. Nobody talked about how they felt or what they thought for fear of being canceled. While that fear is still present for many, the people growing massive followings are doing so because they’re sharing what they think, and sharing it plainly.
Don’t be afraid to share what’s on your mind. Who knows? You might trigger important conversations and even find the type of people who get you.
11. Migration From Apps to Email
Social will always be here, sure, but more people are catching on to the fact that it’s not impossible for a social app to come crashing down. And if a particular social app goes away, so does their audience.
Because of this, many creators are moving their longer-form content elsewhere, such as newsletters. Newsletters are making a comeback. But not in a sales-centric way, with email workflows designed exclusively to get people to buy. It’s the old-school newsletters filled with personal updates, what people are loving, and links to other content. The kind of content that feels exclusive - exclusivity people don’t have access to on social apps.
Content Formats to Use This Year
Types of content can be shared in various formats. Let’s take a look at which of these formats are trending for 2023:
Buckle up, because video isn’t going anywhere. Thankfully, there are tons of different types of videos you can create to keep your channels fresh and followers interested:
- Voice overs: You don’t need to be on camera for these, but your voice will be. You can take a video of something you’re doing or seeing and speak over it. This works well for writers who aren’t great on camera but still want to make video content. Record a line or two from your writing or other content, and put a pre-recorded video as the background.
- Music and writing: Play a tune and put a video as the background, and write what you have to say as a text overlay.
- You on video: If you have a knack for being on camera, use that to your advantage! And remember that you can improve over time. If you enjoy it, try it out. Not much can replace the effect of a real human on camera.
- Animations: While explainer videos came out of popularity in the last few years, animated videos are on the rise. Think of good animated short form content as comics that have come to life. Even taking popular trending audio clips and creating animations to act them out will do well.
- Podcast clips: If the podcast is recorded on camera, there are plenty of clips you can grab to repurpose on social media. It works well because it’s dual purpose—reach new followers and get more podcast downloads.
The key is to figure out what works well for your industry and for you.
While Adam Mosseri (Head of Instagram) may have said photos are still supported, much of the algorithm testing and user actions have moved video to the forefront. But one way around this for creators is to use carousels on the app by posting more than one photo. It works well because when someone slides to the next photo, it counts as an engagement metric on the app.
Plus, it offers more opportunities for photos to be shared on stories, which is another engagement metric. More engagement pushes posts higher up on people’s feeds. These trended well in 2022 and we don’t see it slowing down in 2023, especially for educational accounts.
Punchy, Hefty One-Liners
Like carousels, people want to share content on their own platform, but not create it. The use of Instagram and Facebook stories and the retweet and quote tweets are evidence of this. People use these to show who they are to their followers.
“This post is SO me!” is what every share says.
Being able to create very potent insights in a single line is great for quick shares. The more pointed and summarized the one-liner, the more sharing potential.
The days of photoshop, over editing, and flawless transitions is leaving us. In 2023, you can expect to see more raw videos; unscripted, unpracticed, off-the-cuff. Where there is a craving for authenticity, there is a desire for less polished work.
Plus, algorithms are designed to put new creators on the feed. That usually means people who don’t make videos for a living and are just putting information out there.
So feel free to do away with over editing, wipe off the makeup, and ditch the ring light. Hold the camera yourself and just talk. Creators like Scott Tatum have built their following doing nothing but walking and talking on camera.
Quality Written Articles
If you’re in the B2B space especially, long-form written content is still in. Even longer captions paired with another content type perform well as long as you know how to captivate someone with a good story.
Creators like Jenna Kutcher have used written content (blog posts and long captions) really well. Find someone who does this often and see if you can reverse engineer how their first line pulled in your attention and kept you around for the second.
On LinkedIn, this will be even more important as Twitter users flock somewhere else to share their insights, findings, and articles.
Social trends can change quickly. Keep an eye on what’s happening, keep track of social ideas in your project management software, and schedule something that’ll stick.