4 Social Media Trends You Should Know in 2023

an iPhone showing a "social" folder with different mainstream social media apps
By Joshua Ridley and Brittany Bowen |

It’s more important now than ever to stay ahead of the game. In an industry that is constantly changing, it’s pivotal that marketing professionals are up to date on the latest social media trends to make the greatest impact in their marketing strategies. TikTok is shaping up to be a potential competitor of tech giant Google in the search engine game, UGC is a buzzword that has been making a lot of search appearances recently, and the world will have its first digital nation. Let’s dig deeper into what this means and how it will affect your business.

a search bar with the TikTok logo

TikTok Is Becoming the New Google  

With TikTok’s famous algorithm tracking behaviors, interests and patterns among users, it’s no surprise that finding exactly what you need in a video format is becoming the status quo. Google for years had been the king of all search engines with its effective use of keyword research, but TikTok’s role as a search engine is only growing, paving the way for other new trends on social media search.

TikTok also utilizes keyword research as part of its algorithm, so in just seconds, users can quickly find thousands of videos that pertain to the topic of their choosing. When searching for a product, restaurant or place to visit, users prefer to crowdsource their recommendations from real people rather than faceless websites.  

three hands, holding one phone each. Each phone has one letter. The picture spells out "UGC"

UGC Is in, Generic Ads Are Out  

User-generated content (UGC) was the rising tide in 2022 and will continue to make waves in 2023. Different from influencer marketing, which involves brands partnering with individuals with large followings to post content on their marketing channels, new UGC creator models involve paying individuals to make high-quality content for the brand to post the content on its own marketing channels. In some cases, brands may even request raw footage to tailor to their specific needs.  

Consumers  tend to trust a referral more than a brand’s claims about their own product. UGC can be used across different digital mediums, including emails, webpages and social media. UGC promotes authenticity because it requires real people sharing their honest experiences with a product.  

UGC is known to bring in a high ROI and sometimes surpasses the revenue generated from large traditional production budgets. The influencer marketing industry reached $16.4 billion in 2022. Nearly 75% of U.S. marketers plan to use content creators (influencers) and UGC as part of their marketing mix with a focus on driving engagement, brand awareness and ultimately sales.  

an abstract image of a robot with its head open showing wires.

AI Is Upping the Stakes in Creativity 

Once popularly known for its role in the downfall of humanity in many post-apocalyptic and dystopian storylines, AI has lost some of the stigma and now has a place in our everyday lives. Today we encounter AI regularly through tools as commonplace as Siri and Alexa.  

AI has made big strides so far in 2023 that have made it a hot topic of discussion. Within marketing, AI has become a major part of data analytics. AI enables marketers to track campaign performance from mass-market messaging down to individual social media posts.  

AI is also changing the way humans work outside data-driven fields like marketing. AI processes such as automation free up time for humans to do what they do best: connect the dots and innovate. ChatGPT, for example, is an open AI chatbot that launched in November 2022. It has gone viral for its ability to write full-length essays or papers about any topic a user puts in. ChatGPT cannot replace a human because technology can’t think or feel—it needs coaching from humans. But it changes the way digital creatives can approach their work, leading them to deeper and more innovative ideas.  

an illustration of two people wearing VR headsets

Enter The Universe, but Make It Meta 

The metaverse is a combination of social, virtual reality and immersive platforms where users can interact with each other in a settings that simulate the real world.  

The possibilities of the metaverse are promising, so much so that the country Tuvalu is developing a plan to upload the entire nation into the metaverse. Simon Kofe, minister for justice, communication and foreign affairs for Tuvalu, expressed that the Tuvalu government fears that within 50 years or soon after, as a worst-case scenario, the entire nation will be submerged, and the population forced to relocate. Tuvalu will become the world’s first digital nation in an effort to preserve its land, ocean, culture and assets. 

As technology continues to grow and develop, it’s exciting to ponder the possibilities to come. Marketers who strategize now can use these social trends to their advantage, shaping future-proof programs that evolve with each new iteration of social media.

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