Well, that's 2022 basically in the can! As we look toward 2023, of course it’s difficult to predict what might be coming next with everything going on in the world right now, but we’ll give it a crack! Lets get to our predictions for Social Media Marketing in the year 2023.
It would be an understatement to say that Facebook (and Meta) had a bad year... Starting with Apple's iOS 14 update and snowballing from there, Facebook had a year to forget. In saying that, they have put a lot of work into shifting their focus to the future of social media and internet tech in general, so the old dog may still have a bit of fight left in it.
If you haven't already, you’re going to start seeing more and more content from Pages and people that you don’t follow on your Facebook feed.
This is basically taken from the TikTok model, which focuses on showing you the best content from all users, as opposed to pushing you to build your own preferences.
In a way, this is the reason some creators are able to generate so many new views of their content. Because your feed mix isn’t limited to updates from only the profiles that you choose, creators are then able to have their posts seen by a lot more people outside of their own audience. This in turn provides massive engagement for the platform as a whole.
Mark Zuckerberg recently stated in an interview that;
“What’s basically going to happen is that, over the next year or two, we’ll start showing more recommended content in the Feed."
So while we know they are heading in this direction, what isn't yet clear is how this will affect brands wanting to advertise on the platform.
In theory, it could provide better opportunities as popular content will be given a wider and larger audience than previously, but at the same time Facebook need users to accept and engage with this new model to make it work for brands as well.
Probably the biggest push from Meta over the next few years will be its involvement in the metaverse. They have a lot of eggs in this basket (remember when they changed the company name?) and one way to get people involved is to integrate its digital avatars into more places in the app.
By promoting the use of avatars as a form of digital identity, Meta can encourage more people to engage through their digital characters, which will be a key part of metaverse engagement.
There are also a lot of opportunities to monetise parts of this process with sponsored items for avatars like clothing and accessories from fashion brands, so expect to see Meta really pushing the use of avatars in 2023.
Whilst the last year or so has seen Instagram following TikTok's lead rather than forging a path of their own, that cannot continue forever. Expect to see Instagram make some of their own moves in 2023.
AR and more interactive ads
Expect Instagram to add-in new forms of content creation in 2023, including AR and 3D posts, further integration of NFT art, and other new content forms that can be showcased in the app.
This then provides advertisers with further opportunities for interacting with and engaging potential customers using AR ads and other interactive ad formats.
Other platforms are already experimenting with this and these types of next-level ads will be a key stepping stone as Meta seeks to guide users into the next stage.
Expect to see new AR ad formats coming from IG, along with enhanced scanning tools and ingestion processes to help more brands lean into this next-level shift.
While it hasn’t taken off as yet, Instagram is still experimenting with live-stream shopping, which has been huge in some other markets.
At some stage, Instagram is sure to make a bigger push on this, potentially via a new tab in the app, which will open a full-screen, always-on feed of live shopping content.
If that becomes a bigger enticement, that could be a big earner for the app, while also boosting its in-stream commerce capabilities.
Expect to see a bigger announcement on live shopping on IG sometime early in 2023.
This one of course is going to be tougher to predict... If we base future actions on actions taken in the past 12 months, who knows what will come out of Twitter in 2023, but there have been a few hints since Mr Musk took over that may steer us in the right direction for a prediction or two.
Lets say the CEO of Twitter had a background in online payments (he was the co-founder of PayPal), and a big interest in cryptocurrency (remember Dogecoin?), does the thought of giving Twitter the ability to process online payments without connection to a bank account sound possible and useful?
With so many people around the world still restricted by the banking systems in those countries, this is likely the biggest opportunity for crypto as a legitimate currency to take hols. And if it does, there needs to be an easier way for users to complete transactions.
Twitter could potentially be used to scale payments on a whole new level, and provide improved remittance and transfer services to many more users, even those who can’t access banks.
Crypto is largely a project in developed nations, with no true, practical purpose to drive widespread adoption. But in many other regions, where banks and fiduciary processes are not as advanced, or even existent, there could be big potential to pitch Twitter as a new banking service, which could facilitate all new kinds of transfers, commerce, product advertising, etc.
Subscription Model (Paid Twitter)
He continuously talks about boosting Twitter's revenue, as well as getting rid of the bots from the platform, but how will Musk actually make this happen? There are a lot of suggestions around this but the most likely is that Twitter will charge business users a monthly fee to use the app, and in return provide a premium service with improved analytics features and insights.
In a way, they have already started with the 'paid blue tick' options becoming available earlier this year, but I feel that more subscription offerings are likely on the horizon.
There is no denying that TikTok is absolutely killing it right now in terms of growth and engagement, but with all of the fuss surrounding the app in regard to its connection with the Chinese government, will this hinder the upward trajectory moving forward?
Though unlikely, could it actually be banned in the US, and other regions? This still remains a possibility, particularly as China continues to grapple with other governments.
Live-stream commerce and Shops
This is a massive earner for Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) so it makes total sense to try to grow this for other regions as well.
At the moment creators can’t make as much money on TikTok as they can on say, YouTube, because you can’t insert mid-roll ads on short clips like the ones posted on TikTok. In saying that, TikTok is determined to make it work, to provide better monetisation opps for creators, as well as to maximise their own revenue.
As mentioned above, creator payments have become a bit of an issue for TikTok, with there just not being enough incentive for the big stars to keep posting TikTok clips.
They did launch the Creator Fund to help offset this, but the issue there is that as the app gets bigger, those payments are split up between more creators and keep getting smaller.
YouTube made a move on short form video in 2022, and whilst TikTok is experimenting with different payment methods for its content creators, they will need to figure out a way to make this work to keep the top creators (and money earners) on board.