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#BizTrends2023: 3 social media trends impacting brands and advertising

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one recorded it and posted it on social media, did it really fall? Or, if a brand advertised, and no one commented on the campaign or recorded themselves interacting with the brand and posted it on social media, did the brand really advertise?
Winslow Schalkwyk, content and strategy leader at Rapt Creative asks if a brand advertised, and no one commented or interacted on the campaign on soical media, did the brand really advertise?
Winslow Schalkwyk, content and strategy leader at Rapt Creative asks if a brand advertised, and no one commented or interacted on the campaign on soical media, did the brand really advertise?

That’s the impact of social media on advertising in 2022, and light years away from the days of MySpace and the 2004 birth of Facebook.

Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives. So much so that the first thing most of us do on waking is reach for our phones to see what’s trending on TikTok, who has posted what on Instagram, or be reminded about just who is celebrating their birthday that day.

As advertisers, especially as strategists, it’s important to be agile and stay on top of what’s trending in this ever-changing world of social media. If 2022 has taught us anything, it is that the tide can change at any time.

As exhibit 1 I give you the world’s reaction to Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and brands everywhere being unsure of what to do on the platform in the wake.

Three social media trends you can’t overlook for 2023

  1. User Generated Content (UGC) will overthrow professional or staged content
  2. Consumers, especially Gen-Z and Millennials, have a yearning for content that’s not too staged or picture-perfect. There’s this global need for authenticity and transparency. This is evident by how many celebrities and influencers have come under fire for overly editing their pics in 2022.

    What does this mean for brands? Partner with content creators and nano influencers who have a unique point of view that’s relatable to your target audience.

    Another option is to encourage the posting of UGC by sharing images or video that you receive. If the quality of the user generated content does not meet the brand’s standards, then encourage the audience by only sharing or reposting the content that makes the cut. This will teach your audience what kind of content the brand ‘approves of’.

  3. Brands tapping into creator communities
  4. Content creators are monetising their passions and this really speaks to the Gen-Z audience’s disposition. They are turning their passion into profit.

    We know that globally there's a ‘great resignation’ taking place; the main motivating force behind this is the need to make money how you want to and in a way that truly satisfies your soul. Brands can tap into content creators to launch new products or services and partner with creators that speak to their target audience.

    According to Hootsuite: “Instead of trying to build a community from the ground up, the smartest brands will tap into creator communities to learn more about customers, simplify content creation, and build brand awareness and affinity.”

  5. Strategy vs Tactics – strategies that are suited to the platforms
  6. Consumers go to different platforms for different reasons. Facebook, to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Instagram for the lifestyle aesthetics, and TikTok for the dance trends. Each platform offers us different ways of engaging with consumers.

    Study your engaged audience. What kind of content do they react to? Where are they based? What are their interests? Research what each platform offers you as an advertiser and align the platform capability with your strategy. Layer in your strategic objectives and let each platform work hard for you.

    Above all, good strategy underpins platform and campaign success. Align your objectives with the trends highlighted here and be agile enough to adapt your platform approach where necessary.

About Winslow Schalkwyk

Content and Strategy leader at Rapt Creative, Winslow Schalkwyk has - by working in various fields from fashion to food - gained invaluable insight into creating content that appeals to different audience demographics.

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