Does our brand really need to be on TikTok? And does it make sense to use chatGPT? Are the influencers still relevant?
The evolution of social media has significantly accelerated in recent years. Before we have the chance to try a new feature, another one is just around the corner. Is this acceleration sustainable in the long term? Are we just chasing trends, while the true meaning of our marketing communication takes a back seat? What should we do to not miss the train?
And most importantly… What social media trends should we really pay attention to?
Social networks have a very fast and changing dynamics
The only certainty in social media is change. The world hasn’t gone crazy, it just gotten a little faster. The pandemic has actually accelerated it significantly. Networks are reacting to technological advancements and also more or less successfully “inspiring” each other. Just think about what all TikTok has influenced, why Stories appeared on LinkedIn (which in turn disappeared quite quickly) and how the dual camera from the BeReal app was adopted by Instagram in no time.
User behavior – how users use the app, what they do on it and how much time they spend on it – plays a major role. Czechs alone spend on average almost 3 hours a day on social networks. So, social networks have a huge amount of data at their disposal and innovate accordingly. Thanks to AI-powered algorithms, our feeds are increasingly tailored to us.
From a fine-tuned Instagram grids to imperfect videos
The question is whether it is always necessary to follow all the trends and innovations. Do we need to be on TikTok too? What if we don’t have the time or budget to publish 5 new Reels every week? Are the influencers still relevant? And does it make sense to use ChatGPT? These are questions we come across a lot at the agency. Brands are well aware that networks are fast paced and constantly changing. And they don’t want to miss the train.
Yes, social networks and their algorithms like trends and novelties. It wasn’t that long ago when it was important to have visually perfect photos on Instagram and, most importantly, a well curated Instagram grid. Today, the focus is shifting to quick editable videos and a necessary dose of imperfection. Social networks now give such content plus points and try to help it reach more impressions, reach, and engagement through algorithms. Social media innovation is certainly good to watch. They often influence whether the content we create reaches users at all, whether it will attract attention in a content-saturated space, whether users will remember our ad or even make a purchase.
But it’s also good not to cling too much to trends. They won’t last long and soon another novelty will emerge. Where have all those posts wishing everyone a happy international day of happiness gone? Why aren’t we all posting at 9:00 anymore when it worked best just a few years ago? How come we don’t report followers and like counts anymore? The answer is change.
Source: meme generator
Current social media trends
So what’s working today and what social media trends should we really be paying attention to so we don’t miss the train?
1. TIKTOK AND ITS IMPACT ON OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA
Either you love it and are completely hooked, or you’re shaking your head in disbelief. Even if you’re not a fan of TikTok, we can’t deny that more than 2 million Czechs use it and its current influence on trends and the overall development of the world of social media is enormous.
The shift towards authenticity is nothing new on social networks. However, TikTok has emphasized its importance to the maximum extent, influencing other platforms as well. It has convinced major global brands to step out of the crowd of perfectly styled photos, resized/cut TV commercials, and key product visuals. We are witnessing a move towards humanizing the brand, observing a decrease in the demand for high-quality videos or graphics, and an overall emphasis on authentic “here and now.”
TikTok has definitively demolished the myth that follower numbers matter. We are currently closer to feeds that are composed of popular content rather than popular accounts. Recommended content by algorithms is now also visible on Instagram and Facebook. It’s a glimmer of hope for revival of organic reach. Because while META promises to maximize user engagement, it also provides greater potential for creators and brands to increase the reach of successful posts beyond their followers.
The phone has become part of our everyday lives. So we need to look at UX and content with a mobile-first perspective. TikTok has revolutionized not only short videos, which are growing in popularity, but also formats. The dominance of the 1:1 square format is gone. The point of social networks is to capture attention. If we can, let us therefore occupy the maximum possible mobile screen area, and that is fullscreen.
2. GENERATION Z HAS BUYING POTENTIAL
We are able to reach 85 % of the Czech GEN Z daily on social networks. Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok. 71 % of them spend 3+ hours a day watching videos. Compared to today’s economically active generations, they are changing the way they use media, content consumption and consumer behavior.
97 % of them are looking for new products and brands specifically on social media. They expect brands to lead them with entertaining content rather than immediately directing them to a list of discounted products. Brand social responsibility, sustainability and transparent communication are key for them. In a few years, this generation will have the greatest buying potential. And they will carry their consumer behavior with them.
3. USER GENERATED CONTENT
The amendment to the Consumer Protection Act also regulates the use of consumer reviews. Brands are now required to disclose how they verify the authenticity of reviews. As a result, it is expected that there will be fewer reviews in the online communication.
In the context of this amendment to the law and also the demand for authenticity, it makes sense to encourage User Generated Content (UGC) or even genuine brand and product reviews on user profiles. And actively encourage them. Did you know that 43 % of Generation Z would be willing to share a user review of a product? Consumers actually value and trust the opinion of the influencer who feels relatable, like the boy or girl next door.
4. SUBSCRIPTIONS OR PAYING FOR CONTENT IS ALREADY COMMON
Meta has already announced an early option for paid subscriptions and loyalty platforms like Pickey, Substack or HEROHERO are growing in popularity among creators. Subscription-based content offers creators a way to connect directly with their most loyal audience. It offers exclusive access to extra valuable content and doesn’t have to be as tied to ad revenue/collaborations. A brand can sponsor a creator’s specialized content exclusively for subscribers or engage with a narrow community of subscribers.
Subscriptions are not only relevant to creators anymore. Elon Musk is rolling out Twitter Blue, which, with an $8/monthly fee, provides users with a blue badge and many other benefits. He expects this subscription model to increase revenue and reduce dependence on advertising income. And Twitter is following Meta’s lead as well. With a subscription for less than $12 a month, brands could achieve better discoverability, enhanced brand safety, and direct access to Meta’s customer support.
5. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered creative tools are beginning to change the way we create, collaborate and communicate. The speed at which new AI models, platforms and enhancements are emerging cannot be ignored. Microsoft has revamped Bing, a new version of Midjourney was released, OpenAI has launched another new ChatGPT model, and even Google has shown AI features for its own apps. There’s nothing to wait for. It’s up to all of us to assess the impact of AI on key marketing competencies and dedicate the time and courage to fully embrace it.
Given the dynamic evolution of AI, a “test and learn” approach is definitely recommended. The point will not be to “just” use AI to create copy, to consult on performance strategies or to generate images. It will be essential to have enthusiasts on the team who know how to talk to AI and how to assign tasks to it in order to help us. In addition, the evolution of AI places great demands on all marketers to stand out from the crowd (as AI generates expected recommendations) and create distinctive solutions tailored to brands.
Let’s see what AI answered when asked: What are the trends in social media marketing for 2023?
So, did it hit the mark?
6. AR/VR WORLD
The future of AR (Augmented Reality) / VR (Virtual Reality) lies in personalised, accessible and well-designed experiences. Experts estimate that within 3 years, we will see AR-enabled LTE glasses that will become a smartphone alternative. Why pay attention to this? Marketing strategies based on augmented reality can not only improve audience engagement and time spent with a brand, but also increase the likelihood of purchase.
Meta in particular sees a future in augmented reality and metaverse worlds, already working with digital avatars, rolling out AR/VR and 3D ads, and most importantly, building awareness of its VR social universe Meta Horizon Worlds, which is expected to be a platform for virtual sharing experiences, socializing with friends and playing games.
Yes. They are still relevant. The whole influencer marketing market is becoming significantly more professional. Don’t even get started without a proper brief and compliance with all legislative requirements. It has become standard to promote influencer content with a selected target audience and optimization using a media budget. Brands are no longer solely focused on targeting the biggest celebrity, but several other relevant factors enter into the selection process.
This gives room for smaller niche influencers, for example, often representatives of a particular profession – from psychotherapist, dental hygienist to teacher. They go beyond surface-level content creation and provide the public with new information and behind-the-scenes insights from their fields. Virtual influencers are slowly but surely starting to dominate social media, as companies react to negative experiences with real-life influencers and claim to have better control over the outputs.
And what trends should we be applying on the networks?
As with fashion trends, we must first ask the question: Will this apply to my brand too?
Before we follow the next trend or innovation, let’s first think about how it will work for our goals, target audience and the message we want to communicate. The focus should be on the person and their needs. Are we meeting them?
Article originally posted by Fragile Media, under the title 7 social media trendů, které stojí za vaši pozornost