If you think last year's social media strategy is going to work in 2023, you need to think again. Social media is always changing, but lucky for you, our team at Later lives and breathes social media every single day. So we've got a few social media predictions that should help you plan for the new year. Okay, now onto our crystal ball. Just kidding, we don't have that but we do think you'll see more of this first prediction in your future.
Prediction #1: Less trend chasing, more original content.
When short-form video blew up, trends were everything. And yes, they still matter. But in 2023, we're predicting that there will be a bit of a shift.
Hopping on trending audio while it's blowing up is a great tool for brand awareness and getting in front of new faces. In fact, we've heavily leaned into the strategy on our own TikTok channel for the past two years. But because TikTok, and even Instagram, have gotten even more saturated, chasing trends on TikTok and Reels just isn't enough of a strategy for consistent long-term growth.
Instead, we expect to see more original content, with creators and brands intentionally creating their own original content while mixing in more casual, vlog-style conversations talking directly to their niche communities. You can expect to see our own TikTok adopting the strategy in the new year as well so stay tuned.
Prediction #2: UGC makes a comeback, but with a twist.
In one of our recent YouTube videos that I'll link right over here, we talked about how the term "UGC creator" has been blowing up on TikTok and Instagram, and it's really evolved into something completely different than what we once knew. Creators are now intentionally creating and getting paid for authentic-looking photo and video content that they don't post on their own channels, but instead, they give it directly to brands to post on the brand's channels.
We think this type of casual content that favors creativity over production is only going to grow in 2023 because, let's face it, not every brand can afford to work with these huge creators with large audiences that charge thousands of dollars for one post. This is where small creators are really going to shine, and we can see brands wanting more of this type of content that isn't reliant on someone else's influence.
Now, this isn't going to say that the influencer industry is going anywhere. It's just simply expanding and evolving. This does mean, though, that there's a lot of space for new and small creators to grow in 2023.
And I know what you're thinking because people love to say, "It's too late to become a creator", but let's face it, people have been saying that for years. And every year, new creators find success and prove that sentiment wrong. Haters going to hate, but creators going to create. Okay, that was, like, really cringey. Anyways, moving on.
Prediction #3: YouTube Shorts will explode.
We talk a lot about Instagram and TikTok, but 2023 might just be the year for YouTube. YouTube Shorts are poised for serious growth in the coming year and with more people watching them than ever before, Shorts could become the key to increasing YouTube views on your longer-form content and getting more people to hit that subscribe button.
YouTube is heavily investing in monetizing shorts and incentivizing creators, so if you're not already creating shorts, we suggest you rethink your strategy. In 2021 alone, Oxford Economics estimated that YouTube supported more than 425,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the US. That is a crazy number.
But if you don't have the bandwidth for creating original Shorts content just yet, start with repurposing your existing video content. That way you can at least get a feel for what performs well before you invest your time and energy into creating original content.
Prediction #4: More Accessible AI.
Honestly, every time I hear about augmented reality and NFTs, my eyes just start to glaze over. But hear me out: while social content is getting more authentic, virtual reality is authenticity with a twist. It can provide a playful level of anonymity, allowing people to express themselves more creatively.
Here's an example. If you browse effects on TikTok, search "AI green screen" and you can create an entire background just by entering a text description like this. Crazy, right? Brands can save money on production and creators can get more inventive with their storytelling. So you might not want to sleep on AI in the new year.
Prediction #6: SEO is Everything.
Search is changing and SEO on social media is more important than ever before. The New York Times recently reported that nearly half of Gen-Z has begun replacing Google with TikTok and Instagram as their primary search engines.
And Google has taken note; they've already been working on indexing popular social media videos to show up on its search results which means social media is more important than ever for brand awareness and discovery.
So when building out your day-to-day social strategy, we recommend focusing on optimizing your content with keywords and creating content on specific topics that you want your brand to be discovered for. Think about what keywords people might be searching for and create content around that. You could literally have endless content ideas when you're creating through an SEO lens. And the creator and brands that are smart about their social SEO strategies are going to come out on top.
There you go. Six social media predictions for 2023. We've got even more predictions on our blog that we'll link below, so give that a read and don't forget to hit that Subscribe button so you can keep up to date with our latest social updates, strategies and tips. I'll see you later.