Top Social Media Trends for 2023



Social media is probably one of the hardest industries to keep up with thanks to the constant coming and going of new social media marketing trends, as well as the ever-development of our favorite platforms' capabilities and features.

Adobe’s resident social media expert, Andy Lambert, a senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, walks through today’s trends and the opportunities for social media marketers.

Social commerce

Andy begins by reflecting on current trends on social media in order to predict what might develop further in the year ahead. Social commerce is something we’ve been seeing more and more of over the past year and Andy believes that there is only more to come.

Here’s what Andy told us:

Social commerce is the act of buying products and services via social media and has always been the north star of these platforms. It’s clear that social platforms need to diversify their revenue models away from a heavy reliance on ads and one of the main ways they can do this is by allowing for in-app shopping experiences.

Nearly all the platforms have experimented with social commerce over the last year in various capacities. YouTube and TikTok, along with Instagram and Facebook are starting to take social commerce very seriously through a range of tools and solutions like Facebook Shops, Products Tags, and Livestream commerce. This will continue to grow into 2023 and attract many brands wanting to grow their revenues.

Short form video

Surely a surprise to no one, short form video (defined as video content lasting under 3 minutes) is Andy’s second prediction for 2023. As something that has been consistently popular for years now, when it comes to social media marketing trends, short form video is here to stay.

Andy: Short form content is trending across all platforms which creates a double-edged sword for creators. On the plus side, it’s never been so easy to take one piece of content and repurpose that video for multiple different platforms. Portrait oriented video is supported and looks great across all of the predominant social media platforms which makes it easy for creators to reuse and repurpose. The downside of this means that social media becomes increasingly ubiquitous, and it makes it harder for those that find it more challenging to create video content.

Instagram continues to push Reels at every opportunity including encouraging users to reuse their Reels across both Instagram and Facebook while TikTok’s growth has officially surpassed 1.5 million monthly users. I have every expectation that short form video will continue to rise in 2023.

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The age of the creator economy

The creator economy refers to how creators make use of social media platforms in order to monetize their content. Current trends suggest that social media platforms are beginning to put an increasingly big focus on creators and how they can support them. Andy explains how he sees the creator economy developing in the future and how social media platforms will react.

Andy: Over the last year we’re beginning to see individuals being treated like businesses in terms of social media features. With professional modes appearing on Twitter and Facebook along with the Creator mode on LinkedIn, creators can now access the same functionality and analytics tools that only businesses would historically get on the platform.

In order to support these creators, social media platforms have, and will, continue to roll out many features that allow creators to make money from their communities. We’ve already seen virtual gifting to be supported across multiple platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch, along with the rise of fan subscriptions, allowing users to subscribe to get unique content from those creators that they value the most.

Creator monetization is still a big sticking point with many bemoaning payment value and a lack of transparency and support from the social platforms. This is causing many creators to look at other platforms to get them to build communities and drive revenue such as Patreon or Substack. As a result, I expect to see more creator monetization tools and the social media platforms doing as much as they can to help support creators in 2023 because at the end of the day where creators go, the community flows, and where community flows, advertising dollars follow.

Read more about social media monetization in our article, “How to make money on TikTok”.

Micro-community growth

Micro-communities are smaller and more intimate communities that form on social media, often centered around a common interest or niche. With platforms such as Reddit and Discord seeing continued growth, micro-communities are showing up as one of many social media trends we expect to see further into 2023.

Andy predicts users to show an increasing desire for micro-communities in 2023, even if this means flocking to newer social media platforms that allow smaller communities to thrive.

Andy: Spending time in micro-communities such as Facebook Groups or WhatsApp Communities, enables people to separate from the noise that is so common on social platforms and allowing them to be surrounded by their tribe, a group of people that they feel most comfortable with.

Reddit and Discord are two of the best growing platforms, continually achieving monthly growth, specifically with a younger audience demographic, a testament to the popularity of micro-communities. We’re also seeing newer emerging platforms offering support for micro-communities too, like Mastodon where people flee the ‘town square’ into more local neighborhoods.

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YouTube Shorts

Following on from short form video as a current social media trend, Andy calls out YouTube Shorts specifically as a format he sees having more prominence into 2023.

Andy: Shorts is YouTube’s fastest growing content format now achieving 30 billion views per day. Videos can now be up to 60 seconds long, can contain music, and we’re seeing more video capabilities come to the platform over time including improved editing capabilities, green screens, and the ability to cut sections for your Short from other people’s content. Creators that are native to YouTube are also seeing increased views on all their content as a result of posting Shorts.

Ad budgets to shift to TikTok

What’s trending on TikTok? Ad budgets! Andy has picked up on a shift in advertising revenues as they diminish across some social channels, while simultaneously increasing for TikTok.

Andy: While Facebook’s advertising revenues have been hit hard (more directly as a result of the iOS 14.5 update), it’s not just Facebook that has been hit by advertisers cutting budgets. In fact, while many social media platforms are seeing a decrease in ad budget, TikTok is seeing the opposite. With their much-improved ad targeting, along with audience insights and a range of advertising formats that are attractive to advertisers, 2023 could see more advertising budget shifting to TikTok throughout the year.

Thinking beyond the feed

When looking ahead into 2023, Andy foresees that the way businesses use social media is about to change. Where businesses and brands currently tend to focus their effort on how they appear in the feed, Andy is expecting a tactical shift in social media marketing trends.

Andy: For many businesses, social media has traditionally been a free promotional channel with many using it akin to how they would an email newsletter by churning out message after message of promotional content. But the future of brands on social media is going to be all about collaboration.

Collaborations will allow brands to work with trusted individuals with communities that revolve around a particular niche. The most impactful aspect of social media is how we can grow word of mouth at scale, and there’s no better way to build reputation, and ultimately your brand than by having other people talk about you within their community.

It’s not just influencer marketing; it’s about creating genuine advocacy within the communities that represent your target audience. We’re already seeing tools appear to help us achieve this such as Pearpop and TikTok Branded Missions.

Social search to overtake search engines?

We all know that social is a great place to seek out information, news, or inspiration. But could it overtake search? Andy sure to thinks so.

Andy: Social is beginning to overtake search in terms of brand discovery with younger users already orientating more towards social ahead of search. This will have huge implications for the social platforms that will optimize for search-based discovery.

TikTok has already increased its character count from 130 to 2200 characters with the aim of improving in-app SEO. In addition, LinkedIn has also been improving its search functionality while Instagram has reported an increasing volume of users using search functionalities within the app.

For brands, this means that using keywords in your content will become increasingly important as the lines between social and search become increasingly blurred.

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B2Bs will begin to understand the importance of brand

When it comes to social media marketing trends for 2023, another prediction from Andy is a rise in B2B brands beginning to show a more human side to their business online.

Andy: Anecdotally, I'm seeing more B2B brands begin to understand the importance of brand, particularly when it comes to social. LinkedIn has made changes over the last year to improve content on the platforms which has resulted in record levels of engagement. LinkedIn creator mode is also allowing businesses to champion the individuals and voices within their organizations, and personal branding content is an increasingly useful way to build a brand online.

In a trend that is very closely linked to micro-communities, personal branding in a B2B context will allow for the internal influencers, ambassadors, and advocates to really aid in helping B2Bs to build a meaningful brand on social.

In-the-moment content

Who doesn’t love authentic, unpolished, and realistic content? With TikTok still going strong and BeReal on its way to becoming a household name, Andy predicts more unfiltered and authentic content in 2023.

Andy: As one of the most downloaded apps in 2022, BeReal and what it represents is something we can’t ignore. While I personally remain unconvinced as to whether this is a lasting change to the social media landscape or whether it’s a novelty value as we saw with Clubhouse, I think that in the short term BeReal represents a very real cultural shift that is happening on social.

This shift demonstrates a desire for authentic, unfiltered content, and places value on people being their true selves. TikTok has already copied BeReal in providing such content under the guise of ‘TikTok Now’ prompting users to take a daily picture or video. I expect other social platforms will be monitoring this trend before potentially making the decision to introduce similar features to their own platforms in 2023.

It’s like seeing into the future

We hope Andy’s insight gave you a taste of what social media trends might be coming our way in 2023, as well as a little foresight on how you might pivot your social media strategy in the coming months. If you’re interested in staying up to the date with social media developments seeing how it all unfolds, Andy Lambert and Jordan Ellis, host a monthly live stream on the Adobe Express Youtube channel where they discuss the most essential updates in the world of social from the previous month.

Andy Lambert is a senior product marketing manager at Adobe, a Founding member of ContentCal (a social media management tool, now part of Adobe Express), Author of SOCIAL 3.0, and a passionate social media advocate.

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