With the many changes to social media platforms in the past three to five years, I bet you’d laugh at me if I asked you to make social media predictions for 2023. Right?
While we obviously don’t have a crystal ball to predict what the next 12 months will look like (If we did, I think we all would have stocked up on toilet paper, masks, and sourdough starters at the end of 2019!), it can be fun to make educated guesses anyway.
Which is exactly what we’re going to do today, friend.
I started the second season of the Talk Copy to Me podcast with a series about social media, and I asked every guest expert who joined me on the show what their social media predictions were for 2023. So that you didn’t have to sort through 16 different episode show notes to learn what they had to say, I compiled the most common themes in this article.
1. SEO is going to influence many social platforms
You know I love everything SEO, which is why this social media prediction is my favorite! And I’m not alone.
“I’m seeing a huge shift in TikTok optimizing for search,” says Racheal Cook, founder of the CEO Collective. She continues. “I’s not just about what hashtags you’re using—like that’s one component of it—but it’s even down to the handle you choose, your username, your description, your descriptions on all of your videos.”
And it isn’t just written content that’s influencing TikTok SEO, either. Racheal says, “It’s also about audio search. I do believe they have an audio search happening in the background. We might not realize it, but they are searching through content for keywords. I always use the captions that are native to TikTok…if they’re actively filtering through, and using the captions as part of their search, I want to use their native caption option so that I can optimize on that.”
2. Twitter is going to continue being unpredictable
When I first started recording the social media series, I batch recorded the interviews at the end of 2022 so I could take a break from podcast work over the holidays and begin sharing the content in the beginning of 2023.
So when it came time to talk about Twitter with the guest experts, I wasn’t even sure the platform would exist come the new year (and this is exactly why the Twitter episodes were the to go live!). It had only been a few weeks since Elon Musk bought the platform, and so many changes were happening, in addition to parts of the platform becoming unstable or producing bugs in the user experience.
Here we are a few month’s later, and the platform still exists, but who knows for how long that will be—at least in its current iteration. Of all the social media predictions, this is one I’ll be paying the closest attention to throughout the year.
And I’m not the only one feeling unsure about Twitter.
“What I expect from Twitter right now for the next for the foreseeable future is is chaos,” says Anita Kirkbride, founder of Twirp Communications. “There is no plan for Twitter right now. And it if it pops into [Elon Musk’s] head, it seems to be put it into place or in queue to be done with very little thought for how it affects the whole infrastructure of Twitter.”
She continues, “I think we’re going to see a lot of people leave Twitter. I think we’re going to see a lot of change to features…We’re going to see things shuttered. We’re going to see new things that maybe make sense or maybe don’t make sense. So chaos is my answer.”
3. Some platforms will shake things up; others will dial back
Attention social media platforms! Attention social media platforms!
Your users are sick and tired of all the algorithm changes and updates and adjustments that most of the major platforms have been forcing on us over the past few years (okay, let’s be honest, even longer). I’m sure it’s meant to be a benefit to the end user, but really too much change over too many platforms is brain numbing.
But here’s the thing, many Twitter users are fleeing the platform. And the other platforms are trying to capitalize on their loss and welcome those users with open arms. And that’s going to lead to lots of new features…testing, testing, and more testing until they figure out what works.
Take LinkedIn for example. Tania Bhattacharyya founder of Lumos Marketing says, “I would guess that they’re really going to continue deeply investing in creators…They’ve come out with LinkedIn audio rooms. They’ve come out with LinkedIn newsletters. They just keep rolling out different features. So I think they’re gonna keep rolling out new things. And I don’t know what that’s gonna look like, per se. But, but I’m excited.”
Here’s the only caveat: Instagram.
In the past few years, they’ve made change after change that users weren’t happy with. Let’s be honest, Instagram has been trying to catch up to and follow TikTok’s lead to no avail.
But marketing coach Jenna Warriner thinks that’s changing. She says, “I think they’re actually listening to us. I think people caused enough of a stink when [Instagram] tried to be TikTok. And in its defense, it made a career of copying other platforms, right?”
When Kendra Swalls, founder of Girl Means Business, was asked what her social media predictions were in 2022, she said just that. “I think we’re gonna see a little bit of a leveling out on Instagram where they’re gonna be like okay, we’re settling into our identity now.”
4. Generations may change where they consume content
TikTok coach Samantha Vlasceanu thinks that individuals from Generation X and up will find their way to the platform as they move away from places like Facebook, and I think she’s right.
Samantha says, “Gen Zs are already on there. The Millennials caught on, so they’re already on there. So over the 46 year olds will be the next group. They’ll be the highest growth on TikTok. This will tell me that a lot of businesses will also be jumping on or should be jumping on because your audience is on there.”
5. Influencers are out and real life is in
A few years ago, I wrote about the everyday influencer. And if you’re wondering what one of my social media predictions are, it’s this: 2023 is the year that the everyday influencer takes over of the social media scene.
And who are the everyday influencers? You, friend. You! See ya later, Kardashians.
Social media users want to follow real humans, so if you’re creating content in 2023, show up as you are, offer the most value that you can, and remember the word “social” in social media. When you’re putting in the effort to communicate with your audience, they’re going to feel connected with you and that will make keep coming back for more.
Andréa Jones, founder of OnlineDrea agrees and says, “My biggest prediction is that curated content and kind of like the glammed up content is going away…This is great news for business owners, because showing up as you are, without studio lights, cameras, fancy equipment is actually going to build a better connection with the audience.”
6. Look out for more longer-form or series-based content
Helen Polise, founder of HelloSocialize, thinks that TikTok content creators may lean into longer-form content—not necessarily in the length of one video, but in the amount of time it takes to share a complete story the video is part of. That may be spread out over days or weeks, or in an episodic or serial format.
Polise says, “I think potentially gearing towards more episodic, longer format stories where the story keeps evolving every day. I think that might be where the app is headed. If you love a creator enough, you’re gonna go to that page every day and get the updated story.”
And speaking of story, Instagram expert Shannon McKinstrie, says, “I really see less trends, more storytelling. Not that trends are gonna die. That’s not gonna happen ever. But people will start doing more storytelling because they’re finding, they’re not sticking out in trends. Because to stick out in a trend, you still need a really good message behind it. Like, you can’t just do a trend audio and be like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna get all these followers’.”
So what should you do with these social media predictions?
Watch and see.
Honestly, predictions are simply guesses based on having a certain amount of qualified information, or by reviewing past data and making assumptions based on that for what will happen next. And the social media predictions shared here are no different.
For me, I plan on keeping our 2023 social media predictions top of mind, while still approaching social how I always have—it’s a place to meet new people, connect with the ones I know, and share and consume content.
And I want to leave you with one more thing. When Ashleigh Chanél, founder of Make Your Mark Consulting, was on the podcast, her social media prediction was, “Connection over everything is the trend for 2023,” and I couldn’t agree more.
No matter how you approach social media in 2023—heck, even if you don’t use social media for your business—remember that sentiment. If you approach your marketing efforts with the main goal of connecting with your audience, you’ll go far. Very far.
See you in December to find out whether or not these social media predictions actually came true!