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Digital Marketing 10 min read

Digital Marketing Trends in 2023: Social Media

Sarah Harris photo

Written by Sarah Harris

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 23 Nov 2022

There are some 4.7 billion social media users across the globe. That alone is enough reason to pay close attention to emerging social media marketing trends.

These days, it’s virtually impossible to find any brands that don’t have at least some online presence. Unfortunately, as ubiquitous as social media marketing is, it’s also rare to find brands that use their social media presence to their full potential. Often, that’s because there’s been a failure to do one crucial thing: put a human face on their brand.

Why Is Personification So Important for Social Media Marketing?

Social media was created to facilitate interactions and relationships between people. Marketers who want to use social media to engage audiences must therefore adapt to users’ expectations while also working to achieve their business goals.

When was the last time you opened up your favorite social media app in hopes that somebody would try to sell you something? Nonetheless, there’s a good chance that you’re among the 34% of people who follow a brand on social media

If you do, you likely hit “follow” because you find something personable and engaging in their posts — in other words, you get something out of the relationship, be it education, entertainment, or something else.

For further proof, consider some of the most popular brands on social media. Wendy’s, Moon Pie, Denny’s, and other companies have succeeded in personifying their brands online. They aren’t just trying to sell products. They’re attempting to connect with followers through distinctly human personalities and attitudes.

How to Humanize Your Brand on Social Media

Here are some things you can do to give your brand a more human face on social media:

  • Write in plain language and avoid jargon
  • Use emojis to highlight text (but not to completely replace it)
  • Stay on top of current events and address them on social media
  • Share and create funny or entertaining content, including memes
  • Provide a unique take on everything you share
  • Write and interact in your own unique brand voice to build familiarity
  • Post content that gives your audience a behind-the-scenes look
  • Tell brand-relevant stories
  • Share photos of your team members to personalize your staff
  • Be more inclusive by using words like “we” and “you”

The continuing trend toward brand humanization will undoubtedly have a ripple effect on the ways companies go about establishing their presence on social media.

Social Messaging in 2023

According to Zendesk, more than 70% of consumers expect interactions with brands to be conversational every single time.

Is there a better platform for that kind of communication than social media? Of course not. But establishing a personal connection requires more effort than simply including contact information on your Insta or WhatsApp.

People don’t make some kind of conscious mental shift when engaging with a brand on social media as opposed to another person. They want to be able to converse with businesses just like they do human beings. This translates into an expectation of fast, meaningful, and personalized responses, similar to how they interact with friends.

How Do You Improve Your Social Media Messaging for 2023?

Focus on responsiveness. To make this easier, Meta allows you to set up automated responses to messages.

Also, be present. Checking in on your social media accounts once or twice a day may no longer be enough. Social media isn’t just a marketing platform anymore. It’s now a full-fledged customer service channel.

User-Generated Content

It’s easy to see why some brands focus on social media visuals that are professionally produced, polished, and seemingly perfect. Naturally, they want target customers to see their products at their best.

These sorts of visuals are aspirational, but they aren’t always very authentic.

In 2023, being real is going to make a comeback. What’s the best source of authentic content? That would be user-generated content (UGC), without a doubt.

By embracing user-generated content, you can tap into a potentially endless source of content and marketing ideas, which is ideal for creating more engagement, building community, and becoming more relatable to your audience.

How to Leverage UGC in 2023

It isn’t that difficult to get UGC for your social media feeds. Most people enjoy sharing content and telling stories in their own voices. That said, some incentive is always helpful.

One thing you can do is offer followers rewards for tagging your company when they post pictures of your products. You can also create branded hashtags specifically for this purpose. 

User-generated video is particularly powerful. Encourage users to share unboxing videos and video reviews, and don’t forget about traditional reviews and even branded search queries. These are also UGC, and as such, you can use them to build up your social media presence.

Employees as Brand Advocates

UGC is effective because it’s ultimately evidence that real humans have tried your products and enjoy them enough to share their experiences with others.

People trust that kind of endorsement, which is why employee brand advocacy is a powerful tool for promotion and humanization. Employees who serve as brand advocates tend to feel more engaged and loyal to their employees.

Nothing your company has to say about itself and its products or services will ever be as credible as what actual people say. The truth is that people trust other people, particularly those they know, over brands. And your employees are people too.

You can also use employee advocacy to increase your reach. Your team members may have friends and family in their networks who may not have interacted with your brand.

The fact that you can motivate your employees to advocate for your brand also indicates that you’ve built a healthy company culture. People will notice that, which can have the bonus effect of elevating brand perception. 

Like the idea of employee advocacy? Check out this helpful guide from HootSuite to get started!

Content Repurposing

To create a humanized presence on social media, you must post plenty of relevant content that fits the platform you’re using. After all, isn’t that what other users do? 

Still, using even just a few social media channels can be overwhelming. In 2023, brands will find a workaround that isn’t quite so time-consuming. That workaround is repurposing content.

What does it mean to repurpose content? Essentially, it’s taking a single content piece and finding ways to “stretch” or divide it up so it can be used across multiple social channels.

Imagine writing a single blog post and then using that as content fodder for multiple social media feeds. Sounds pretty convenient, no? Luckily, there are tools for optimizing this process.

Humanization and the Influencer Economy

Here’s an expert opinion that succinctly describes what the social media personification trend means and where influencers fit into the puzzle:

“The shift toward social media personification isn’t new per se, but the creator economy massively accelerated it. With 50 million people identifying themselves as creators, brands now seem to be presented with two options: compete with them or make use of them.

The best solution would be to combine both — humanize your brand from within and employ influencer resources.

Longer-term partnerships will be crucially important to establish proper connection with the influencer’s audience. Showing a celebrity holding your product once may no longer be the best strategy — users will want to see proof of their role models actually integrating the product into their lives.

While the creator’s market is saturated and the bubble may burst in the event of a recession, social media platforms seem to encourage individual content creation by adding new tools and monetization options. This will open up more opportunities for brands in terms of choosing the right influencer with the right audience.” 

– Dallin Porter, Marketing Director at Galactic Fed.

How to Integrate Influencers in 2023

In 2023, the most attractive influencers may not be the ones with millions of followers and celebrity appeal. Instead, many brands will turn to macro, micro, and nano influencers. 

These individuals might have smaller audience counts, but they’re often more intimately connected with their followers. When they share photos or videos of themselves using products on a daily basis, they’re perceived as being more authentic. What better way to humanize a brand than to use a living, breathing human being as a representative?

Brand Humanization Caveats

It’s clear enough that in the near future, humanization will be the key focus of brands that want to maximize their impact on social media. But there’s still the potential for these efforts to backfire.

The human face you create for your brand must make sense — it should fit your branding and be relatable to your audience. The goal here is authenticity. You won’t achieve that goal if your company’s social media presence feels like it’s wearing a costume.

If you’re ready to learn more about using social media for audience engagement and brand amplification, Galactic Fed can help. Start by taking a closer look at our case studies, then reach out to our team to discuss your specific social media marketing goals.

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Sarah Harris photo

Sarah Harris

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed