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Social Media Trends for 2023: How Small Businesses Can Land Customers

If you love analogies then you will surely fall hook, line, and sinker for the similarities between fishing and marketing.

“In marketing, like fishing, we have to figure out what type of fish we want to attract, understand where they are swimming, and then use the right approach to catch them,” wrote Business2Community senior news editor James Spillane.

Of course, unless your small business is based on a commercial fishing trawler, the “fish” we are talking about here are customers or clients.

Finding the Fish in the Expanding Marketing Sea

Simply saying “there are plenty of fish in the sea” doesn’t help your bottom line if your marketing efforts don’t land new leads.

“With fishing, the very first thing we think about is where the fish are and where a good fishing spot may be. This is the same with marketing: where is our target market? Which social media platforms do they usually use? What events do they usually attend? Answers to questions like these will determine how you strategize your marketing reach,” explains Australian business coach Rueben Taylor, in a video shot as he strolls near his favorite fishing hole.

Today’s “marketing sea” is bigger than ever with 4.2 billion active social media users.

“That’s almost twice as many as there were just five years ago, in 2017. Those users spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social channels every single day,” says Hootsuite. “What’s more, social media isn’t just for big businesses anymore. In fact, 71 percent of small-to-mid-sized businesses use social media to market themselves, and 52 percent post once a day. If you want to compete, you need to get online.”

Why the Fish Simply Just Don’t Jump into Your Boat

So, it’s as easy as grabbing a pole, dropping a line, and the fish simply jump into your boat?

“Every business owner knows how difficult it can be to attract new customers. You can spend hours crafting the perfect product and designing an eye-catching website, but if no one knows you exist, it’s all for nothing,” says Hootsuite.

This is where inbound marketing, especially social media, can help your business attract and lure potential customers and clients.

“Social media has leveled the playing field, giving small businesses a way to compete with larger companies for attention. By using social media platforms to create content that is interesting and engaging, you can reach a wider audience and encourage them to purchase from your brand,” says Hootsuite.

When it comes to reeling in new customers in 2023 here are three social media trends to keep an eye on:

1) Your Business Does Not Need to Be on Every Social Platform

Even those passionate about fishing do not have the time, resources, or inclination to be proficient at all types of fishing.

The same can be true for social media, which houses a broad variety of platforms, and your business should not make the mistake of trying to be on every single social media platform.

“It’s more important and more helpful to your small business if you optimize the time you spend on social media and focus on creating high-quality content for a few key channels. If you try to maintain an active presence on every single network, you will likely spread yourself thin trying to keep up with the many social media channels out there,” writes Cori Widen, Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks.

Wait, you say, every marketing person I talked to in the last 18 months sounds like the crocodile in Peter Pan … TikTok! TikTok!

Yes, TikTok, with more than one billion users, has certainly made a marketing splash bigger than a shark named Bruce in “Jaws”, but like any social media channel or platform, its relevance is only important to your business if it is important to your customers.

2) Go Where the Fish are Biting: Choosing Where to Market

When it comes to fishing, you can go days without any luck and then hit the right spot and the fishing will seem easy.

For social media marketing in 2023, one of the keys is to “go where the fish are biting” and that will require you to focus your efforts on a maximum of three social platforms targeted.

“When it comes to social media, it’s important to focus on quality and results over quantity. Instead of trying to do a little bit of everything, we recommend being active and posting great content on 1-3 social media channels,” explains Widen.

Your business does not have unlimited marketing resources and each separate social channel takes time and effort with creating and scheduling content and then analyzing the results.

“If you have limited time, resources, or bandwidth, you need to focus on the platform that’s best suited for your brand—the one most likely to connect you with the people you want to engage with,” writes Jay Leonard in Business2Community, who recommends starting with one social platform to focus marketing efforts.

To determine where your fish will most likely be biting, Leonard says to answer the following questions, which will lead you to the platforms best suited for your marketing gameplan:

  • What are the goals for the marketing campaign?

  • What is your product and/or services?

  • What is your comfort level with specific social platforms?

  • How much time and resources can your business dedicate to this marketing?

  • What content can you create in-house, or can you easily hire out for?

3) There is More Than One Way to Bait a Hook

One of the mistakes to avoid in 2023 is thinking that any content you produce can go on every social platform.

You need to understand the type of content that is popular on specific platforms.

It’s a bit like understanding what bait to use depending on where you are fishing. What catches a catfish on a serene Texas lake will not be the same thing you put on your hook when casting off a deep sea charter out of Galveston.

“Your audience is not the same across all the channels. Some platforms favor media over text, others are more receptive to infographics. It’s strategic to tailor your content to your audience to maximize what you have,” says Sprout Social.

Let’s look at the trending social media platforms and content to use on them to lure new customers:

  • TikTok: HubSpot says that leaked TikTok data shows the average user spends an eye-straining 89 minutes per day on the platform. Videos of many types can be posted on TikTok from day-to-day routines to employee spotlights to educational videos to unique stories about your brand to Q&As. Authenticity and value are concepts to keep in mind on TikTok content.

  • Instagram: High-resolution photos have always been the calling card of Instagram, but videos produced as stories or reels are making a bid to capture the TikTok generation. You can post text graphics, inspirational messages, memes and even screenshots of Tweets but the goal is visual-first.

  • Facebook: While a lot of small businesses focus advertising dollars on Facebook, the platform can be good for short videos, blog posts, and other curated content.

  • Twitter: It can be argued that Twitter has become the modern-day newspaper where many go to get their news each day. Here, blog posts and articles are key. Links work well on Twitter and can lead potential customers to consume your longer-form content.

  • LinkedIn: We joke sometimes that LinkedIn is the grownup in the social media sandbox, so it figures that the best type of content here is professional content and company news-related posts.

  • Pinterest: Images for Pinterest are not of the Instagram high-resolution caliber. On this site, Infographics, step-by-step photo guides, and GIFs are popular.

  • YouTube: Some claim that YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world, behind only parent Google. Obviously, high-quality videos that are informative, educational, or entertaining are the play on this site.

When you find content that hooks your customer's attention, then you can narrow your focus and increase your chances of landing new customers in 2023.