Welcome to The Social Smarty Show, your weekly podcast for social media marketing tips, tactics, and practical digital marketing advice. Let's get you taking real action to grow your online audience, build connections and your business. I'm your host, Jodine McIntyre. Think of me as your digital marketing coach, cheerleader and wingwoman all rolled into one. Grab some of my social media marketing known out for free at socialsmarty.co/freebies Now, before we dive in, make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes.
Welcome to episode number 18 of The Social Smarty Show. 2023 is here. Can you believe it? So what does 2023 hold for social media marketing? Well, in this episode I want to share with you my predictions on where I think social media marketing is heading this year, as well as some practical tips on how you can use these predictions, these predicted trends, in your own marketing. Because it's one thing to see the trends coming, it's another thing to actually implement them in your business and jump aboard these changes to social media marketing.
So let's kick off with prediction number one. I think we will see a real shift from data focused marketing to people focused marketing. What the heck do I mean by that? Well, if you run Facebook ads, social media ads, or if you send regular email marketing, you'll probably know that the data we rely on, which we get back about our emails or about our ads, is getting less and less reliable, less accurate. And one of the main issues here is Apple. So Apple really disrupted the data sharing game by no longer allowing us to track Apple users activity by default.
So Apple rolled out this thing called App Tracking Transparency. And basically it means that if you use an iPhone or an iPad, it's much easier to opt out of tracking. And in particular, a data sharing, I don't know, technique, would you call it called IDFA, so identification for advertisers and that's basically that information all about you that gets sent back to the advertisers. Now IDFA is obviously used for tracking, so it tracks the phone or the iPads users across multiple apps for data collection and to track our ad targeting and our effectiveness of our ads. So in particular Facebook ads. So if we were collecting up a custom audience, so I like to call them buckets. So if we created a bucket and we were basing that on how someone moved maybe from an app into our website on their phone, unfortunately that information might not be shared with us because they might have opted out. The other thing is our conversion tracking. So knowing that people have seen our ads and that has resulted in a purchase that is getting harder to track that kind of pathway all the way through to that purchase.
The other thing is actually even interest based audiences are getting smaller. So say for example, I was using an app on my phone that was helping me find local Camp sites. And then on Facebook, we wanted to create an audience full of people interested in camping. If I was no longer sharing that information, if I had turned off that data share, then I wouldn't be included in that interest based audience. So those audiences are getting smaller. Now, the other thing that Apple did, which is a real pain, is they introduced this thing called mail privacy protection. And so what happened with the latest sort of software update or one of the most recent software updates for their operating system on iPhones and iPads is that when you log into your mail app, you ask, do you want to opt into this mail privacy protection? Which sounds really great, doesn't it? I mean, why wouldn't you opt in? And what happens is if that person does opt in, it means that when you get an email, instead of opening in your inbox and all the images loading for the first time, apple actually opens those emails in a proxy server.
And so it basically loads all of those images which sends information back to the person or the software that sent the email to say, yes, this email has been opened, but the person, when it reaches their inbox, might not even open that email. So it means that our open rates are no longer reliable. If you have noticed an increase in your open rates, this is probably why. It's not because suddenly more people are reading your emails. It's because Apple is protecting their privacy and opening those emails in a proxy server. So hopefully that makes sense. But bottom line is it's getting harder and harder for us to get accurate data. And it's Apple's fault to start with. But Google has promised to follow Apple's lead very shortly. There's work already happening there. So we're kind of at the start of a new marketing revolution. Data is getting harder. We're going to have to move back to the old school ways of marketing where we actually focused on people rather than just numbers. So rather than just running a report or looking at the analytics, we might actually have to ask people questions like, how did you hear about us?
I know, crazy, right? Seems so old fashioned, but what does this mean for your business? Well, it's time to start thinking about how you can engage your customers or clients in your marketing process. So this could mean conducting research where you actually talk to your customers or clients. Or you might implement a process to ask a lost customer or client why they didn't do business with you. It could mean if you're selling things online, actually asking people why they didn't go through with the sale. It could mean you get your customers or clients involved in your product or service development. There's lots of different ways you could do that. It might mean that you hold more in person events. You attend trade shows, places where you can actually engage with potential clients and customers. But the key is to have a process for capturing those gold nugget insights instead of just relying on graphs and numbers. Now, just a wee side note here. If you are interested in how marketing has shifted over the decades, I highly recommend a book called Marketing Rebellion by Mark Schaefer. I think I'm saying that right. I'll link to it in my show notes - it's a really good read.
Right onto prediction number two, we are going to see an increase in user generated content, or UGC for social media. So this is the content that your users create, so your clients or your customers create about your products or services. So if you ask my kids what they want to be when they grow up, I'm sure one of them would say a famous YouTuber. Being an influencer seemed to be a really cool career for a while there. But the new career of the moment is a UGC creator, so someone who creates user generated content. And brands are paying big bucks for content that looks like it costs nothing to create. Okay, no, I shouldn't say that. I take it back. Instead, I'll say content that is authentic. Yeah, authentic content. Brands are paying big bucks for content that looks authentic. So how can you add this UGC or user generated content in your business? Well, the obvious one is to ask your customers or clients to tag you in their own content. Now, I have covered this off pretty well, I think, in episode number five of the Social Smarty show. So dive back and have a listen if you haven't already.
But simply asking a client or a customer to talk about your online is actually easier than you would think. Of course you can incentivize it, maybe putting everyone who tags you in a monthly draw or sending them a discount voucher code. But the key is that when you ask the person to talk about your online, you can then ask them. So once they've posted and they've tagged you, you can then ask them if it's possible to share that content to your own social media channels because that becomes UGC. But you do need to ask permission, obviously. Don't just take people's images or their videos without permission. So a quick DM direct message or an email and just get that content from them and then share that in your own social channels. Now, alternatively, obviously you can work with one of those UGC creators if you're happy to pay someone to do it. But don't get confused with an influencer. So the difference here is an influencer has their own audience, so they're going to talk about your business or your brand to influence their followers to do business with you. Whereas a UGC creator, they create the content for you and then they hand it over.
So you use that content in your social media channels, so they don't necessarily have their own audience to promote you to. Now of course there's a possibility of both. So you could work with an influencer who also gives you that content to share as well to your social channels. But generally the two are quite different. So where does one find a UGC creator? So the first place you could look is actually your own audience. You never know who's already following you that could create epic content for you. So why not ask, send out an email or add it to your next newsletter? Or do a social media post saying that you're looking for content creators? You never know who might come out of the woodwork. Now secondly, you can do a search on social media, so TikTok and Instagram will be your best bet. So search the term UGC and look for accounts with UGC creator in their account names. You might want to specifically look for a creator in your own country or that might not be important for you. And thirdly, you can look at websites like Upwork or Fiverr. I did a really quick search for UGC and I found a ton of creators with heaps of examples of their work. So you can find one that really aligns with your own business.
On to prediction number three. Short form video content is not going to go anywhere in 2023. And I'm already seeing a real shift in brands who have maybe in the past spent a ton of money on creating polished commercial video and instead they're creating content literally with a mobile phone and nothing else. And also part of this shift, I'm seeing brands like big brands with big teams who are actually giving their social media manager the opportunity to show up on video. Now, for a one woman band like me, or a small owner operate a business, this is really easy. If we have an idea for a video, we grab our phones and we shoot it. But traditionally for larger brands, this was a lot harder. So now we're seeing the actual team members, like the social media manager, empowered to create content that seems really off the cuff, authentic, shot simply with a mobile phone. So this trend is probably the easiest one for you to jump on and incorporate in your business, which you probably already are. All you need is your mobile phone and a bit of practice, really.
Some quick tips you can purchase an adapter which will make any standard tripod that you've got lying around home or the office compatible with your mobile phone. It's called a Joby GripTight. I'll link to it in the show notes. The other thing is ring lights are really handy, so if you are shooting photo or video indoors, that can be really helpful. Otherwise standing next to a window or a glass door so you have that natural light on you or whatever it is that you're shooting with the ring light. I definitely recommend the 18 inch height so it's nice and tall. Again. I'll link to one in the show notes. And lastly, a wireless microphone. That's really good if you're doing video where you're talking to camera. Now, the one that I use is also linked in the Show Notes. I did start out with a wired microphone with a big three meter long cable, which was a real nuisance. So I moved to the wireless one, which obviously is a bit more expensive, but I use it all the time.
Now, one quick little mention. If the thought of showing your face and talking to camera freaks you out, do not worry. You don't have to create video showing your face. You can do a whole lot of different videos, short form videos where you don't show your face at all. In fact, I have a whole training on creating Instagram Reels without showing your face. So just head over to the website socialsmarty.co/canva-reels i will link to it in the Show Notes, so go and check it out.
Now, my fourth prediction for 2023, I think we're going to see a rise in social media communities. So we have already seen this on Facebook, that Facebook group content seems to be prioritized over other types of content, particularly business page content in our Facebook feeds. And now Instagram have told us that they are launching these things called group profiles, where one profile can be managed or contributed to by a number of people. So that's kind of suggesting that groups, communities are really where things are heading and people are more comfortable sharing in a closed group setting on social media. So it makes sense for us to jump on this trend on this prediction. The algorithm is telling us it's a good thing to do, the platforms are telling us that they're heading this way.
So how can you create a community or a private group for your business? Well, my first piece of advice would be to look wider than just your products or your services. So look at your target audience. What does your target audience have in common? How can you use a common value or an interest to build a group? Let me give you an example. So, say you sell organic baby food. Perhaps you could create a Facebook group for crunchy mums. So mums who lean more towards natural, holistic, organic ways of life. Or maybe you sell camping products. So perhaps you could create a group dedicated to sharing the best camping spots in your country, in your region.
Now, that might seem like a lot of work, adding another group or marketing channel to your load. So what you could do instead is look for existing groups where you could join and share your expertise. Notice I didn't say promote yourself. So the best way to promote yourself inside a community or a group is to become a trusted expert. So less about sales, more about value. Now, some Facebook groups actually have experts within the group who share their knowledge, and Facebook actually has a way of tagging or highlighting those group experts. So that could be an option for you. You could find an existing group, reach out to the admin and offer your valuable knowledge and expert advice. Or maybe you could just join the group and then when people have questions or you have something really useful to share, then you could just get sharing and be part of that group. It's worth giving it some consideration. I think it's definitely sort of the way that things are heading a little bit there.
My very last prediction for 2023 is AI. So I think AI or Artificial intelligence is going to rise in popularity for social media content creation. So AI seems to be the talk of the town at the moment, with Chat GPT the chat bot now available for anyone to jump on and use. I have been having a blast trying it out. I have personally asked Chat GPT to draft blog posts, podcast episodes, captions for social media posts, and the results have been mostly pretty lackluster. But I do think I have a specific brand voice, which is really just my voice and a specific way of explaining things. So it's not surprising that an AI chatbot is not going to sound like me.
But what I have found it really useful for is taking the outline or the core elements of something and shaping them up to be my own. So let me take a step back. So if I was to ask ChatGPT, the chatbot, to draft a blog post for me, I would literally use that as the framework or the outline and then I would rewrite it in my own voice, my own tone, adding my own thoughts. In that way, it's quite useful, but I would never just copy and paste into a blog post for my website. Now, I think we will see social media scheduling tools like Publisher Hootsuite, Buffer, all of those guys jumping on this AI trend or this AI capability to assist with caption writing. Now, they might have already rolled this out as a feature and I missed it, but I think it's going to become more and more common to have an AI integration into their software or their tool that we're already using, and we can use that to assist us with our caption writing. So how can we use this in our business? Well, of course you can jump onto ChatGPT and try out the chatbot yourself, but how would you use this in your business?
Well, really simply use it just how I'm using it. Use it to get your creative juices flowing, to help you with that writer's block. Use it to maybe help summarize your thoughts or add some structure, but do not copy and paste. Not only will it sound nothing like your brand voice and lack emotion and all that human-ness. I'm not sure what to call that, but you could be opening yourself up to a whole can of copyright worms. So there we have it. My five social media marketing predictions for 2023. Let's recap. Number one, a shift from data focused marketing to people focus marketing. We're going old school. Number two, an increase in user generated content, or UGC, for social media content to be shared to brands and businesses social media feeds. Number three is really a continuation from this year's trend. But short form video is going to remain the best performing social media content. Number four, we'll see social media communities rise in popularity. And number five, we are going to see artificial intelligence used more and more to help us with our content creation. Now, I can't wait to revisit this episode at the end of 2023 to see how my predictions fared.
But if you want to let me know your thoughts do you think that they're on the money? Do you think I'm way off the mark? Come and find me over on social media. You'll find me everywhere. Social, smarty, co I'd love to hear from you. And as always, make sure you're subscribed wherever you're listening to this podcast right now. And if you have a minute to leave me a review or a rating, that would be amazing. And if you want to share this episode with a business buddy, if you think they might be interested in the future of social media marketing as I see it, that would be amazing. Stay social and I'll see you here next week for episode number 19.