Top 10 Q1 Social Trends  

Published 15/05/2023 / THOUGHTS

How do you reach members of your B2B buying community? The answer increasingly, is social media. 

In this environment, understanding how social media trends could impact your marketing strategy is more important than ever. This blog unpacks the top 10 social trends, updates, and news stories from Q1: from AI to Twitter’s latest troubles. 

All In on AI  

Social media platforms went all in on AI, hoping to copy the success of Open Chat GPT.  

LinkedIn introduced a feature called ‘collaborative articles’, which uses AI-powered prompts to encourage ‘expert’ users to add their input to conversations. Meta announced its own large language model – dubbed LlaMa – and added a new AI targeting system to create more personalised experiences. Instagram’s co-founders, meanwhile, have launched ‘Artifact’ an AI-powered news app. 

The recent addition of Snapchat’s new artificial intelligence shows that social media’s race to incorporate generative AI is only gaining traction. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how the platforms fare.  

B2B Boom  

Q1 saw a continuation of the B2B social media boom of 2022, with companies continuing to use social media platforms to increase brand awareness and engage with customers.  

LinkedIn remains the clear winner for many companies, due to its real-time data sets, and targeted or sponsored content. Gen Z favourite TikTok is growing the fastest. With 82% of business believing consumers are using social media platforms to find brands instead of traditional search engines, it seems this trend will only grow. 

Pay to Play 

Several new subscription models and features on various social media platforms were introduced in Q1, as companies sought to find new ways to increase revenue and reduce reliance on advertising.  

Twitter invested big in its subscription services, globally implementing it’s ‘Twitter Blue’ subscription model, where users can pay a monthly fee of US$8 to be verified. In recent months, the company has also attempted to auction off usernames to boost platform revenue and encourage users to pay for an ad-free version of the app.   

Meanwhile, Meta announced the rollout of a new paid verification service in the US. Paid personal accounts will enjoy better visibility and greater prominence. It’s unclear yet how this might impact metrics and views, but social marketers should monitor how the rollout develops. 

Twitter Trials 

We’re all aware of Twitter’s trial and error approach. Concerns over Musk’s erratic decision making, and the botched relaunch of Twitter Blue, led to a reported 40% drop in the company’s revenue. The social media platform has been alienating users and brands, but it’s worth keeping in mind that in Q1 Twitter remained the top social platform for reporters. It’s still the best digital arena for PRs to make connections, despite the recent Musk-takes.  

Mighty Meta  

The Mighty Meta took advantage of the social chaos. The company is exploring plans for a new social media app, where users will be able to share real-time text updates. The plans come at a time when its biggest platform, Facebook, is struggling to attract a younger audience. It’ll be interesting to see the company’s new developments in Q2, and what it might mean for the future of social media if this app takes off.  

Latest on LinkedIn  

LinkedIn provided new tools to engage with a wider audience and keep up with industry features. The social media platform launched its long-awaited native scheduling tool that allows users to plan posts up to three months in advance, removing the need for third party scheduling tools. Audio events for company pages and the ability to follow other company pages are also new features. We think they will be an instant hit. 

Is The Clock TikToking? 

TikTok is Gen Z’s favourite app – and the fastest growing social media platform. But, with Q1 seeing the CEO in front of the US senate and a possibility of the social media platform being banned in US and Europe, marketers should be readying contingency plans. Though the ban will likely have less impact on B2B companies, the ripple effects may shake up both the social media industry and social media legislation. Brands should make sure they keep up to date with developments. 

Anti-Social Social Media  

Q1 saw the rise of a new trend: social media discussion is moving to messaging. Although social feeds are still solid options for reaching an audience, interaction is now happening in private DMs. In Q2, brands looking to heighten engagement may need to consider new ways of connecting with their audience and measuring it. 

Can’t Get Enough 

Social media usage globally continued to rise in Q1. It’s no surprise; according to data.ai’s State of Mobile 2023 report, we spent a combined 2 trillion hours on the platforms in 2022. And that’s only on Android devices! Now, more than ever, it is essential for brands to assess the best platforms, possibilities, and monetisation potential.   

Top or Flop? 

Social media ended Q1 on a high, remaining the top choice for comms teams. 70% say social media channels are the most effective medium for external comms. And, to stay at the top of their game, 65% of organisations will increase social media measurement and analytics training over the next year. Don’t discount these strategies; keep an eye on social media to keep up with the competition. 

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