2022 Social Media Year in Review (+ 2022 Social Media Predictions!)

We have seen a rise in user-generated content (UGC) and short-form videos over the last year, indicating that these types of tactics are resonating with consumers. As we look ahead to 2023, it will be important for businesses to leverage UGC and create more engaging short-form video content if they want their message to reach users on social media. With the right strategy, businesses can take advantage of consumer trends while connecting authentically with their target audience — enhancing both brand loyalty and sales.

In this post, I’ll dive into each of these areas and detail what I think is to come in 2023. Let’s go!

Social Channels as Search Engines

One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen over the last few years but especially in 2022 is social channels becoming search engines. Some platforms (think Pinterest) have always been search engines at heart.

But other platforms haven’t always been that way.

Over the last year, we’ve seen TikTok become Gen Z’s preferred search engine, in fact. Instagram has been following suit, improving its “explore” page experience.

TikTok’s search feature works extremely well and gives users a seamless experience. As a devout Google-using millennial, I’ve caught myself turning to TikTok for certain searches: best coffee shop in a new city, for example. (And packaged with videos of the actual shop, the coffee itself, the food they serve, and more … ? Yes, please!)

What’s to Come in 2023

I think more and more people will start using social channels as search engines. This will make SEO vital for all social marketing strategies moving forward.

But I don’t think Google is going anywhere anytime soon. With 8.5 billion daily searches on Google, TikTok likely still has a long way to go to win over every devout Googler. I think it could happen — nearly 40% of Gen-Z users turn to TikTok search instead of Google — but probably not in the next year.

User Generated Content

Social media has always been focused on allowing users to connect authentically, whether that’s with other users or businesses. It can be tough for businesses to seem authentic, though, and that’s where user-generated content comes in.

UGC allows creators with little to no following to monetize their content by making personable, natural, and real content for brands. It’s beneficial for brands and businesses, too, because UGC content resonates well with users and likely those brands’ and businesses’ target audiences, too.

What’s to Come in 2023

I think businesses will go all-in more often on UGC and, honestly, reap the benefits. Folks are looking for connection and authenticity when they’re scrolling through social media, and if a business can create that feeling for them, they’re bound to become a customer in the future.

Short Form Video

With the rise of TikTok, along with Instagram and Facebook Reels, it’s no secret that short-form videos perform well. They can keep users engaged and pique their interest in a business’ products or services. As mentioned above, UGC is going to continue to rise in popularity, and I think that goes hand in hand with short-form video content.

Over the last year, we’ve seen TikTok growth continue to skyrocket, a clear indication that users are still interested in short-form video. YouTube Shorts have also performed well over the last year, another indicator of short-form video’s success.

What’s to Come in 2023

As with UGC, I think businesses will put an emphasis on creating short-form videos in the new year. In order to capture users’ attention and relay the business’ message, folks will need to get creative with the content they produce. I think this is a perfect opportunity for businesses to diversify their content by utilizing UGC and creating more short-form videos. (Two birds, one stone!)

Social Commerce

Social media platforms have rolled out several features for e-commerce brands over the years. You can now go through the entire purchase process directly on Instagram, for example. While it requires some setup on the backend for the business, it gives users the opportunity to see something they want, act on impulse, and quickly buy it right there within the app.

What’s to Come in 2023

I think platforms are only going to continue to enhance the buying experience on social in the next year. The goal is to keep users on a specific platform, not drive them to a website* — so it behooves the social platforms to continually improve their shopping experiences.

*Some platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are great for driving traffic to your website. But in general, when we’re thinking about platforms like Instagram and TikTok, the goal is to keep users on the platform.

Goodbye, 2022. Hello, 2023!

With social media constantly evolving, it’s important to be informed and stay ahead of the competition. In 2023, we can expect social media platforms to continue enhancing their shopping experiences, short-form video content will remain popular, and UGC will become increasingly important for brands.

With these three trends on the rise in 2023, businesses should consider how they can use them to create an engaging online presence that resonates with customers.

Ready to take your social media to the next level? Let’s work together in 2023!