TAMPA ( BLOOM) – Ever wondered what your great-great-grandparents would think of your daily TikTok ritual? Social media has changed the way we interact, shop, and even think—and it’s evolving faster than you can say “double-tap.” With new trends popping up all the time, how do you know what’s worth the follow? Buckle up, because we’re diving into the ever-changing ocean of social media trends in this segment of “Trends in Reel Life.”

The Reign of Short-Form Video

Why Short-Form Content Rules

The era of short-form video is upon us, with TikTok boasting 1.5 billion monthly active users in Q3 2022. Bite-sized content is what people crave. In fact, a staggering 96% of consumers have watched an explainer video to learn about a product or service, and 90% use mobile devices to watch such content.

TikTok vs Instagram Reels

It’s not just TikTok leading the charge; Instagram Reels has also made a huge impact, surpassing all other short-form video platforms in terms of engagement. Research indicates that Instagram Reels clocks in an average of 53 minutes of viewing time per session.

The Vertical Video Phenomenon

One intriguing insight is that vertical videos, like those on Instagram Reels or TikTok, have a 90% higher watch completion rate compared to horizontal ones. So if you’re in the business of video marketing, going vertical could be a game-changer.

Creating Impactful Short-Form Videos

When crafting your short-form videos, remember that it’s not just about being trendy. Two essential things to consider are providing value to your audience and having a clear Call to Action (CTA) to guide viewers through your client funnel.

YouTube: The Evergreen Giant

YouTube’s Resilience

While short-form video takes the spotlight, YouTube continues to be a major player, just a hair behind TikTok with an average daily watch time of 45.6 minutes in 2022. YouTube attracts a broader demographic and offers a platform for long-form content that has longevity.

The SEO Advantage

YouTube’s biggest strength lies in its integration with Google, allowing content creators to drive organic traffic through keyword-optimized videos. It’s not just about the “For You Page” (FYP) algorithm; it’s about creating searchable, evergreen content.

The Surge in Social Commerce

U.S. social commerce is anticipated to skyrocket, hitting a staggering $145.2 billion by 2028. As e-commerce integrates increasingly with social media platforms, it’s crucial to streamline the customer journey for your clients. Aiming for a higher ROI and better user experience, focus on minimizing purchasing frustrations by leveraging native shopping experiences on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

The State of Social Commerce

The concept of buying through social media platforms has been around for some time but saw a considerable boost during the pandemic. Stores with at least one social account boast 32% more sales on average, and 84% of U.S. online buyers consult social media before making a purchase.

The “Shop Now” Revolution

Social media isn’t just about interaction anymore; it’s increasingly becoming a marketplace. Mobile commerce is projected to hit $620.97 billion by 2024, contributing to nearly half of all e-commerce purchases.

Connecting with Gen Z

Platforms like Instagram have become the go-to place for Gen Z to discover new brands. A recent report found that 73% of Gen-Z shoppers in the U.S. want brands to engage with them about new products and promotions through Instagram.

The Importance of Community

Building a community isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential. Branded communities have reported a significant impact on customer retention. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram (Reels) are enhancing community engagement by allowing video responses to comments.

Hyper-Targeted Social Media Ads

In 2023, it’s all about specificity in targeting. Roughly 54% of consumers get annoyed by ads for products they already own. Therefore, it’s vital to focus on retargeting prospects and defining a lookalike audience, all while keeping the client’s budget and current economic conditions in mind.

Trust and LinkedIn

Digital trust is waning, making it crucial for marketers to adapt their LinkedIn strategies. LinkedIn itself has invested $25 million in a Creator Fund. The takeaway? Lessen the links and increase value-driven content.

The Emergence of Social SEO

Platforms like TikTok are now becoming search engines for younger demographics. To capitalize on this, incorporate SEO strategies into your social media planning.

AI in Social Media Content

AI-generated content tools like Chat GPT for copywriting and Synthesia for video creation are making waves. They offer benefits like speed and cost-efficiency but come with pitfalls like lack of authenticity.

The Viral Moment: Memes and Challenges

The Meme Economy

Memes have become a language of their own in the social media sphere, transcending borders and cultures. From viral memes like “Bernie Sanders’ Mittens” to trends like “DogeCoin,” these digital tidbits capture the zeitgeist and often add humor, irony, or social commentary. They can also become incredibly influential in a short period, affecting everything from stock markets to fashion trends.

Challenges That Keep Us Ticking (and TikToking)

Who could forget the “Ice Bucket Challenge” that took social media by storm, all in the name of charity? More recently, we’ve had the “Buss It Challenge,” the “Silhouette Challenge,” or even the “Crate Challenge,” each gaining millions of views and encouraging user participation. While some challenges are purely for entertainment, others serve educational or philanthropic purposes, making them a multifaceted trend to watch.

The Power of Participation

What makes these memes and challenges so popular is the audience’s ability to participate and make them their own. With just a smartphone, anyone can become a part of these trends, allowing for a democratization of fame and influence that was unheard of just a decade ago.

A Double-Edged Sword

While participating in these trends can be fun and engaging, it’s important to exercise caution. Not all challenges are safe or appropriate for everyone, and what starts as a joke can sometimes have real-world consequences. Always think before you meme or challenge!

BeReal: Raw and Authentic Social Media

First on our radar is BeReal, the French sensation that landed in 2020. The app literally nudges you to snap and share photos within a randomly selected two-minute window each day. The goal? Keep it raw, keep it real. Critics are raving about the app’s authentic angle, but some also warn that it could get a tad boring.

In 2022, BeReal skyrocketed with 73.5 million active monthly users, but by 2023, the user base dropped to 33.3 million. It’s still a heavyweight, but it shows that the app may need to spice things up a bit.

Mastodon Social: The Decentralized Darling

Say hello to Mastodon Social—a decentralized social network that gained massive attention in late 2022. You can hop onto various servers based on your interests and strike up some fascinating conversations.

As of November 2022, it boasted 4.5 million accounts, but only one million are active. It’s a dude-heavy platform—almost twice as many male users as female—and Twitter drives a whopping 90% of its website traffic.

Lemon8: ByteDance’s Beautiful Baby

Coming from the house of ByteDance, Lemon8 serves as a cocktail of Instagram and Pinterest. While not new globally, it’s fresh to the U.S. audience. Say goodbye to vertical scrolling and hello to curated photo and video content around fashion, food, beauty, and more.

Since its 2020 debut, the app has been downloaded 17.3 million times globally. In 2023 alone, it racked up 4.1 million new downloads.

Instagram Threads: Your New Public Square

Meta’s latest offering, Threads, is designed to be Instagram’s answer to Twitter. It aims to create a space for self-expression and meaningful conversations. Log in using your existing Instagram account and fine-tune your experience by controlling mentions and replies.

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Threads amassed 30 million users within 24 hours of its launch. Talk about a strong start!

From 15-second videos to virtual shopping sprees, the world of social media is ever-changing—and incredibly exciting! Whether you’re a brand, an influencer, or just someone looking to stay in the loop, these are the trends that are reshaping our digital landscape.