3 Social and Digital Media Trends for Higher Ed in 2023

From AI to AR, there is a lot in store for content creators this year.

New year, new trends. One of my favorite January rituals is reading social and digital media industry predictions and trends for the year ahead. From all my readings, the following stand out as having opportunities for higher ed social in the coming year.

New augmented reality creation tools on IG

Instagram is trying to woo creators to its platform and is doing it in part with in-app creative tools that will take content creation to the next level.

“Expect Instagram to add-in new forms of content creation in 2023, including AR and 3D posts, further integration of NFT art, and other new content forms that can be showcased in the app. Expect to see new creation tools, like GIFs generated from Live Photos on IG, and also, the integration of 3D creation tools from its Spark AR platform directly into Instagram itself. Imagine being able to make AR activations direct from the creative tools in the app.” – 32 Predictions for Social Media Marketing in 2023, Social Media Today

Okay, this sounds super cool. Can’t wait to create 3D CAM the Ram 🐏

More posts recommended by AI on Facebook

The “For you” or “Recommended” AI algorithm that fuels TikTok and has been adopted by Instagram and Twitter is coming for Facebook early in 2023.

“Yes, you’re going to see more and more content from Pages and people that you don’t follow infiltrating your Facebook feed. This trend stems from TikTok, which focuses on showing you the best content from all users, as opposed to pushing you to build your own social graph. That enables TikTok to maximize user engagement, because your feed mix isn’t limited to updates from certain profiles that you choose, while it also provides more exposure potential for creators, who are then able to have their posts seen by a lot more people, outside of their own audience.” – 32 Predictions for Social Media Marketing in 2023, Social Media Today

The article cites that, “(Mark) Zuckerberg’s view is that 40% of the content in your main Facebook feed will come from Pages you don’t follow.”

While potentially annoying from a user’s standpoint, there is a good opportunity for brand pages to gain exposure beyond their current audiences. It stands to reason that your top-performing posts will be shown to people outside of your page’s existing fans. A rare glimmer of hope for expanded organic reach and subsequent engagement in the year ahead on Facebook.

Bonus key insight: As noted in the Social Media Today article, Facebook has moved away from promoting external links on its platform because they want more people to spend more time on Facebook. We have experienced this at CSU seeing the organic reach on our link posts tank in the past year. What to do instead of links? Double down on posting albums and experimenting with status updates where you engage your audience through questions. We started integrating status updates in our content strategy and it has been paying off. Check out what happened when we asked our Facebook audience what year and what residence hall they lived in at CSU.

Rise of YouTube Shorts

There is so much potential with YouTube Shorts. The discoverability of branded content through Shorts can’t be matched thanks to YouTube’s massive and active user base.

According to Adweek, views on YouTube Shorts have generated an average of 30B views per day. The appeal of YouTube Shorts is twofold: creators who post on Shorts are able to attract more viewers to their long-form content and grow their number of subscribers.” – 10 Social Media Trends That’ll Be Huge in 2023, Later

Leverage Shorts to attract viewers to long-form content on our YouTube channel and grow subscribers? Yes, please. We intend to develop a workflow in 2023 to create Shorts that highlight campus life and when it makes sense, ties back to long-form videos. There’s just so much potential.

Closing thoughts

The social space never sits still. That’s a blessing and a curse. Between AI activations, ChatGPT, the metaverse, and whatever is happening with Twitter and Elon Musk, there is always something to keep us on our toes. Bring on 2023!