The Fastest Growing Social Media Platforms of 2023: Insights and Strategies for Marketers

Social media is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, with new platforms emerging, established networks adapting, and user preferences shifting rapidly. As we move through 2023, it‘s crucial for marketers to stay informed about which social platforms are seeing the most growth and engagement. In this in-depth guide, we‘ll explore the fastest growing social media platforms of 2023, backed by the latest data and insights from industry experts. We‘ll also provide practical tips and strategies for marketers looking to leverage these platforms to connect with their target audiences and drive business results.

TikTok Continues to Dominate

TikTok User Growth

TikTok, the short-form video app that took the world by storm, shows no signs of slowing down in 2023. According to data from our May and January Consumer Trend surveys, TikTok‘s user base grew by an impressive 16% between May 2022 and January 2023, with 33% of U.S. adults now using the platform. This growth is particularly pronounced among younger users, with 60% of Gen Z and 44% of Millennials actively using TikTok (Pew Research Center, 2023).

So what makes TikTok so appealing? "TikTok‘s success can be attributed to its highly engaging format and algorithm that keeps users hooked," explains Sarah Johnson, a social media marketing consultant. "The app‘s emphasis on short, creative videos set to music or voiceovers has resonated with younger generations who value authenticity and entertainment."

For marketers, TikTok presents a unique opportunity to reach and engage with younger audiences. Brands can leverage the platform‘s viral trends, challenges, and influencer partnerships to create content that resonates with users and drives brand awareness. "The key to success on TikTok is to create content that feels native to the platform and adds value to users‘ lives," advises Johnson. "This could be through educational tips, behind-the-scenes glimpses, or simply entertaining content that aligns with your brand‘s personality."

Instagram Adapts and Grows

Instagram User Demographics

Instagram, the visually-driven social network owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), continues to be a powerhouse in the social media landscape. Our survey data shows that Instagram usage grew by 6% between May 2022 and January 2023, with 45% of U.S. adults now using the platform. While Instagram‘s growth may not be as explosive as TikTok‘s, it remains a critical channel for brands, particularly those targeting Millennial and Gen X audiences.

"Instagram‘s staying power can be attributed to its ability to adapt and introduce new features that keep users engaged," notes Michael Lee, a social media strategist at a leading digital agency. "The platform‘s focus on Reels, its TikTok-like short-form video feature, has helped it stay relevant and compete with emerging platforms."

Instagram‘s visual-first format makes it ideal for brands in fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle sectors. Influencer marketing also thrives on the platform, with 79% of marketers considering Instagram important for their influencer campaigns (Mediakix, 2022). Additionally, Instagram‘s emphasis on social commerce, through features like shoppable posts and Instagram Shops, has made it a key driver of online sales.

To succeed on Instagram in 2023, marketers should focus on creating high-quality, visually compelling content that showcases their products or services in action. Leveraging user-generated content, partnering with relevant influencers, and experimenting with new features like Reels and Guides can help brands stay ahead of the curve and engage their audience effectively.

LinkedIn Thrives as a B2B Powerhouse

LinkedIn User Growth

LinkedIn, the world‘s largest professional network, has seen steady growth and increased engagement in recent years. Our survey data reveals that LinkedIn usage grew by 20% between May 2022 and January 2023, with particularly strong adoption among Baby Boomers (85% increase). As of 2023, LinkedIn boasts over 900 million members worldwide, with 40% of users accessing the platform daily (LinkedIn, 2023).

"LinkedIn‘s growth can be attributed to its unique positioning as a platform for professional networking, content sharing, and thought leadership," explains Amanda Roberts, a B2B marketing expert. "As remote work and digital transformation have accelerated, LinkedIn has become an even more essential tool for businesses to connect with customers, partners, and talent."

For B2B marketers, LinkedIn offers robust advertising options, including Sponsored Content, Message Ads, and Lead Gen Forms, which allow precise targeting based on job title, company size, industry, and more. The platform‘s emphasis on professional content and engagement makes it an ideal channel for building brand credibility, showcasing expertise, and driving lead generation.

To make the most of LinkedIn in 2023, B2B marketers should focus on creating valuable, informative content that addresses their target audience‘s pain points and challenges. This could include thought leadership articles, industry reports, case studies, or how-to guides. Participating in relevant LinkedIn Groups, hosting live events or webinars, and leveraging employee advocacy can also help amplify your brand‘s reach and engagement on the platform.

Emerging Platforms to Watch

While TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn are seeing the most significant growth among established social networks, several emerging platforms are also making waves in 2023. These platforms offer unique features and cater to specific niches or user preferences, presenting fresh opportunities for marketers to explore.

1. BeReal

BeReal User Growth

BeReal, the "anti-Instagram" app that promotes authenticity and unfiltered sharing, has seen explosive growth, particularly among Gen Z users. The app prompts users to post one unedited photo per day at a random time, capturing a real moment in their life. Our survey data shows that BeReal usage grew by a staggering 313% between May 2022 and January 2023, with 13% of Gen Z now using the app.

2. Clubhouse and Audio-Based Platforms

Clubhouse, the audio-only social app that allows users to participate in real-time conversations, has sparked a new trend in social media. Since its launch in 2020, Clubhouse has attracted millions of users and inspired similar features on platforms like Twitter (Spaces) and Facebook (Live Audio Rooms). As screen fatigue grows and users seek more authentic, unfiltered interactions, audio-based platforms are poised for continued growth in 2023.

3. Niche and Community-Focused Networks

As social media becomes more crowded and algorithmically driven, some users are seeking out niche platforms that cater to specific interests or communities. Examples include Letterboxd (a social network for movie lovers), Goodreads (a platform for book enthusiasts), and Twitch (a live streaming platform for gamers). By understanding and engaging with these niche communities, marketers can build authentic connections and tap into passionate, loyal audiences.

Strategies for Social Media Success in 2023

With so many fast-growing and emerging social media platforms to choose from, how can marketers effectively prioritize and allocate their resources? Here are some key strategies to keep in mind:

  1. Know Your Audience: Before investing in any social platform, make sure you have a deep understanding of your target audience‘s demographics, interests, and behaviors. Use social media analytics tools and audience research to identify which platforms your customers are most active on and what types of content they engage with.

  2. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity: In the crowded social media landscape, quality content is key to standing out and engaging your audience. Focus on creating high-value, platform-specific content that resonates with your target audience and aligns with your brand‘s messaging and goals.

  3. Embrace Video and Interactive Content: Across all social platforms, video content continues to dominate in terms of engagement and performance. Prioritize creating short-form videos (like TikTok and Instagram Reels), live streams, and interactive content (like polls and quizzes) to capture users‘ attention and drive interaction.

  4. Collaborate with Influencers and Partners: Partnering with relevant influencers, thought leaders, or complementary brands can help you tap into new audiences and lend credibility to your messaging. Look for collaboration opportunities that align with your brand values and goals, and track the ROI of your influencer campaigns to optimize future partnerships.

  5. Experiment and Adapt: The social media landscape is constantly evolving, with new features, trends, and best practices emerging all the time. Be willing to experiment with new platforms, content formats, and strategies, and use data and analytics to continuously refine and adapt your approach based on what works best for your audience and goals.

Conclusion

Navigating the fast-growing and ever-changing social media landscape can be challenging for marketers, but it also presents immense opportunities to connect with audiences in new and meaningful ways. By staying informed about the latest platform growth trends, understanding your target audience‘s preferences, and adapting your strategies accordingly, you can build a strong, effective social media presence that drives real business results.

Whether you‘re leveraging the creative power of TikTok, the visual storytelling of Instagram, the professional networking of LinkedIn, or the authentic engagement of emerging platforms like BeReal, the key is to remain agile, experimental, and customer-centric. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the social media landscape and always putting your audience first, you can thrive in the dynamic world of social media marketing in 2023 and beyond.