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Snack content, situational marketing and authenticity: SMM trends for business

Digital Marketing
March 31, 2023
13 min

A few months ago, we dived deep into digital marketing trends for 2023. Now we would like to explore the world of social media marketing and highlight what’s trending across the globe and in Ukraine.

Here are top insights, tendencies, and trends from Brand & Content at Promodo.

The fruit of the social networking era

The emergence of social media networks has fundamentally shaped our communication and interaction patterns in private, public, and professional domains.

For the first time in living history, social media networks enabled group communication and interaction. 

Owing to the continuous development of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, social media have turned into a powerful means used by businesses to directly communicate and get in touch with leads and customers. This is how companies are generating sales.

Social media networks prioritized by businesses in 2023

Let’s ask Hannah, an SMM expert at Promodo. 

Hannah is aware that businesses need social media networks, though many fail to benefit from it. Let’s play the numbers game a bit.  

  • More than 4,74 b. people use social media networks worldwide.
  • The number of social media users increased by 4.7 in 2022.
  • 75 % of the world's population 13+ are using social media networks.

Some 59,3% of the world population regularly use social media networks. However, this number is not enough to understand why companies need social media networks most. The answer necessitates exploring individual corporate profiles, targeted audiences, and strategic goals.

‍For example, a company selling goods to aged people may do well without relying on social media networks. The same is true about a company selling apparel to teens. Niche-specific businesses will not use social media networks to the same extent as those that target wider audiences, and vice versa.

Hannah is well aware that strategic business goals are decisive in whether a company should rely on social media networking. Once a company needs to boost its brand awareness, create a community or drive more traffic to its site, social media will come as a win-win solution.

‍While social media networks are integral to business performance, here are major reasons why most companies will need them in 2023 and beyond:

  • Enhanced brand awareness. 
  • More sales.
  • Higher engagement and wider communication with customers.
  • Advanced competitiveness

Being a powerful means of business performance, social media networks still are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every brand should critically measure its unique conditions to invest time and resources in the most efficient manner. 

The Most Popular Social Media Networks

Largest Social media networks
Source: Statista

There are some 2,9 b. unique Facebook users. As for unique conditions, every business should prioritize its best-fit social media networks.

Telegram’s on hype

After 24 Feb. 2022, social media users most needed a temporary news feed with a precise chronology to track all the updates and be afore of breaking news. Among social media networks, Telegram became the only platform where users shared news every 2-3 minutes. There is no other social media network that would score the same frequency. 

From January to February 2022, the app scored 506k unique downloads. From the end of February to mid-March this number grew up to 1 m. which marked a stunning  88% growth compared to the same period in 2021.

Twitter’s coming back

On average, users spend more than 5 hours a month on Twitter to follow the highlights. 87% of Twitter audience additionally use Instagram. Adults spend about 31 minutes a day on Twitter, while experts project a slight slump by 5,1% in 2024.

Just as Telegram, Twitter gained popularity unseen before Feb. 24. The major preconditions involved censorship across Meta platforms regarding the Russian intervention in Ukraine and permanent blackouts after mass attacks on the country’s energetic infrastructure. 

In case of electricity cut-offs and poor mobile connection, users rely on Twitter rather than EDGE, Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook. Short text format is what makes the platform convenient and efficient under critical circumstances. OLEXANDR ZUBAREV, Head of SMM at Promodo.
Recent blackouts have considerably shaped content use and behavioral patterns across social media networks. ANNA YANBORYSOVA, Content Maker at Promodo.

Here are three major content-making points to be considered by the Ukrainian brands:

1) Automize Communication

To communicate immediately, rely on the channels that need minimum quality of mobile internet: Twitter, and mailings through messengers and sms.

2) Texts And Static Visuals

While textual content is static, you may fail to download pictures, videos, or animations. That is why, the textual content is hyping.  

For example, the case of Rozetka received requests to post static banners instead of GIFs while users wanted to read posts, though could not download them due to continuous blackouts. ANNA YANBORYSOVA, Content Maker at Promodo.

3) Twitter

The growth of the Ukrainian user segment on Twitter showed unprecedented activity across the platform by contrast to individual business accounts. Compared to 5 percent of organic users on Facebook, Twitter marked 100% of organic outreach.

Further is our case where organic engagement showed 100% efficiency.

How an account with 19k subscribers engaged 1m users

There are about 510k users from Ukraine on Twitter. A single tweet was enough for our  Brand & Content team to embrace a whole segment of the Ukrainian audience on Twitter and make highlights across national media, government accounts, and social media networks.

‍Furthermore, the tweets by Rozetka organically reached 150 000 Twitter users and made highlights across global media. 

‍Rozetka generated situational content to benefit from the initial highlights of the conflict in Crimea. In 2014, the nationwide news highlighted concerns about the situation while people believed that Crimea would soon revive as an integral part of Ukraine. 

We somewhat affirmed the message. By having tagged other local brands, we managed to boost mass flash mob. The companies followed suit and reserved the area nearby Swallow’s Nest. The effect went viral across the domestic business environment. ANNA YANBORYSOVA, Content Maker at Promodo.

The content got popular among the Ukrainian media, politicians, official accounts of the political establishment, and the national police.

As a result, we made a staggering 1 m. impressions with a positive and patriotic drive on a business account with mere 19 K. subscribers. Beyond the client’s satisfaction and vast resonance, we turned flash mobs into a popular trend among Ukrainian businesses on Twitter.

As a major takeaway, our Brand & Content team benefited from an actual event to produce situational content. The success story went viral and helped us launch a new trend for local businesses - to use flash mobs as a feasible means of engagement with the audiences on Twitter.

‍The case study entails a few tendencies.

Why Situational Marketing

While content marketing trends best reflect current realms, the ongoing war in Ukraine affects the patterns of content use and the developments across social media networks. As a result, communication patterns are shifting.

For instance, in 2020, situational humor was not as popular as before. What were the situational trends: Black Friday, or St. Valentine’s Day?

As for now, we are the only ones who fully sense the current context. The constructs of humor and horror have both changed just as our senses and reactions to situational trends. Local brands are doing their utmost to remain with people by making communications transparent, honest, and open-minded. SMM cannot develop in isolation while it is all about people and what they like most. Whenever you want to know if something will work for you, you should listen to people first. It has become easier to generate content while we are bound by shared values. OLEXANDR ZUBAREV, Head of SMM at Promodo.

Brands united in social media networking

The lasting war has united people and brands alike. Expressing one’s tribute to Ukrzaliznytsia or Nova Poshta is beyond promotions. The trend is about loyalty to colleagues and partners. Brands are getting brave, and therefore the winners strategically pursue witty communications. 

Alexander Zubarev, Head of SMM at Promodo, claims that the brands that are planning in the long-term perspective should focus on sales platforms with high revenue capacity. Hence, companies should prioritize Facebook and Instagram and invest in paid promotions across these social media networks.

Let’s explore the trends in content formats that will be most effective for promotions.

Snack content, live video, and AI

While trends are ever-changing across industries and niches, you’d better not put all your eggs in one basket! Rather than copying others, we suggest relying on the trends as feasible landmarks.

‍Let’s view the top trends in content formats that will be most effective for promotions in 2023.

  • ‍Snack-content
  • A boom in the creator economy
  • AI and copywriters
  • Authenticity.

The shorter, the better

According to Content Benchmarks Report (2023), more than 50% of marketers consider video content as the most valuable content type, while 25% acknowledge that live videos have proven most effective in reaching goals across social media networks. 57% of Zoomers and 42% of Millennials pinpoint short videos (shorts) as the most preferred format to explore new products and their features.

The Most Popular Content Types

Popular Content Types
Source: Statista

While shorts feature the highest return on investment (ROI), they will be the most trending in 2023. 

Hootsuite recommends not to exceed one-minute videos on Facebook and Instagram, while video ads should last between 15-60 seconds.

Optimization is decisive for organic search. You should first test all your video content for its organic outreach capacity, and then invest in the most effective ones. 

Shorts have made a mainstream global trend and will continue trending. It is worth noting that the end consumers of snack content are people, not the brands. It is highly unlikely that someone would view a retailer’s 60-second video. Users, though, will watch and share TikTok shorts with an influencer.  ANNA YANBORYSOVA, Content Maker at Promodo.

As TikTok is gaining popularity and shaping content perceptions. Even if you do not use the platform, TikTok shorts are still following you in Reels and setting the trends across social media networks. In 2022, TikTok became the most downloadable app.

Paid promotions in TikTok are still unavailable in Ukraine. This means that instead of brand focus, you have to emphasize highly resonating content with your target audiences. The only chance for wider outreach is getting into recommendations across the platforms. Anna says that  huge players like Monobank and DniproM have realized and accepted content strategies like: “We call Tik Tokers to do their very best just like our brand does.” Overall, the approach has proven effective in driving wider engagements across the platform. ANNA YANBORYSOVA, Content Maker at Promodo.

Creator economy’s booming

While digital marketing tends to make short video content and involves influencers to promote brands, the creator economy is now on hype. Herewith, brands are rivaling to engage and retain the best content craters across social media networks.

The reason for rising competition is in an overall strive for generating more quality content and following trends. However, the pursuit is rather challenging for most companies. By partnering with content creators, brands stand a high chance to win the trust and engage with their targeted audiences.

Research by Adobe (August 2022) claims a raising number of content creators up to an astonishing 303 m. worldwide. The overwhelming majority have integrated into the creator economy since 2020. Most creators aim higher than merely serving as influencers.

‍This is why brands should focus on authors to enhance their marketing strategies. 

In 2023, social media platforms favor collaborations between brands and authors. In particular, YouTube recently announced that brands would be able to monetize shorts, while authors may count on a considerable share of the pie.  Assumingly, TikTok is about to change its monetization strategy and open a world of opportunity for the authors.

‍As for now, however, most creators rely on brand sponsorship as their major source of income. Most likely, we will soon witness a major shift from traditional advertising toward wider collaborations and creativity. Here’s why marketers are living through momentum to reconsider their partnerships with authors and make sure they are not overloading their target audiences with sponsored content.

AI & Copywriters

In 2023 and beyond, AI will play a far more considerable part in content creation. Emerging AI solutions like ChatGPT,, DALL-E, Midjourney, and the most recent Google’s Bard are all cutting-edge technologies that will facilitate content marketers, copywriters, and SMM experts to cope with their routine tasks.

For instance, ChatGPT will benefit SEO experts, though there is no AI capable of writing a blog post without a need for further proofreading.

Authenticity is the key

While social media networks are domineering, it is important to save one’s authenticity. Consumers are getting tired of watching untrue-to-life and overpolished posts and striving for genuine openness. They seek content that resonates with their lifestyles and experiences and makes them feel connected.

Social media platforms like TikTok and BeReal are ahead of the pack. These best prove users’ interest in unfiltered content and real-to-life personalities. The tendency gradually substitutes traditional content from Instagram as well as other platforms.

The days of photoshopped content up to the last pixel are gone. The tendency towards authenticity across social networks requires live and true content. People are searching for authenticity and refuting overtly polished images that distort reality. That is why the brands that resist the tendency are lacking behind. This is to prove that consumers mostly value filter-free content pieces that best resemble their lifetime experiences. A shift towards authenticity is nothing new whatsoever, take a look at Pirelli calendars or Victoria’s Secret models. It is now high time brands prioritized well-resonating content with people’s inclinations toward authenticity. OLEXANDR ZUBAREV, Head of SMM at Promodo.

Beauty is a social construct generated by the capitalist system to make you see unexisting flaws and make you buy things you don’t need.

Even the US Top 4 players, Google and Amazon, bet on imperfect and unprofessional content for it is far more plausible. However, it is vital to maintain a balance here between quality and poor content. Your product should be catchy, while your content should be clear.

Facilitation matters

Quality facilitation across social media networks is what’s most trending. Customers anticipate brands communicate with them as humans by pursuing personified approaches. 

A recent poll by Microsoft Global State of Customer Service indicated that 54% of customers prefer companies that immediately respond to requests on social media networks. People mostly search for a brand’s social media presence, not for the fun of it, but to get more information about the service or to complain about unsatisfactory engagement experiences. Therefore, the more human you are in your comments and suggestions to solve people’s problems, the more trust you’ll win among your audience.

A brand’s facilitation across social media networks should adhere to customer anticipations and values.

Visual trends

There are about 15 prevailing social media trends for 2023 from lead designers. We have spotted the ones that would best resonate with the current situation in Ukraine and the latest digital marketing developments. 

Photo storytelling

Stock images will almost disappear across social media networks. Stock classics will be soon replaced with design-related photo content, as well as more live photos bringing artistic value and stories like the ones we have made for Krauff.

Visual storytelling will be trending in 2023. The human brain is capable of recognizing images as soon as 13 milliseconds, which is far less than the time we would need to recognize and interpret verbal communication.

Our brain uses 30% for visual processing, 8% for sensory processing, and a mere 3% for audio processing. 

Major Perks of Visual  Storytelling:

  • ‍Visual stories maintain attention, which increases the reader’s time on the page and increases one’s engagement with supplementary content. 
  • Visual stories perfectly match social media sharing. They have also proven as an invaluable tool for content teams and their strategies.
  • The brands also invest in wider resources to create visually catching and impressive content that would resonate with their target audiences on an in-depth level. 

Expressive minimalism and flat design

Flat design is permanently trending, while expressive minimalism entails a clear and modern look without additional decorations. With these visual types, typography is decisive in sending the message across. 

The tendency embraces simple, clear designs used by tech companies like Apple, or the minimalistic ones with much typography, like those by COS.

Nonstandard typography

This comes as an individual trend. Typography is decisive in graphic design.

While texts mainly aim to get a message across, designers are exploring creative approaches to individualize letter forms by reaching beyond possible. 


The 3D design is gaining tremendous popularity across a vast variety of domains ranging from arts and fashion to video gaming and web illustrations. This means we are about to see more  3Ds in visual communications. 

While social media networks are particularly important in connecting businesses with their target audiences, Ukrainian companies should adapt to emerging SMM trends.

Major takeaways:

  • Twitter is a lead social network best fit for simpler, faster, and urgent communication.
  • Visual storytelling is gaining popularity and offers a world of opportunity to creativity.
  • Brands are getting closer to people and are striving for fruitful collaborations with other brands across social media networks.
  • Authenticity and vitality are decisive, whereas the days of filtered and photoshopped solutions are gone. People want to see real-to-life content.
  • 60-second-long video content is getting far more popular.



Written by
Maria Kashina

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

March 31, 2023
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