The Future of Social Media Marketing for 2023

By: Kylie Stanley, PR Technician

In 2023, companies are taking the time and effort to access their opportunities and think about long-term impact, and short-term actions. This is inspiring marketers to be more strategic on platforms while working with the ever-changing algorithms.

Hootsuite released their 2023 Social Trends report and in this blog, we will discuss the future of social media marketing.


“With the recession, with COVID, and just being more financially pinched… marketing dollars always
get cut. When we’re strapped for resources, creators become a very appealing tool for marketers,” said Leah Gritton, director of integration strategy, Energy BBDO.

When working with influencers it’s important to do your research as you can discover a variety of influencers across different platforms. Understanding relevant influencers and their audience will help identify potential influencers to work with. Don’t be shy to work with influencers who have fewer followers as it’s essential to find a creator that can make content applicable to your product or service.

Return on Investment

Last year, 83% of marketers in Hootsuite’s social media trends survey reported having some level of confidence in the return on investment (ROI) of social media, up from 68% the year before. This year, they asked how confident marketers were that social media was useful for marketing to or engaging with their audience. A whopping 96% of marketers reported some level of confidence on how useful social media is.

All social media metrics can tell you something about whether you’re achieving objectives and meeting your goals. But tracking the right metrics is the key to understanding your social ROI. Run monthly, quarterly and yearly reports to understand how social is performing and what can be done differently.

As leaderships evaluate budgets and have deeper conversations about goals, make sure everyone is on the same page. Social media is a valuable channel for your audience and efforts should be maximized.

Social Media Platforms

More than 84% of TikTok users are also on Facebook and almost 88% of Twitter users are also on Instagram. People don’t only get different types of value from different networks, they explicitly use different social networks for different purposes.

As social media platforms introduce new features, make sure to reflect on your business goals. Focus on creating content that is well suited to the platform and your company, instead of trying to keep up with every new feature.

Some recommendations we have are conducting a social media audit to evaluate what audiences are on what platforms and how does your social media presence compare to your competitors. We also recommend making your content fit each platform. Having your social content reflect the platform it’s getting posted on allows you to more easily target your audience and build a stronger strategy.

Building a brand and connecting with your audience can be difficult, but developing goals, taking a deeper dive into your social strategy and creating an online presence, makes it easier! We hope with the look inside the top social media trends of 2023 that this helps to give you insight and ideas of what you should be striving for.

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How Well Do You Know Your Target Audience?


Following is a guest post from our friends over at Long & Short of It, masters of ideation, customer insights and market research. They like to say they “dig and find lots of data and then turn it into actionable insights.” Following is their guest post. 

Sure, some people are lucky enough to work with a product or service that they consume or want to consume, but most of us spend our days working on products or services where we are not part of the target audience. And, that’s okay. You don’t have to be the target audience to be able to market to them. However, you do have to recognize who they are and keep them top of mind when making marketing and product decisions.

It seems so obvious, but it’s not. For example, a team member may know that their target audience is a 45-64-year-old woman, yet they choose to put a 20-something model in their print ad. Sure, she looks good, but that isn’t the right choice to resonate with the target audience, and in fact, may actually turn off that audience. That is a simple example, but you get the idea. If those marketers were thinking about their target audience, the young model wouldn’t have been a consideration.

Getting into the minds of your audience may take some time and extra thought, but it’s worth it. You need to know them and also know what they say about your brand or product. If your audience says a product is practical, it’s practical. It doesn’t matter that you want it to be chic.


 See them in action. I spent a large portion of my career in marketing research, so I’ve had the pleasure of watching consumers interact with a variety of products from greeting cards to bank teller lines to welding equipment. There is no replacement for seeing them in action. Get out of your office. Trust me, you will learn something every single time. You can watch them and just observe, or better yet, ask them some questions. Why did you choose that? How did you decide to pick that up first? Was this something on your list or an impulse purchase today? Then listen to what they say and ask follow-up questions. People are more than willing to share their experiences. One thing to remember is that you’re only talking to a small number of folks. Yes, it’s helpful, but don’t make decisions based on what we like to say is “a focus group of one.” Combine this with other learnings.

Conduct primary research with them. There are many methodologies out there from quantitative to qualitative. Match the method to the objective. You’ll want quantitative (e.g., survey) if you want to measure something. An example here is finding the preferred marketing message. To choose a winner, a large sample size is needed which means quantitative. Qualitative (e.g., focus group) is used when you want to explore something. The example here is understanding what the target audience likes and dislikes about a selection of marketing messages.

Dig into secondary research. There is data available on many target audiences – especially if your audience is a common one (e.g., Moms 25 – 54). Understand that this information won’t be specific to your brand or product, but you can still learn a lot about various audiences this way. Try to look at secondary research first, because it can help inform what you want to know from your specific audience.

Knowing your audience is a key step in presenting your brand or product in a way that resonates with them. Take that step – it’s worth it.

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Happy World Plumbing Day!

By: Kylie Stanley, PR Technician

March 11th is set aside each year to spread awareness of the importance of plumbing and plumbers. At Sonnhalter, we have a great appreciation for plumbers and the work that they do. Today, Sonnhalter’s PR Technician, Kylie Stanley will be sharing with you some information about the holiday and plumbing.

Often plumbers don’t receive the credit and fame that they deserve even though plumbing is part of our everyday lives.

The reality is that without plumbers, our world would be far from sanitary or pleasant. As part of our team’s commitment to getting our hands dirty in our clients’ work, we’ve had the opportunity to see plumbers at work, we’ve used their tools and we’ve heard their stories; we know that they deserve to be honored today.

Plumbers do much more than unclog drains and fix leaky faucets –  it’s plumbers who install the miles of piping that make hot, cold and process water and gas utilities possible.

Did you Know That Plumbing Improves the World

  • Over 1 billion of people gained access to piped water supplies between 2000 and 2015
  • The global population of people who used safely managed sanitation services increased from 28% in 2000 to 39% in 2015
  • A 4-minute shower can now use as little as 24 liters of water
  • The dual system toilet flush, created in a small town in Australia in 1980, now uses as little as 4.5 liters of water

Today we salute the ones who keep everything flowing, and not overflowing. Thank you to the dedicated plumbers who answer the call and don’t recount the tales of what they’ve pulled out of pipes.

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Crowds and Influencers and Podcasts, Oh My! – Trade Show #3 AHR Expo

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

Next up was AHR in Atlanta. Now I got a whopping 12 hours at home after Vegas to do some laundry, repack and sleep before heading back to the airport! Anyhow no rest for the weary, as we had 30+ editor/influencer appointments over the course of the show for our clients Franklin Electric & NIBCO. So needless to say it was a jam-packed show!

And the busy schedule didn’t stop at the end of each show day…I had plenty of client dinners every night (we ate very well as you could see by the snippets in the video recap) and customer appreciation parties…highlighted by Franklin Electric’s party at the SkyLounge on top of The Glenn Hotel (spectacular views of downtown and the sunset).

I was also amazed at this show as far as the social media presence and the sheer number of influencers…from the AHR Podcast Pavilion and social media sessions, to the swarms of influencers walking the aisles. The podcast pavilion has grown exponentially in just three years. And the influencers far outnumbered the traditional trade media editors!

That’s it for now for tradeshows #2 & #3 of the 2023 season. Next up…another back-to-back show stint with ARA ( ) in Orlando and WWETT ( in Indy.

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70,000 of My Closest Friends – Trade Show #2 IBS

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

The NAHB’s International Builders Show (IBS) which has coincided with KBIS since 2014…and this year, the National Hardware Show ( ) joined the party. This was a great move for them as the last two years of this show have had dismal attendance. Although for some reason NHS is going back to having their own separate show in 2024, and from the exhibitors I spoke with, this seems like a huge mistake.

The IBS/KBIS show attendance and exhibitors were back to pre-pandemic levels, covering all four of the Las Vegas convention center halls, including the new West Hall which is absolutely beautiful. Also, a telltale sign of the trade show attendance level is the “stuffing” like sardines into the Vegas monorail at the end of the day:) And with the NFL Pro Bowl in town that weekend, it added to the buzz and traffic around The Strip.

As usual, ProBuilder’s Show Village was the centerpiece and must-see of the outside exhibits. Highlighting some of the latest innovations and product designs for today’s homes. Five homes on display this year, including a one-bedroom foldable (yes, foldable!) home built with high-tech materials. And as always, they have a happy hour with live entertainment, including some new live competitions/contests the first two days of the show.

As far as the new products there weren’t any “head turners” like the Owens Corning Pinkbar+  I saw earlier in the month at the World of Concrete show see link below for my LinkedIn post about this revolutionary product…but plenty of stuff to see and hands-on demos.

Link to Owens Corning Pinkbar+ post:

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Why You Should Be on TikTok

By Kylie Stanley, PR Technician

Over time, we have seen many social media platforms rise and gain in popularity. TikTok has risen to be the third-largest social media platform out of the big five worldwide (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter). TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share short videos on any topic. Many tradespeople have turned to TikTok to connect with existing and new customers to talk about their specific trade.

TikTok first launched in 2016 and started to grow rapidly in 2020, mostly due to the Covid-19 pandemic as people were stuck at home and needed entertainment. Over the past couple of years, not only has TikTok continued to grow, but we can see a variety of content on the platform. On TikTok, we see videos about plumbing, tools, construction, automotive and much more! With TikTok still on the rise, it’s important for the trades to be highlighted and for companies to be promoting their products. In this blog post, we will discuss why you should be on TikTok and the pros and cons of doing so.


Content Limitations

Like every social media platform, you do have some limitations when it comes to posting and the type of content you can post. TikTok is video platform that utilizes videos from 15-seconds to a minute. Since TikTok only allows videos to be posted and not static photos then you can’t use the platform like other social media sites. Because of this, you will need to reuse or produce videos, which your company might not have the budget for.

Labor and Quality of Videos

Short form videos are easier to produce than long form videos. When producing videos, you will need to think of everything this entails from potential scripts, shooting the video, editing and publishing it. Your videos are a form of storytelling, which means they need to be high-quality videos that are engaging with your audience. If you’re worried about shooting videos then check out our other blog post where we discuss five tips for video. Although TikTok has content limitations, it allows users to be creative in their content. The way TikTok has transformed over time, it provides a great way to experiment with your videos.

Third-Party Ownership

One con for some businesses might be the China ownership of the TikTok app. With ByteDancebeing the parent company of the app, they are able to access the basic information on each user. Although nothing has happened between the parent company and the US, this is definitely one piece of information to keep in mind.


Increase Your Audience

On social media, one of your goals should be to increase your followers so you have more people viewing your content and engaging with it. TikTok mainly targets a younger audience so you can increase your brand awareness with younger people in the trades. TikTok content also feels more organic. It’s an effective way to increase brand awareness without feeling salesy.

Increasing Sales

Because we can closely connect with our audience, it’s easier to get your content in front of people who are interested in it. As a company, you can freely post any appropriate video which means you can have endless possibilities to promote your products or services. In fact, 49% of TikTok users have purchased something because they saw it on the app.

Less Competition

While TikTok has grown and a lot of businesses have joined the app, you still have less competition than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Other popular social media apps have been around for a while and have become supersaturated with other brands. Because of this, it’s much harder to grow organically on these platforms. Due to TikTok’s algorithm, it’s much easier to target your audience and grow your business.

Although you want to be careful before jumping on the latest marketing trends, TikTok is definitely a platform you will want to consider. Sit down with your company and review the pros and cons and see if TikTok is something you are willing to invest in. Sonnhalter believes now is the time for manufacturing companies who target the trades to join TikTok to grow your brand and marketing strategy.

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