- How will AI affect social media in 2024?
- What has better social engagement, user-generated content or posts that are highly produced?
- What two social media KPIs will rule in 2024?
The year 2023 was a little bumpy for brands and their agencies who used social media for marketing. Okay. It was more than just “a little bumpy.” Looking back, it was more like driving on 10 miles of bad road! As the year ends, we’re lucky to have our tooth fillings still in place.
Just in case your memory needs a little jogging, here are a few high(low)lights:
- Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion, fired staff, angered sponsors, changed the name to X, dabbled in conspiracy theories, and at the end of the year noticed his site was worth only $4 billion.
- Meta launched Threads as a competitor to TwitterX, picked up a quick 44 million users and then promptly lost 70% of these followers in about a month.
- During the last half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, former President Trump launched Truth Social and proceeded to lose $73 million in one year.
- After enjoying unprecedented success, TikTok was banned by public school, university, state and federal web networks because of concern that its Chinese owners are secretly gathering data and manipulating the minds of young Americans.
Whew! Dumpster fire, anyone? Can social media get any weirder in 2024?
Yes, it can.
What This Means for You — The tumult that was social media in 2023 is giving way to the unknown, uncharted and (no doubt) unsavory 2024. Of course, knowledge is power. So, if you use social media for marketing and want to know the trends that are coming to an app near you, read on.
Merriam-Webster announced “authentic” as a top term of the year because it is what people have been “thinking about, writing about, aspiring to, and judging more than ever.” It’s no surprise that as a trend, authentic will be moving into 2024. User-generated images are often more relatable than a clean and controlled professional image. This is because they are created by real people who are sharing their experiences and perspectives. Click here to see our user-generated gallery.
Let the fun begin.
Here Are the Top 10 Social Media Trends for 2024
#1 User-generated content will be more popular than highly produced posts.
This is consistent with the trend toward authentic storytelling in all media. According to Search Engine Journal, “When something looks too polished, it must be fabricated. Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) is tired of perfection and flawlessness. This mentality sometimes leads to reduced trust in the brand. Your goal is to increase trust.”
“Brands will see the value in sharing UGC as a cost-effective way to get content that also seems more authentic than high-production content,” said Lucus O’Keefe, social media strategist. “Customers trust fellow customers more than the brand itself. Likewise, content creators will find a great opportunity to create and share UGC for brands.”
#2 AI-driven personalization will make posts feel custom-made for the reader.
Like it or loathe it, AI (artificial intelligence) will be the 800-pound gorilla on social media in 2024. According to the daily marketing newsletter, Please Advise, “Imagine content that is so personalized that it sounds like it was made for you. Thanks to AI advancements, hyper-personalized content will likely dominate, offering tailor-made experiences for every user.
#3 Social media micro-influencers will enjoy increased clout in the coming year.
With another bow to the power of authenticity, the small fry social influencers will sneak up on the Big Kahunas and steal some of the spotlight. According to several sources, “big name influencers will always have their space, but micro-influencers could dominate the landscape. Their niche appeal and higher engagement rate make them valuable for targeted campaigns.
#4 Video content will remain the king of the social world.
We can expect every social platform to feel like TikTok on steroids in 2024.
Any social marketing practitioner with an ounce of smarts knows how important video is to engagement. In 2024, that will accelerate to warp speed. We can expect even shorter formats and more interactive elements that keep viewers hooked on the posts.
#5 Social commerce will explode in 2024.
This trend has been coming for a couple of years (which in social media “years” is a long, long time), but there’s no better time than now. Shopping from social media sites will become common and this will be driven by the rise in prominence of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) which allow the participant to virtually try on items, arrange for virtual tours or other immersive experiences.
#6 The drumbeat of concern for privacy and transparency will be deafening.
There has been an exponential growth of concern for data privacy in the past several years and social platforms will be forced (kicking and screaming) to be more transparent in data mining and usage. Expect the regulators, politicians, and users to demand better protection for their social data. The trial of the U.S. vs. Google is ample evidence that this issue will be front-and-center on the regulators’ radar.
#7 TikTok is not going away, and LinkedIn will become a content mecca.
Despite calls for banning it because of its Chinese ownership and conspiracy theories associated thereof, TikTok is too big to disappear from the social media world. There may be cosmetic “regulations” that make mom and dad feel better about junior and sissy spending 5 or 6 hours a day on this site, but it will continue to dominate the social traffic.
As for LinkedIn, this is no longer just the site for job hunting. With aggressive additions of content curators, worldwide editorial support and an engaged base of users, this social platform is becoming a major content hub, especially for B2B marketers.
#8 Sustainability and social responsibility will be a primary focus for brands using social media.
This is another trend that has been around for a while, and the success that brands have enjoyed through using this focus has encouraged others to follow suit. There is a “bottom line” practical reason for this. Social causes, promoted on these platforms increase engagement with potential customers. In 2024, this trend will do nothing but increase. Social responsibility initiatives and eco-friendly practices and messages will reach new levels.
#9 Social media KPIs (key performance indicators) will shift to engagement + shares.
The old adage that states “if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist,” while somewhat hyperbolic, also has a ring of truth. Social media marketers have realized that more specificity in KPIs will allow brands to monitor (measure) success more accurately. Many have concluded that focusing on engagement and SHARES is a better gauge of social marketing success. That will likely continue in 2024.
#10 Use of AI and post-scheduling tools will allow social marketers to concentrate on better messaging.
Using social media virtual assistants (think Siri or Alexa) for tedious work such as scheduling posts and monitoring competitors will continue to benefit from digital tools and AI-generated research. This will allow the content developers who work on social media to have more time to think strategically.
Succeeding in Social in 2024 – Here are 10 Tips
Taking advantage of these social media trends requires brands and agencies plan the work and work the plan. Here are 10 actions to take now.
- Be real. Always strive for authenticity in social campaign creation, messaging and image direction. Never has the “look” of a post been more critical to engagement success. Stock photo companies such as SuperStock, with highly organized archives and creative consultants who know how to find just the right image in time to easily meet a publishing deadline, can save time and money.
- Video rules on social platforms and original video can be very expensive. Stock video is cost-efficient and creatively effective. Use it.
- Slick presentations may not be the right approach for social campaigns in 2024. User-generated content is more believable and thus more compelling, especially to younger demographics.
- Plan quarterly editorial calendars to take advantage of seasonal opportunities, but always be flexible enough to take advantage of a trending news story. Then leverage that story with the brand’s message and other brand content such as blogs and earned media coverage.
- With billions of users, a seemingly innocent faux pas on social platforms can cause a massive blow-back. It is critical that images and messages are culturally sensitive and consistent with the brand focus.
- Don’t be intimidated by AI, but don’t use it without carefully considering its limitations and vacuous tone. In its current state, AI is a good tool for helping manage mundane tasks and big picture thinking. However, it is not a panacea for good writing and art direction.
- Plan now for incorporating social media with commerce and other immersive strategies. The AR and VR tools are simple to incorporate, and they change the entire experience. This change is coming and coming fast.
- Don’t forget about social platforms that you may not understand. Whether it is LinkedIn, Pinterest, Threads, Mastodon or (the new) Spill, learn everything you can about them and if possible attend seminars presented by experts on these platforms. Just because you’ve never heard of them, doesn’t mean millions of others haven’t.
- Actively listen to your social audience. They want you to hear them and, if you do, they will be more likely to engage.
- Get everyone in the brand involved in SHARING these social posts. This metric is critical for search engine optimization and social engagement. This is also the most difficult task for social practitioners, but when it’s done right, it can dramatically enhance the social landscape for the brand.
Did We Miss Anything?
That’s it for the predictions and tips for 2024. So, what do you think? Did we miss anything? If so, what was it?
Tell us what you think, and if we slap our forehead and scream “Duh!” at your idea, we’ll send you some (highly desirable) SuperStock swag. Of course, it’s fabulous. Plus, we’ll post your insights on our LinkedIn page and make you world famous.
Just click here. I’m waiting to hear from you. BTW. This is also a blatant attempt at increasing engagement with this blog. Just sayin’.
If your campaign needs some showbiz spark, SuperStock has the video and still images that ROCK. Hit us up and ask for our FREE RESEARCH.