Social media has become an integral part of our lives and is constantly evolving. This makes the ever-changing realm of digital marketing a fascinating field that reflects the changing dynamics of our society. As we enter 2024, it’s clear that numerous social trends are set to reshape the digital landscape. To succeed in this dynamic environment, businesses, brands, and social media managers must adapt and innovate, as the strategies that worked yesterday, might not work today. In a world where user preferences change rapidly, staying relevant means staying flexible. In this article, we will explore the key trends and strategies that will determine success in the ever-shifting social media landscape of 2024.
The Rise of In-House Influencers
A notable trend I anticipate in 2024 is the increasing prominence of executives becoming in-house influencers. Social media has become an integral part of modern business, and more executives are recognizing their online presence is driving business results.
Traditionally, CEOs, founders, and top-level executives have primarily used social media for networking. However, the lines between personal and professional branding are blurring and we’ll see personal branding move to a corporate strategy. In 2024, we will see more executives embracing the role of influencer within their organizations, leveraging their personal brands to connect with customers, employees, and stakeholders on a deeper level. Of course, this isn’t limited to just top-level executives; you’ll see those in technical fields like human resources, research and development, customer engagement, and social responsibility embracing this new responsibility.
This shift can provide several advantages. For companies, it can humanize their brand and make them more relatable to consumers. For executives, it offers a chance to engage with their audience authentically and build a loyal following. Additionally, you’ll see businesses devoting more resources to this, not only carving out time for the internal influencers, but in larger organizations, they will provide support from designers, videographers, and social media experts. For some companies, this may come at the cost of more traditional, external influencers.
In 2024, we can expect more executives to actively participate on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even TikTok, sharing their insights, perspectives, and personal experiences. This trend will not only enhance the personal brands of these executives but also impact how businesses communicate and engage with their audiences.
Putting the Social Back in Social Media
Engaging in Real Conversations
Social media has come a long way since its inception as a platform for sharing updates and content. Gone are the days when brands could simply post and forget. In today’s 1:1 marketing world, consumers expect more than just passive engagement; they demand active participation and meaningful interactions. It’s no longer enough for brands to merely respond to customer queries; they must actively engage in conversations and foster a sense of community.
One of the most significant shifts in social media marketing is the move towards actively participating in conversations beyond the realm of branded content. The comment section, once overlooked, has now become a vibrant playground for brands to connect with their audience. Engaging with followers’ comments, whether on your brand’s posts or within discussions related to your industry, has become a crucial aspect of social media management. By joining these conversations, brands can establish themselves as active contributors to the community rather than mere observers.
The rise of social media groups has exemplified this shift towards community-building. Brands often act as catalysts, driving conversations and creating communities within these groups. These spaces offer a more intimate and personalized setting for brands to connect with their most loyal customers and enthusiasts.
This coming year – is not just a choice – it’s a necessity. Brands that actively engage, listen and foster meaningful interactions within the digital space are more likely to build stronger relationships, gain trust, and ultimately thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of social media marketing. It’s no longer enough to talk at your audience – you must talk with them to create genuine connections and lasting communities.
Threads Shuts Down
The Importance of Methodical Experimentation
In the social media arena, the story of Threads serves as a compelling example of how even the most promising platforms – backed by media giants like Meta – can experience meteoric rises and abrupt falls. Threads, a messaging app meant to rival Twitter, experienced rapid growth. However, the enthusiasm surrounding Threads proved to be short-lived, as active users quickly dropped off, eventually leading to the platform’s struggle.
What can we learn from Threads’ rise and fall? One crucial takeaway is the importance of experimenting with new platforms and features, but doing so methodically It’s a Pivot – a movement in which a person steps once or more in any direction with the same foot while the other foot is kept at its point of contact with the floor. While rapid growth can be exhilarating, it can also be deceptive if it outpaces a platform’s ability to provide a compelling user experience.
In 2024, we can expect this lesson to resonate with emerging social platforms. Startups and established players alike will likely focus more on user retention strategies rather than just chasing user acquisition numbers. Creating a sustainable community that offers genuine value to its users will be the key to longevity in the social media landscape.
Platform Culture Becomes More Distinct
Tailoring the Social Experience
Each social media platform has its own unique culture, norms, and user behaviors. This diversity of cultures is what makes each platform stand out. Twitter, for instance, is known for its fast-paced, short-form content, while Instagram’s focus lies in visual storytelling at a slower pace. The aesthetics of a gourmet dinner photo may not find a home on LinkedIn. However, this distinction goes much deeper than surface-level content.
In 2024, social media managers will face the challenge of creating content that aligns with the unique culture of each platform. This shift will require brands to be more selective in their approach, investing in creating tailored content for specific channels rather than employing a one-size-fits-all strategy. The era of spamming identical content across all platforms is gone, giving way to a more thoughtful and intentional approach.
Get read for the further evolution of platform cultures, driving the need for a more nuanced and customized approach to social media engagement. Brands and individuals alike will benefit from embracing these distinct cultures, creating richer and more meaningful interactions in the digital realm.
Short-form video explodes
All in on TikTok and Reels
The rise of short video content platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels has taken the social media world by storm, and the numbers speak volumes. In 2023, we witness an unprecedented surge in the consumption of these bite-sized, highly engaging videos.
Instagram Reels, for instance, has seen a remarkable uptake, with users now dedicating a significant portion of their time to this feature. Reels accounts for a staggering 30% of the total time users spend on Instagram. This translates to a whopping 17.6 million hours of Reels being watched by Instagram users every day. Furthermore, an impressive 74% of Instagram users are actively utilizing the Reels feature, indicating its widespread appeal and integration into the platform’s ecosystem. The growth has been nothing short of astounding, with a 57.4% year-over-year increase in Instagram Reels usage.
Meanwhile, TikTok continues to dominate the short video content landscape, with monthly users in the United States surpassing a staggering 150 million. This astonishing figure equates to nearly half of the country’s population, underlining TikTok’s ubiquity. Users aged 18 and over are estimated to spend an average of 55.8 minutes per day on TikTok, solidifying its position as the third most-used social media platform in the United States.
The meteoric rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels is a testament to the evolving preferences of today’s social media users. Their addictive, fast-paced content appeals to a wide range of audiences, from Gen Z to older demographics. As this trend continues to gain momentum, we can expect marketers and content creators to increasingly harness the power of these platforms to engage and captivate their audiences in innovative and creative ways. In 2024, short video content is not just a trend but a dominant force shaping the social media landscape.
As we navigate these trends, it’s clear that social media’s influence on society and business will only continue to grow. To thrive in this evolving landscape, it’s crucial to stay attuned to these changes, be nimble, and continue exploring innovative ways to engage and connect with audiences. In 2024, the social media game will be played with new rules, and those who can adapt will find themselves at the forefront of this dynamic and ever-evolving space.