It will come as absolutely no surprise that Social Media marketing is now a crucial component of digital strategies for many businesses globally.
2023 saw some substantial changes in the digital landscape, like the rapid growth of open-source AI platforms or the use of VR (virtual reality) technology which marketers had to quickly get to grips with. The past year also saw the continued growth of trends such as short form video, personalised brand interactions, and user generated content. These patterns are currently creating the groundwork for fascinating developments in 2024.
Throughout this article, we’ll explore what we believe to be the most important Social Media trends to follow in 2024 so you can stay relevant, on trend and ahead of the competition.
1. Short-Form Video Content is Here to Stay!
Video content remains the undisputed champion in Social Media engagement. Using video is not a new concept, but the rise of short-form video platforms like TikTok and Instagram reels has caused it to soar in popularity.
Short-form videos tend not to be longer than 60 seconds, are widely accessible, and are highly addictive to users. Marketers use this style of content to captivate their audience and grow their brand awareness.
Unlike more traditional forms of Social Media, such as Facebook, the active userbase of TikTok is forecasted to grow by 9.3% in 2024. Yes, the app has slowed down since its’ explosive rise in 2019 and 2020; but while the userbase continues to increase, you should expect to see even more brands jump on this.
In this landscape, the shift towards user-generated content (UCG) becomes even more pronounced. Users not only crave concise and engaging videos but also content that feels authentic and mirrors their real-life experiences. As brands navigate this, the fusion of short-form video and authentic UGC is poised to shape the future of digital content consumption and brand engagement.
2. Sustainability and Social Responsibility
More so than ever before, consumers are placing greater importance on environmentally conscious and socially responsible brands so marketers should try to align their strategies with sustainability initiatives and produce purpose driven Social Media content to appeal to socially conscious consumers…of which there is becoming more of!
Brands should try and demonstrate the ways in which they’re engaging in ethical practices and start conversations with their audience about important social issues. In 2023 travel ticket app Train Line collaborated with musician Craig David to create a campaign promoting the environmental benefits of traveling by train. This campaign was successful in delivering a positive message to consumers in a fun and light-hearted way, which encouraged them to switch to an eco-friendlier mode of transport, without using scaremongering tactics.
3. Social Commerce Evolution
The fusion of e-commerce and Social Media will be unstoppable. In 2024 we anticipate a more seamless integration of shopping features within social platforms.
Social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram have really homed in on their e-commerce features over the past year, with some allowing consumers to buy products straight from the platform itself, eliminating the need for an external website.
White Fox Boutique is just one example of a brand harnessing Instagram’s unique e-commerce features. On most of their posts they tag clothing items and upon clicking the tag, consumers are taken to a page which gives them more product details and a direct link to buy the clothing on the website.
These features create a seamless shopping experience by reducing the steps between product awareness and purchase.
Now, we’re not saying to forget about your website, but with shoppable posts and streamlined checkout processes becoming increasingly popular, businesses should prepare to enhance their Social Media platforms for easy online shopping in 2024.
4. Immersive Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences
With the rise of AR technologies, brands will continue to leverage augmented reality for immersive and interactive experiences. From virtual try-ons for products to AR filters enhancing user-generated content, integrating AR into Social Media strategies will become a norm.
Maybeline have already created a virtual reality try-on feature that uses Modiface’s Augmented Reality technology, allowing consumers to try on various makeup products and shades from their phone or computer. The virtual try on-on technology uses a face tracker algorithm to detect where your facial features are and then applies the virtual cosmetics to that zone.
Big brands are already using these technologies to create engaging brand experiences, and they will only continue to improve, hopefully becoming more accessible to smaller brands.
5. Personalisation driven by AI
AI… although it may seem scary, when used correctly it can massively improve consumer experience.
AI-driven personalisation, chatbots for customer interactions, and predictive analytics will enable brands to deliver highly targeted and relevant messages to their audience. It’s hardly surprising that Deloitte customers reported finding personalisation highly attractive, with 90% responding positively.
Spotify are a brilliant example of effective personalisation, as it is utilised to create playlists such as daily mixes, discover weekly, and most famously Spotify wrapped! Spotify wrapped allows users to view a summary of their data relating to their activity on the platform over the past year and encourages them to share it on social media. This has proved to be an extremely effective digital marketing campaign, as in 2021 Spotify wrapped was shared on Social Media platforms over 60 million times. (Now there’s a big number!)
The use of AI to create personalised content can help increase engagement and build stronger connections between the consumer and the brand.
6. Micro and Nano Influencers
Gone are the days of celebrity endorsements! Well… not really, but there has been a noticeable shift towards micro (10k-50k followers) and nano influencers (<10k followers).
We can’t deny that an influencer with a large following will bring more eyes to your brand, but what marketers have discovered is smaller influencers, with a niche following related to their industry, bring a higher engagement and more genuine interest, resulting in better audience trust and higher conversion rates.
This, alongside the lower fees, has made smaller influencers much more appealing to brands.
This upcoming year promises exciting opportunities for brands and agencies willing to adapt and innovate in the ever-changing Social Media landscape. Through embracing these trends, brands can build stronger connections with their audience, drive meaningful engagement, and position themselves as leaders in the digital era.
The key lies in staying agile, experimenting with innovative approaches, and maintaining a deep understanding of the evolving preferences and behaviours of your audience.