2024 is now just weeks away. Aside from preparing for the festive rush, we need to start planning for this year ahead. And how the next 12 months will change our approach to digital marketing, based on the next wave of innovations and updates that’ll continue to transform how we all interact.
No need to dig around for the hottest trends, we’ve got you covered with the six most important social media trends that will change how you approach digital marketing in 2024.
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LinkedIn will de-prioritise personal content and favour professionalism
In the last two years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, LinkedIn has shifted from what professionals would call their ‘online CV’ to a community platform not too dissimilar to Facebook or Twitter.
It has become the platform for career advice, work brags, personal anecdotes, and weekend selfies. And just as we’ve all become accustomed to this, LinkedIn has rolled out some algorithm changes that prioritise professionalism, including an update that focuses on “knowledge and advice,” especially among subject matter experts and people within a user’s network.
LinkedIn have also recently shared their new Top Voice badge feature. The platform grants these badges to creators who “share valuable expertise through content that demonstrates their unique, original contributions to a topic.”
Top tip: Scale back the personal posts in favour of professional content and posts that spotlight your expertise. Reinforce yourself or your brand as a subject matter expert.
Brands commit to their champion social platforms
In the new year, we believe that more businesses will be more likely to say bye-bye to social media platforms, and for two key reasons. Being across all social media channels isn’t benefiting their business and the ethics and actions of these social media channels don’t align with the values of a business.
Take cosmetics retailer Lush for example, they turned their back on Facebook and Instagram, as they believe the way these channels operate is unethical and doesn’t align with their brand values or the audience they are targeting. Lush now utilise user-generated content on their YouTube channels (where they have over 600k followers) and focus on using Twitter (now X) as a means of customer service.
Instead of trying to be the master of everything, and letting time, money, resources, and results fall by the wayside, brands are doing something about it—using ROI to figure out their next move.
Top tip: Be where your audience are, run a social media audit for more intel. This will help you identify your hero (and zero) platforms, so you can make more informed decisions about how to approach your social strategy in 2024.
Why AI and social media marketers should work as a team
2023 was generative AI’s breakout year. It has changed the way we write content, design imagery, and create videos – we all jumped on the bandwagon.
However, there has been question marks around a brand’s authenticity when it comes to social media as a result of AI platforms such as ChatGPT – it’s not hard to recognise when a post is completely written by AI.
For a savvy social marketer, AI can help you get words on the page faster, brainstorm ideas, and create many variants of a specific message for testing. But we believe there still needs to be a brain behind all this.
If you’ve done your research, you should know how your audience feel about AI. Unapproved posts and angry customers who know a post is ‘written by a bot’ can be avoided in this case.
Top tip: Decide which tasks AI can support, give the legwork to the machines, and stick to keeping your brand real for a better customer experience.
The rise of TikTok Shopping
We’ve seen the rapid growth of social shopping over the last few years, but now TikTok is at the centre of the social shopping trend.
The fast-growing video platform released its shopping feature in September 2023, handling everything from the storefront to shipping, it quickly become an influencer favourite.
It’s expected to grow in 2024, as users are favouring authenticity from brands who are selling on the platform. According to a report by Root Digital, 50% of TikTok users have made a purchase after watching a TikTok Live.
Top tip: If you have the capability, list your products on TikTok. Promote your products in a way that still feels authentic and not sales-y – this is what TikTok is all about.
Social media channels are the new search engines
In 2024, social media platforms such as TikTok and Twitter (X) are expected to be the biggest threats to traditional search engines such as Google. Research by PwC found that social media platforms are the second most popular way for Gen Z to research their shopping decisions.
Social media is becoming a key area to answer your audience’s questions or queries. These platforms are continuing to evolve to address search intent while still producing content that entertains as it educates.
Top tip: Conduct keyword research as you would for SEO but incorporate these terms into your social media content calendar. Start creating content that answers common questions in your niche. Educational content is far more likely to show in search results, even months after posting.
Short form videos lead the trend, but longer videos are making a comeback
“Videos should be around 30 seconds”. As social media marketers, we’ve all said this at some point but we’re seeing platforms potentially favouring longer videos and we think this will become a key social media trend for 2024.
The big platforms are increasing their max video lengths. Instagram Reels can now be up to 15 minutes, and TikTok videos – famously known for being short, can be up to three minutes long.
Looking ahead to 2024 as users prefer social media to search engines, content creators need to be able to answer questions in-depth in their videos, which takes more time.
Top tip: Experiment with posting two-to-three-minute Instagram Reels and TikToks, turn one of your recent blogs into a video. When posting longer videos, include timestamps in your captions or the video description so viewers can easily navigate through the content.