We live in a digitally transformed world where social media platforms play a massive role in how people communicate, get news and entertainment, express opinions, and even shop.
As we progress towards 2024, several new social media shifts will impact marketing success. To stay ahead of the curve at a time when attention spans are fleeting, brands must embrace emerging trends years in advance or risk falling behind rivals better meeting consumer needs.
From leveraging new features and platforms to amplified video and influencer usage, let’s explore the top social media marketing trends poised to accelerate in 2024.
The Metaverse & Mixed Reality Go Mainstream
What felt like science fiction is steadily becoming reality. The metaverse, along with associated concepts like virtual reality and augmented reality, will achieve mass adoption by 2024.
Goldman Sachs predicts the market size of the Metaverse will reach up to $12.5 trillion in yearly revenue as hardware costs drop and creative uses cases explode for virtual worlds where people live digitally via customizable avatars.
For marketers, these immersive persistent 3D environments open exciting possibilities to engage next-gen audiences.
Brands can build interactive storefronts in virtual malls, create scavenger hunts and contests across virtual cities, host product demos in experiential virtual spaces, and more. Partnerships with gaming platforms or web3 community builders will drive initial experiments.
The key is crafting experiences with utility and entertainment—not just blatant ads. Find ways to enhance consumer adventures or enable self-expression through virtual goods and branded digital assets.
Social commerce also thrives with virtual try-on functionality or Shopify-like digital storefronts to display products via 3D models customers can inspect from all angles before buying.
With younger generations flocking to these environments, the mixture of escapism and imitation of real-world activities makes the metaverse perfect for memorable yet organic brand interactions rather than forcing a square peg into a round hole. Is your brand ready?
Live-Streaming Video Explodes
Live video continues gaining traction across social media. In 2023, over 6 billion people will access short-form video. By 2024, that rises to 7.2 billion fueled by improving cameras and mobile internet connectivity speeds unlocking streaming capabilities globally.
Platforms like Instagram and TikTok continue refining integrated live broadcasting as users flock to share real-time moments. The demand won’t slow next year.
Brands must embrace raw authentic episodic video that feels native and grounded rather than overly produced infomercials. Tell compelling stories highlighting company culture, product development, customer testimonials or workplace vlogs.
The future also holds potential for shoppable live streams where influencers host real-time product showcases letting viewers click to purchase featured items instantly during the session.
Interactive elements like petitions and donations build audience investment and cascade content wider. Giveaways, contests and consumer co-creation amplify engagement.
Video requires greater production investment than static posts but drives higher reach and conversion rates.
Use live streams to reveal behind-the-scenes company details or educate audiences on topics they care about related to your industry. Position employees as subject experts through Q&As or tutorial demonstrations.
The personal connections and sense of inclusivity from live video will only surge in 2024. Claim your stake in streaming content now before it’s too late!
AI-Powered Generative Social Content
Artificial intelligence continued permeating our digital lives — and next year brings even deeper intertwining thanks to new generative AI capabilities producing original text, images, video and music.
Tools like DALL-E 2, MidJourney and Jasper simplify multimedia content creation from text prompts without extensive production skills. Savvy marketers embrace these AIs for ideation and design needs.
Expect social media feeds filled with AI-generated images and video edited using apps like Runway. Even short-form TikTok videos get automated through tools piggybacking off OpenAI foundations.
For maximum impact, avoid AIs as a total crutch. Use smart prompts reflecting brand values to output thought-provoking social posts for human refinement before publishing.
Testing combinations of AI-generated visuals + human-written captions/commentary blends technological efficiency with authentic personality. Track reactions to gauge ideal fusion.
Generative AI also expedites content localization and personalization. Input regionally relevant keywords to output imagery and messaging tailored to local cultural nuances and languages driving deeper engagement abroad.
Pay close attention to legal usage guidelines as this technology remains nascent. But dismissing AI as too gimmicky risks ceding first-mover advantage to the competition.
Find creative applications to turn machine learning into your content co-pilot while ensuring the human touch still steers the ship towards wider reach and impact.
Social Messaging & Community-Building will be new trend in Social Media Marketing
Private messaging continues supplanting public social feeds as the communication format of choice for digitally native generations.
Over 80% of Instagram users already actively use IG Messages each month. WhatsApp and WeChat dominate internationally. Platforms invest heavily in messaging technology and new apps like BeReal tap into authenticity through timed photo snapshots.
For businesses, messaging presents opportunities to drive more intimate conversations converting strangers into loyal brand advocates. Mini-surveys, exclusive deals, early access previews, and drip campaign outreach personalize engagement across messenger apps.
Community building similarly thrives through private groups reflecting core customer segmented by values, lifestyle activities, or goals. Brand ambassadors and influencers manage member interactions posting exclusive content and rallying excitement.
Dedicated community apps like Mighty Networks, Circle and Discord enable deeper niche topic discussions and insider access strengthening durable social bonds beyond surface-level conversations.
Tasteful sales pitches feel natural through recommendations from other group members. Surprise pop-up events and member spotlights nurture a culture of meaningful community versus mere commerce.
Review group insights and feedback to identify product refinements and inspiration for new offerings tailored to niche member interests not visible otherwise, creating a virtuous cycle of value.
Micro-Influencer Marketing Domination
Mega-influencers with millions of followers capture headlines. But for most brands, micro-influencers with smaller yet highly engaged niche audiences drive better ROI.
Rather than chasing celebrities simply because of vanity metrics, identify micro-influencers genuinely connected to your brand, category or location.
The secret lies in strong alignment. A pet supply e-commerce site sees success teaming with pet owner influencers in their city rather than enormous Instagram travel pages mismatched to the audience.
Micro-influencers also cost less per post and engage followers actively vs passive viewers for that aspirational escape entertainment. Followers trust recommendations from “people like me” over celebs paid to promote 20 random brands a day.
For authenticity, craft creative briefs that encourage micro-influencers to showcase products/services as organically as possible within their ordinary content habits. Avoid overly promotional directives.
Grant creative license to adapt branded assets like images alongside their own lifestyle photos driving more genuine, on-brand social proof. Capture this user-generated content for wider promotional reuse also.
Survey audiences after campaigns to gauge sentiment shifts, product feedback and areas for program expansion as micro-relationships scale.
Short-form Shoppable Video Commerce
TikTok popularized short-form vertical videos, with competitors rushing to launch clones like Instagram Reels leveraging similar formats. In 2024, these formats drive booming social commerce through tap-to-buy tags.
Any physical products used on-camera can instantaneously link to product pages or checkout carts downstream turning content inspiration into frictionless sales.
Appliance brand Dyson pioneered shoppable video partnership with TikTok and the strategy expands across lifestyle categories like fashion, beauty/cosmetics and consumer electronics. Even quickly glimpsed items gain clickable purchase tags.
This social selling format provides brands sales lift while paying TikTok and other apps a cut of each transaction in exchanged for the streamlined experience.
But rather than overly commercial broadcasts, brands embracing short-form shoppable video succeed by blending entertainment, utility and inspiration focused first on serving audience needs. Engaged viewers happily discover integrated purchase opportunities as helpful recommendations once they trust content quality.
Unboxing videos, product mashups and creative tutorials capture viewer attention while subtly showcasing goods for frictionless orders. Brands offer limited-run products timed to each video release fueling interest and exclusivity.
Hashtags like #twinwithme and #duetthis drive organic collaboration daring viewers to replicate and riff on branded content. Rewards for user-generated videos spark wider participation beyond passive viewing by inviting audiences to co-create.
With mobile purchases exploding, short-form shoppable video provides an ideal convergence of snackable entertainment and instant gratification commerce.
Sustainability & Social Good at the Forefront
Beyond traditional profit motives, consumers increasingly make purchase decisions aligned to personal values like environmental sustainability and responsible sourcing.
After years of fast fashion excess, younger generations push for more ethical manufacturing practices, reduced waste, and carbon footprint accountability from brands before investing dollars.
By 2024, displaying social responsibility evolves from a nice-to-have into a must-have. Brands unwilling or unable to measure and improve sustainability metrics across operations get left behind as conscious consumers vote with their wallets.
Social media creative highlights corporate social responsibility efforts like renewable energy usage, robust community investment, ethical ingredient sourcing and positive supplier relationships centering humanity alongside profits.
Behind the scenes, sustainable changes undertake around product development, packaging, recycling programs, transparent reporting and equitable hiring boost economic inclusion and community prosperity.
Brands proactively address criticisms regarding sustainability shortcomings through accountability. Set public goals around waste reduction, greenhouse gas mitigation, renewable energy adoption and evidence ESG impacts in all facets of business.
Centralizing social good helps anchor corporate storytelling. Reputation increasingly flows from walking the walk on issues consumers care about beyond surface-level vanity metrics. Ethics matter.
Blurring Lines Between Social Media Platforms
Rather than distinct platforms, social media worlds collide by 2024 into an interconnected online universe centered around identity, community and self-expression.
Interfaces look similar across apps like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube with comparable tools to chat, comment and remix media. Algorithms show content based on user interests more than where it originated.
Facebook pioneered this convergence by incorporating messaging across its family of apps. Linking Instagram and Facebook profiles blends friend networks. Sharing WhatsApp statuses to Facebook stories extends reach.
Deep TikTok integration within Instagram Reels reflects this trend. Expect video shorts and ecommerce features blending as users won’t care which app tools come from to get jobs done.
For marketers, reducing friction to engage anywhere sparks growth. Many brands leapt into apps like Snapchat before assessing whether core audiences actually use them. By contrast, meeting fans in spaces they already frequent makes more sense than trying to uproot them.
Multi-platform management platforms like Hootsuite simplify scheduling and posting into different networks from one dashboard to save time and maintain consistent omnichannel presence. Preview formats to ensure positioning stays on-brand.
With more apps interaction in 2024, focusing on your niche communities matters more than which logo icon they use to interact with your brand. Give supporters what they need regardless of which playground they frequent rather than forcing them to come to yours.
The Next Stage of Social Media Evolution
Major platforms rapidly evolve features as creators invent new ways we connect online. Smart brands must track social media innovations in their infancy before scale reaches critical mass.
Progress hinges on skillfully blending emerging tech functionality with creativity meeting human needs as digital lifestyles merge with reality more each year through AR glasses, VR immersion and AI content flows.
The brands that will win in 2024 commit now to understanding their niche audiences at a core psychographic level transcending any one platform. Meet fans wherever they frequent rather than forcing them into your world.
Listen more than promote. Empower advocates to drive organic growth through co-creation and community building. Set values-led examples globally around social/environmental good shaping a better future.
With these principles as guiding pillars, your social media marketing strategies will withstand shifting platform trends. Technological change is inevitable but human nature stays largely consistent despite digital progress.
Now expand your thinking to prepare for the next phase of social’s meteoric evolution where the impossible from decades past increasingly feels plausible with each passing year.CopyRetry