Most of us have realized that social media never stays the same for long. It’s frustrating, especially for brands who spend so much time and money crafting the perfect strategy based on current trends. But don’t fear; you don’t have to throw out your marketing plan just because the social media landscape has changed again.
Being successful on social media includes learning how to ebb and flow with platform algorithms, fads, and new features. You may find you adjust your strategy a few times a year. If you’re not doing this, the beginning of a new year is always a great place to start. This is when trend predictions and platform updates are announced or implemented to excite users.
To help, we’ve compiled some of the most important aspects of the 2024 social media landscape to help publishers craft a killer content strategy for the year. We’ll cover what’s still working on social media and what’s on its way out and address a few of the struggles brands are encountering so far look out for.
More AI integrations
You probably guessed that AI would be a big part of 2024, and we’re here to confirm it. Not only are social media platforms continuing to use AI to provide more tailored and personalized content and advertising on user feeds, but brands are using these technologies to do the same.
Integrating AI into your social media strategy can help better target your audience by maintaining a consistent approach to posting, scheduling, and creating content. After all, consistency remains the king in content, prioritized on all platforms. AI is a wonderful tool to promote consistency by automating repetitive parts of your social media strategy that can make or break your success on social media but are otherwise mundane to complete.
If you’re looking to integrate more AI to help promote your brand, we talk more about predictions for AI in 2024 and the current state of AI adoption in this article. For instance, we expect to see even more personalized content experiences, advanced content creation options, more sophisticated advertising, and better social media moderation for brands in the near future. Brands can also expect to see an increase in Generative AI on social media—this AI is entirely different from traditional AI, with more advanced technology and algorithms.
Social media trends staying in 2024
It’s not always out with the old and in with the new regarding social media. Some of the things you were already doing to show up and stay consistent on the social media landscape are probably still working.
News feeds are more personalized than they used to be, and this trend is here to stay. Social media users don’t want to go back to the days of scrolling for hours to find something they like. AI algorithms on social platforms have made it possible for users to see content tailored to their specific interests and ads that are far more accurate to their purchasing habits. There’s no going back.
For publishers, this means keeping up with the authenticity trend. Connect with your audience on a personal level first and only focus on trends that allow you to connect on a deeper level.
Short-form video continues to rule the social media landscape for good reason. It’s hard to compete with content that is as easily digestible, quick, easy to binge, and yet impactful enough to strike emotion. In fact, companies like YouTube are expanding on their ability to share short-form content, pushing YouTube Shorts as a comparable option to browsing Instagram Reels and TikTok.
What does this mean? If you’re currently creating quality short-form videos, keep doing it. You could look for other platforms to share your videos on if you want to access a different demographic or continue improving your current engagement by staying updated on special video features. If you’re not making videos, this is a sign that you should start!
ROI on social media
Brands continue to focus on improving their social media ROI in 2024, which is part of why AI integration is becoming more popular. The social media game is only fun for so long before it becomes exhausting. There are so many steps to take to stay relevant now; brands want to make sure that the time they spend is worth what they receive.
Part of this strategy is ensuring that your KPIs match up with your content. In other words, are you producing the content that will measure the KPIs you use to measure success? To measure engagement, are you providing content that inspires action? If you want users to share, are you providing easily shareable content that inspires emotion?
ROI should be a major factor for publishers on social media. It’s vital to know whether your time is being spent wisely. This leads us to our next topic: what should publishers drop in 2024?
Social media practices to ditch
Now that we know where your social media strategy is showing promise, let’s weed out the parts you don’t need to carry over into 2024.
Too many platforms
You can’t show up 100% on all social media platforms. However, it was a thing for a bit to feel the pressure of staying present everywhere, all the time, especially when new platforms were launched. Not anymore.
Now, even major brands are scaling back on how many social media platforms they stay present on. They choose to do a few things well to show up for their audience.
Sure, your images and videos are probably your highest-performing posts on social. But in 2024, users are getting nostalgic for the old-school Twitter posts, where quick texts said all we needed to know.
Instagram Threads has been catching a lot of users who miss the old style of social media, featuring quick updates and limited hashtags. Basically, users are getting a little tired of reading novel-length captions and posts. Some are looking for something a little more straightforward.
4-5 second videos
There is a fine line between short-form content and super-short videos. Yes, you want to ensure your video is not too long and at risk of losing your audience. However, the new 4-5 second videos that trick users into watching it 20 times while they read the lengthy captions are already trending out.
This fad was a quick trend to boost engagement for some accounts, but longer videos look to be back on the horizon. Again, users, especially younger ones, seek more value from social media. Even the short time they watch a video, they want it to be worth it.
Shares look like they will be the biggest KPI of the year. This means the heavy emphasis on likes, comments, and follows won’t be prioritized by the algorithm as much when pushing accounts on feeds. Why?
When it comes to engagement, shares are the most complex type to fake. You can pay plenty of people to like and comment on your posts without feeling accountable in any way. However, by sharing content, you’re getting others to put it in front of their own audience. Accounts are far more likely to do this if they authentically like the content, which is precisely the type of engagement social media platforms seek to promote.
Hurdles to publishing on social in 2024
One of the biggest challenges brands bring into the new year revolves around engagement. At the beginning of 2023, meeting was down across all platforms aside from TikTok. By 2024, X saw its major exit from entertainment brands and big tech. TikTok experienced an engagement decline, and all other platforms seemed to be flatlining but not improving.
Engagement remains a crucial KPI for measuring success on social media. Engaged users are more likely to become loyal readers, subscribe, and make purchasing decisions that result in sales. But with engagement dipping everywhere, is it still worth showing up on social media? Absolutely, because it’s not a lost cause.
Brands can combat low engagement by first making sure their content is relevant, provides value, and is entertaining; entertainment is a highly overlooked factor. Studies found that 38.5% of social media users are on these platforms because they’re bored and looking to fill their time. They may be looking for news but aren’t looking for a reason to sleep. You have to make sure your content is exciting and memorable.
Once your content is fantastic, take a look at your audience. Do you know your audience? Who are they? What do they like? What are they looking for on social? Sometimes, your content is worthy, but it’s just not getting out in front of the right crowd. Make sure you’re speaking to the right demographic.
True Anthem’s role in social media
The truth is that the social media landscape can be volatile but not impossible to navigate. There are a lot of areas where you can automate your work to help free up time for more content creation. Working smarter and not harder is always a popular trend going into any year.