You don’t must be a fortune teller to guess which social media developments are poised to take off in 2024. All you want is information.
Combining efficiency and client choice information can create a vivid image of the 12 months forward. We’re not speaking about which TikTok sounds will blow up in just a few months. We’re speaking about what’s driving viewers behavioral patterns and the place your model suits in the combination.
In this text, find out about present developments in social media driving the way forward for social, primarily based on enter from social media consultants and the info behind the social house.
Video is king…however with a long-form twist
Playful content material is the brand new “model character”
The enlargement of social commerce stays a development to look at—and use
website positioning is essential for social channels too—not simply your website
Behind-the-scenes content material and reimagined transparency
Authentic content material resonates throughout platforms
The evolution of social groups and titles
The growth of the creator and influencer financial system
Personalized buyer care is a client choice
Marketing and buyer care groups use AI often…and monitor it intently
Social information is essential—past the advertising group
Trend 1: Video is king…however with a long-form twist
The recognition of video, particularly short-form video, is certain to finish up on a social media developments checklist yearly.
We already know short-form video is likely one of the finest methods to attach together with your viewers and attain new followers. In truth, most shoppers say it’s essentially the most partaking sort of in-feed content material.
But, plot twist: long-form video has seen a resurgence price noting.TikTok has been pushing longer movies—beginning with one-minute movies, then 10 and most lately, it began testing 30-minute uploads. It’s even beginning to push horizontal movies a la YouTube.
And with the platform reporting that customers spend over half of their time on TikTok watching movies which might be a minute or longer, these long-form exams have purpose behind them.
Brand takeaway: You nonetheless want short-form video as a part of your day-to-day social media technique. But take into consideration how one can carry long-form storytelling into your content material.
Trend 2: Playful content material is the brand new “model character”
The “edgy” model voice is taking a again seat to a brand new model development: experimenting with playful content material.
Brands have persistently discovered inventive methods to faucet into meme tradition and the voice of the Internet in a approach that matches their voice. And we’ve seen extra manufacturers experimenting with their voice and visible content material to take action.
Take LinkedIn’s Threads, which have a human voice and canopy matters that vary from relatable and hilarious, to inspirational and endearing.
And we love the way in which Auntie Anne’s pretzels has create a strategic, branded social media meme technique. They create content material that riffs on Internet tradition, memes and developments whereas nonetheless staying true to their model colours, tone and picture.
Brand takeaway: Think about how your model can get playful on social media. You don’t have to do that in a approach that breaks your model’s voice and tone. What developments and meme codecs might you adapt to suit your model’s content material?
Trend 3: The enlargement of social commerce stays a development to look at—and use
We’ve all seen the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt development…or purchased one thing after seeing it on TikTok or one other social platform ourselves.
But that is greater than a fleeting development—social commerce is a seamless development to look at and take into account on your technique. And platforms like TikTok are pushing for it. TikTok Shop formally launched in the US in late 2023. And they’re already testing methods to make that in-app buying even simpler.
We talked to Social Strategy Director at Mekanism, Jeff MacDonald, about present social developments to look at. And that is one which he flagged. As he places it, dwell streaming and interactive buying experiences are solely anticipated to develop, so this development is probably going right here to remain. “Live buying occasions, combining leisure with prompt buying choices, provide a fascinating approach for manufacturers to attach with shoppers. This 12 months will likely be a take a look at to see if North American audiences will undertake dwell commerce streams like different audiences have.”
Brand takeaway: If you haven’t experimented with promoting on social, now is a good time to check this out. There’s an keen, ready-to-buy viewers on social. Give them one other approach to purchase—look into whether or not opening up store on TikTok, Facebook or Instagram is correct on your model.
Trend 4: website positioning is essential for social channels too—not simply your website
Recently, I did analysis on just a few locations I wish to journey and hike this coming summer season. I didn’t flip to Google—I searched location hashtags on Instagram.
Don’t underestimate the ability of social media platforms as serps. In 2022, practically 40% of Gen Z most popular TikTok over Google for looking for data.
This makes optimizing your content material for discoverability—each in feed and through search—extra essential than ever earlier than.
Brand takeaway: Just as you’ll optimize an article in your weblog or a web page in your website for website positioning, take an optimized strategy to your social content material. Optimize your posts and profile for optimum discoverability by utilizing the appropriate key phrases in your caption, the appropriate hashtags and related key phrases inside your alt textual content, too.
Trend 5: Behind-the-scenes content material and reimagined transparency
The rising viewers want for genuine content material lends itself to the necessity for manufacturers to be extra clear about their enterprise practices on social.
But there’s been an attention-grabbing shift. A couple of years in the past, we couldn’t speak about developments in social media with out masking the significance of manufacturers talking up—or getting known as out. But in 2023, solely 1 / 4 of shoppers polled in the Index mentioned essentially the most memorable manufacturers on social spoke out about causes and information aligned with their values.
The Index additionally discovered the second greatest factor shoppers don’t see sufficient of from manufacturers on social media is transparency about enterprise practices and values.
I take this to imply that whereas manufacturers talking out used to set them aside, now it’s an everyday expectation that manufacturers reveal transparency and their values as an everyday observe. We talked to Paula Perez, Social Engagement & Community Growth Specialist at Oatly, about present social developments. And as Perez places it, “Consumers are extra than ever in labor practices, variety, investor relations, provide chain, firm management, and environmental duty.”
For instance, shoe model Nisolo often creates and posts sustainability “report playing cards” for his or her merchandise.
Brand takeaway: Look for alternatives to offer extra transparency about your online business, merchandise and practices. You can begin so simple as creating behind-the-scenes content material of your workplace, merchandise being made, the folks behind your merchandise and your sustainability values. Make positive you have got motion or proof to again up your statements.
And if questions do come up that your model ought to handle, use the appropriate instruments to remain proactive. Social listening will show you how to determine rising dialog matters early, enabling you to grasp and get forward of a problem, and determine the modifications it’s essential to make.
Trend 6: Authentic content material resonates throughout platforms
Authentic, non-promotional content material is the primary factor shoppers say they don’t see sufficient of from manufacturers on social, in accordance with The Sprout Social Index™. We’ve seen the way in which creator tradition has skyrocketed in recognition—and types that includes genuine voices, from creators to staff, shine towards people who don’t.
And it’s essential for manufacturers to acknowledge that this development is right here to remain—it’s the brand new period of social media.
We talked to Flywire Social Media Manager Sam Mackowitz, who believes AI is simply driving this want for extra authenticity. “I believe folks will likely be craving for genuine experiences on social media. Don’t get me flawed, AI is unbelievable and will help us get locations sooner, however…that private facet is so essential and can proceed to be in 2024.”
Brand takeaway: Besides tapping into creators, create extra genuine owned content material, too. As Mackowitz explains, “At Flywire, the content material that performs the most effective for us is all the time when it’s showcasing our staff. We’ve had nice success showcasing the folks behind the funds! Authenticity will soar in 2024.”
Think: playful posts and that includes fellow staff in video content material who aren’t digicam shy, or a “meet the group” sequence. Get inventive!
An worker advocacy technique is a stellar strategy to promote your model authentically. Using a platform like Employee Advocacy by Sprout Social makes it simpler on your staff to find content material and duplicate ideas you curate for them to share.
Trend 7: The evolution of social groups and titles
Is your social group construction primarily based on networks? Then you’re not alone—in accordance with the Index, 64% of social groups are aligned to particular social platforms or networks.
But the fact is, your group construction is consistently operating the chance of turning into outdated. As social media evolves, so do the groups and the talents wanted to run it efficiently. And the emergence of latest platforms, like Threads, all the time brings again the identical query: whose duty is a brand new platform if you’re divided by community?
New social media jobs and titles are rising and evolving quickly. We talked to Gabby Grahek, Strategic Services Consultant at Sprout and a social media thought chief, about present social developments. “I’m hoping and praying for social specialties on social groups. With organizations persevering with to experiment with social, construct a price range for these groups and elevate their maturity ranges when you’ll be able to.”
Brand takeaway: Gabby thinks “we’ll see area of interest social professions develop on company groups.” Evaluate your present group construction and determine gaps. This is a good alternative to take further possession over your profession path and pitch a brand new function that matches your skillset. Or, make the case to your supervisor that you simply want extra headcount to accommodate a brand new function.
Trend 8: The growth of the creator and influencer financial system
Today, it’s the creator and influencer’s world—we’re simply posting in it.
In the period of authenticity, creators and influencers lend an genuine, human voice and expertise to the social scroll. And their place on model accounts is simply going to turn out to be extra essential to connecting with audiences. In truth, in a Q3 Sprout Pulse Survey of 307 US-based entrepreneurs, 8 in 10 social entrepreneurs describe influencer advertising as important to their social methods.
As Jeff MacDonald talked about, “The continued dominance of TikTok underscores the shift in direction of extra genuine, unfiltered content material. This development is more likely to develop, with customers gravitating in direction of content material that feels real and relatable. Brands will more and more leverage creators and influencers who can craft compelling tales and join with audiences on a private stage.”
Brand takeaway: The rise of creators and influencers and the genuine voice they supply will doubtless stay on the checklist of social media developments for years to come back. So now could be the time to kick off your creator and influencer advertising partnerships and program, should you haven’t already.
As Jeff put it, “Authenticity in content material not solely enhances engagement but in addition fosters belief and loyalty amongst shoppers. This development may be very a lot in line with the human-centric strategy to social media, the place human creativity and connection are pivotal in crafting model messages.”
Consider adopting a devoted creator and influencer administration platform, which over half of manufacturers have completed in accordance with a Q3 Sprout Pulse Survey. Platforms like Tagger by Sprout Social make managing your influencer partnerships and their impression simpler.
Trend 9: Personalized buyer care is a client choice
The expectations for social media customer support have solely gone up. Consumers now not simply need quick responses—70% of them count on personalised responses to their customer support wants, in accordance with the Index.
And 76% of shoppers discover and respect when corporations prioritize buyer help—so corporations who don’t accomplish that inevitably fall behind.
Brand takeaway: Analyze your function in social buyer care: how responsive are you being, and what are you able to do to scale your efforts?
Some 75% of companies in the Index say that social buyer care will likely be shared to some extent by advertising and customer support groups. If that is additionally the case for you, do not forget that strong buyer care is about empowering all groups concerned to collaborate and talk. Ensure that each groups are aligned on social voice and tone, response finest practices, canned response use, chat bot updates and extra.
Features like Sprout’s Case Management allow groups to seamlessly work collectively to resolve buyer points, whereas integrations with platforms like Zendesk and Salesforce allow brokers and social group members alike to get extra context behind buyer interactions, making personalization a lot simpler.
Trend 10: Marketing and buyer care groups use AI often…and monitor it intently
The use of AI to streamline workflows stays one of many present social media developments that can stretch into this 12 months—and past.
According to The 2023 Social Index™, over 80% of entrepreneurs have already seen the constructive impression of AI on their work. You your self could also be in that group. And past scaling content material creation and buyer care responses, AI will doubtless play an excellent bigger function as a advertising and buyer care instrument.
As Jeff MacDonald tells us, “In 2024, we will count on a deeper integration of AI in personalizing person experiences. AI can analyze person information to offer extremely tailor-made content material suggestions, improve customer support with extra responsive chatbots, and drive more practical focused promoting. This development aligns with the growing effectivity in content material manufacturing, as AI instruments turn out to be more proficient at understanding and replicating human-like interactions and creativity.”
But this 12 months, we forecast that this development will look slightly totally different. While there’s been a sustained use in AI, we’ve additionally seen a development of elevated conversations round AI ethics and utilizing it safely.
As Gabby Grahek places it, “Now that the shock of AI availability is carrying off, I count on corporations which have been hesitant to undertake AI instruments will develop (strict) adherence and governance insurance policies to start out benefiting from the efficiencies out there from the usage of AI.”
Brand takeaway: Join the entrepreneurs who’re utilizing AI to scale their content material creation and buyer care efforts. But all the time use it fastidiously and ethically—create an AI use coverage to safeguard your model and group.
Trend 11: Social information is essential—past the advertising group
One of the most important social media myths is that social information is simply related to social or advertising. On the opposite—social media information has the ability to tell each space and group of your group and enhance your total enterprise, from product, to buyer help to PR.
According to the Index, 76% of entrepreneurs agree that their group’s social insights inform different departments. And this development is right here to remain. Companies that don’t use social to tell their wider enterprise will undoubtedly fall behind.
Not to say, getting deep into the info is likely one of the finest methods to determine developments in social media in your owned content material.
As social groups turn out to be extra subtle, so will their use of knowledge past their group…so long as social groups know how you can talk that information with different departments.
Brand takeaway: You already know the way beneficial social information is—this 12 months, reveal this to different groups. Download our 2024 Social Media Toolkit for six assets that can show you how to streamline your technique and share its impression.
Use these social media developments to maintain your technique one step forward
We can’t all the time know when a brand new platform, content material format or trending TikTok sound will bubble up. In truth, they normally shock us in a drop-everything-and-film-this-content approach.
But we will have a look at the bigger social media advertising developments now and use them to construct a stronger technique that units us up for achievement. And that creates a strong basis that not even the appearance of a brand new platform can shake. (Well, possibly slightly.)
Keep the development forecasting going—for extra data-backed developments in social media, obtain The Sprout Social Index™ to bolster your technique with recommendations on sharing information with management, the metrics that matter most and extra.