A lot happened this year in the world of social, from the rise (and fall?) of Meta’s Threads, to the explosion of AI tools and technology in almost every digital industry.
In the ever-changing world of social media marketing, staying ahead of the trends is crucial for small businesses looking to cut through the noise and make their mark online. As we head into 2024, understanding what your audience is interested in and how they’re behaving is the key to success in marketing your business on socials over the next year.
So, let’s get cracking!
Video will reign supreme
Just like video killed the radio star, it’s back for seconds with traditional social content too. Video content continues to reign supreme in the world of social media, and it’s not going anywhere in 2024.
In recent years, social platforms such as Instagram have been pushing users to make use of video, often algorithmically valuing this content over more traditional formats such as images. Video-sharing features such as YouTube Shorts popped up on virtually every platform seemingly overnight, and suddenly everybody you knew had TikTok.
Now, that content is getting longer. TikTok not too long ago introduced 10-minute videos, and Instagram Reels can now be up to 15 minutes long.
In 2024, if you haven’t already incorporated video content, then make it a priority and check out our tips here. And if you’re already all over it – consider playing with longer-form video. TikTok has indicated that videos over 1 minute perform better on their platform, and with increasingly longer maximum video length limits on most platforms, and more people using social media as a search engine – the way forward couldn’t be clearer.
Social = search engine
We know we keep harping on about this, but we can’t stress enough how important it is.
Results from multiple social media platforms own reports have indicated that users are increasingly using social media as a search engine. From tips and tricks, reviews on products from real people and advice on their own personal situations – social media is becoming an incredibly popular resource that people are turning to for answers.
So if you want to connect with your customers and gain even more of them? Be there to provide those answers. Figure out what your audience is searching for, what they’re interested in, and what problems they need solving, and provide them with your solutions.
In 2024, your small business will benefit from optimising their search engine optimisation (SEO) to complement their organic and paid social strategies, to create the content your audience is looking for. Whether that’s creating educational content, optimising your keywords or simply just figuring out how to position your product or service as the solution your ideal customers have been looking for – treating social like the search engine that it is will be the key to success.
If you were hoping that artificial intelligence (AI) would just quietly lose momentum and leave us humans alone, we hate to break it to you – but the robots aren’t going anywhere in 2024.
In fact, AI’s omnipresence on social is only going to expand from here. Just this year, Meta introduced AI messaging features for business accounts, OpenAI – the creators of ChatGPT – ramped up their features and updated the AI chatbot’s learnings to as recent as April 2023, and the number of AI tools available online has exploded.
In 2024, we can only expect to see this trend continue. While new changes can be daunting, and there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ fashioned risk assessment and making considered business decisions – taking advantage of new tools and the power of technology to streamline your business processes, elevate your social media presence and tailor your marketing messages is important too.
Whether it’s using AI-generated DM’s and tools such as such as ManyChat to engage more effectively with your social media communities – don’t doubt the power of AI, because the robots are here to stay.
We’ve seen it already, but in 2024 e-commerce and social media will go hand-in-hand with each other. Several social platforms have already incorporated in-app shopping solutions, including the TikTok Creator Storefront, and the opportunity for business accounts to list their product range natively in Instagram as well.
In 2024, this will only increase – particularly with social media being a keyway that customers search for and make their product decisions, and platforms wanting to be the one-stop-shop for every stage of the customer journey.
In the coming year, thinking about including your products as directly shoppable within your social channels and making use of other integrative e-commerce features will be worth considering.
Authenticity over everything
At the end of the day, social media is another way for businesses to increase their brand awareness, reach new customers and make more sales. But the trick to doing it right? Not making your message feel sales-y.
It’s already become abundantly clear that social media users don’t want to be sold to, but in 2024 making sure you’re being authentic and providing value through your social content will be more important than ever.
Platforms like TikTok are known for their raw, unfiltered approach to content, but even Instagram is seeing an increase in ‘photo dump’ posts for their storytelling ability and broadcast channels for more personal connection, and Facebook groups continue to grow for their value in providing community. In the professional space, LinkedIn is even prioritising thought leadership and educational content in its algorithm and providing creators with ‘Top Voice’ badges to allow users to easily find quality content.
In 2024 – no matter which platform you’re using – making sure that your content and presence on social media provides value, whether it’s educational, entertaining, inspiring or relatable in one way or another is critical.
What’s the takeaway?
The truth is, in the ever-evolving realm of digital marketing, small businesses wanting to wield the power of social media must adapt to emerging trends to stand out in a crowded online space. By aligning your social strategies with overarching trends, you can position your business for success on social in 2024 and beyond.
Our number one tip? Get amongst it! Spend time on social media, observe what people are posting, sharing and interacting with and find ways to apply these findings to your own niche. It takes a bit of work to find the best social strategy for your business and customers, but we promise – it will pay off.
Want us to do the hard work for you?
We understand the pressures of wearing all the hats as a small business owner. Let us take a little weight off your shoulders and help your business get the best results on socials in 2024.