What awaits us in the 2024 social media world?
We know embracing the unexpected is a core facet of social media, but let's look into The Brand Audit crystal ball and share some unfiltered, unbiased and unconventional thoughts on the future of social.
Get ready brands—2024 is about to throw some serious curveballs, and we're here to help you catch them like social media MVPs.
1. Ditch the Script & Tear Up the Template
We saw this movement start to take shape in 2021 as Polished IG Feeds are claimed dead and the anti-aesthetic movement started to take shape with influencers and creators.
Our prediction is that trend will take over more brand accounts with even more unhinged and raw content. Spontaneity will reign supreme and brands will be free to color outside the lines.
Especially with the proliferation of fake AI content - audiences will crave more real and human. Behind the scenes and candid will reign supreme.
More LoFi methods will be adopted by brands to capture content. Brands will embrace the FaceTime video, Notes App Screenshot and CEO Selfie.
Brand guidelines will take a backseat.
Social will become more unscripted and untemplated.
Brands will discover it's more important to be first to the party than be the best dressed to the party.
Brands that listen and participate in dialogues and trends on social will be the most successful. Social listening will be of the utmost importance.
Agility is the ultimate currency as audiences appreciate brands that are on the cultural pulse with layered references, and in-jokes. Designers will need to adapt their methods and embrace the ugly world of fastvertising to attract the party-goers attention.
3. Kardashian-esque Founders
2024 is the era of the personal brand.
Founders are no longer just the architects behind the scenes - they're the stars of the show, investing in their personal brand to elevate their companies and attract a constellation of buyers, talent, and attention.
Like the Kardashians who like them or hate them - have successfully built multi-million dollar businesses on personal brands. Our prediction is we're going to see more Founders adopt this model and invest in personal brands.
And we're going to see more in real-time posting.
Founders won't save content for later.
They will show the stages, the BTS (Behind-The-Scenes) so that viewers feel that they are part of the adventure and builds buzz with the brands. As founders they will adopt the Kardashian method - talking about the ins / outs of entrepreneurship.
4. TikTok Ripples
In 2023 most media agencies and brands played it safe. They recommended high volume channels where the big numbers looked impressive...but in reality weren't translating into results (*cough Meta cough*).
But in 2024 they are going to be forced to acknowledge that reach isn't the only KPI that matters - and in fact engagement rate has a higher indicator for purchase intent.
TikTok will enter the scene in more prominent way as the #1 global downloaded platform and highest demos with Gen Z / Millennials. In 2022 it averaged 5.5% ER compared to Instagram at 2.8% so brands will start to take notice.
Social content, lexicon, trends will continue to originate first on this platform and then re-purposed and infiltrate through others. TikTok will continue it's momentum in to the mainstream with Google Search now prioritizing TikTok content in its search algorithm.
5. The Microinfluence
Creator content will continue to have bigger impact than brand content. Trust is the currency on social and people trust people more than brands. Micro creators will be more effective and cost efficient than large creators. It's not about the size of the following; it's about the depth of connection and micro-influencers have a much better pulse on the realities of their target audience.
We will see a migration away from traditional mom-fluencers like Jillian Harris who are selling the perfect life baked in consumerism and towards creators that remove the facade and show us the reality of human existence. In tandem with that we will see a continuation of the de-influencing trend.
6. Birds in Flux
We predict continued mass migration from users away from Twitter to LinkedIn and other social platforms. This will result in the rise and reward of B2B Thought Leaders. With rise of Tweeters, the LinkedIn ecosystem will change dramatically and will have more human-centric, news-centric and pop-culture centric content.
If you're a brand we don't recommend flying away just quite yet. Although the platform is in flux, there's still potential for future transformation (we predict a 2024 sale). So reduce / pause your activity, but hold onto your handles...for now.
7. Algorithm Avengers
Step aside robots - it's the humans are in centre spotlight.
With the rise of AI generated content on social, Human thought leadership content will be the way to break through the algorithms.
Google has been one of the first to even state that their algorithm has changed toprioritize authentic thought leaders and punish AI created content when determining search ranking. We predict more platforms will follow Google's lead in 2024 and brands will have to follow suit to appease the algorithm gods.
8. Social Leaders as CMOs
We've seen an emergence of role titles like "Heads of Social" and "Director of Social" with the acknowledgement of social being a central discipline for company success. With conventional communication leaders struggling to remain relevant and build meaningful marketing relationships, we predict that there will be more Social-First Leaders emerging as CMOs. And with these social-first leaders were going to see more of an emphasis on investing in digital and social channels.
9. Subtle Influence
Gen Z and Millennials are over invasive advertising. Our hope is in 2024 more brands come to realize this and stop investing in talking head videos with heavy branding. Users are rejecting disruptive advertising and embracing brands that employ more native-feeling and personalized strategies. It's all about respecting the platforms and spaces instead of taking them over.
10. Casual Communities
We think more brands are going to adopt Slack and WhatsApp channels or create Sub Reddits to informally communicate with their audience. This will allow brands to foster a space for shared connections and communications. But don't try to sell in these spaces - it's about adding value to the community rather than making a sale.
That concludes our glimpse into The Brand Audit crystal ball - what predictions do you have for social in 2024?
Need help with your social media strategy?
Contact us to Unleash your Brand's Potential.