What’s coming up on social media in 2024?

Miguel Cáceres

8 February 2024

rta tendencias banner

As we start a new year, we have the same task as always: looking back, evaluating the data from the closing year, and defining the strategy for the year ahead. Of course, it’s not all about numbers. There’s also something intangible: trends. Many of them are unpredictable.

In an increasingly disruptive and fast-paced digital world, the real challenge is not to fall behind. And although we’re not experts in reading the future, let’s review some predictions that you should definitely have on your radar if you don’t want your strategy to become obsolete. This is what’s to come!

Generative AI.

The undisputed headline of 2023 has been AI. And beyond its implications on productivity, the emergence of generative artificial intelligence has also been crucial in the eyes of the consumer. Ad content generated through AI is here to stay.

AI offers limitless opportunities for creativity and is on everyone’s lips. Many brands have found a goldmine in this: introducing AI-generated content in an original way that encourages conversation. The interest in this topic is already out there, you just have to capitalise on it. Some examples:

  • Several brands like Scalpers or  Good News have imagined how their stores would look in other parts of the world.
  • Others, like Toyota, have joined the conversation about AI to capture consumer attention and leverage it to their advantage.
  • And then there are those like El Corte Inglés, who are getting into what seems to be the latest trend: collaborating with AI artists – because, yes, they exist. And they are true digital influencers.

In 2023, we witnessed the explosion of generative AI text-image. In 2024, this trend will continue to rise, and everything suggests that the next step will be video. MIT says so.

But wait, there’s more: pay attention to music, which TikTok is already experimenting with and, if successful, could mean a change in brands’ soundtracks, finally eliminating the tedious task of searching for sounds in an unattractive commercial library.

Messaging and collaboration.

Social media is becoming more social. The trend is to post less and interact more. The weight of content generation is shifting towards digital creators while consumers simply watch and comment. Companies know this, and now everyone wants to be on WhatsApp.

The latest developments on Instagram are clearly aimed at encouraging conversation:

  • Broadcast channels, which strengthen the relationship between celebrities and brands with their most loyal followers through DMs.
  • Instagram Notes, which, despite passing unnoticed by the majority of active Instagram users, are especially successful among Generation Z, and there are plans to further enhance them.
  • Collaborative Collections for sharing inspiration and recommendations with friends.

It’s not just Meta. BeReal also introduced BeReal Chat in 2023 in an attempt to stop user decline.

Among the novelties for 2024, Instagram is preparing the launch of more tools such as:

  • Stories for friends
    An option to create Stories content and publish it on another profile. A golden opportunity for brands and their UGC strategies?

Leveraging this trend as a brand is already possible. Pioneers like VICIO or Scuffers  use tools like the Close Friends list to masterfully retain their followers and personalise communication.

 

Video remains king.

Do you remember the times when the debate was between video and image? Those days are over. Video has been king for years. The debate now is different: long video or short video? But always video.

TikTok introduced the revolution of ephemeral video: vertical; fast; entertaining. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook rushed to copy the idea with Reels. Shortly after, YouTube launched Shorts. Its dominance after years of capitalising on video consumption in a very different format -horizontal and long-form- was in jeopardy.

Now, there’s a paradox: YouTube wants to be TikTok, and TikTok wants to be YouTube. Let us explain:

  • YouTube Shorts has been a success. It’s the format with the highest growth on the platform – with over 50 billion daily views – and the flagship of the platform.
  • At the same time, Instagram and TikTok are determined not to let long videos die and are betting on its comeback. The former already allows the publication of Reels up to 15 minutes long. The latter is considering it.

Are users tired of high-speed content? Are they looking for a return to in-depth content? It wouldn’t seem like an absurd conclusion given the success of podcasts. The truth is that long video is a more expensive format for brands in terms of production and, in turn, has fewer possibilities of being profitable since it’s more difficult to amplify it through paid media. However, it’s a move worth keeping a close eye on.

This doesn’t mean that short videos will disappear. TikTok will remain TikTok. But perhaps, 15-second videos will have to share a piece of the pie.

 

Podcasts (or Zara’s new yellow jacket).

Podcasts were to 2023 what Zara’s yellow jacket was to 2016. Audio consumption is on the rise. According to Statista, in 2024, there will be 500 million podcast listeners worldwide. Spain also holds a prominent position in the ranking: there are studies placing it as the third highest country in the world in terms of penetration:

statista podcast espana

 

Brands know this, and podcasts have become a winning bet for branding. The  Nude Project‘s podcast may be the most recognised example, although many more brands have joined the fray. General Óptica and Toyota are some of ours.

To the question “Should I venture into the podcast world in 2024?” The answer is “Probably, yes.” But first, here are some important recommendations:

  • Be clear about your message and your value proposition.

If you don’t have anything relevant to say as a brand, it’s better not to do it. There are already many interview podcasts, and you won’t build a brand that way.

  • Have a good master of ceremonies.

Interest will come either from the guests or from the host. Choosing a recognisable face as the host is the first step for success.

  • Amplify it on social media.

No one is going to Spotify or YouTube to look for your brand just because. The excerpts you publish on your social media are as important as the full episode. They are the gateway to redirect that much-needed traffic.

And if you’re not sure, you can always approach the phenomenon through advertising, which is also growing. As always: put ads where the people are.

 

Make way for micro influencers.

Ignoring influencer marketing is ignoring digital reality. Nobody wants to hear a brand speak. We want to hear from people. Especially if they have a familiar face. The data supports this.

confianza influencers us

 

This doesn’t mean you have to work with the usual macro-influencers (more than 1M followers). In fact, that’s the most common mistake. The trend is twofold towards brand ambassadors and micro/nano-influencers. So, who are they?

  • Brand ambassadors:
    More and more brands are closing annual ambassadorships with one or two influential profiles. You don’t need more. Choose the profile that best aligns with your brand values and work with them long-term.
  • Micro and Nano Influencers:
    These are profiles with much smaller audience numbers but with a more niche and closer community, which translates into greater credibility. Among the advantages of these types of profiles are their lower cost and all the possibilities that entails for your brand:

    • Greater ability to diversify your budget and work with different profiles.
    • Content generation for your social media, a game-changer for any brand looking to humanise its communication through UGC and reduce content production costs, especially in a context where video is the star format.
    • Implementation in your paid media strategy. That is, using their content in your brand’s ads.

If you have to choose, stick with the latter. The industry is heading in this direction.

 

Employee Advocacy: the cool guy around town.

A revelation: there’s no better influencer for your brand than your own employees. The data: 75% of citizens trust employees of the company more than any other corporate source.

Advocacy marketing is one of the most booming trends in the industry and a must for your 2024 marketing strategy if you haven’t started working on it yet. It boils down to motivating your employees to talk about your brand and, more importantly, becoming digital opinion leaders.

LinkedIn, although not the only one, is the perfect arena. A social network that keeps growing – even among the youngest professionals – and increasingly focuses on empowering authorised voices. It’s a place where your brand cannot afford to be absent.

At Good Rebels, we have been accompanying brands on this path for years, with our own methodology at the worker level, but also at the senior management level.

Social commerce and Tik Tok’s promise.

Social commerce is the great promise of 2024. It’s expected to revolutionise the e-commerce world and by 2025, it’s projected to be an industry of over 80 billion dollars. Moreover, all predictions agree that this will be TikTok’s year. Its leadership in the entertainment field is undeniable, but sales are its great pending task in Western countries.

2024 will be the year of TikTok Shop, whose proposal can be summed up as “buying without leaving TikTok.” TikTok Shop is already taking shape in the US, where they were launched last September. The challenge is for their implementation to come even close to the data of their Chinese twin, Douyin. Of course, Douyin’s secret is live stream shopping, a purchasing format that seems not to have found its momentum in the West.

If one thing is clear, it’s that 2024 will be a year to invest more than ever in social commerce.

Social SEO

Social SEO will continue to be on everyone’s lips in 2024. Social media continues to take a bite out of Google’s pie among younger generations. In general terms, they are getting closer and closer to the historical leader of search. In the case of Generation Z, it’s even more evident:

social seo

 

TikTok doesn’t stop in its fight to snatch the top spot and has integrated Search Ads Toggle, which now appears in the user’s search results similar to Google Search Ads. It has also enabled the Keyword Insights tool in its Creative Center to make working on SEO as easy as possible.

New players.

BeReal, the app that revolutionised 2022, is no longer in the spotlight. Brands have never entered the platform. And among users, it has hit its peak. Usage data is decreasing.

However, 2023 has given us a new player to watch closely: Threads, which gains users while X loses momentum. Several brands have ventured in, some replicating their strategy on X and others, like VICIO, cultivating their own personality.

captura de pantalla 2024 02 01 a las 10 24 13
Translation: “If this Thread reaches 50k likes, we shut down our Twitter account”.

As a plus: you don’t start from 0, but rather bring along your Instagram community. Without a doubt, a key player in 2024 that will need to be closely followed.

Photo dump.

Video is king, as we’ve said. But it doesn’t mean it’s the only ingredient in the cocktail shaker. Carousels – now renamed as photo dumps because that’s how cool we are – are a very good option to complement your content strategy. Their production is faster, their organic performance is very good, and they will help you fill out the calendar without dying in the process. The video basket can’t hold all the eggs.

 

These are the ingredients of the recipe. The combinations are endless, and the final dish is up to you. Go for it!