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Social media in 2024: 5 trends and predictions

 

What does the future of social look like?

 

1. LinkedIn will be huge.

The platform says it now has 1bn users.

Could this huge audience be being driven by the massive changes we’ve seen in social world? Elon’s taken Twitter to the dark side, Facebook’s all about its local groups for local people, Instagram continues to p*ss off and pander to creators in equal measure, and TikTok won’t stop flogging crap. Is LinkedIn the only channel staying true to its roots?

Well, sort of. Since the pandemic, we’ve seen LinkedIn become more like the traditional social channels – people sharing personal stories, entertaining content, and celebrating milestones. And organic company page content reach is decreasing. Some reports say it’s dipped from as much as 10% of feed content to just 2%, with more competition than ever to find your way onto a user’s newsfeed. So, is LinkedIn still the consummate professional among its social peers?

Share, Opinion, Advice

LinkedIn’s algorithm rewards posts containing expert opinions and advice with higher reach. So, while you’ll still find people posting more personal content in 2024, it’s best to keep it career/industry related. For brands, audiences want to hear expert advice from your own in-house ‘influencers’. Your team is a wealth of expertise/content and could be the solution to falling company page reach – utilise your founder and exec’s pages.

‘Record-level’ engagement

The platform announced record-level engagement in 2023, saying it grew by a further 12%. (However, Social Media Today has questioned the accuracy of this statement in this article.) Either way, LinkedIn has definitely become an important way to reach customers as well as the traditional B2B audience.

 

Image credit: @SabrinaBahsoon

 

2. Creators rule

And Tube Girl won 2023

One of the year’s biggest trends, #tubegirl has 1.7 billion views on TikTok and creator, Sabrina Bahsoon, now has almost 800k followers.

From the Victoria line to Valentino

Her story is the fairy-tale of the digital age: take yourself from obscurity to ubiquity with striking lo-fi content and help from a hashtag and trending track. Her top video has 28.4m views and in less than one year, Sabrina went from dancing on the tube to sitting front row at Balmain, and collabs with Valentino and Mac Cosmetics.

Why are creators so big for social?

  1. Video is top for engagement. And when creators are authentic in their videos, they’re more trustworthy than brands. 73% of consumers say they’re more likely to watch a video about a product than read about it.
  2. Out of home has become out of phone – we’re seeing creators’ faces everywhere in ad campaigns and on billboards. And faces are the new logos.
  3. Launchmetric found creator-led launches = 11% higher ROI. Think Kim K and SKIMS, Frances Bourgeois and Gucci x North Face, and Snoop Dogg becoming brand ambassador for Solo Stove. 

 

Image credit: @ITV

 

3. Threads isn’t going anywhere

Brands like to pretend it isn’t a thing but, according to Mark Zuckerberg, Threads has hit just under 100m monthly users since its launch in July ‘23.

What’s been happening in Threads world?

  1. Zuckerberg says he wants it to be a happy space for the next decade: “How we set the culture for Threads early on in terms of being a more positive, friendly place for discussion will hopefully be one of the defining elements for the next decade as we scale it out.”
  2. Conversation is king: a Meta Marketing Director recently shared that, “We see a lot more engagement on Threads on content that’s a conversation starter.” Nothing we don’t know but nice to have firm answers. Meta also confirmed Threads currently uses Instagram’s algorithm.

And at the start of November Instagram released a clue that Threads could be launching in the EU soon. 

Image credit: Hootsuite

 

4. More AI, especially on Meta

According to Hootsuite the biggest surges will be in image editing and messaging.

How will AI change social media in 2024?

  1. Personalisation – Don’t you hate it when you’re recommended a post from The Sun on Facebook?  AI-powered personalisation could help to make social media feeds more relevant and engaging.
  2. Content editing – AI should make social content creation easier and more engaging. Although we’re always going to prefer the human touch when it comes to both creative and captions.
  3. Customer service – CS and community management have always been different and AI could free up so much admin time for Social Media Managers, leaving more time on retainers for community building and outreach.

Image credit: BBC

 

5. Will TikTok be banned in the US?

Have you noticed over the last few years that, semi-regularly, a news app will notify you of another country or government agency banning TikTok?

Why does the US keep talking about banning TikTok?

Since its popularity soared in 2020, it’s the same privacy and security issues that have caused rumours of a TikTok – owned by Chinese company, ByteDance – ban to fly. View the latest updates on which countries have banned the app here.

So, will America lose TikTok?

Unlikely. But, if the political tensions between the USA and China were to worsen, this would become increasingly likely.

Ready to take on 2024?

If 2023 proved anything, it’s that the only thing we can 100% predict is more unpredictability, with Elon and Mark’s never-ending battle for social media supremacy bound to keep us on our toes.

If you want help figuring out how to give your business a head-start on social media in 2024, get in touch today at info@rbh.co.uk.

 

Written by Natasha Whitbourn

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