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Beyond likes and shares: the top 10 social media trends shaping 2024
In the ever evolving world of social media, the landscape is set to undergo transformative shifts in 2024, demanding brands to realign their strategies for optimal engagement. In this article, we’re taking a look at the top social media trends that will dominate the digital space and redefine how businesses connect with their audience.
- TikTok’s continued reign
In the vast realm of social media, few platforms have made as profound an impact as TikTok. The year 2023 witnessed TikTok’s ascent to cultural prominence and as we step into 2024, its trajectory remains steadfastly upward.
The app’s meteoric rise in 2023 was nothing short of spectacular, capturing the attention of users worldwide. Its seamless blend of entertainment, creativity and user-friendly features has created a captivating environment where individuals, influencers and brands converge to share their stories in bite sized video format.
As we delve into 2024, the platform’s user base continues to expand, drawing in individuals of diverse ages and interests. The allure of short form video content is an ever growing appetite, with users spending increasing hours immersed in the endless scroll of captivating and often viral content.
For brands navigating the digital landscape, TikTok is an imperative. The platform’s infectious appeal isn’t limited to a specific demographic – it transcends age, interests and geographical boundaries. To stay relevant in the dynamic world of social media, brands must not only recognise TikTok’s influence but actively participate in the creative tapestry it weaves.
Tapping into TikTok’s ecosystem offers brands a unique opportunity to connect with audiences on a more personal and engaging level. The platform’s innovative features, such as duets, challenges and sound bites, provide an interactive canvas for brands to showcase their personality and connect authentically with their target demographic.
- Instagram reels rising
Short form videos have become the heartbeat of digital engagement and Instagram Reels, akin to TikTok, has emerged as a frontrunner in delivering dynamic and engaging content to over 2.4 billion monthly active users. Although it might not surpass TikTok’s meteoric success, Reels has firmly established itself as a juggernaut in the realm of brand engagement.
The appeal of Reels lies in its integration within the existing Instagram ecosystem. With a colossal user base already engaged on the platform, Reels seamlessly fits into the content consumption habits of Instagram users. This strategic alignment enables brands to tap into a vast and diverse audience, exploring the creative potential that short form videos offer.
As users continue to gravitate towards consumable, visually captivating content, brands must recognise the pivotal role Reels plays in sustaining their digital presence. The platform provides a canvas for storytelling, creativity and brand personality, fostering an environment where brands can showcase authenticity in bite sized narratives.
While TikTok might be synonymous with the short form video revolution, Instagram Reels holds its own unique appeal. It complements the existing Instagram Feed and Stories, offering users a multifaceted experience within a single app. For brands, this means a consolidated space to reach and engage with their audience through different content formats.
As the competition for attention intensifies, brands must leverage the creative potential of Reels to craft visually stunning narratives, participate in trending challenges and foster a deeper connection with their audience.
- LinkedIn is getting personal
In the wake of a global paradigm shift brought about by the pandemic, LinkedIn, traditionally viewed as the professional’s playground, is undergoing a remarkable transformation. This shift, marked by a departure from its stoic professional demeanour, has ushered in a new era where authenticity, vulnerability and relatability take centre stage. LinkedIn is no longer just a hub for job postings and corporate updates. It’s becoming an intimate space where individuals share the intricacies of their professional journeys and personal lives.
The metamorphosis of LinkedIn into a more personal platform gained momentum during the pandemic, as professionals worldwide found themselves navigating the uncharted territories of remote work, professional challenges and personal resilience. LinkedIn became a canvas for the unfiltered, unvarnished narratives of individuals juggling the complexities of life and work. The shift was not just a response to the times but an organic evolution, as users sought genuine connections beyond the constraints of corporate formalities.
This transformation opens a myriad of opportunities for brands to recalibrate their approach on LinkedIn. No longer confined to corporate speak, brands can now infuse a human touch into their content, resonating with audiences on a deeper level. The authenticity that pervades the platform allows brands to showcase the faces behind the business, share behind the scenes glimpses and participate in conversations that extend beyond the boardroom.
The essence of this evolution lies in the power of storytelling. LinkedIn users are not just seeking professional opportunities – they are yearning for narratives that reflect the human experience in the professional realm. Brands that embrace this shift and weave authentic stories into their content strategy stand to forge more meaningful connections with their audience. Need some inspiration? Here’s an example of the Zib Digital team getting personal on LinkedIn.
- Gen Z’s content revolution
Gen Z, born into the age of smartphones and social media, has seamlessly transitioned from consumers to content creators, exerting an unprecedented influence over the platforms they inhabit. In the coming year, their ascent to the forefront of user generated content will play a pivotal role in defining the digital landscape.
The essence of Gen Z’s content takeover lies in their innate ability to blend authenticity, creativity and a keen understanding of social dynamics. These digital natives use platforms like Instagram and TikTok not just as tools for communication, but as canvases for self expression, storytelling and cultural commentary. From fleeting TikTok dances to meticulously curated Instagram stories, Gen Z has become the vanguard of a new era in social media content creation.
User generated content (UGC), driven predominantly by Gen Z, is set to be the heartbeat of social media in 2024 and brands can no longer afford to be spectators. Tthey must actively participate in this content revolution to remain relevant. The power of UGC lies in its authenticity – genuine recommendations, experiences and endorsements from real users carry a weight that traditional advertising struggles to match.
By tapping into the authentic narratives shared by Instagram and TikTok users, brands can amplify community growth and bolster brand awareness organically. This isn’t about dictating the narrative. It’s about becoming a part of the narrative woven by the very audience a brand seeks to engage.
As Gen Z continues to wield its influence, brands must adapt their strategies to align with the values and behaviours of this demographic. Collaborations, challenges and interactive campaigns that resonate with the genuine expressions of Gen Z will not only amplify brand reach but also cultivate a sense of belonging and community among users. Check out the 2024 Instagram Trend Talk featuring Gen Z’s take on trends that will drive global culture this year for inspo!
- Keyword dominance
As we dive into 2024, the shift towards using social media platforms as search engines is reshaping how content gains visibility, placing paramount importance on the strategic integration of keywords.
Traditionally, hashtags were the gatekeepers to content discoverability, guiding users through the labyrinth of posts. However, the landscape is evolving and the rise of social media SEO is ushering in a new era where content visibility is intricately tied to the strategic use of keywords.
The fundamental shift lies in how users navigate social media platforms. Instead of relying solely on hashtags to explore content, users are increasingly treating platforms like TikTok, Instagram and others as search engines in their own right. This shift requires brands and content creators to rethink their approach and prioritise SEO strategies that align with user search behaviour.
Incorporating the right keywords into your content will guide users to your posts, overshadowing the role once played by hashtags. Users are no longer confined to scrolling through endless hashtags to find relevant content – they can now use platform specific search functionalities to directly discover content aligned with their interests.
Understanding the search intent of your target audience becomes imperative. By incorporating relevant keywords into your content, you not only enhance its discoverability but also align with the evolving user behaviour that treats social media platforms as information hubs.
- Captioning videos for impact
In the era of muted videos, where users scroll through their feeds in public spaces, during commutes or in situations where audio is impractical, captions are bridging the gap between silent visuals and audience engagement. Brands that understand this shift in user behaviour recognise the need to transform their videos into multi dimensional experiences that captivate even in silence.
Adding captions to all videos isn’t just about meeting a user’s immediate need for information without sound. It’s a deliberate strategy to boost interaction and increase the likelihood of content discovery through keyword searches. The marriage of visuals and text creates a dynamic synergy, ensuring that your message is not just seen but comprehended, resonating more profoundly with your audience.
Accessibility lies at the heart of this strategy. By providing captions, brands extend their content’s reach to a broader audience, including those with hearing impairments. The inclusivity that captions bring enhances a brand’s reputation, showcasing a commitment to making content accessible to all.
- Shopping goes social
The rise of social commerce is an organic response to the evolving behaviours of consumers who have seamlessly integrated their online social lives with their shopping experiences. Social media platforms are no longer just spaces for networking and content consumption – they’ve evolved into immersive shopping destinations, blurring the line between discovery and purchase.
Consumers, now more than ever, are embracing shopping features seamlessly integrated into their favourite social platforms. Whether it’s the shoppable posts on Instagram, the live shopping experiences on Facebook or the dynamic storefronts on TikTok, social commerce is taking centre stage, providing users with a holistic and engaging shopping journey without leaving the app.
For brands, the imperative is clear: align with evolving consumer behaviours and leverage social media as a seamless e-commerce platform. This isn’t just about setting up an online store. It’s about crafting an interactive and personalised shopping experience that mirrors the social dynamics users cherish.
The beauty of social commerce lies in its ability to tap into the inherent social nature of consumers. Recommendations, reviews and real time interactions become an integral part of the shopping experience. Brands that actively participate in this social commerce ecosystem not only boost their sales but also foster a sense of community around their products.
- Nurturing brand loyalty in private digital spaces
In this era of information overload, where the mainstream can feel overwhelming, private spaces offer a respite – a digital haven where individuals with shared passions or pursuits can converge.
Facebook Groups, with their tailored themes and curated memberships, are evolving into more than just discussion forums. They are becoming digital meeting spots where members engage in intimate conversations, share insights and build relationships beyond the constraints of the public eye. Similarly, Instagram Channels provide a visually immersive space for users to delve deeper into specific content areas, creating a sense of exclusivity and camaraderie among like minded individuals.
The allure of private spaces lies in the authenticity and depth of interactions. In these communities, individuals feel a sense of belonging, sharing not just content but experiences, challenges and triumphs. The conversations venture into the realms of genuine connection, fostering relationships that extend beyond the digital realm.
For brands, the rise of private spaces presents an opportunity to move beyond the conventional paradigms of mass marketing. Engaging with niche communities allows brands to become integral parts of conversations, gaining insights into the nuanced needs and desires of their audience. It’s no longer about broadcasting messages. It’s about participating in dialogues, understanding the intricacies of user experiences and building brand loyalty through meaningful connections.
- The power of originality and empathy in brand narratives
While the notion of reinventing the wheel may be impractical, the call for originality exceeds the novelty of products or services. At its core, originality is about crafting unique brand stories that resonate with the values, aspirations and emotions of the audience. It’s about being authentic in a world often saturated with curated narratives, presenting a brand as more than just a business entity.
Empathy, in this context, becomes a powerful tool for originality. Understanding the pain points, desires and emotional triggers of the audience allows brands to tailor their interactions in a way that goes beyond transactional relationships. Empathetic interactions humanise the brand, forging connections that are not just about buying and selling but about shared experiences, understanding and mutual growth.
In a world where consumers are not just seeking products but meaningful encounters, brands that go the extra mile in delivering exceptional service, anticipating needs and creating memorable touchpoints set themselves apart. It’s not just about what a brand sells but how it makes the consumer feel throughout the entire journey.
In a marketplace where products and services can be replicated, the brand experience becomes the true differentiator, transforming a transaction into a relationship.
- From employees to advocates
In an era where consumers are increasingly sceptical of polished influencer endorsements, the authenticity that emanates from employees turned advocates becomes a refreshing departure. These individuals are not just representatives of the brand – they are living, breathing embodiments of its culture, values and mission.
The concept extends beyond traditional influencer marketing, where external individuals are compensated for promoting products. Instead, the focus is on existing employees who authentically share their experiences with the brand.
Showcasing the company culture and products through the lens of employees humanises the brand. It’s a unique perspective that goes beyond polished marketing materials, providing audiences with a behind the scenes look at the people who make the brand come alive. This not only fosters trust but also creates a relatable connection that goes beyond the transactional nature of traditional marketing.
In the dynamic realm of social media, adaptability is key. As these trends reshape the digital landscape in 2024, brands must embrace change, forge genuine connections and weave compelling narratives to thrive in the ever evolving world of social engagement.
As a leading digital marketing agency in NZ, we don’t just understand trends; we lead them. Our team of experts is equipped with the knowledge and skills to not only adapt but to innovate, ensuring that your brand doesn’t just survive but thrives in the ever-changing social media landscape.