What’s new in social media and how to harness it for your business.

As we set our sights on the landscape of 2024, it’s evident that the social media sphere remains as dynamic as ever, shaping the way we connect and do business in the digital age.

This article will work through the key trends that currently define the social media landscape. From the prevalence of succinct, engaging short-form videos to the integration of commerce within social platforms, these trends have significant implications for businesses and users alike.

Join us as we jump into the intricacies of evolving user behaviours, technological advancements and the influential role of content creators in shaping the future of social media.

Before we get into it, let’s look at some data to better understand the impact of social media.

Social media statistics & forecasts.

  • According to Smart Insights, The popularity of Tik Tok and Instagram will continue to grow in 2024:
    • Instagram is forecasting 50 million new users increasing its base to 1.4 billion
    • Tik Tok is expecting an 8% increase in its user base, bringing it to 900 million.

These platforms thrive on creativity and short-form content. Whilst it is largely influencer dominated, the main reason for the growth among these platforms is that the content is fun, unique and authentically human. This presents significant opportunities for brands to leverage and create an authentic connection with their target audience.

  • HubSpot’s 2023 social media report suggests that the social platforms are increasingly becoming the go-to for eCommerce:
    • 47% of social media marketers say their brand sells directly through social media platforms
    • Social media is now the leading platform for product discovery among Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X.

These figures reinforce the fact that younger generations are turning to social media rather than Google when it comes to purchasing products. This trend is expected to continue to grow with the younger generations as we move into 2024.

Short-form video sovereignty.

TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts stand out in the realm of short-form video content. These platforms have mastered the art of delivering engaging content and captivating audiences with brief, yet compelling videos.

TikTok’s algorithmically curated content keeps users scrolling through 15 to 60-second videos, appealing to a vast demographic. Meanwhile, Instagram Reels seamlessly integrates into the Instagram universe, offering creators and brands a streamlined way to share bite-sized, captivating content.

YouTube Shorts, Google’s answer to the trend, combines the platform’s infrastructure with snappy video content, attracting both creators and viewers seeking concise yet enriching videos.

Together, these platforms are revolutionising content consumption, dictating a new era where succinct, attention-grabbing videos reign supreme and transforming how businesses engage with their audiences in the bustling social media landscape.

The surge of social commerce.

Social media is no longer just a digital hangout—it’s swiftly becoming a busy marketplace. Platforms are transitioning into more than just spaces for connection; they’re transforming into storefronts where the virtual window shopping can turn into a direct checkout.

The evolution of social commerce has redefined the user experience, blurring the lines between inspiration and purchase. Beyond being hubs for content consumption, platforms are now integrating seamless shopping experiences, allowing users to explore, adore and purchase products without ever leaving the app.

Facebook and Instagram, for instance, have robust shopping features that let businesses showcase their products with stunning visuals and detailed descriptions. With a simple tap, users can go from admiring a product on their feed to making a secure purchase—all within the same platform they use to connect with friends and discover content.

Platforms like Pinterest have also joined the trend, turning inspiration into action by allowing users to purchase products directly from pinned images. This convergence of social media and eCommerce is not just about convenience; it’s a strategic move that capitalises on the impulse-driven nature of social media users.

As these platforms embrace social commerce, the way users interact with brands is fundamentally changing. It’s no longer just about engaging with content; it’s about engaging with a brand’s offerings, seamlessly transitioning from interest to purchase without disrupting the social experience.

The rise of social commerce is revolutionising how businesses market their products and how users satisfy their shopping cravings, all within the confines of their favourite apps.

The scoop on niche socials: more than just small talk.

Step aside big players! Niche social media platforms are like cosy local hangouts, where folks with the same interests gather for a chat. Whether it’s fishing tales on Fishbrain or book club banter on Discord, these spots feel like a community barbecue where everyone’s got something in common.

Why the buzz? It’s that personal touch. Niche platforms skip the big crowds, making room for genuine connections around shared interests. For businesses, it’s like having a booth at a farmers’ market – a chance to chat directly with people who genuinely care about what you’re offering.

As these niche hubs keep popping up, it’s a sign that we’re all leaning towards a more personal, tailored social experience. Brands, take note – it’s not about shouting to the masses; it’s about having a friendly chat in the neighbourhood. So, get ready to adapt because, in these niche corners of the internet, personalised connections are the currency.

The evolution of influencer marketing: selective, authentic and meaningful.

In the grand spectacle of influencer marketing, a shift is underway. Influencers, once riding the wave of any brand collaboration that came their way, are now the discerning gatekeepers of their digital kingdoms. It’s not just about slapping a logo on a post; it’s about creating a genuine connection with their audience through authenticity and meaningful collaborations.

The era of influencers as mere promoters is evolving into a time where partnerships are carefully curated, mirroring the influencer’s values and resonating authentically with their followers. It’s not just a business transaction; it’s a strategic dance where influencers and brands synchronise their moves to create something that feels real, relatable and relevant.

This newfound selectivity is a win-win. Influencers want to maintain the trust of their audience, and audiences, in turn, crave authenticity. It’s a digital handshake where both parties are seeking genuine value from the partnership.

For brands, this evolution means understanding that influencers are not just walking billboards. They’re storytellers, weaving narratives that align seamlessly with their personal brand. Successful collaborations aren’t about a one-size-fits-all approach but about finding that sweet spot where the brand message harmonises with the influencer’s voice.

In this influencer evolution, it’s not just about reaching audiences; it’s about resonating with them. It’s a shift from the influencer as a megaphone to the influencer as a trusted friend recommending something they genuinely believe in. And in this landscape, authenticity is the currency that fuels meaningful connections in the ever-expanding realm of digital influence.

A recap of trends and transformations.

One thing is for certain – the world of social media is a vibrant, ever-evolving ecosystem. Whether you’re a content creator crafting the next viral masterpiece or a business adapting to the winds of change, the key lies in embracing the journey, navigating the waves of trends and, most importantly, staying true to authentic connection with your customers in the digital landscape.

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