Saturday, July 20, 2024

Marketers’ Approaches to Social Media Dynamics in 2024

As we have lately stepped into a new year, 2024, social media is getting ready for some more changes and marketers are getting ready to go along with the flow. Social media is always changing. Recently, platforms like TikTok became more popular and added even more excitement to the mix. And there is more. Now, people can even shop while hanging out on social media. Let us take a closer look at what tricks marketers have in 2024.

Adapting Budgets Amid Shifting User Engagement

As consumers potentially reconsider their social media usage, marketers are expected to exhibit resilience by adjusting their budgets as well as maintaining a visible presence on these platforms. Despite the apparent reasons that might deter users from engaging with social media, a notable departure occurred last year, witnessing the exit of prominent tech and entertainment brands. When big brands got linked to some not-so-great conspiracy theories, it got everyone thinking. People started wondering if they might stop using social media altogether.

According to Dan Gutter, an analyst for Gartner, the likelihood of an immediate mass abandonment by social media users seems improbable. Instead, a reduction in engagement might be on the horizon. Gartner’s recent projection suggested that by 2025, about 50% of consumers could abandon or significantly limit their interactions with social media. This prediction aligns with the sentiments expressed by 53% of consumers in a Gartner survey last summer, where they believed social media had worsened over the previous year or five years.

Gutter shares important thoughts. He thinks most people won’t suddenly stop using social media, but they might not use it as much. If marketers see less interaction, he recommends trying out other digital channels like videos, streaming and focusing on search engine stuff.

YouTube’s Potential

In the face of potential user apathy towards social media, YouTube emerges as a platform that users might find more acceptable. Gartner’s data indicates that nearly one-third (31%) of social media users express openness to advertising on YouTube specifically. Users often gravitate towards content that entertains (47%) and educates (42%), both of which align with the content types that YouTube excels in delivering.

Gartner consumer data reveals that total ad avoidance such as consumers abandoning an app or website if asked to allow data tracking rose from 20% to 33% between 2021 and 2023.

Social Media’s Integral Role in Brand-to-Consumer Interaction

Regardless of challenges such as ad fatigue and concerns about brand safety, social media is expected to maintain its status as a top digital media investment for many brands. Cristina Lawrence, who is really into consumer stuff at Razorfish, says social media is super important for brands and people to connect. She thinks with all the big changes in digital stuff, like different platforms and new tech, social media is like the center for brands talking to consumers.

For today’s marketers, Lawrence says it is super important to notice and use these changes in 2024. Brands will work hard to connect with people, be important to them and give them cool moments.

Short-Form Content Paradigm Shift

The landscape of social media engagement experienced a paradigm shift with the rise of short-form organic content, particularly on platforms like TikTok. Marketers are using social media in their big plan, using the strengths of different platforms to make sure everything fits well.

Lawrence suggests that if brands mix social media into their big plan, they can use the special things about each platform. This helps keep everything working well together and makes sure people like the creative stuff brands make.

Smaller Communities and Audience Focus

In the vast expanse of the internet, individuals are seeking more manageable and intimate community spaces. This shift is evident in the rise of ‘fediverse platforms’ such as Mastodon and Bluesky. Arianna Crawford, Social Media Manager at Big Valley Marketing, observes, “With the overwhelming vastness and noise of the internet, people have been carving out community spaces that feel more manageable.”

The traditional strategy of amplifying a single post to a broad audience is becoming outdated. In 2024, marketers are expected to implement three key improvements:

  • Better understanding and prioritizing audience segments.
  • Gaining a better hold on the content audiences are looking for and where.
  • Hiring more staff specializing in audience development on social platforms.

Social VR

The sales of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) hardware faced a decline of 40% in 2023. Apple is bringing out a cool headset called Vision Pro next year. This might give brands a chance to do fun stuff with virtual experiences. Lawrence thinks brands can try out things in social VR, especially with people who like trying new things early on platforms like VRChat.

Lawrence thinks that in 2024, communities will still be trying out new things on a small scale. Brands can join in on these experiments. But, before brands need to spend a lot on social VR, lots of people have to start using it.

Going even further, games that are not just on big platforms like Roblox open up chances for brands to join in and connect with gamers. It is a cool opportunity.

Challenges of Shoppable Ads in Social Commerce

The world of social commerce has witnessed the introduction of features like TikTok Shop, following the footsteps of platforms like Instagram. Now, social commerce is like a new way for people to shop online. But at the same time, brands are also spreading out to different places to make sure more people notice them. This is evident in the growing ad network of e-commerce giant Amazon and the adoption of multichannel selling strategies, along with the incorporation of shoppable ads on social platforms.

Chad Engelgau, CEO and President of multichannel marketing technology company Acxiom, sheds light on the challenges faced by shoppable ads. “Shoppable ads are still relatively new to most consumers,” Engelgau remarks. According to recent research by Acxiom titled ‘Where Marketing and AI Collide,’ awareness of shoppable ads stands at 62%, but only 17% of consumers have made a purchase through shoppable social media. Engelgau says it is super important for brands to make sure customers have good experiences so they keep trusting them.

Engelgau points out that online shopping is getting bigger and you can buy stuff directly in different ways, like looking at pictures, watching videos or messaging. This change is a lot like how Amazon does things, putting together buying and ads in lots of different places. Amazon is anticipated to capture 12.4% of all U.S. digital advertising spend in 2023, growing advertising by offering ads in video, live sports, audio and grocery.

Gutter indicates that consumer adoption of social commerce has remained relatively flat over the last two years, witnessing a decline from 14% adoption in 2021 to 7% in 2022 and further dropping to 8% in 2023. He says that you could say people might not be getting more interested in this stuff right now.

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