Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Marketing in 2024

March 19, 2024
Anna Hayers
Content Creator / Digital Designer
Welcome to the future of social media, where trends shift like quicksand, and staying ahead requires more than just a good filter.

Contributing writer: Anna Hayers

Anna is a social media content creator and specialist at Talk Agency, and our resident queen of all things social trends and news. With extensive experience in professional photography and organic social strategies, Anna is our go-to for all things Insta, Facebook, TikTok, and LinkedIn.

Welcome to the future of social media, where trends shift like quicksand, and staying ahead requires more than just a good filter. 

In this deep dive, we'll explore the fascinating twists and turns in the realm of social media marketing and why it’s more important than ever for businesses to jump on board with. We’ll cover everything from the evolution of User-Generated Content (UGC) to the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the ever-changing dominance of video content.

What’s Inside?

Riding the UGC Wave: How Authenticity Has Became King

Changes in Landscape: TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts

Over the years, the social media landscape has shape-shifted with the emergence of dynamic platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. More recently in 2020, YouTube Shorts joined the ranks, which currently attract around 30 billion daily views.

Short, engaging videos have become the heartbeat of UGC in particular, encouraging users to shift from passive consumers to active creators. 

TikTok, in particular, has played a pivotal role in popularising relatable content, fostering authenticity, and democratising content creation.

Relatability: From Aspirations to Everyday Life

Say goodbye to the era of showcasing unattainable lifestyles. UGC has evolved to embrace relatability, veering away from aspirational content to reflect the genuine experiences of everyday individuals. 

The shift towards authenticity has rippled through traditional institutions, leading brands to incorporate UGC and brand ambassadorships into their strategies, creating a more connected and trustworthy relationship with their audience.

Outside Social Media: UGC Beyond Individuals

User-generated content isn't limited to personal accounts. Magazines, fashion labels, and brands have jumped on the bandwagon, leveraging the authenticity of content created by their customers. 

Among other big wigs, Airbnb, Adobe, Glossier, Fenty Beauty, and of course GoPro are all leveraging UGC to the max – and it’s working.

Related: Later’s article on 10 Brands Killing it with UGC on Instagram 

This move beyond individual creators not only strengthens the sense of community but also builds trust and credibility for these brands. We can only expect to see more of this (as in, much more) in 2024.

AI: The Silent Revolution in Social Spaces

Algorithm Changes: Tailored Feeds for Personalised Experiences

AI is set to revolutionise content consumption by tailoring feeds to users' preferences. Algorithm changes will lead to more personalised content, aligning with what users interact with, ensuring a more engaging and relevant social media experience.

Content Creation: Tools vs. Creativity

AI-driven content creation tools are on the rise, but they won't replace the skills of professionals. While these tools streamline certain aspects, they lack the depth and creativity that human professionals bring to the table. 

For those who want to dominate the social space, AI will serve as a support mechanism, offering optimisation ideas for search campaigns and aiding in training junior team members.

Related: TechCrunch spills on Meta requiring AI content disclaimers

Enhanced Content Moderation: A Double-Edged Sword

It’s important to note that AI's role in content moderation presents a game-changing opportunity. Efficiently blocking and removing harmful or spam content enhances user experience. 

However, the challenge lies in defining the fine line between what is and isn't spam, which can lead to frustrations for businesses and creators.

Real-time Trend Detection: No More FOMO!

AI's potential in real-time trend detection could be a game-changer. Providing users with up-to-the-minute content could significantly enhance the social media experience, eliminating the fear of missing out (FOMO).

The Video Dilemma: To Dominate or Diversify?

Shift Away from Video Dominance (With a Caveat)

Video's reign is not as unchallenged as it once was. While it remains crucial, the oversaturation of video content across platforms has led to a craving for diverse content that cuts through the noise. 

The key is to focus on what works within your strategy, offering a mix that resonates with your audience. Be sure to check your insights regularly and determine what kinds of posts your audience is responding to best. 

At Talk, we’ve found high-value carousels to be some of the highest-performing (yep, even over reels and videos sometimes!).

Importance of Holistic Strategy

A holistic strategy, balancing trends, and original content, is crucial. This is nothing new, but with the surge in UGC and the intense preference for authenticity, a holistic strategy that fluidly combines multiple aspects of quality content is more important than ever before.

Consumers seek an escape and a way to find precisely what they're interested in amid the flood of content. Having a mix of content types while honing in on what aligns with your audience is paramount.

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SEO in Social Media: Beyond Hashtags

What is Social Media SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn't exclusive to websites anymore; it plays a significant role in social media too. Social Media SEO involves optimising profiles and content for enhanced visibility within social media platforms' search functions. 

This includes profile optimisation, content optimisation, and maintaining consistency and activity.

How to Use Keywords in Social Media Posts

Despite the chatter a while back about hashtags going out of style, they’re still very much the in thing – especially when it comes to SEO. Hashtags and keywords are pretty similar in their strategic position and act as roadmaps for users to find your content.

Just don’t saturate every post with thirty-odd random hashtags as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok will mark these as spam (plus, that’s just so 2016, anyway).

Related: How Does Social Media Affect SEO?

Originality vs. Trends: Finding the Sweet Spot

The Coexistence of Trends and Original Content

Trends still hold sway in the social media sphere, but the real gold lies in being a trendsetter. Original content, spun from existing trends, sets creators apart in a saturated feed. Balancing trends with originality is the key to standing out and offering real value to your audience.

Piece-to-Camera (PTC) Content is In, Lip-Syncing Videos are Out

Ah, lip-syncing videos. Remember the old days of TikTok, when it was still transitioning away from Musical.ly and every kid under the sun was sweating over hours spent learning Charli D’Amelio dances?

While those lighthearted moments were fun while they lasted, TikTok and Instagram have well and truly moved on. Piece-to-camera (PTC) content now reigns and allows creators to genuinely speak to their audience about topics, stories, and advice that resonates.

If, like us, you do sort of miss the old lip-syncing days, don’t despair – there is still a space for funny meme-style videos with trending audio in this vein!

Related: How to Create a Viral Video for Your Business

Navigating the Paid and Copyrighted Space

Creator Transparency in Paid Content

Recent changes bring more transparency to advertisements and sponsored content on social media

Creators now bear the responsibility of disclosing whether their opinions are genuine or influenced by payment. This shift towards transparency fosters trust among followers.

Evolving Audio Landscape (For Better or Worse)

Commercial music libraries are changing the audio game on social media. Platforms are adapting to offer creators a diverse range of audio options, enhancing the overall content creation experience.

Even as we type this, the state of TikTok and its scandalous battle against Universal Music remains shaky. One thing’s for sure, though – Universal has officially pulled the plug on major songs and artists from TikTok, causing an avalanche effect that is, we fear, only just beginning.

Related: Will TikTok get banned? New bill passes in the US

The Battle of the Platforms: Which Side Should You Take?

Social Media Platforms on the Rise for Brands in 2024

It used to be that there were just a few major players in the social media world. Ah, simpler times. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok may still take the cake for biggest muscles in the social playground, but don’t let that sway you when it comes to choosing the best platforms for your brand.

In their 2024 social report, Hootsuite found that TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram had the most growth in business users, while Facebook and X (Twitter) showed declines.

So, Hootsuite’s advice? Focus on only a few platforms rather than all of them, and be where your audience is. If you don’t have an audience on TikTok, don’t bother with it.

If you’re more geared towards a B2B style, LinkedIn is your best bet. 

Run an image or product-based business like photography, graphic design, or e-commerce? Instagram is your free visual portfolio.

Basically, understand your audience, know where your traffic comes from, and tap into your potential customer base. Figure out what platforms they’re using, then join them.

The Triumph of Strategy: A Must for Social Success

In a landscape filled with trends and aesthetics, solid strategies emerge as the true trendsetters. Focusing on a robust and well-thought-out strategy is the new path to social success, surpassing the fleeting allure of flashy trends.

In conclusion, 2024 unveils a social media landscape shaped by evolving trends, the silent revolution of AI, the coexistence of originality and trends, the importance of SEO, and the triumph of solid strategies. Navigating the complexities of paid content, audio rights, and emerging platforms like Threads requires a strategic approach for businesses and creators alike. 

Join Talk Agency on this exhilarating journey through the ever-changing realms of social media. Because in 2024, it's not just about trends; it's about thriving in a dynamic digital universe.

Hungry for more digital marketing insights? Check out Cooper’s Top 6 Digital Marketing Trends in 2024 to keep your competitive edge.

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