As social media platforms continue to roll out new features and harness evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), brands, agencies and social media professionals will be navigating an increasingly complex landscape when it comes to engaging consumers in 2024.
Across an analysis of 347 brands across eight industries, Brandwatch’s The State of Social report for 2024 indicates that brands initiate only 1.51% of all brand-related conversation. This leaves a lot of “untapped potential for brands to do more to influence the narrative”.
Yet, the report also surfaced several trends such as innovation in AI, increasing adoption of ChatGPT by social marketers, and enhancements to major social platforms like YouTube and TikTok. These trends indicate an inclination towards harnessing social media to engage audiences more effectively.
A recent study by We Are Social also pointed out that individuals are re-evaluating the value of their attention and participation on social media, adding another challenge for marketers to connect with them.
With these trends in mind, what can social media agencies anticipate in the coming year? In this second instalment of “Where’s the Money?”, we turn our attention to the realm of social media to find out what will be the moneymaker of 2024.
Tim Hung, founder and CEO, Blossom Lane Communications
Based in Hong Kong, Hung highlighted how posts about “travelling to Hong Kong” are climbing with each quarter on social media platform, Red (Xiaohongshu). The resurgence of tourists from mainland China comes as a “clear signal of opportunity” for growth through effective social strategies.
“They might be spending less currently, but I believe this reflects a shift in their interests towards unique and new experiences,” he said.
“By crafting the right products and experiences tailored to their preferences and engaging them on their social platforms in their language, we can definitely inspire them to spend more. Our success lies in our ability to understand them, adapt and innovate,” he added.
Kenny Yap, managing director, Socialyse, Havas Red and Havas Play
“As the communications industry evolves, we continue to see strong demand for integrated services,” Yap said.
He highlighted that clients are seeking single consultancies that can provide counsel on a range of communication needs as the industry evolves. In his view, integrated services such as social, content, public relations, influencer marketing, performance marketing, and media solutions continue to be in high demand.
Ken Cheung, digital director, KREW DIGITAL
“As economies recover from the impact of COVID-19, we are witnessing a resurgence in offline events,” Cheung said. He noted that marketers have been shifting from driving online traffic to attracting foot traffic through online promotions, indicating that physical events will gain higher traction.
“AI, Digital, interactive, and key opinion leader (KOL) content are playing a crucial role in enhancing the overall event experience and creativity,” he said.
Jude Foo, general manager and partner, Nine:TwentyEight
Citing the growth of platforms like Facebook and Instagram today, Foo opined that the features that dominant social media platforms offer will largely guide marketers. In that regard, he anticipated that growth would come through social media content as marketers channel their strategies through these platforms.
“I definitely believe that more marketers will be channelling their marketing strategies onto TikTok as well,” he added, given that TikTok is also becoming increasingly popular.
Vin Ng, director, Spread-it
Speaking with the de-influencing trend in mind, Ng posited that user-generated content (UGC) will gain more popularity as people rely less on the word of influencers. “Users prefer UGC for its authenticity and trustworthiness,” he stated, adding that ordinary individuals are starting to create and share more content on their own.
According to Ng, this shifting preference is because UGC captures more genuine experiences and unbiased opinions, which fosters trust towards the content. With this trust, UGC also better enables informed decision-making, reflecting how consumers on social media increasingly value authenticity.
“Brands leverage UGC to engage audiences, build brand authenticity, and foster community,” he explained.
Jarrod Reginald, executive creative director, The Chariot Agency
With platforms like TikTok implementing e-commerce features, Reginald envisioned that other platforms would also start implementing similar products. This paves the way for content to take up more importance.
“Content creators will have the upper hand in the market, I believe,” he said. While he acknowledged that the change might not be immediate, he expressed belief that the market is gearing towards content.
Meanwhile, he also suggested that there would be a dip in media buys, as social platforms with built-in commerce are on the rise.
Florence Kong, founder and managing director, We Glow Hong Kong
“Influencers and creators.”
Citing how the creator economy has significantly grown with platforms like Meta and YouTube, Kong posited that influencers and creators on social media will drive growth in 2024.
“These platforms have dedicated resources to support and incentivise creators in developing content and communities,” she said. Consequently, these resources further drive growth through creators.
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