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  • Writer's pictureChandler Lyles

Top Seven Social Media Marketing Trends in 2024

marketing trends in 2024

Every year the news is flooded with reports of "what's next" in the world of marketing. I've seen everything from the death of Facebook to how we'll all be scrolling TikTok on Apple Vision Pros. I'm not sure about either of those. Here are seven social media marketing predictions for 2024 that I feel great about. 

Creative Matters. Followers Don't.

Social Media 1.0 was defined by the follower-based algorithm. A user's feed would be filled with content created by their social network. A user's social network was generally composed of their family, friends, and various businesses that they were fans of. The goal of any business was to get as many followers as possible. That way you could distribute content and ads to them for free. The problem with Social Media 1.0 was that the social media networks had no way to monetize. So, they upgraded to Social Media 2.0.

Social Media 2.0 was defined by massive user bases. Businesses were able to advertise to these users with freakish accuracy due to thousands of different data points. User's feeds were still primarily filled with content from their social network. Then they started to see a new type of post. The "Dark Post" was born. These posts were ads that came from businesses but were meant to look like regular content from their social network.

Social Media 2.0 has been incredibly profitable for these social media networks. The problem holding them back from being even more profitable was the available ad inventory. Ad inventory is only created by getting each user to spend more and more time on each platform. Why wouldn't the networks fill the feed with more ads? Users would get burned out and leave for a different platform. Social media content consumption isn't too different than old-school TV network shows. In a typical hour, a viewer would see somewhere between 14 - 18 minutes of commercials. Anything more and the viewer would lose interest and change the channel. If a social media network wants to grow their revenue then they have to find a way to keep users on the platforms for even longer. That led to the evolution of Social Media 3.0.

This is where we live today. Social Media 3.0 is defined by the interest-based algorithm. What exactly is an interest-based algorithm? Imagine for a second that you just created a brand new account on TikTok. At first, TikTok will show you a wide variety of content. It is loosely based on some onboarding questions they ask but they still aren't sure what will keep you on the platform. During your first few hours on the platform, TikTok is looking at one thing and one thing only: Retention Rate.

Retention Rate is the total percentage of a single video that you viewed. So, let's say TikTok notices that you watch 50-75% of each video of a dog you see. TikTok sees that as a sign of interest and adds it to your profile. You will now continue to see more and more dog-related content. This is the interest-based algorithm in a nutshell. This new algorithm has taken user time spent on platform numbers to the moon. Creating more opportunities for social networks to sell more ad spots to media buyers like High Beam Marketing.

What does Social Media 3.0 mean for you? Followers shouldn’t be your primary focus anymore. They are a nice to have vanity metric. The winners on social media in 2024 will be those who focus on creating the most engaging content possible. The champions will find a way to create content that connects your customer's interests with the product you sell.

The exciting part of advertising in a social media 3.0 world is that we can see what content performs the best organically and then run that content as an actual ad with the intent to convert user attention into a sale. Need help making these sorts of ads? Reach out to our team and see how we can help! 

Content Has to Reflect Company Values

According to Consumer Goods, 82% of shoppers feel like a consumer brand's values need to align with their own. What happens if they don't? 75% of them will part ways with a brand that doesn't align with their personal values. Even if they were a previous customer!

This means that all the content we discussed earlier has to align with your company's core values. Not only that but your company has to actually live out these core values.

A great example of this is LEGO! One of LEGO's core values is Fun. We love that at High Beam. We have the same core value.

In this video, we see a LEGO team member interview a guest while riding a roller coaster at LEGOLAND. This type of content is clearly in line with the values this company supports. People who hate fun know to stay far far away from LEGOLAND, the LEGO store, and the LEGO aisle at Target.

The User Generated Content (UGC) Bubble Continues to Grow

Did you know that 92% of customers trust the opinions of their friends and family more than any other form of advertising? This word-of-mouth messaging has found the perfect viral home on social media. We trust people we're friends with and we follow people that we trust.

This wasn't so harmful ten years ago before marketers got involved. In the beginning, innocent fans of products would post content talking about how happy they were. Now, marketers have realized that these pieces of content are some of the highest-converting ads of all time. They combine the power of word-of-mouth trust and the scaleability of social media marketing.

The UGC bubble continues to grow as more and more people deploy this strategy. A quick search for the phrase "How to become a UGC creator" on your favorite social platform will show you dozens of results. The bubble won't pop this year because most consumers still aren't aware of what's going on. Eventually, they will catch on and this bubble will pop. Remember when we used to click on Facebook ads on the right side of the screen?

You should use this tactic before it's too late. Find your best customers and ask them to create content for your product. Pay a content creator to do it for you if you have to. Then use an advertising agency, like High Beam, to run campaigns with this creative.

The Rise of SEO on Social Media

My wife and I recently moved to Cincinnati. New cities mean new restaurants to try. The problem with a quick Google search showed me a lot of the expected chain options. I wanted to try something local to the area, so I went on TikTok and searched "Best Places to Eat in Cincinnati." This helped me find a great video from a local sushi restaurant and we went for dinner. It was great!

This is SEO on Social Media. 31% of consumers use social media to find answers to their questions. That number will continue to grow in 2024.

Media Buyer Talent Matters More Than Ever

The biggest problem $1M-$10M business owners make is that they try to run things like they are still a startup. Bootstrapping is an incredible skill. At some point, if you want your business to grow, you have to ascend to the next level of leadership.

Best-selling business author and Stanford professor Jim Collins talks about needing to get the right people in the right seats on the bus. That is what it means to find the best media buyers on the planet. The best clients we have at High Beam started with overworked marketing managers that needed help running digital ad campaigns. Now we're off to the races.

At the end of the day, you’re essentially gambling that a group of experts will be at least 20% more effective than the general marketer. It’s a pretty easy gamble. Don't believe me? Check out these case studies.

Email & Social Media Marketing Join Forces

The social media networks have taken any piece of audience ownership you had away. That's what we discussed earlier with the interest-based algorithm update. This means that email marketing will be more important than ever in 2024.

Why? Because you own that audience. You can email them anytime you want. The only thing stopping you is having something worth saying. We recommend running as many campaigns as possible to get people off of social media networks and into your own email marketing funnel. Another way to reclaim some ownership is by running another digital advertising campaign that targets people who have engaged with your brand’s page as well. 

The AI Takeover is Overblown

I'm saying this as someone who uses AI almost every day. In 2023, the internet was filled with people saying that AI was going to take over. It is incredible technology. The things I've seen it do already are incredible. I'm blown away but AI isn't taking over anything.

AI is a tool that humans will use to create more and more amazing things. I've used AI for inspiration with copy and I've used AI for ideation around content ideas but I've never expected AI to bear 100% of the load for the blog you're reading now. Back to the point I made earlier . . . if you or your team aren't creative then you will never be able to run an effective social media marketing campaign. I don't care how much AI you leverage.

2024 Trends Won't Replace the Basics

We all love a good trend. New and exciting things make me happy. I love the trial and error of the unknown. The unlimited upside is really enticing. If we aren't careful we can spend way too much time on the new things and ignore the basics needed to market a business effectively.

At High Beam Marketing, we run all of our marketing campaigns on the HBM Flywheel. If you enjoyed this article then you'll love this one where we dive into a perfectly balanced marketing strategy that produces results every single time.



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