Welcome to a special prognostic edition of Social Butterfly, TCD’s state-of-social-media wrap with Digital Content Manager Tessa Charters.
It’s been a big year on the social media tools, from the rise and fall of Threads to the Tiktok takeover and all things X. But we haven’t hung up our butterfly wings for the year just yet.
This month, we’re looking deep into our crystal balls – which only coincidentally happen to look very similar to champagne glasses – and predicting what’s in store for the social media landscape in 2024.
Nothing trends like TikTok. In 2023 we’ve seen the overnight rise of creators behind trends like the Tube Girl and the girl who thought it was crazy to not like store-bought pesto; we’ve spent way too long in CapCut mastering trending video formats like ‘If I was a…’; and of course, we’ve been thinking about the Roman Empire.
So, what will 2024 bring? TikTok’s 2024 Trend Report is calling it the year of ‘bravery that breaks through’. They’re saying brands that demonstrate vulnerability and ‘Creative Bravery’ – i.e. creating content that sends audiences down uncharted rabbit holes, flips traditional story arcs, and deepens trust – will be the ones that break through.
They cite the example of Clinique, who leaned hard into TikTok’s search platform this year, driving consideration through search to the tune of a 41 per cent increase in conversion rate and a 51 per cent increase in click-through rate.
They’re also predicting a rise in, uh, unpredictable stories – community-driven stories with no traditional beginning, middle or end. TikTok claims ads with intriguing narrative structures, designed to guide viewers past the first few seconds and deeper into the story, keep users watching 1.4 times longer, and they’re expecting more ‘unhinged’ storytelling in 2024.
We think unique yet easily recreatable trends and formats will continue to dominate, but we’re definitely seeing a shift away from pure entertainment into more educational and informative storytelling. Audio will also continue to have a huge impact on trends and discoverability.
For brands, being on TikTok isn’t something you can do lazily. It requires a real time investment to consistently create and upload content, do community management and constantly monitor and jump on trends. And the reality is you can put all this work in and still not get the eyeballs or outcomes you crave.
If you have the capacity for that commitment, then by all means, go all in. If not, we suggest letting influencers do the hard work for you.
One thing’s for sure – we’ll continue to see Instagram mirroring TikTok’s trends 5-7 business years later.
For many brands on Instagram, Gen Z are firmly in the driver’s seat, and they will make or break you.
2023 on Instagram was defined by Barbie-core and the Taylor Swift Eras sitting right alongside the hard-hitting stories. We expect this balance to continue, with the latest Instagram Trend Talk highlighting that the platform will increasingly be used for activism in 2024. ’
Gen Z has an opinion and they aren’t afraid to share it. In 2024, they want transparency, and they will hold your brand accountable for its actions and publicly call you out when they aren’t happy. With the rise of sustainable fashion, we expect this industry – which could do with a little more transparency – to be one of the most heavily impacted.
Instagram Reels will continue to have the most likelihood of getting eyeballs on your brand in 2024, but when it comes to engaging and nurturing your current audience, Stories will be more effective for inviting interaction and building relationships.
This year, Facebook’s live shopping feature got put in the bin, people started paying for a blue tick, and video continued to gain popularity.
Facebook’s embrace of AI has been one of the bigger stories for the platform this year. In 2024, we expect Meta will continue to invest in its AI-powered chatbots, and we predict better curated feeds with AI-driven suggested content.
We’ve already seen the introduction of a subscription model, and we wonder if this will turn into the main revenue model for Meta. While this would be a big shift, we’re excited at the prospect of better performing organic content if Facebook doesn’t have to bully people for ad spend anymore.
These days, LinkedIn is feeling more like the old Facebook, when you’d update your status for the masses. But on Facebook itself, the private message will continue to be where conversations are had. It’ll be interesting to see if Meta pounces on this and allows advertisers to go all-in on targeting your DMs in 2024.
We’ve already noticed a shift on LinkedIn, with people sharing increasingly personal content on the platform. Facebook status updates circa 2010, anyone?
The hard line between ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ is the softest it’s ever been. In 2024, we expect to see a rise in the LinkedIn influencer, with the platform continuing to shift away from strictly professional content towards more intimate and relatable content.
In 2023, we’ve seen the rise of visual-based search. You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words, after all.
No platform is better positioned to take advantage of this trend than Pinterest. Even better for brands, it’s a shoppable platform that reaches users at the time of intent. Users come to Pinterest to look for inspiration and leave the platform deciding what to buy.
That said, 97 per cent of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded – a clear opportunity for brands to take advantage of.
We already know Pinterest can be used like a search engine, and we’ve seen how users are deviating away from just defaulting to Google when searching online. So we predict more brands will jump on the Pinterest bandwagon to reach their audiences in a shopping mindset.
Essentially, if your brand isn’t on the platform, it probably should be.
P.s. The annual Pinterest Predicts report tells us the big trends for next year will be blue beauty, body care, groovy weddings, jazz, bows and “grandpa aesthetic” – to name a few. Check out the full report to see where your brand can lean in on these trends next year.
Honestly, we predict X won’t make it to the end of 2024 in its current form, so let’s not waste time on this one.
Chat next year…