It would be a short-sighted statement to say that social media is over and done with just because a few opinion pieces are crying wolf. However, there is no doubt that major changes are brewing, and they will affect the way businesses use socials for future marketing. Before we usher in 2024, let’s take a look at what we think is going to happen with social media and digital marketing in the coming year.
Is Social Media Going Downhill?
This is a bit of a mix – of course many think social media is going downhill, due to certain types of content and a seemingly amount of either misinformed or uncreative creators. But while there’s no argument against that sentiment in general, especially when it comes to generational differences (which we will discuss next), we feel it’s something else. It’s more about what viewers are willing to put up with (or put in the work to differentiate), as well as how social platforms are evolving, that makes it feel like the current platforms are on a decline.
We’ve always dealt with the generalizations of those who are unwilling to spend time dissecting what we feel should be easily ingested, or those who may not realize the importance of vetting sources before sharing, and it’s not just generational. In the past, there was an ideal of journalism that was deemed reliable and forthcoming that no longer exists, no matter the source. There’s also the personal valuation of what types of content mean the most, and what is important to one may not be to another. The ability to scroll past content the algorithms serve up should alleviate this, but we need to realize why the algorithms are serving up that particular content and how platforms are trending.
Understanding that Facebook hasn’t even been in the mainstream for a full two decades, and Instagram and TikTok even less, it clarifies just how quick things are moving. While it may seem that we can’t recall a time without them, they are fleeting trends in the big picture, and just like any other trend, they will at some point meet their ending, while another platform will rise in their place.
How Is the Decline in Quality of Social Media Affecting Different Generations?
As mentioned above, there will always be a push and pull between generations and what is deemed important and of quality, so there shouldn’t be any surprise that the idea of a decline affects each generation differently. Older generations may not care socially if social media is in a decline, but when it comes to business marketing, it hits a little differently since so much has focused on social marketing in the last ten years. As for the younger generations, it seems to be par for the course – they are used to the fleeting aspects of social trends, and are ready to jump on the next bandwagon both socially and business-wise. Change is inevitable, so those who adapt will reap the benefits.
Should Businesses Continue to Leverage Social Media in Their Marketing Strategies?
Of course they should – social marketing is not going anywhere. The important thing here is to watch the trends, stay on top of where their target audiences are, and adapt as needed. While the platforms may change, the strategies will not.
What Are Some Effective Social Media Strategies Moving Forward?
In 2017 we wrote about Social Listening and the importance of understanding what your target audiences needed. This is one strategy that will always be effective, so don’t sleep on it! Another idea is to incorporate some level of content authenticity technology, which is still in its initial creative stage, but could be of use for all businesses wanting to “… add a layer of tamper-evident provenance to all types of digital content”. You can read more about this at the Content Authenticity Initiative. For brands wanting to fight potential problematic Generative AI issues in order to promote transparency, finding user-generated content for branding and product promotion might be the best way forward.
Social media marketing is here to stay, but it’s never going to look the same from year to year. As with everything, change is inevitable and we all need to continue adapting in order to stay current with the market. If you are worried about falling behind the curve, contact Blink;Tech today!