Social Media Marketing

What’s Next in Social Media?


Ever found yourself wondering what's on the horizon of social media and influencer marketing?  The digital world is in a constant state of flux, with trends shifting as swiftly as a viral meme. And as we stand at the crossroads of innovation and influence, it's natural to ask: What's next?…

Ever found yourself wondering what's on the horizon of social media and influencer marketing?  The digital world is in a constant state of flux, with trends shifting as swiftly as a viral meme. And as we stand at the crossroads of innovation and influence, it's natural to ask: What's next? What trends will redefine how we connect, engage, and market?  Delving into the statistics, DataReportal reveals that at the beginning of 2023, India boasted 692.0 million internet users, with a penetration rate of 48.7 percent. 467.0 million social media users emerged in the same period, representing 32.8 percent of the total population. These figures underscore the heightened significance of tracking social media trends for individuals in the marketing industry to delve into the emerging trends shaping the digital landscape.  So, if you are a marketing professional, join us as we unravel the upcoming trends that will redefine how we 'like,' 'share,' and 'follow' and peek into the social media crystal ball.

#1. Increase in AI Integration  

As we step into the future of social media, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to revolutionise the game. More than just a trend, AI tools have become the backbone for over 80% of marketers, saving time and streamlining workflows. From doubling or even tripling the use of specific AI applications in the last year to a whopping 103% surge in plans to use AI for text rewriting in 2024, the industry is evolving. What's intriguing is that it's not just about content creation – AI is penetrating every aspect, from automating posting processes to in-depth data analysis. Furthermore, in the influencer marketing space, AI influencers will continue to play a more prominent part of social media marketing, offering their expertise and wider reach to businesses across industries.  Brace yourself for an AI wave reshaping how we navigate and engage in social media in 2024.

#2. Rise of Social Commerce 

Peering into the future, the rise of Social Commerce is nothing short of a digital revolution. In 2020, India witnessed a $2 billion Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), and the forecast is breathtaking – a projected $20 billion by 2025, catapulting to an astonishing $70 billion by 2030. This explosive growth is fueled by the sheer scale of mobile phone users nationwide. As we gaze ahead, the driving forces behind Social Commerce's popularity are clear: a surge of Gen Z entrepreneurs, a proliferation of online stores, the seamless integration of social media, and the irresistible allure of convenience and personalisation.  Envision a future where user-friendly interfaces will seamlessly simplify your shopping journey. Picture in-app features, such as personalised virtual shopping assistants, ensure a smooth and personalised experience. Secure payment gateways will continue to guarantee worry-free transactions, and advanced data analytics will tailor recommendations, making social commerce a delightful experience for every consumer. These enhancements will solidify Social Commerce as an essential element, making it not just a trend but a transformation in how we shop and connect.

#3. Dominance of Short Form Content

The shift in content consumption is undeniable, highlighted by eMarketer's projection that Facebook users under 25 will fall below 18%, decreasing from 31 million in 2020 to an anticipated 23.3 million by 2026. These statistics exemplify the evolving nature of content preferences, particularly among the younger generation. The demand is clear: short, fast-consumed content that offers the most immersive experience. Whether it's written, video, or regular series content, short-form is on the ascendant and is poised to dominate in 2024 as well. For marketers, adapting to this paradigm shift is crucial to staying relevant. Embracing short-form content is not just a trend but a strategic imperative.  Our TWiD episode on AI in short-form content provides a glimpse into the future, presenting examples and tools seamlessly integrating Artificial Intelligence into your short-form content journey. 

#4. Influx of Expert Influencers

As we anticipate the future landscape of social media and influencer marketing, a transformative wave is reshaping how audiences engage, emphasising credibility as paramount. 2023 updates from the Advertising Council of India, redefining celebrity status with a keen focus on health and finance influencers, mark a pivotal moment. This strategic shift reflects an increasing appetite among audiences for trustworthy and specialised content. Users are gradually shifting their preferences, seeking content creators not solely for their popularity but for the depth of genuine knowledge they bring. This shift is fostering a more knowledgeable, connected, and engaged community. For marketers, tapping into this surge of expert influencers presents an opportunity to align with credibility, reaching targeted audiences with valuable, niche-specific content, and building lasting connections within increasingly informed digital communities. The rise of expert influencers is not merely a shift but a strategic path toward fostering meaningful relationships and delivering valuable, credible content.

#5. Rise of Retainer Format Influencer Collaboration

As we peek into the future of influencer marketing, a major shift is underway – brands are opting for enduring partnerships over fleeting connections. The trust and authenticity built over time far surpass the impact of one-time campaigns. Imagine this scenario: a brand launching various variations of a product. Instead of seeking new faces each time, they engage the same influencer they collaborated with during the initial product launch. This ongoing relationship ensures a consistent brand voice and establishes a deeper connection with the audience. It's like having a trusted guide for the entire product journey, showcasing the shift towards a more genuine and enduring influencer-brand alliance. For influencers, this means more than periodic gigs; it's a shift towards becoming valued brand ambassadors, enjoying long-term partnerships that amplify their authenticity and influence over time. 

Parting Words

With all these major social media and influencer marketing trends, seeing the transformations in the coming year will be interesting. All the changes promise not just innovation but a more personalised, trustworthy, and engaging online experience for users. The future beckons a more informed, interconnected digital community where the synergy between technology, content, and genuine human connection redefines how we 'like,' 'share,' and 'follow.'

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