In the new digital age, social media is a vital tool for marketers to keep up with the latest trends and monitor social sentiments in order to engage with their target audiences.
According to data and analytics firm Warc’s 2023 report, global advertising spending is set to grow 8.2% in 2024, with social media being the fastest-growing medium, of which the spend is estimated to rise to a total of US$227.2bn in 2024 – a fifth (21.8%) of total spend.
Interestingly, while in APAC, a Meltwater report titled “State of Social Media 2024” revealed that APAC marketers are more likely to dedicate the same amount of budget rather than increase their budget, in contrast to global marketers. They cited bandwidth and time as the biggest restrictions companies see in terms of maximising their social media management.
How can marketers maximise their social spending in 2024?
Industry players MARKETING-INTERACTIVE spoke to attributed the reluctance to increase marketers’ spend on social to the global economic outlook.
Despite the gradual recovery since the pandemic in 2023, the economy is still in the process of returning to pre-pandemic levels, and sales have not fully rebounded yet, according to Vin Ng, director, Spread-it. “Therefore, it is not surprising to observe that brands have not increased their marketing budgets in 2024,” he said.
Moving forward, marketers will need to prioritise conversion and return on investment (ROI) for brands, he added. “I believe organisations will be more focused on assessing their ROI and will prioritise strategies that help them improve it.”
To maximise their social spending in 2024, marketers must set clear targets or key performance indicators (KPIs) for their campaigns, said Florence Kong, founder and managing director of We Glow.
“By doing so, they can plan their investments accordingly and ensure they are aligned with their desired outcomes. This will help them allocate their budget effectively and maximise their return on investment,” she said.
She added that they should consider using a mix of platforms to achieve different objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). This approach allows marketers to reach a wider audience and leverage the unique features and strengths of each platform.
On the other hand, Will Lee, managing director, That Marketing Guy said marketers have to realise that replicating assets in different social channels may not garner as much as they would like.
They must be clear on what they would want from social media[…] If they are seeing it as a media channel where they can attract like-minded individuals and then add value to their lives, then they can better measure the impact that social media has for their business,” he added.
What are the major social shifts in 2024?
As we head into 2024, the world of social media marketing is going to expand greatly, particularly with AI, but also given the declining popularity of X as a platform. Meltwater’s report showed that a combined 63% of respondents in APAC countries say they plan to invest less time on X and FB, much lower than companies in the Americas and Europe.
Facebook and Instagram will remain the core channels for advertising, as their ad products are more mature and can drive significant traffic compared to other social platforms. “However, many clients are now exploring the use of Red to increase awareness and exposure to mainland audiences,” said Ken Cheung, digital director, KREW Digital.
Another significant social shift anticipated in 2024 will be the increased emphasis on Instagram and TikTok by brands, said Spread-it’s Ng.
“As the economy gradually recovers from the pandemic, organisations are displaying a greater willingness to abandon platforms and strategies that fail to meet their desired return on investment (ROI). Instead, they are directing their attention towards platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, which have demonstrated superior performance,” he added.
These bite-sized videos have become a dominant form of content consumption and have greatly influenced the way people interact and engage with each other, said We Glow’s Kong. “Additionally, content creators still hold significant power in shaping social trends and influencing public opinion.”
On the other hand, hyper-targeting will become more evident, said That Marketing Guy’s Lee. “Target audiences would be more comfortable in their own social media channels and the brand would have to “speak natively” to garner engagement,” he added.