Brands that are able to bring together their marketing, commerce and customer care strategies will gain a competitive edge in the months ahead 

The one thing every social media marketer knows is that change is inevitable. In the past year, our industry has watched ChatGPT and other generative AI tools explode onto the scene, giving marketers a whole new set of martech tools. We witnessed massive changes across social platforms, with Twitter transitioning to X and Meta launching Threads. Meanwhile, TikTok continues to grow at an accelerated pace, giving brands more opportunities and new ad formats to engage their audiences.

In light of so many changes across the social media landscape, it’s important to look at current trends and determine which marketing tactics will have the greatest impact on a brand’s ecommerce goals during the next 12 months. We may not be able to predict the next big thing in social media, but we can leverage what we’ve learned over the past year and apply those findings to current social media marketing strategies.

So what’s on the horizon for social media marketers? Here are Emplifi’s top six social media marketing predictions based on insights we’ve uncovered after analyzing millions of social media data points from thousands of global brands.

Top 6 Social Media Marketing Predictions That Will Change the Game in 2024

1. Social shopping will become a crucial element of online commerce strategies as brands look to accelerate the path from product discovery to purchase.  

Today’s consumers use social media not only for discovering and learning about products but also for making purchases. For brands wanting to drive more revenue via their social channels, social shopping enables a seamless experience for consumers. The key to a successful social shopping strategy involves impactful marketing content—such as ratings, reviews, and user-generated content (UGC)—coupled with an intuitive and effortless in-app shopping experience that minimizes friction. Given that nearly 90% of consumers report that ratings and reviews greatly influence their purchasing decisions, integrating authentic content from real product reviews within the same social media post as a purchase link can significantly boost a brand’s social commerce initiatives.

​2. Brands will integrate messaging apps and chatbots into their customer care strategies, giving marketers and customer support teams efficient 24/7 communication channels on a large scale.

Email inboxes are becoming increasingly more difficult to manage, making email an ineffective channel for marketers and customer support teams. Instead, many consumers are turning to a brand’s social media profile to ask questions about a product or to submit a customer inquiry. In fact, more than 50% of customers now expect responses within an hour when they post a question on a brand’s digital channel. As consumer expectations continue to rise, marketers and customer support teams will look to expand their use of messaging apps, AI-powered chatbots, and other SMS channels for various customer communication efforts, from providing discount offers and product updates to addressing customer support queries.

3. Customer support teams will increase their use of social platforms to address customer inquiries and concerns.

As the number of consumers reaching out via social platforms for questions and product inquiries rises, customer support teams will adapt by turning to social media marketing platforms to connect with customers on their preferred channels. Forward-thinking customer care professionals are already utilizing social media to refine their support strategies and drive productivity across the organization. For example, a top-performing brand in the fresh pet food category was able to reduce customer call volumes by as much as 40% and decrease wait times by nearly 30% after integrating social media channels into their customer care strategies.

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4. Brands will lean further into their video marketing strategy and diversify their mix of video content to include both short and long video formats that deliver higher engagement rates.

Social video platforms like Reels and TikTok continue to rise in popularity: this year, Instagram Reels surpassed all other content types on the app, generating 55% more interactions than single-image posts. Additionally, TikTok’s user growth skyrocketed, with brands experiencing up to a fivefold increase in follower counts. To keep up with consumer expectations, brands are integrating more long-form videos into their content strategy. Many brands are already gaining traction with videos that run anywhere from 26-seconds to 90-seconds in length. By experimenting with different video lengths, formats, and platforms, brands can gather valuable insights on the types of video content that resonate with their target audience and supercharge their video marketing strategy accordingly.

5. As brands adopt more privacy-first marketing strategies, social intelligence will become an essential tool for gathering deep consumer insights.

Consumer privacy remains a top concern for brands as marketers explore new methods to track shifts in consumer behavior and better understand their customers. Industry reports show that 78% of marketing leaders considered investing in technology for customer insights a critical or high priority, while another 45% identified brand health as a key metric for marketing success. Social listening tools that provide sentiment analysis, as well as the ability to track impressions, mentions, and social interactions, give marketers a 360-degree view of their customers. The social intelligence insights derived from social listening tools not only boost a brand’s marketing and customer support strategies, they can greatly advance—and strengthen—brand reputation efforts.

6. Generative AI applications and AI-powered tools will only grow in popularity among customer support teams, delivering elevated levels of productivity across the entire organization. 

Without a doubt, 2023 was “The Year of AI.” Early on, marketers were quick to test the functionality of ChatGPT and other generative AI applications and integrate them into their work processes. But it’s not just marketers who are achieving extraordinary results with AI technology. Because AI technology can understand context, sentiment, customer histories, and more, it is empowering customer service agents to optimize their daily routines—streamlining interactions, automating routine tasks, and providing lightning-fast responses to common customer questions. As AI tools continue to evolve, we’ll see even broader adoption by customer care and CX leaders focused on driving greater efficiencies across their organizations.

The primary takeaway from these predictions is that the lines between marketing, commerce and customer care are becoming more blurred as consumer behaviors shift and customer demands grow. The brands that are able to bring together their social media marketing strategy, ecommerce efforts, and customer care initiatives will be the ones most likely to outperform their competitors, increase customer loyalty, and drive more online sales. More importantly, they will create a solid customer experience foundation built to meet and exceed consumer expectations.

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