Building Bridges with Social Media: The 2024 PR Playbook
Authenticity may have been 2023’s word of the year. But its cousin, genuine, may end up being the next word of the year. Especially in social media. In 2024, let’s set aside the algorithm dance and sponsored post treadmill for a moment and focus on the core tenets of social media: people. Spend a little less time growth-hacking and more on building genuine connections, not just gaining customers.
As we look ahead to 2024, following are some emerging social media trends we’re anticipating.
Social media marketing will evolve beyond content creation and into community architecture. Focusing on meaningful connections and responsible branding in order to build tribes of passionate brand advocates. Facilitating brand-consumer dialogues through Q&A sessions, polls, live streams, and community apps. Fostering peer-to-peer interactions, through Facebook Groups and discussion forums. Successful brands will focus on building vibrant micro-communities where engagement thrives and loyalty flourishes.
It’s the thought that counts
According to Edelman, “44% of decision-makers claim they will be less receptive to sales calls or marketing outreach, making it harder for businesses to attract new clients.” Brands must leverage social media, particularly LinkedIn, to showcase their expertise, share valuable insights, and engage in authentic conversations. It’s about building trust and credibility, not just selling products and services.
Build an X-it Strategy
For most brands, it’s time to create an exit strategy for the app formerly known as Twitter (if you haven’t already), especially with an election year’s disinformation inevitability. Where to go? Lead your tribe! YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, and yes, even Facebook. Be present where your audience is active. But don’t forget: although the profiles and pages are yours, you don’t own the platforms. It may be worth revisiting that blog you’ve let gather dust…
What does the Bard say?
Don’t sleep on social media data. When you combine key consumer insights with the power of generative AI, the opportunities are endless. Give Bard, or ChatGPT, data files and you’re going to learn a lot about your brand and your followers. It just may cause you to rethink what you post. Marketers who use this data are going to evolve their strategies to make social media far more effective at delivering hyper-personalized content and building communities.
The days of separate social media, PR and creative teams will come to an end for smart social brands. They will embrace cross-functional collaboration, leveraging expertise from every corner to craft holistic social media strategies that seamlessly integrate with broader marketing objectives.
Meta is slated to unveil significant AI-powered updates this year. The social behemoth is expected to fulfill CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s promise from last year that the company has turbocharged its focus on AI. Expect this to help creatively. The big evolution, however, may come when the company bakes generative AI into Meta Business Suite, offering seamless integration of creating, scheduling, publishing and analyzing without the need for third-party apps. Don’t be shocked to see connections to other platforms, like Messenger and WhatsApp.