Ahoy! We’ve charted the seas and covered which trends lead to treasure in 2024 and which are sinking in our recent Hot or Not blog. But fair warning: every fresh trend discovery comes with a new Pandora’s Box of problems. With the relentless pace of technological advancements coupled with shifting consumer behaviors, brands maintaining an online presence should brace themselves for the treacherous waters ahead.
So, all hands on deck as we map out and explore what dangers lurk beneath the digital surface. But don’t fret too much—we've prepared a few lifeboats for you in case things get rocky!
Some trends can stick around for a month or more, while others take over your feed for a few days before they’re a forgotten, hummed tune. Staying up-to-date with platform trends keeps brands relevant. Failure to do so can lead to incorrect postings and loss of visibility.
Here are a few tips to help your brand stay up to date on trends:
Let other brands do the work for you: Seek out companies with solid engagement rates on posts and monitor their engagement trends.
Get info from the experts: Bookmark resources from Later to get a pared-down version of trends you should know every week.
Dedicate human resources: Select one person on your team and task them with finding trends and platform news to share weekly with the larger group.
Balance your content split: Plan evergreen content but leave room for in-the-moment trends and reactions. We recommend a 60/40 split of evergreen to impromptu.
Let the platform be your guide: Use TikTok Creative Center to find trending sounds, keywords and even influencers.
Follow the leader: Follow industry influencers based on your brand. They’ll know what trends your audience cares about!
After becoming accustomed to instantaneous information on social media in the past decade, users expect answers to their problems to be provided just as quickly. With 80% of people wishing that companies responded faster to customer service problems on social media, brands can struggle to find the time to commit to delivering everyone a response.
To avoid feeling marooned, brands need to stay one step ahead by crafting a community management strategy. We’ve got some pointers to help you get started!
Use templates: Create templated responses of FAQs, customer service contact information and thank you messages for positive feedback.
Use block lists: You can block users from your page after they cause trouble, but did you know you can also block specific words from your platforms? Upload your blocked word list to weed out bots and haters before they strike.
Build it into your routine: Think of your comment section as an extension of your inbox. When you check your email, spend 15 minutes reviewing your social media interactions.
Popular TikTok and Instagram audios drive reach and engagement, but many of these siren songs lack commercial licenses and are off-limits to businesses. To help brands avoid plundering sounds they don’t have permission to use, platforms keep these audios out of reach for brand accounts. If brands try to use a sneaky workaround to post audios not approved for commercial usage, they can get videos taken down, lose followers or even face removal from the platform.
Although your brand may not be able to use some of your favorite songs by Taylor Swift and Beyonce, TikTok has made it easy to find sounds you can use by creating a royalty-free library to store commercial audio in one place. The platform also has an inspo page for brand-friendly, non-song audios where you can peruse top videos and creators.
So many new social media platforms seemed to abruptly poke their heads out of the water last year. Lemon 8, Threads and Bluesky were just a few new platforms that made their debut. Each have their own unique quirks and demands to learn. The pressure to join the crowd and immediately jump on these new platforms can be overwhelming. However, one brand can’t (and shouldn’t) be on every platform.
Although you should grab your brand’s handle ASAP so no one else can take it, don’t feel rushed to join every new platform immediately. Take time to monitor how audiences are responding and using the platform before you start posting. You can also look to social media marketing newsletters and agency partners to advise on emerging platforms as they evolve.
The almighty algorithm works in mysterious ways, but we’ve done our best to decipher it for you. For brands and content creators, algorithms rule the social media tides, determining who gets the compass to glory and who fades into the shadowy depths. We’ve created a handy guide to help you appease the algorithm and avoid angering it.
In 2024, consumers are likely to jump ship if content looks like a sales team wrote it, even if they’re the target audience. Direct advertising often isolates the brand or product and neglects to show how it can realistically fit into the consumer’s lifestyle. Rather than feel like they are being tricked or sold to, people want to trust the brands they choose and build a genuine connection.
While direct advertisements are walking the plank, subtle approaches to marketing are finding favor, gently integrating brands into the flow of consumer experiences. Partnering with influencers and encouraging user-generated content (UGC) is a more subtle way to market and promote authenticity. It is easier for consumers to connect with content that feels more lived-in and shows real emotion. Building connections is vital to driving sales in a world where an estimated 95% of purchases are made based on emotional decisions.
Artificial intelligence is expected to do some heavy lifting in developing social media graphics and copy in 2024. But before you rush to pillage all the benefits of AI, be wary of how it can throw your ship off course.
Excellent for handling repetitive tasks
Helpful for idea generation
Can schedule content
Optimizes copy to fit different platforms
Provides a starting point for visuals
Assists with community management
Limited by ethical implications, especially consumer privacy
Cannot generate new thoughts
It tends to reflect existing biases or assumptions
Not super creative (Requires the spark of a marketer!)
While challenges may appear on the horizon, they also present opportunities for growth, resilience and connection. To make the most of this year’s voyage, brands must pay attention to the shifting winds of consumer preferences and the swift currents of online trends. The digital sea is vast and ever-changing, but with an adaptive crew and a well-charted map, we know you’ll make it. And if you need help along the way, contact us!
Farewell and good luck, savvy marketers!
Lexie Febel is a Content and PR Coordinator at thunder::tech. Her favorite pastime includes being cozied up with her cats while getting lost in the pages of a compelling book.