Influencers and short-form videos is key for higher engagement

Boopin’s Prasad V. Sawant looks at what promises to be another exciting year for social media users across TikTok, Instagram and other platforms

In 2023, we noticed an increase in influencers and how they became a part of our media strategy to create awareness for our brands. Similarly, we observed that short-form videos were an efficient format for achieving higher reach and engagement. Additionally, there was a rise in the use of AI to generate content on social media.

While these were some highlights of social media in 2023, here are some trends that we believe will have a significant impact and reshape our advertising approach in 2024.

Long-form content is making a comeback: Although short-form videos have been popular in recent years and will continue to be this year, platforms like YouTube and Instagram are now focusing on features that support creators in building longer-form storytelling, podcasts, and in-depth explorations.

Even TikTok, known for short videos, is introducing a new creativity programme in beta. Creators will only be able to earn money from videos longer than 1 minute. This shift is happening across leading social platforms due to the increasing preference among users for raw, authentic user-generated content.

Search Optimisation on Social Media: Yes, you read it right. Last year, Google reported that approximately 40 per cent of Gen Z is using TikTok and Instagram for searches instead of Google. Whether you’re planning a trip, buying home appliances, or searching for your favourite mobile phones, all the searches are happening on social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

Even serious searches for buying decisions, like for a car or a house, are now taking place on social media. This means the captions we write for our social posts should contain relevant keywords and descriptive data to improve the discoverability of brand posts. The captions will now serve as metadata that can be optimised to boost post rankings.

The rise of micro-communities: There is a growing trend where people create content focused on specific interests for small groups and communities.

The gaming community platform is already big, with platforms like Twitch, Steam and Discord being invite-only and having a large user base with longer engagement times. Similarly, community platforms such as Stack Overflow, Kaggle, and CodeProject cater to the data scientist and software developer community.

Additionally, forum-based community platforms like Quora and Reddit are widely used by users with shared interests. Using such community-based platforms will help marketers prioritise their audience segments and create personalised and relevant ad copies based on the content that engages their audiences.

Usage of AI: Until now, AI has been widely explored to edit and rewrite captions and generate content suggestions. However, in 2024, its usage will increase for creating visual content posts for brands with images and videos.

Additionally, certain AI tools will play the role of a social management tool, providing solutions for identifying influencers, creating content for specific audiences and demographics based on social analytics data, and managing ads.

Even though Generative AI-generated content is gaining a lot of attention, it lacks authenticity and, therefore, trust from users. Keeping this in mind, platforms like TikTok and YouTube have already started labelling AI content, making it clear to users what’s real and what’s not.

Whether AI is used as a brainstorming partner or for building visual content from scratch, brands and marketers need to focus on making the brand experience as human as possible and tailoring their messaging for each social platform.

These are just few trends that are likely to shape the social media landscape in 2024. However, these trends may change as we go through 2024, but the way we connect and interact on social media will keep on evolving and as a marketer we need to be quick to embrace these changes.

​​​​​​​​By Prasad V. Sawant​, Head of Performance, Boopin