Social shopping, messaging apps, video content and artificial intelligence are likely to be integral to social media marketing strategies in 2024.
According to a new study by Emplifi, as consumer goods firms and retailers build out their 2024 goals, marketing and customer experience teams will need to expand their social commerce efforts, explore new ways to leverage their social channels, messaging and chatbot technology, diversify their mix of social video content, and increase investments in social intelligence tools.
“In 2023, social media marketing faced unprecedented challenges due to the rise of ChatGPT, industry layoffs across tech, and major platform changes like Twitter’s transformation to X and Meta’s introduction of Threads,” commented Zarnaz Arlia, CMO, Emplifi. “As brands navigated these disruptions, customer experience remains a crucial focus amid increasing consumer expectations.”
ESM explores five areas in which retail and FMCG businesses can ramp up their social media marketing in 2024.
1. Social Shopping Gains Traction
According to Emplifi, social shopping is set to become a ‘crucial’ element of online commerce strategies, as brands aim to optimise the transition from product discovery to purchase within the realm of social media.
Today’s shoppers use social media for not only learning about particular products, but also to purchase them, and therefore it will be important for brands to create a seamless, friction-free social shopping experience.
Given that nearly 90% of consumers indicate that ratings and reviews significantly impact their purchasing decisions, incorporating authentic content from real product reviews alongside a purchase link in the same social media post can enhance a brand’s social commerce initiatives.
2. Messaging And Chatbots See Increased Adoption
Emplifi research indicates that more than 50% of customers expect a response within an hour when they post a question on a brands digital channel, regardless of the time of day, which has prompted marketers and support teams to explore new ways to engage with customers.
As such, messaging apps and AI-powered chatbots are expected to see greater adoption in 2024, providing marketing and customer support teams with efficient 24/7 communication channels on a broad scale.
Allied to this, customer support teams are increasingly turning to social media to address customer inquiries and concerns. As consumers reach out on social platforms with questions and product inquiries, customer support teams are allocating more time to engage with customers on their preferred channels.
3. Diversified Video Formats Catch The Eye
According to Emplifi, brands that diversify their video content on social media – including both short-form and long-form videos – are likely to achieve higher engagement, and resonate stronger with their target audience.
During 2023, video platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok gained in popularity – Instagram Reels surpassed all other content types on the app, generating 55% more interactions than single-image posts, while TikTok’s user growth also surged, with brands experiencing up to a fivefold increase in follower counts. This is likely accelerate in 2024.
4. Brands Embrace ‘Social Intelligence’
Understanding customer behaviour has long been a delicate art, and brands are increasingly turning to social media for assistance.
Brands can gain a comprehensive understanding of their customers and effectively manage real-time brand reputation by utilising social listening tools with sentiment analysis, tracking impressions, mentions, and social interactions – an asset that is likely to gain in importance over the year ahead, according to Emplifi.
5. Generative AI To Underpin Customer Support Efforts
According to Emplifi, Generative AI (GenAI) applications and AI-powered tools are set to play a crucial role in customer support efforts, enhancing productivity in this area.
Notably, brands are already witnessing remarkable outcomes with AI-powered chatbots, achieving match rates as high as 97% when responding to customer inquiries. In addition, AI can be utilised to optimise day-to-day tasks – streamlining interactions, automating routine tasks, and providing lightning-fast responses.
As AI tools continue to advance, there is an anticipated broader adoption by customer care and customer experience teams that are seeking to drive greater efficiencies throughout their organisation.
“It’s a balancing act between leveraging cutting-edge technology and maintaining a human-centric approach,” added Arlia.