As we step into 2024, the landscape of social media marketing continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, presenting new challenges and opportunities for marketers worldwide.
At Tribal Impact, we aim to be at the forefront of embracing and leveraging change to drive meaningful engagement and growth.
But what does the future hold for social media marketing as we know it?
In this blog, we've identified seven key trends and predictions set to shape the world of social media marketing in 2024.
These insights will be crucial for anyone looking to make a significant impact with their social media marketing. Let’s dive in!
1. Rethinking How to Measure Marketing Performance
In one of our recent podcast interviews, Tribal Impact’s Justyna Brownbridge spoke with digital marketing legend Rand Fishkin, who brought to light some startling insights that are crucial for marketers planning their 2024 strategies and budgets.
According to the research that Rand quotes (conducted earlier this year by SparkToro), LinkedIn, TikTok, Whatsapp, Slack, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, and Facebook hide a proportion of their referred traffic.
Let’s be clear here because this is huge - your analytics tool most likely reports your social media traffic as much lower than it is, attributing a percentage to direct traffic!
This has profound implications for social media managers and marketers. Many are tasked with driving web traffic and are seeing their budgets slashed due to apparent underperformance, not realising that their efforts in social media are likely more effective than analytics suggest.
This misclassification challenges the traditional emphasis on paid media, which may not always yield the best ROI despite receiving the lion's share of marketing budgets.
For those planning their 2024 marketing budgets, understanding the nuances of "Dark Social" and the limitations of current analytics tools is essential.
While paid campaigns can effectively achieve certain KPIs like impressions and website visits, they may not always align with broader business growth objectives.
A more nuanced approach involves focusing on quality over quantity – prioritising clicks and conversions that genuinely contribute to business development.
Engaging employees as part of this strategy can be particularly effective, leveraging their networks and influence to drive meaningful, high-quality engagement.
2. Sales Navigator Proficiency Crucial for Insights-Based Selling
Recent changes to LinkedIn's Sales Navigator present new opportunities for tighter (and necessary!) marketing and sales alignment. This tool is set to become an indispensable asset for sales professionals, particularly in account-based selling.
LinkedIn has introduced account insights and IQ features to its Sales Navigator, a change expected to roll out in early December. These new features, powered by Generative AI, will provide in-depth financial data and insights into the competitive landscape.
The Sales Navigator upgrade is a game-changer, turning it into a comprehensive intelligence tool for sales teams. It will enable more strategic approaches to upselling, cross-selling, and engaging new accounts.
Justyna Brownbridge from Tribal Impact highlights the significance:
“This is an outstanding opportunity for salespeople who are ready to up their game. According to LinkedIn's State of Sales 2022 report, 76% of those who exceeded their quota "always" perform research before reaching out to prospects (compared to just 47% for other sellers).
If you can demonstrate that you understand your clients' business and the challenges that they are facing, you will have much higher chances of becoming a trusted advisor. And trust is what sells.”
This approach redefines the sales role, positioning sales professionals as informed and helpful partners rather than just transactional sellers.
An additional benefit of this update is its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The advanced features available to those with Advanced and Plus licences negate the need for multiple tools to gather similar insights.
This saves time and makes the sales process more streamlined and focused, allowing teams to concentrate on relationship-building rather than data collection.
3. Guiding Employees in AI Use for Content Creation
As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly integrated into content creation, it presents a unique set of challenges, particularly when used by employees creating content reflecting the company.
The improper use of AI can pose significant risks to a company's reputation, for example, if it doesn’t sound genuine or is factually incorrect.
However, when used correctly, AI can be a powerful tool for enhancing content quality and efficiency.
The key to mitigating these risks is providing employees with guidance and training on using AI responsibly and effectively. Employees should be encouraged to use AI as a tool to aid their creativity and expertise rather than as a replacement for it.
Danielle Guzman, from Marsh McLennan explains how they educate employees on the use of AI to maintain an authentic, human touch:
4. Embracing The Rise of Thought Leadership AdsLinkedIn's new 'thought leader ads' offer brands an opportunity to elevate employee-generated content, targeting specific audiences and significantly enhancing the impact of brand messaging.
At Tribal Impact, we've long advocated humanising B2B brands through robust employee engagement on social platforms. This strategy has been instrumental in building brand trust, shortening sales cycles, and increasing employee involvement.
According to PostBeyond, employee-shared content receives 8x more engagement than brand-shared content.
Moreover, LinkedIn data reveals that engaged employees substantially increase company page interactions and job application rates. This is an unparalleled way of combining efforts, budgets, and maximising success from your paid and social efforts.
We decided to test this new ad type.
We conducted two campaigns: one promoting our company page content and another leveraging thought leader ads with content from our CEO, Sarah Goodall.
Sarah’s content significantly outperformed the company page, with a 240% higher click-through rate and 25% more engagement.
This experience highlights the critical role of authenticity in advertising. Thought leader ads spotlighting effective employee content lend credibility and drive higher engagement and interest.
5. Using Employee Advocacy as a Cost-Effective StrategyIn times of budgetary constraints, employee advocacy stands out as a cost-effective strategy for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). This approach is particularly relevant when financial resources are limited, yet the need for impactful marketing remains high.
Employee advocacy creates genuine and relatable brand narratives that leverage the power of employee networks and influence, turning employees into brand ambassadors.
When employees share their experiences and insights, it resonates deeply with their networks, fostering a sense of trust and authenticity that can't be replicated through conventional advertising. (As we’ve just demonstrated above!)
What’s more, engaging employees in advocacy roles contributes to their sense of belonging and value within the organisation. This plays a crucial role in employee retention and engagement.
6. Showcasing Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion (DEI) Through AdvocacyIn today’s job market, where 70% of job seekers favour companies committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), employee advocacy emerges as a crucial strategy. It's no longer enough to post job adverts, you must showcase a genuine commitment to DEI.
By activating employees to share their diverse experiences, companies authentically demonstrate their dedication to inclusivity.
2023 has seen a shift towards employees being recognised not just as amplifiers of brand content but as true representatives of the brand's values and culture.
Their voices and stories effectively communicate the company's DEI commitment, making it an attractive workplace and resonating with potential customers who value DEI.
7. Aiding Buying Decision-Making with Employee-Generated ContentThe power of employee-generated content cannot be overstated in B2B marketing. A staggering 62% of B2B decision-makers lean on practical, insightful content to guide their purchasing decisions, as highlighted by DemandGen.
Moreover, Google’s algorithms emphasise E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), underscoring the importance of showcasing human expertise to boost your online presence and credibility.
Employees are the ones who can transform standard marketing material into content that genuinely connects.
Here’s a great example of employee-generated content:
Microsoft employee Lee Welch is an excellent example of how to create engaging content on LinkedIn. With over 4,000 followers, he’s reaching a large audience that Microsoft may otherwise not have reached.
This particular LinkedIn post of Lee’s is a great example of building engagement in the comments section.
Essentially, it's about shifting your content focus from quantity to quality. By empowering employees to contribute, companies can ensure that their content is not a drop in the ocean of information but an effective sales strategy.
Navigating the Future of Social Media MarketingAs we navigate social media marketing in 2024, adaptability, authenticity, and strategic innovation are key. From rethinking analytics to embracing employee advocacy, there are many opportunities for growth and engagement.
At Tribal Impact, we're committed to keeping you ahead of these ever-evolving trends.
Unlock the power of employee advocacy with our employee advocacy program. Get in touch today to find out more.