In the constantly evolving realm of social marketing, Hootsuite, a leader in providing innovative solutions for businesses to authentically connect with customers, has unveiled its latest insights in the Social Trends 2024 Report. The report highlights a significant paradox in the industry: while the social landscape continues to evolve, brands’ approaches to social media marketing remain largely stagnant.

Elina Vilk, Chief Marketing Officer at Hootsuite, emphasises the importance of reevaluating traditional strategies. She points out that mere participation in social media is no longer sufficient. Instead, brands should focus on the value that connecting with people brings to their business. According to Vilk, social media can be a substantial profit generator, but it demands a shift in focus from transactions to relationships.

The report, based on surveys of 4,281 marketers and 4,508 consumers, reveals a persistent disconnect between brands and their audiences. Findings show that 34% of consumers are put off by brands focusing too much on self-promotion, and 56% believe brands should be more relatable. Despite this, 48% of marketers continue to post product updates or brand news several times a week. Billy Jones, VP of Marketing at Hootsuite, advocates for the ‘90% rule’, suggesting that a successful modern social strategy should predominantly add value to the relationship, reserving a smaller portion for extracting value.

Hootsuite’s report also sheds light on two key trends influencing social marketing strategies across various industries:

  1. AI and Authenticity: The rise of generative AI challenges brands to maintain authenticity while embracing efficiency. The report indicates a demographic divide in how audiences respond to AI-generated content, with 62% of consumers less likely to engage with or trust such content. This trend underscores the importance for brands to focus on the overall brand experience, regardless of the content’s origin.
  2. Platform Prioritisation: As social networks frequently introduce new features, 58% of marketers find it difficult to stay updated. Strategic organisations are now prioritising platforms based on ROI, focusing their efforts where they are most effective, rather than spreading resources thinly across multiple platforms.

Additionally, the report highlights the significance of entertainment in driving social ROI. Engagement is the top metric for 69% of respondents in demonstrating ROI, yet half of the organisations predominantly self-promote to achieve this. With 68% of social marketers concerned about the ROI from their activities, the report suggests that brands should view social media as an interactive space for two-way value exchange, rather than merely a channel for broadcasting messages.

The Social Trends 2024 Report concludes with an insight into the evolving nature of social marketers. In 2024, amidst the influx of new tools and shifts in algorithm science, social ROI is set to take the forefront. Vilk concludes by highlighting the importance of understanding and engaging with the real audience on the right channels to overcome stagnation and realise the true potential of social media marketing.


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