A New Era for Social Media: Adapting Your Social Media Strategy for New Online Trends

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, social media strategies must adapt to keep pace with new online trends. Emerging platforms, changing content formats, and shifting audience behaviors are all factors that require a fresh approach to social media marketing.

Adapting Your Social Media Strategy

This new era of social media is marked by the rise of innovative content formats, from short-form videos to interactive stories. Audiences are craving more authentic, engaging experiences that go beyond traditional text-based posts. Brands that fail to adapt their social media strategies to embrace these changes risk falling behind and missing out on significant growth opportunities. This article explores actionable insights to help businesses navigate and thrive in this ever-changing environment.

The Reign of Short-Form Video & Decreasing Attention Spans

Adapting Your Social Media Strategy

One of the most impactful online trends reshaping the social media landscape this year is the meteoric rise of short-form video content and its impact on diminishing audience attention spans. Thanks to the viral success of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, bite-sized videos just seconds long have become the new norm for quickly capturing viewers’ fleeting interest.

This seismic shift has completely disrupted traditional content creation strategies. Brands must now craft videos and other social content designed to immediately hook people from the opening seconds through punchy visuals, immersive narratives, or clever hooks if they want to earn valuable attention.

At our agency, we’ve helped numerous clients pivot their social media approach to embrace this emerging short-form video trend. For a recent project for Ecotourism FL, we collaborated with Kings Landing FL, a popular outdoor attraction spot in the Central Florida area, to create an attention-grabbing Instagram Reel video highlighting the stunning Wekiva River. The 20-second Reel featured high-energy shots of visitors kayaking, swimming, and enjoying the crystal clear waters set to a trending audio. Vibrant colors and tight editing captured the lively, adventurous vibe of Kings Landing in a compact, visually compelling way.

Despite its brief length, the snackable Reel content resonated powerfully with the client’s target audience. It generated over 23,000 organic views and 900+ engagements like comments, shares, and saves – impressive numbers for a regional tourism brand’s social presence. This successful Reel exemplified how embracing the short-form video trend can effectively showcase a brand’s experience and personality while delivering a clear message, all within the confines of modern viewers’ shrinking attention windows. The dynamic visuals and style captured King’s Landing’s adventurous spirit in a way that hooked scrolling audiences and inspired action.

The exploding popularity of short-form videos emphasizes the critical importance of understanding exactly how modern audiences engage with content. With the constant influx of information across all their feeds and channels, people’s attention is increasingly fragmented. Brands must tailor and optimize content to match those short bursts of focus by delivering bite-sized, captivating visuals and messaging that instantly grabs interest – even if only for a few seconds at a time.

Capitalizing on User-Generated Content & Influencer Marketing

Adapting Your Social Media Strategy

Beyond short-form video, another major online trend impacting social media marketing in 2024 is the rapidly growing influence of user-generated content (UGC) and influencer-driven campaigns. Countless studies show consumers overwhelmingly prefer authentic, relatable content created by real people they can connect with over traditional, brand-created advertising.

Smart brands are leaning into this insight, tapping influential creators, curating customer content, and cultivating authentic influencer partnerships to inspire engagement and sales in ways that feel organic instead of interruptive. Forming these relationships and connections provides a direct line to highly targeted audiences who already have built-in trust and affinity for the influencers, personalities, and communities they follow. 

Alongside UGC campaigns, influencer marketing is also booming as a prime strategy for bypassing ad fatigue and tapping into the power of authenticity and trust. The key is identifying influencers whose personal brand, interests, and personality genuinely complement your own so the partnership feels like a natural fit instead of a forced promotion.

For our client Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, we implemented a highly successful user-generated content (UGC) campaign aimed at boosting engagement and bookings through social proof marketing. The initiative encouraged guests to share photos from their stay using a branded hashtag on Instagram and Facebook. 

Our team then identified the top-performing UGC across all those channels that authentically showcased the hotel’s amenities, dining experiences, guest rooms, and more through the lens of real customer visits. We curated that user-created content and strategically amplified it across Orlando Marriott Lake Mary’s owned social media accounts.

This organic, customer-driven approach provided the hotel with a steady stream of fresh, relatable visuals that felt transparent and trustworthy to their target audiences. Seeing those realistic, aspirational glimpses into an Orlando Marriott Lake Mary stay directly from peers helped spark a domino effect of engagement as people commented, shared, and took inspiration from the authentic guest moments. Orlando Marriott Lake Mary’s social channels saw surging engagement rates, website traffic from their social links, and most importantly, a measurable increase in bookings directly attributed to the social proof and FOMO effect created by amplifying real customer content.

Accountability in the Digital Age

Adapting Your Social Media Strategy

Social media’s rising dominance has ushered in a new age of widespread public accountability for celebrities, corporations, and brands. In our hyper-connected world, misconduct or unethical behavior gets amplified across networks at a blistering pace – creating unprecedented levels of scrutiny.

For public figures, this accountability impact has been immense. Celebrities like Armie Hammer, Ellen DeGeneres, and J.K. Rowling have faced career backlash after controversies spread rapidly online over their comments or alleged actions. Major brands like Starbucks and Uber have overhauled policies and leadership teams due to issues being called out across social platforms.

The power of social media driving accountability can be seen through Reesa Teesa’s “Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?” series on TikTok. It began as candid storytelling about Teesa’s own traumatic marriage but went viral and evolved into an educational movement.

When Teesa was inundated with messages from viewers who survived similar relationship traumas, she realized how widespread these issues truly are. “Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?” pivoted to help others identify red flags and find healing through raw vulnerability and community support across social platforms. Word quickly spread of the series’ impact. Teesa collaborated with major brands recognizing the importance of these conversations. 

Her saga catalyzed a full-fledged movement crowdsourcing resources and support for millions affected by the long-stigmatized issues of domestic abuse and toxic relationships. What started as one woman’s journey sparked real-world change by aligning an authentic voice with an engaged audience hungry for accountability. While scrutiny can feel harsh, stories like Teesa’s show social media’s power to drive positive movements when the right voices are amplified.

Beyond holding public figures and brands accountable, social media has also become a powerful tool for law enforcement to solve crimes and bring wrongdoers to justice. “Social media is a huge tool for law enforcement today. We can use it to help identify suspects in crimes and help prove our cases. Social media is not just helpful for open investigations, many investigative units will use social media proactively to identify suspects and initiate new investigations based on posts related to criminal activity,” says Logan Smith, a Police Officer with the Oviedo Police Department.

One profound example of this development has been social media’s pivotal role in cracking previously cold criminal cases. Aided by engaged online communities, viral sharing capabilities, and access to user-generated data, authorities are turning to social platforms to crowdsource information and unearth fresh leads.

The Continuing Rise of Live Streaming & Real-Time Engagement

Adapting Your Social Media Strategy

While short-form video and UGC/influencer marketing reign as two of 2024’s biggest online trends, live streaming is rapidly cementing itself as the future of real-time social media engagement between brands and audiences. Platforms like YouTube Live, Instagram Live, and Twitter Live have made live broadcasting a core feature and experience, allowing fans to directly interact with creators, influencers, brands, and each other like never before possible.

Live streaming also opens up opportunities for brands to showcase transparency around important issues, address customer concerns head-on, and host open conversations that build trust. The live, real-time nature of these broadcasts allows audiences to see brands taking a visible stand and holding themselves accountable to their stated values – a factor that’s becoming increasingly important for earning brand loyalty and advocacy among socially conscious consumers.

Crafting a Holistic Social Media Strategy for 2024 & Beyond

Adapting Your Social Media Strategy

As these major online trends illustrate, today’s social media strategies require a cohesive, multi-faceted approach that extends beyond simply creating and publishing content. Brands must intimately understand the latest shifts in how audiences engage across different platforms, from TikTok to Instagram to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and emerging channels.

They need to be active social listeners, carefully monitoring relevant conversations to identify potential issues or areas of opportunity. When concerns arise, they must respond swiftly and transparently to mitigate potential crises and build credibility. And they must hold themselves accountable, ensuring their marketing efforts and public-facing initiatives authentically reflect the core values they claim to uphold.

From the surge of short-form video and increasing demand for UGC/influencer-driven content to the need for real-time engagement through live streaming, the most successful social media strategies in 2024 fully embrace these new online trends. They leverage the latest social platforms and content formats to foster direct connections with audiences in innovative, relatable ways that capture attention and drive meaningful brand affinity.

Partnering with Experienced Social Media Strategists

In this fast-paced, ever-evolving social media landscape, having an experienced partner can be the difference between just surviving and truly thriving online. At our agency, our team of digital marketing experts fully immerses themselves in emerging online trends, new platform features, audience behaviors, and innovative engagement strategies across the social media sphere.

From developing an attention-grabbing short-form video strategy to amplifying effective UGC and influencer campaigns to capturing the magic of authentic live stream moments, we collaborate closely with our clients to craft progressive, ahead-of-the-curve social media game plans tailored for maximum brand impact in 2024 and beyond.

Whether you need a full-funnel refresh of your brand’s social content approach, an overarching strategy to build an actively engaged community, or simply more meaningful ways to connect with audiences through digital channels, evok advertising has the cross-platform expertise to guide you there.

In this new era of accountability-driven social media marketing, having the right strategy and partner can truly set your brand apart from the competition. Get in touch today and let’s get to work elevating your online presence.