A phone showing someone's social media profile surrounded by reaction icons and other windows.

The year 2024 is right around the corner. And for B2B marketers, that means a new year to look at the rapidly changing landscape of social media and predict what may be on the horizon. Spoiler alert: social media will never stop being unpredictable. Who saw Twitter changing its name to X and everyone being confused by what to call the platform? No one!
But we can make use of our context clues of the current social media landscape to figure out what next year might bring us. 

Hootsuite recently released its Social Media Trends Report for 2024, surveying 4,281 marketers and 4,508 consumers. With a focus on “All Eyes on ROI,” the report states, “As platforms continue raining new tools, features, and algorithm updates on us all, social marketers are learning to take a deep breath and ignore the noise.”

Essentially, with technology advancing at a rapid pace, new strategies need to be deployed to stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive edge in the social media ecosystem. With that in mind, here are four things to consider for your B2B social media strategy in 2024.

1: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

At this point, “AI” seems like a buzzword. However, the fact of the matter is it’s here — and growing. In fact, it’s growing so quickly that the biggest names in technology, from Mark Zuckerberg to Elon Musk, think it needs to be regulated; both recently took part in a Senate hearing on artificial intelligence. Additionally, on October 31, President Joe Biden issued the first artificial intelligence executive order to address risks and issue governmental guidance. eMarketer predicts that more than half of all Americans aged 12 to 44 will use generative AI by 2025. Regardless, AI as a concept is not a novelty. If you’ve ever said, “Hey, Siri,” clicked on an ad from a website you’ve previously visited, or needed GPS to go somewhere, AI has been in your life. 

It’s starting to become more popular to use AI tools in the social media space. Take Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, more commonly known as ChatGPT. This app, which uses a chatbot to create human-like conversational dialogue, can be used to do everything from write captions, repurpose content, and even devise social media image ideas. In a recent Gartner survey, 45% of executives said the popularity of ChatGPT has led them to increase investments in it.

AI forces brands to redefine authenticity, toeing the line between efficiency and authenticity on social media. AI-powered tools sound clever, and they are. However, it’s important to keep in mind that as a B2B marketer, you’re not selling to robots; you’re selling to humans. And until humans become robots (full disclosure: I am not advocating for this), your social media posts still need to be crafted with human emotion in mind. ChatGPT and other AI tools have the potential to noticeably stand out as being AI-generated, but it’s getting harder to spot the differences between genuine human-crafted posts and those manipulated by AI in some way. For example, in April of this year, an image of Pope Francis wearing a white puffy jacket and a long chain adorned with crosses went viral on the internet. Ultimately, the “Balenciaga Bishop” image was deemed to be AI-generated once the experts weighed in.

Using AI strategically with parameters in place and not to mislead people is essential. Social Media Examiner recently published a LinkedIn post that shared six ways social media marketers should be using AI, including the following: 

Generation: Create content with tools like ChatGPT, Picsart and AI Writer. 

Extraction: Extract data from existing content. 

Summarization: Save time with summarization tools like Otter. 

Rewriting: Rewrite to match different tones and target audiences. 

Classification: Categorize social posts based on things like sentiment and purpose. 

Question-Answering: Get concise and accurate answers. 

AI has the potential to be about quantity over quality. Here at TriComB2B, we thrive on producing original, quality and differentiated content that stands out and markets to human emotions.

2: Social Media Influencers

Next year may be time to try marketing under the influence. Social media influencers have infiltrated the B2C space to sell everything from clothes to food. However, it’s time to start talking about influencers in the B2B space. In fact, 94% of marketers believe influencer marketing is a successful strategy for B2B businesses. Utilizing social media influencers allows brands to increase brand awareness, strengthen reputations, and boost revenue, all while humanizing their respective brands. 

Rather than waiting for your target audience to come to you, paid influencer programs can increase your reach and visibility, putting your product and business directly in front of who you want to talk to. But this comes at a cost. With influencer marketing, you’re in essence purchasing advertising that allows you to target audiences quickly and specifically. 

With this visibility, influencers can assist businesses in gaining clients and increasing their revenue by creating engaging and pertinent content. By employing material supported by an influencer, campaigns can drive traffic to a business’ website and social media channels — ultimately resulting in more leads and potential sales. 

Take General Electric (GE) and their then forward-thinking idea back in 2013. They leveraged Instagram for visibility and engagement by utilizing influencers in their #GEInstaWalk campaign. Six influencers toured their manufacturing facilities, gave followers behind-the-scenes access, and took pictures and videos using the hashtag #GEInstaWalk. The campaign resulted in 8 million views and 3,000 new followers — impressive numbers, especially considering the campaign was 10 years ago. 

In 2021, Microsoft partnered with National Geographic to highlight women in STEM careers. This campaign was intended to inspire girls to pursue STEM careers by taking pictures of female scientists from various locations around the world. The combined Microsoft and National Geographic audiences reached more than 91 million people. 

Although data supports its use, only 24% of B2B businesses incorporate influencer marketing in their operating plans. Influencer partnerships can create connections between brands and consumers that can’t be derived from traditional one-way marketing. The power of these partnerships may only grow in 2024 and beyond.

3: Community Building

Building a strong social media community is important, and the content you produce is vital. In fact, activity from B2B professionals on social media has increased. Close to 40% of professionals in all sectors worldwide said they had engaged with content multiple times daily in 2022, up from 28% in 2021. But it’s not just about the content. Building a community also means creating and fostering relationships with your social media audience. This type of relationship building needs to be authentic. Think about having dinner with your best friend: you’ll most likely be your authentic self, i.e., the real you. In terms of your business, your brand needs to showcase the traits and qualities of your company on social media. Be a brand that customers can relate to. 

Heading into 2024, it should be a best practice that brands respond to comments. Of course, if the comment volume is high, prioritizing responses may be necessary. However, responding to comments not only helps build community and create opportunities to develop relationships, but it also helps feed the algorithm on platforms. Social media engagement signals to the algorithm that your content is something that people are interested in. Along the same lines, inviting dialogue can go a long way as well. Go the extra mile by doing more than liking a comment or reposting a mention. By inviting dialogue in a response via asking a question or showing general interest in your response, it humanizes the brand and helps build trust. 

For B2B brands, thought leadership is a great way to demonstrate value and keep an existing audience engaged in your content. It’s also an ideal way to earn trust and credibility. According to LinkedIn, 64% of buyers say that an organization’s thought leadership content is a more trustworthy basis for assessing its capabilities and competency than its marketing materials and product sheets.

Social media is one and the same with community. Make sure when your audience is engaging with your content, you’re ready to foster authentic relationships.

4: Video

“Video is king” has been a social media mantra for years now. And that’s not going to change anytime soon. Not only does video content influence buyers, but it also helps spread brand awareness. Sprout Social cites that 93% of businesses have generated new customers with social media video content. And the benefits don’t end there; viewers of video content are more likely to act. This could have something to do with 58% of viewers being willing to watch the entirety of a social media video if it’s less than 60 seconds. Leveraging both short-form (30–60 seconds) and long-form videos (3–6 minutes) is vital to implementing a successful social media video strategy. 

Facebook and Instagram Stories lend themselves well to short-form videos. Stories are available for 24 hours to followers and allow you to add features to videos such as effects, links and captions. Consider posting stories to share fun, day-of moments, unique happenings and more that may not fit directly into your existing social plan but your audience may still find engaging, helpful or exciting.

YouTube Shorts is often overlooked as a potential avenue to drive engagement. YouTube as a social media platform gets about 25% of the global mobile traffic. Videos up to 60 seconds can be posted to the platform. The optimal length for shorts is 15–60 seconds. 
When wanting to provide in-depth knowledge on a subject or product, long-form video is key. This comes into play with platforms like LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter) and YouTube. Although video lengths vary, only 22% of viewers will finish a video if it’s longer than 20 minutes. 

Whether you’re using video as informational, tutorials or for user-generated content (UGC), it offers opportunities to visually tell stories. It’s also a powerful medium to capture an attended audience. Think about your scrolling habits on different social media platforms. Video content can “stop the scroll” and get your attention. 

When thinking about different video content ideas for B2B, consider opportunities showcasing thought leadership, including how-to/explainer videos and customer testimonials. 

The year 2024 will undoubtedly be unpredictable when it comes to social media trends. But it’s safe to say that AI, social media influencers, community building and video are not going anywhere anytime soon. If your B2B business needs a strategy for any one of those, reach out to us and we’ll make 2024 a great year for your social media strategy.