Berns San Juan: So the year is almost up and it’s right about time for us to start talking about 2024. So let’s talk about 2024. Hi guys, welcome to another episode of the Truelogic DX podcast. Did you know that Meta launched its first smart glasses with a display? Did you hear about MasterCard harnessing the power of natural language processing to create a Facebook Messenger bot that can decipher what the customer needs and is asking for and can help automate payments?
What would you say if I told you Netflix saved a staggering $1 billion in annual revenue by leveraging AI to enhance its personalized recommendation system, which they needed given the rider’s strike? And what if I told you that IKEA is probably generating billions of dollars in annual revenue globally, all thanks to the clever use of AI and VR to enrich their customers’ experiences?
These are just some of the drastic changes that we’ve been seeing and they’re already happening around us, and you know there will be more in the years to come. And 2024, I think, will be remarkable. If we thought 2023 was remarkable, we’d tell you, see what 2024 has in store. So these stories are indicators of what massive developments still lie ahead of us, especially in the world of AI and social media. And if you spot the trend and you adapt to it correctly, you may be able to ride the wave and drive positive results for your brands.
Recap of 2023 Social Media Trends
Berns San Juan: So with us starting with that intro, let’s do a social media recap of 2023. Okay, so 2023, aspirational aesthetic-driven content declined a bit in 2023. And what we’ve been seeing is that more and more brands started using genuine, unfiltered content, more girl and guy-next-door models, versus using celebrity hero-centric content. Like, I’ll give you guys an example If you guys follow Nike Park on Viber, what you’ll notice is that they don’t use overly attractive models on it.
I mean, they use models, but the models are, you know, guys next door, girls next door, people that might be your classmates, people that might look like your neighbors. And yes, Nike still collaborates with celebrities. But every time they’ve got a mention of a celebrity, they are collaborating with the celebrity on the design, but the celebrity is not the one endorsing the product, right? Like, and so this is what I mean when we say authentic, not aesthetic driven, and so on.
2023 is the year where, at least for Truelogic, we have a lot of questions about, whether are we reaching the right people. Are we targeting the queries that our customers are looking for, right? And so businesses have begun to focus more and more on talking to the right audience. So, less and less about, cast me as wide a net as you can, and more and more, are we catching the right kind of fish, which is excellent in my opinion.
So the importance of making the audience the hero has been an ever-increasing trend in 2023, which is great because that’s sort of like that’s sort of like what makes Truelogic different when we do SEO strategies, social strategies, and AdWords strategies. We’re always asking our clients, who are you talking to? Because it’s also important for us to know, who are you not talking to, right?
And so I think audiences and audience optimizations will play more and more vital roles in terms of marketing strategies and getting their products in front of the right people, and not just getting your products in front of as many people as you can.
One of the things that I’ve been preaching for the last 10 years is, digital has to be consistent. And this year, we’ve seen more and more brands become more and more consistent when it comes to content publication and social media posts. So gone are the brands where okay, I’ll post something today, and then the next one is two weeks from now, and then the next one is like a couple of hours from now. So gone are the days when brands are posting stuff when they feel like it because they’re realizing more and more that people look for consistency. So it’s great that digital is becoming a part of the relationship with the audience.
2023 is also a year of engagement. Right In-feed social content helps different brands establish their presence. Short-form video content has been super relevant. So I’ll give you guys an example of some brands that are doing this, right, and I’m so happy. So, to those of you that don’t know, and for those of you that are looking at the video right, like, this is an ROG tablet. So clearly, I am both a geek and a gamer. And what surprised me is that I saw shorts from Blizzard, I saw shorts from Diablo.
So I saw shorts from video brands that I follow, and you know, oddly enough, I don’t have TikTok, but I did take a look at somebody’s TikTok just to find out if these brands that I have relationships with are there. And sure enough, they’re there with like 123,000 followers, right, which I just think is awesome. So short-form content continues to become part of the conversation.
2024 Social Media Trends
So what else should you look forward to in 2024, given the recap of 2023? So one, authenticity, right? And when I say authenticity, what I’ll usually mean to say is it is not product-centric, it is not brand-centric, it is audience-centric. Authentic content is engaging and human-centric. If your hero image is the facade of a building, that is not authenticity. If your insurance products are just numbers on a billboard, that’s not authenticity. Right? Brand authenticity is human-centric.
A great example of brands that do this locally, I think, is Sunlife. They do a great job of very human-centric content. And so they come off as very authentic. So is it any wonder that when they organize marathons when they organize health events, people participate? So this is an example of authenticity and people believe that, you know, they are committed to healthier, better lives.
2. Using social media shopping outlets
I used to joke, that one of the trends that I saw as early as, like 2017, and 2018 was live selling in China. It was such a big deal and I always wondered, would I ever fly here? And now I cannot walk through Shoppesville in Greenhills without hearing one of the toy stores and one of the toy vendors there, live selling, right? We even have a sister brand that live sells, and it works in terms of moving inventory and moving products. And I always just thought, why would people ever buy that? That’s tacky, but you know, it works, right? So I’m not going to question the data, right? I’m seeing the evidence.
But using social media more and more as another channel to reach your customers and your audience will gain more and more popularity. So a great example. But this is going to be international data. HubSpot did a survey and it showed that 22% of social media users purchased the product directly from Instagram. They also ran a survey where they found that 21% of the people they surveyed, and 21% of the consumers they surveyed said that they had used Facebook to buy products. That’s crazy, but it is the way to go. People are taking their commercial experiences not just, to the website, but also to social media platforms.
3. Short-form content is still going to be king
Earlier, we talked about my misconception about how tacky live selling was going to be, and again it works. So sometimes, it pays to be wrong. But this time, we’re going to talk about short-form video content. And again, it’s a trend that got popularized by TikTok. It took off in 2022, and it gained more momentum in 2023. And it’s still not showing any signs of saturation or slowing down. And so I anticipate that short-form content will continue to remain popular in 2024.
TikTok grew to about 1.6 billion users, actually closer to 1.7 than it is to 1.6 in 2023. And 1.1 billion of them are monthly active users. There is, a lot, and there seems to be a lot of appetite for bite-sized content. This is why you will also see Truelogic DX podcasts in 20-second and 18-second shorts. And those get watched, by the way. They probably get watched more than this entire podcast episode gets listened to.
4. Phasing out of third-party cookies
A little hard to relate to when you’re in the Philippines, because we’re not very data abused, right, like more in the US. But with Apple’s improvements to privacy, with Facebook saying that they are more committed to privacy, with your iPhone allowing you to ask the app not to track, third-party people that sell your data are not able to attach your behavior to your personally identifiable information, and vice versa, right.
So what does this mean? This means you should not be, like for you as a brand, this means that you should not be relying on third-party data to be able to reach your customers. Instead, your Facebook page builds an audience. Optimize that experience. Your website creates experiences for your customers. Optimize that. So try to build out your proprietary database of your customers, your users, how they behave, what’s popular on your website, and how they interact with you, versus having to rely on third-party providers that tell you oh, I can target 10 million people for you, I can target 5 million people for you. That might have been great four years ago. It hasn’t been great in the last two years.
5. Environment, sustainability, and good governance are going to continue to remain parts of the conversation
I know that in some areas of the world, ESG has become a politicized topic, but for more and more Filipinos, it is becoming a very relevant topic. Like, today’s consumers don’t just want to listen to words like sustainability or eco-friendly. They want to see the impact. They want to see that the brands are walking the walk and that they’re not just talking the talk. In a survey, 82% of Filipinos that were surveyed said that they wanted companies to prioritize two things, and it was people and the planet and not just pure profit.
6. AI will continue to improve the way we reach our audience.
It will continue to improve the way we produce content, and so on. I’m not sure if you guys have noticed. There have been a lot of terrific improvements in terms of AI generation. I’ll give you guys two examples. Have you guys tried the image generation capabilities from MidJourney and Canva? Canva, with some pretty basic instructions, can design a website for you. Like, if you just give it some ideas, if you tell it what its color palette is, if you give it some basis, it can design it from its templates.
MidJourney is the same. You’re able to design single-image posts directly from MidJourney. You just need to describe what you would like to see. It will give you a couple of iterations. You just have to prompt it to say, okay, give me three versions of this. Rate them from one to three, and so on. So do I think MidJourney and Canva are going to take the jobs of our artists? Not. But I do think that the more competitive, the more content, the most productive designers, and artists are going to be the ones that learn to use the tools versus the ones that do not.
7. Human touch is going to remain a very prominent element in marketing conversations.
Like user-generated content made waves in 2022 and 2023. I anticipate it will be the same. We don’t wanna see what an AI thinks about a product. What we want to see is what an actual human being, another human being, or a customer like you, has experienced with this product. This is what we want to see. Thus user-generated content, authenticity, and content are still going to be very important factors in your messaging, in your website content, and in your content plan.
But I will also say that humans will play a big role is in empathy is, in understanding, how your customers, so AI, can generate for you, but it cannot empathize for you. And so I think more and more brands and marketers are going to have to learn the psychology of their customers. They’re going to have to learn to read data so that they can storify the analytics, like what the user’s journey is like, on their websites. And it will be people that still dictate the strategy, what the content strategy will look like, and what the priorities will look like, and that will not be AI that does that anytime soon.
Strategies for Successful Social Media Marketing in 2024
1. Sell a story
So, for 2024, first things first, your content. If you aren’t yet telling a story, start telling a story. One of the reasons Truelogic has so much legitimacy in the market is that we’ve been telling a story for 12 years. Like we’ve been telling a very consistent story, 12 might be, whoa, might be 14? I’ll say 12, it makes me sound younger, but we’ve been telling a pretty consistent story. We’ve been evangelizing for 12 years.
If storytelling is not part of your arsenal, if it’s not, if you’re still connecting with your customers by being the best priced, that’s sort of not the way you wanna run your business. Like, if you wanna employ a blue ocean strategy, then you need to tell a story. So embrace the power of storytelling in your strategy. Experiment with the different channels, social, and own leased assets. Like, your website, email marketing, social media channels, and YouTube and see where your audiences resonate with you.
When my marketing team pitched me a podcast idea, my first reaction was, literally. And today I do it like clockwork because it works. If it had no impact on the business, I wouldn’t do this. But, the audience we wanna talk to, listen to this content. So experiment with content, and start telling a story. If you’re not telling a story, then you’re still going to be. You’re just one more commodity provider, and it will always be about price points with you. So start telling a story.
2. The Power of Authenticity
No shade against the people who hire celebrities to endorse their products. For some products, celebrity endorsements matter, but for a lot of products, not necessarily. Like, authenticity matters. Authenticity matters to most people. Yes, the Philippines is a very celebrity-centric culture, and so it, like, having a celebrity endorsing your product will drive recognition, legitimacy, market share, and sales. It’s not going to move it as much as it used to. So start learning. Like, if you encountered a customer of yours on the street, would you recognize them? These are the people that need to start talking for you, like, these are the people that need to start talking about you.
3. Impact of Engagement
I remember when social media was starting to get popular and our… because Truelogic works with large brands. I remember the pushback that I used to get on social media. They used to say no, no, no, we don’t want to be on social, we don’t want to open a can of worms. Until the first brand does it. And then now everybody’s like, oh, they’re on Facebook, we need to be on Facebook. And sure enough, Facebook suddenly became a channel for customer service.
But don’t be afraid to engage your customers. Don’t be afraid to engage your customers. Like, the side effect of being in the channel where your audience is, is that your ear has to be wherever that channel you opened up is. So don’t be afraid of engaging your customers. Like, if I have seen a lot of small brands do it magnificently, like somebody will put in a complaint and then a representative of the brand just says, ma’am, I’m seeing your complaint, PM po. Like, that’s enough. Like, that’s enough. And people will see that the brand is responding and that you’re not just ignoring your customers.
4. Consistency is Key
Don’t just be digital. Like, don’t have a website because the boss says so. Don’t put up a Facebook page because the boss says so. And don’t have a YouTube channel because the boss says so. You have to know why you’re there, because the moment you are, your audience will expect a certain level of consistency.
There were a lot of brands that did not make it through the COVID-19 pandemic, and what I will argue is that when people looked for them online, they were not consistently present. Like, restaurants, where you didn’t know, would they take orders today? Would they not take orders today? Do they deliver? Do they not? Are they open? Are they not? Like, that’s one of the reasons why some of those brands did not survive.
If you want to be digital, sure, five, or six years ago, I might have excused you from not being consistent. Like I might have even made up a couple of excuses for you, but today, there is no excuse for being on digital and not being consistent. So if you’re going to be digital, be ready to be consistent with it, okay?
5. Leverage on Paid Advertising
There are cost-effective ways to utilize paid Google searches and Google display-like media. There are cost-effective ways to amplify your brand’s legitimacy, your market share, your share of mentions, and the number of ideas people associate with you effectively on social media. So if you are already telling a story authentically, you are engaging your customers, and you’re pretty consistent, the last bit is how do you amplify that? How do you get more people to see that you are telling an authentic story online consistently? And you do that by amplifying it, either by utilizing Google, like media or by utilizing social media, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, like media.
And that’s it for this episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. I hope you guys got some nuggets that you will find useful and that you will use in 2024. Thank you very much for joining us. Give us a shout-out on social media. Truelogic DX is available on Spotify, Google, and Apple accounts. Again, if there is a specific topic you’d like us to discuss or a guest that you’d like us to speak with if you’ve got topics or suggestions, we’re listening. Thank you to our marketing team for organizing the podcast and our friends at PodMachine, as always, for powering us. Thank you very much. I will see you in the next episode. Cheers.