Did you know that the average Indian spends over 3.2 hours on social media every day? In an era dominated by likes, shares, and viral trends, staying ahead of the digital curve isn’t just an option for brands—it’s a necessity. As the digital landscape continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, the Ogilvy report on Social Media Trends for 2024 serves as a crucial roadmap for brands aiming to connect with their audience in meaningful ways.
So the question is, what is that thing which keeps you hooked to social media for such a long time?
To decode this, here is a comprehensive guide that sheds light on the pivotal developments poised to transform brand engagement strategies. From the rise of culture-first approaches to the power of collaboration and the undeniable impact of video content, let’s dive into the trends that are reshaping the future of social media in India.
1. The Rise of Culture-First Strategies
Brands are now expected to dive deeper into cultural currents, aligning their messaging with the values and conversations that resonate with their audience. This shift towards a culture-first approach emphasises authenticity and relevance, urging brands to become active participants in cultural dialogues. An exemplar of this trend is Amul, which masterfully leverages current events and cultural moments in India to create topical and engaging content that resonates widely, demonstrating an understanding and integration of cultural nuances in their branding.
2. Collaboration Over Competition
The future of branding on social media lies in forging meaningful collaborations. From unexpected brand partnerships to engaging with creators, the emphasis is on creating unique, shareable content that stands out in a crowded digital space. The collaboration between Zomato and Netflix, where they created themed menus for popular Netflix shows, illustrates the power of joining forces to create buzz and mutual benefit, engaging audiences across platforms.
3. Creators at the Forefront
Creators continue to be the linchpin of social media strategies. Their ability to generate relatable and engaging content makes them invaluable for brands looking to connect with their audience on a personal level. Indian brands can leverage this trend by partnering with local creators like Indian YouTuber Bhuvan Bam, using his relatable content style to promote their products authentically, tapping into niche communities.
4. Engaging Communities
The report highlights the comeback of community-focused engagement. Brands will need to foster genuine connections, moving beyond transactional interactions to build loyalty and advocacy. For Indian brands, this means prioritising platforms where their audiences are most active and engaging in meaningful conversations, as exemplified by OnePlus’ community forums, where the brand engages with its user base for feedback, fostering a loyal community through active participation and exclusive updates.
5. Embracing Video Content
With video content dominating user engagement, brands are encouraged to diversify their video strategies. This includes both short-form content, ideal for capturing attention quickly, and long-form content, which allows for deeper storytelling. Indian brands must explore innovative ways to use video to capture the essence of their message, similar to Tata Motors’ use of short, engaging video stories on Instagram to showcase the features of their new car models.
6. Navigating AI Innovations
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral part of social media, from content creation to customer engagement. Indian brands have the opportunity to use AI to enhance their social media presence, offering personalised experiences and streamlining operations, as seen in the use of chatbots by e-commerce brands for personalised shopping experiences on their social media platforms.
7. Platform-Specific Strategies
Understanding the nuances of each platform is key. For instance, TikTok’s continued growth signifies the importance of short, engaging content, while LinkedIn’s role in B2B marketing emphasises professional networking and thought leadership. Indian brands must tailor their strategies to fit the unique audience and capabilities of each platform, with tech companies like Infosys sharing thought leadership content on LinkedIn, contrasting with their more casual and engaging Instagram posts showcasing company culture.
8. Prioritising Engagement Over Reach
The shift from reach-centric to engagement-centric strategies underscores the importance of meaningful interactions. Indian brands should focus on creating content that encourages dialogue, shares, and repeat engagement, rather than merely broadening their reach. A new coffee brand using Instagram polls to let followers vote on new flavours exemplifies fostering engagement and making followers feel involved in product development.
The Way Forward
For Indian brands, adapting to these trends means embracing change and fostering a deeper connection with their audience. By prioritising culture, collaboration, creativity, and community, brands can navigate the evolving social media landscape with confidence and creativity. The journey ahead is challenging but filled with opportunities to make a lasting impact in the digital world.