Social media has been a dominant force in the digital landscape for the past decade, but it seems that its glory days are over. A recent survey of 263 consumers conducted between July and August of 2023 found that 53% of consumers believe the current state of social media has decayed compared to either the prior year or to five years ago. The top reasons for this perceived decline were the spread of misinformation, toxic user bases, and the prevalence of bots.
This dissatisfaction with social media platforms will have a significant impact on consumer behavior and preferences. According to the survey, “This perceived decay in the quality of social media platforms will drive 50% of consumers to abandon or significantly limit their interactions with social media by 2025.” This is a major challenge for brands and marketers who rely on social media as the top investment channel for digital marketing.
As consumers become more selective and cautious about what they share and consume on social media, brands and marketers must adapt and innovate to meet their changing needs. One of the key trends that will shape the future of marketing is the integration of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) into social media platforms and creative services.
GenAI is a type of AI that can create original content, such as images, videos, text, and music, based on data and algorithms. GenAI has the potential to revolutionize the way brands and marketers create and deliver engaging and personalized content to their audiences. However, not everyone is excited about this prospect.
The survey revealed that “Concern about the impact of anticipated GenAI use in social media is high: over 7 in 10 consumers agree that greater integration of GenAI into social media will harm user experience.” Consumers are wary of the authenticity and quality of GenAI-generated content, as well as the ethical and social implications of using AI to manipulate and influence people’s opinions and emotions.
As a result, some consumers will seek out alternatives to GenAI-powered social media platforms and brands. The survey predicted that “By 2027, 20% of brands will lean into positioning and differentiation based on the absence of AI in their business and products.” These brands will emphasize their human and organic qualities, and appeal to consumers who value authenticity and originality over efficiency and convenience.
On the other hand, some brands and marketers will embrace GenAI as a tool to enhance their creativity and productivity. The survey forecasted that “By 2026, 80% of advanced creative roles will be tasked with harnessing GenAI to achieve differentiated results, requiring CMOs to spend more on this talent.” These creative professionals will use GenAI to generate novel and diverse ideas, test and optimize their campaigns, and analyze and improve their performance.
The digital landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, and social media is at the center of it. As GenAI becomes more integrated into social media platforms and creative services, brands and marketers will face new challenges and opportunities to connect and engage with their audiences. How they respond to these changes will determine their success or failure in the future of marketing.