A Gartner survey of 263 consumers between July and August of 2023 found 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. 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.
“Social media remains the top investment channel for digital marketing, but consumers are actively trying to limit their use,” said Emily Weiss, Senior Principal Researcher in the Gartner Marketing Practice. “A significant slice says that, compared to a few years ago, they are sharing less of their own lives and content. As the nature of social media use and the experience of the platforms changes, CMOs must refocus their customer acquisition and loyalty retention strategies in response.”
Other Gartner predictions to help marketers respond to the changing landscape in 2024 and beyond include:
“Mistrust and lack of confidence in AI’s abilities will drive some consumers to seek out AI-free brands and interactions,” said Weiss. “A subsection of brands will shun AI and prioritize more human positioning. This ‘acoustic’ concept will be leveraged to distance brands from perceptions of AI-powered businesses as impersonal and homogeneous.”
“The use of GenAI in a creative team’s routine daily work frees them up to do higher level, more impactful creative ideation, testing, and analysis,” said Weiss. “As a result, creative will play a more important and measurable role in driving business results, and CMOs will actually increase their spending on creative and content.”
“CMOs must prepare for the disruption that GenAI-backed search will bring to their organic search strategies,” said Weiss. “Marketing leaders whose brands rely on SEO should consider allocating resources to testing other channels in order to diversify.”
“As content created with GenAI tools balloons throughout marketing channels, transparency around its use will become increasingly necessary to maintain trust with customers,” added Weiss.