How affiliates can utilise social media trends in 2024


By Sharon McFarlane

By their nature, social media trends never last. Yet, for a gaming affiliate these still represent unmissable opportunities from influencer involvement to montetisation on social platforms. Sharon McFarlane explores the most valuable trends for affiliates in the social media sphere for 2024.

The social media landscape is constantly shifting. All digital business owners need to stay on top of the latest developments, and understanding these emerging trends is the key to success. For affiliates, the evolving world of social media means constantly having to review and adapt processes to ensure targets are being met. 

Today’s digital social landscape is bigger than ever. It encompasses an enormous range of different platforms and channels, with more and more appearing all the time. We’ve taken a look at the top social media trends for affiliates in 2024 to give you an idea of what’s to come this year. 

Social media search optimisation

We’ve all heard of search engine optimisation (SEO); it’s the practice of correctly constructing and fine-tuning content so that it appears in the top search engine results. SEO is critical for affiliates, brands and content creators as it can help them stand out from the crowd. 

Securing ranking spots in social search results demands a slightly different approach than traditional SEO

However, with so much content concentrated on social media platforms, and with e-commerce increasingly moving to these channels as well, the importance of SEO is gradually diminishing. 

With people increasingly turning to social channels like TikTok for news and information, native social media search features are fast becoming a key target for affiliates. However, securing ranking spots in social search results demands a slightly different approach, social media search optimisation (SMSO) rather than traditional SEO. 

SMSO involves the use of things like captions, closed captions, alt-text and keywords in content, descriptions and on social media profiles. What’s tricky is that every platform uses a different algorithm, which means the approach used by affiliates looking to increase reach on socials will be channel-dependent. 

Today’s social media platforms are transforming rapidly, with many branching out into things like e-commerce. The importance of these channels will only increase as we head further into 2024, which is why it’s so critical that affiliates are aware of SMSO. 

The evolution of influencer marketing 

The influencer phenomenon was born out of the social media boom. The biggest of these digital creators have become global stars and have the power and influence required to strike incredibly lucrative deals with household-name brands. 

For affiliates looking to break into the world of social media, partnering with an influencer is always an attractive option. After all, many of the biggest influencers have follower counts in the millions and can kick-start new trends with something as simple as an Instagram post. 

However, as you might expect, partnering with the world’s biggest influencers is incredibly costly. They demand fees that are far out of reach of the average influencer, reserved only for major global brands. 

That’s not to say affiliates can’t still benefit from influencer partnerships. Micro and nano influencers are a viable alternative and can even offer some advantages when compared to major celebrity influencers. 

Nano influencers have smaller followings, but these communities are often specific within a niche and highly knowledgeable. This means they can be harnessed to target an extremely responsive customer base. For example, an igaming affiliate could identify and partner with an igaming industry nano influencer, allowing them to market products and services to a customer group that has already demonstrated interest.

Micro and nano influencers are a viable alternative and can even offer some advantages when compared to major celebrity influencers

Social media collaborations

Social media has essentially democratised the marketing landscape. In the past, advertising products and services would require big budgets and space on TV, in print or on radio. While these channels still exist, their relevance is waning rapidly as social media continues to expand and grow. 

While this has been pivotal for businesses today and has opened up a new world of opportunities, it also means competition is fiercer than ever. One of the most effective approaches for affiliates to cut through the noise and make an impact in this incredibly crowded market landscape is to focus on brand partnerships and social media collaborations. 

Partnerships have long been valuable for businesses, with research indicating that they can often account for up to 28% of a company’s revenue. They can be equally as effective for affiliates as partnering with the right brands will give you access to new customer groups and will create new content opportunities. 

However, affiliates must ensure they are partnering and collaborating with the right brands. Look for partners that match your brand values and make sure any potential partnerships do not throw up any compliance issues. 

Monetisation on X

Tech mogul Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has dominated headlines for over a year. Changing the platform’s name to X was only one among several contentious decisions he made, and the channel is continuing to change under his stewardship. 

Popular creators on X can now profit directly from content by being given a share of funds generated from ads displayed next to their posts

For all the criticism aimed at Musk and X over the past year, there are some positives to take from the situation, especially for affiliates and content creators. X now offers monetisation opportunities through its Ads Revenue Sharing feature. Popular creators on the platform can now profit directly from their content by being given a share of funds generated from ads displayed next to their posts. 

Another monetisation option on the platform is X Subscriptions, which gives users the chance to subscribe to their favourite accounts, paying a small fee to access exclusive content and benefits. 

For affiliates and digital creators, these new updates mean X is now one of the most effective social platforms for generating revenue through content. Things aren’t likely to stop where they are, either. Musk has expressed his desire to make X the ‘everything app’ so keep an eye out for further monetisation options later in 2024. 

AI and the metaverse

AI and the Metaverse are two of the most exciting topics in the world of tech today. They are expected to transform how we interact with digital products, platforms and services. 

With the Metaverse, we will see the advent of Web3, a new form of the internet where immersive and interactivity will be at the forefront. Used in conjunction with virtual reality, the Metaverse will see the creation of immersive digital social worlds, a significant step forward when compared to the platforms we use today. 

For affiliates and digital businesses, this will open up a host of new possibilities. They will be able to target highly engaged audiences, often made up of younger demographics that are traditionally more difficult to reach. 

However, it will involve thinking outside of the box when it comes to content. Standard blogs and articles won’t cut it in the Metaverse, affiliates will need to explore other options and focus on promoting interactivity at all levels of the content they produce. 

AI is perhaps less flashy than the Metaverse, but its impact on affiliate marketing has been profound. AI can be used for everything from automating administrative tasks to generating unique content, such as blogs or social media graphics. 

An incredibly exciting year

2024 looks set to be an incredibly exciting year for social media, with lots of developments and updates on the horizon.

It’s vital that affiliates are aware of what’s in the pipeline and that they are ready to adapt to a changing social media ecosystem. In doing so, they will leave themselves better placed to continue growing their brands as we head into the future. 


Sharon McFarlane

is managing director at Glasgow-based Digital Footprints, a digital marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media, UX design, website design, branding and conversion rate optimisation.

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