Gartner Predicts Mass Consumer Social Media Exodus by 2025

The analyst has released findings from new survey to help prepare customer experience teams for the future

Voice of the CustomerInsights

Published: December 14, 2023

James Stephen

Gartner research has found that 50 percent of users will either abandon or significantly limit their social media usage by 2025.

Its survey of 263 consumers also revealed that 53 percent of consumers believe social media has “decayed” compared to the previous year and five years ago due to the spread of misinformation, toxic userbases, and the ubiquitous presence of bots.

Emily Weiss, Senior Principal Researcher in the Gartner Marketing Practice, commented on the need for CX teams to pivot their social media strategies: “Social media remains the top investment channel for digital marketing, but consumers are actively trying to limit their use.

“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.

The report also offers many more CX insights for 2024 and beyond, uncovering further findings related to AI and generative AI.

Demand for AI-Free Brands

A survey of 305 consumers in May this year found that 72 percent of consumers perceive AI-based content generators as potential sources of false and misleading information.

Moreover, a survey in February of 320 consumers demonstrated that the view of AI-powered experiences and capabilities being superior to humans is weakening.

As a result, Gartner believes that – by 2027 – 20 percent of brands will use a lack of AI as a key differentiator for their business and products.

Weiss said that certain businesses would search for AI-free vendors and prioritize human-centered offerings, with AI-powered businesses being labeled “impersonal and homogenous”.

Call for GenAI in Creative Roles

2026 will see 80 percent of advanced creative positions implementing generative AI to gain differentiated results, which means chief marketing officers (CMOs) must spend more to acquire the relevant talent, according to Gartner.

The draw of productivity and cost savings through the use of generative AI will be particularly applicable to creative services.

Enhanced productivity will allow senior creatives to use their time on other strategic initiatives, such as generative AI product and service information.

Weiss foresees creativity playing a more important role in driving business results, with CMOs choosing to increase their creative content spending.

The Rise of Generative-AI Search

By 2028, organic search traffic for brands will decrease by 50 percent or higher as generative AI-powered search becomes more prevalent, Gartner has found. CMOs will therefore need to prepare for the impact this will have on their ability to drive sales using organic search.

A survey of 299 consumers in August found that 79 percent of respondents are expecting to use generative AI within the next year, although 70 percent have some level of trust in the quality of results it would yield.

Weiss explained:

CMOs must prepare for the disruption that GenAI-backed search will bring to their organic search strategies.

“Marketing leaders whose brands rely on SEO should consider allocating resources to testing other channels in order to diversify.”

Marketers Build GenAI Defences

Gartner also discovered that 60 percent of CMOs surveyed would adopt content authenticity technology, greater monitoring, and brand-recognized user-generated content (UGC) to keep brands safe from the potentially misleading information to arises from generative AI.

Dedicated authenticity functions and the creation of brand guardrails will be an “organizational imperative”, Gartner says.

Weiss added that transparency around the use of generative AI will become essential to maintain customer trust.

Last month, Garner released a report that found 77 percent of sellers were struggling to complete tasks effectively, despite a rise in spending budgets for sales technologies, training, and development.



Artificial IntelligenceGenerative AI

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