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Unveiling 8 Social Media Trends That Are Defining 2024

April 09, 2024
Social Media Trends

Social media trends and digital marketing trends, in general, are, by definition, fluid and subject to change due to various external factors. If there’s been a recent Google update or if a major tech innovation is on the horizon, it’s more than likely that things will not remain the same. 

Similarly, the audience’s attitude may change due to political or cultural reasons, and occasionally, some new, unusual ways the creators prefer to tell their stories pop up on these platforms. 

For all these reasons, we’ve compiled a list of eight social media trends that will continue to rise and develop in 2024. In addition, we present you with five more that paint a complete picture of what the social media landscape is all about today.

Let’s dig in! 

Top 8 Social Media Trends You Should Know & Follow in 2024 

The social media trends gaining prominence this year won’t necessarily be as relevant as the next. The teams behind the analysis of what’s to come and which changes the brands should adhere to are closely monitoring the shifts in their industries. 

Any business owner needs to take note of this and swiftly adjust the policies of their brand to stay relevant. In fact, a failure to do so led to the demise of many enterprises. 

So, before you go, here is a list of the top 8 social media trends that you should get familiar with so you can get a better insight into what’s trending in 2024. 

Top Social Media Trends You Should Know

#1. AI Integration

AI has taken the world by storm—in video, text, and audio formats. The social media realm and the content we can interact with were not excused. Content production has become easier and faster due to the introduction of tools such as ChatGPT, Lexica, and Synthesia.

Mind that there is a plethora of other niche-specific AI software products, and some of those that are gaining more popularity are AI marketing tools. Still, with all this in mind, there are drawbacks

The authenticity and originality of these pieces of content often don’t meet customers’ needs, no matter how good they are. Additionally, there have been ethical concerns that AI-generated art may make artists less relevant and less competitive on the market due to AI products that oftentimes appear as decent-enough pieces that are produced in the blink of an eye.

With that in mind, social media platforms still reap benefits, mainly regarding post recommendations. Namely, Facebook plans on recommending more posts on user’s newsfeeds, making it a lot like TikTok’s “For You” page. 

In addition to that, social media platforms may have millions of users, and employing enough people to deal with user inquiries is nearly impossible. Therefore, many platforms use AI-customer support to meet customers’ needs and expectations. So, these social media trends also bring automation and cost-efficient strategies.

Still, while better content curation, customer support automation, and mass content distribution have made lives more accessible for many, some fear the potential job loss and the overall effect of AI on the job market. This discussion will continue throughout 2024, with some countries even seeing initiatives to ban AI software such as ChatGPT. 

#2. Brand Authenticity 

Around 60% of consumers have stated that authenticity, trustworthiness, and transparency are vital values a brand can possess. Polished advertising with celebrities and people in suits are things of the past—users behind their screens want to see a genuine person talking about what they hold dear, even if that’s a product or a service. 

For that reason, many brands decided to enlarge their presence and affirm their voice by experimenting with playful, personalized content. This strategy includes memes, entertainment references, and “edgy” humor.

One such example is the food chain Wendy’s, which uses their voice as cheeky and sarcastic, often directly interacting with customers on social media. In other words, by being “real,” they maintain a consistent brand voice that attracts new customers and keeps the regular ones loyal. 

They do that by entertaining their audience and sharing relatable material. Many other companies have started following similar social media trends to stay relevant and stand out from the crowd. 

Drawing the lessons from this example and many others, it’s clear that the trend of putting the customer first instead of the creator is here to stay.

Moreover, users nowadays are exposed to a myriad of brands daily and won’t stick for too long with those they don’t deem authentic. Gen Z, in particular, sees little value in all those elaborate commercials in which a product or service is overly highlighted. Instead, they go after an idea or cause that resonates with their values and viewpoints.

Oftentimes, these ideas are mediated by ordinary people who regularly address their audience. Nowadays, we call these people influencers. Influencer marketing has become increasingly significant as many brands shift their primary marketing efforts to these “real people,” who present a gateway to their target audience. 

So, let’s talk about them in a bit more detail. 

#3. Influencer Marketing

When teenagers crave entertainment, very few will look to the BBC for their daily fix. Instead, they engage with the influencers they trust and are often quite loyal to.

When an influencer gets an opportunity to advertise a product or a service, they try to make it look genuine so the person watching the video believes that the product is something they use regularly. 

Some influencers may not talk directly about the product but may place it somewhere visible and just sprinkle a few comments here and there that this is something they enjoy on a daily basis. Their comments seem like side remarks, but they have a profound effect on the potential buyer.  

Although the biggest shots of the influencer world that dominate social networks usually bring the most value to the product or service advertised, this is not always the case. Enter micro- and nano-influencers. 

Micro-influencers have 10,000–100,000 followers, while nano-influencers have less than 10,000. With this “small reach” compared to those with millions of followers, one may assume they stand little chance of success. Well, that’s miles away from reality. 

Oftentimes, it’s harder for the target audience to interact with an influencer who has more than a million followers, so the engagement rate may not be so impressive. 

Conversely, micro and nano-influencers offer better prices, higher engagement rates, and much more precise audience targeting. Nano-influencers often generate quite a bit more engagement than macro-influencers. 

These two types of influencers should not be underestimated, as they are on the path to becoming much bigger players in the world of commerce. 

Social Commerce and Personalized Ads

#4. Social Commerce and Personalized Ads

Shopping websites and brick-and-mortar stores are no longer the only places to find the perfect item you want. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok allow customers to buy everything, from clothes to cars.

Additionally, content creators perform numerous “performances” to promote products. These social media trends are growing both among young and older audiences.

Enhanced with hashtags that make it easier to delve into the wide variety of products you may be interested in, social commerce is expanding to the point where social platforms have in-app stores. In late 2023, TikTok launched its store, while Facebook and Instagram already had the in-app shopping feature. 

On the other hand, this brings users closer to the products and services. The algorithms consider purchase history, browsing patterns, and users’ locations to offer the most relevant information. 

Looking further into the matter, significant efforts have been made to bring AR and VR technologies to the mainstream as tools to experience the ads better. In short, users can interact with ads and “take part” in the experience using AR or VR, which makes the whole process seem much less of a nuisance to the targeted users. 

Moreover, we’re yet to see whether social media trends such as live streaming and interactive shopping will become another form of online shopping

#5. The Importance of SEO

Brands have come to understand that their social media accounts need more refined optimization since many people shift from search engines to social media when searching for content. This occurrence is backed up by the fact that a good portion of Gen Z users choose TikTok over Google when looking for information. 

However, this is becoming commonplace, not only on TikTok. Many social media users rely on Instagram when looking for travel destinations, fashion items, or other things they want to buy or learn more about. 

Those brands that understand this new development will gain benefits as soon as they jump on the bandwagon of SEO optimization, as they’ll accommodate the needs of more customers. When well-optimized for branded keywords, social media channels are oftentimes at the top of the Google result pages and the knowledge panels. 

#6. Video Content Dominance 

Video posts on social media, including short and long-form videos, are not going anywhere. We’re used to short forms dominating our feeds, especially on TikTok, one of the leading actors that popularized the format the most. 

The majority of Gen Z users, and an increasing portion of other age cohorts, rely on bite-sized videos when looking for tutorials, travel destinations, or product comparisons. 

More specifically, 73% of users prefer short-form videos when searching for a product or a service. Therefore, marketers are investing significantly in this type of content creation, as according to some estimates, over 44% of marketers are expected to use short-form videos in 2024 and beyond. 

Additionally, the same data shows that 26% of marketers plan to invest more in this type of content creation. To put it simply, the majority of marketers believe short-form videos are the most effective tool on social media.

However, long-form video is making sort of a revamped comeback as well. TikTok has shifted from a one-minute duration cap to a 10-minute one, and they might even introduce 30-minute-long videos for creators. 

If this idea comes to fruition, YouTube could have serious competition. Videos in longer form are essential for explainer guides and various kinds of tutorials for products and services. A staggering 97% of marketers say that their audience uses long-form videos for these purposes, so we’re yet to discover how this social media trend will develop. 

#7. Strategic Platform Use

Regarding the demographics of social media use in 2024, Facebook continues to reign as the most popular social media platform among consumers and marketers. 

Still, not all generations have the same preferences: 

  • People aged 18–29 use Snapchat (41%) the most, followed by TikTok (34%) and Instagram (32%). 
  • Adults aged 30–39 are most loyal to Linkedin and X/Twitter (both 34%), then Snapchat (33%) and Instagram (32%). 

Still, the surge of TikTok’s influence in recent years has changed the dynamics for all actors participating in the game

When it comes to Facebook demographics, there has been a steady decline in Gen Z users, so they’re trying to attract more people from this generation. 

Regarding Instagram’s demographic goals, the platform seeks to attract creatives, marketers, and content creators of all genders and ages. So far, the basis on which they have been standing is still solid, but the number of Gen Z users deciding to give up this social network is also on the rise. 

Regarding the gender and age of Instagram users, the most significant male audience is still between 18 and 24, and for females, the average age is 25–34.

On the other hand, TikTok started with a younger audience, but now they plan to reach as many other age groups as possible. 

The same goes for X/Twitter, which is currently going through a process of innovation. They aim to adopt the new changes and attract those users who previously didn’t find this platform appealing. 

What Should Brands Do? 

Regarding brands benefiting from social media, it is essential to stick to the top-performing platforms that bring the best Return on Investment (ROI) to their business. This effort includes prioritizing what specific platforms they should focus on instead of trying to cover all of them.

One step toward achieving strategic platform use and better content planning is to conduct a social media audit, which will aim to identify platforms with the best potential to garner revenue.  

While smart cross-posting on many social media platforms is essential, a brand needs to find those select few that bring the most value and focus on them.

#8. Storytelling 

With all the help we can get from AI, there’s little that can beat a human voice—a unique journey through someone’s story. That also goes for all brands, no matter how big or small. An authentic and warm human experience can enhance connection and mean the world to the targeted audience. 

With this in mind, creators on TikTok have decided to fully embrace the casual, informal style of telling their stories—and it works! The bond between consumers and the authors or brands is tighter and more personal. 

However, there have been innovations. A conventional way of guiding your followers through whatever you say is no longer “it.” Creators have grown far more creative, and now they often start their posts in the middle of the story, hooking the person behind the screen to stick around and hear the rest. 

The same goes with an approach where the storyteller begins with the story ending and goes in reverse to make a point and circle the entire matter they speak of. This clever method to prompt curiosity for those who may not be that keen on listening is enhanced by the FOMO effect. The consumer often wants to hear what’s on the other end of the narrative.

Finally, a rising trend on all social media is the “nostalgia core” aesthetic, and brands are making the most of it. The old-school motifs from the 90s and Y2K appeal more to consumers, so the brand campaigns are shifting towards this style. 

On the one hand, those growing up during these decades can feel like the posts are speaking directly to them, but interestingly enough, so can Gen Z consumers, who value all things retro. 

Social Teams and Social Listening

5 Additional Social Media Trends to Keep an Eye On In 2024

These five additional examples of social media trends for businesses can paint a broader picture of what will be relevant in 2024 in the social media realm. They are more niche-specific, but they play an immense role in the social media landscape. 

Social Teams and Social Listening

Most social media teams are based on networks, but many risk being outdated. With the advancement of social media, both teams and skills need to keep up. As a result, we now have a growing number of jobs and titles in the social media branch, and this is one of the social media trends that will continue heading upward in 2024.

Similarly, collecting data for more sophisticated content marketing strategies has never been easier. Social listening has also increased the overall value of organizations in this field, and marketers rely on it for many different purposes.

Social listening is a powerful means to better understand how users see the brand and what they want from it. Concurrently, by understanding current social media trends, brands can provide better services and products.

Gated Content

Put simply, gated content is kept exclusive, and only a portion of users can access it. Social media trends such as this one are gaining prominence because they allow creators to form better and deeper connections with their followers. Additionally, monetizing their content is much easier as they offer premium features or charge access to certain content. 

Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies

We’ll see many changes in 2024; one expected is the die-out of third-party cookies. Experts and users alike have voiced concerns about the privacy issues with this type of cookie, so we may see the development of reliable first-party counterparts. 

Although better insights into the needs and wants of customers are paramount to organizations, new GDPR rules that may come into force can quickly put an end to third-party cookies the way they’re currently being used. 

Customer Support and Crisis Management

To provide better care for their users and maintain their reputation among the vast sea of competitors, brands have realized that customer care and crisis management are necessary. 

Customers require resolutions that necessitate interaction with brands, and more often than not, specific incidents must be resolved efficiently and promptly. In achieving this, social media crisis management and customer support are the basis. 

Stronger, Smaller, Tighter Niche Communities

Smaller communities offer more personalized experiences, and the interaction is more significant. For brands, there have been records of better insight gathering, higher retention rates, more meaningful brand advocacy, and overall increased engagement. 

Final Thoughts

The social media landscape is fast and ever-changing. Everyone involved in the industry needs to live by the rule, adapt or die, which relates to brands and social media platforms. AI has changed the game a great deal, coupled with influencer marketing and an enhanced need for brand authenticity.

Moreover, the changes can also be felt in social commerce and personal ads, emphasizing the need for SEO tactics and strategic platform use to stay afloat. 

Social media trends today dictate not only how we interact with one another but also how businesses work, both on a small and large scale. Therefore, for brands to flourish and grow, they need to adhere to what’s relevant and follow the trends set by their users and those they’ve yet to attract.

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