The Top Social Media Marketing Trends in 2024

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends in 2024

Since AI rocked the social media scene in 2022, businesses and consumers are witnessing seismic shifts in the digital marketing industry. Keeping up with constant change is essential for a business’s success, and trends are a top priority. 

In this article, we’ll explore the most important social media marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2024.

AI as Part of the Production Process

Since making its breakthrough in 2022, AI has steadily become a digital marketing regular, with topics surrounding its use increasing by 550% from 2022 to 2023. In 2024, AI will become a virtual non-negotiable in the production process as a method for editing and refining texts, developing new ideas, editing and generating images, and providing customer service as a chatbot.

AI as part of a production process

However, despite a predicted skyrocket in the use of AI in 2024, 62% of online consumers claim they’re less likely to trust content generated through an AI application. While fake news is nothing new, consumers have difficulty discerning between real and fake images and information. 

Still, the AI social media marketing takeover is inevitable, and the most successful brands are shifting the focus away from what creates their content and toward what makes this content authentic.

Task Delegation

Social media marketing teams in SMBs are often—unsurprisingly—understaffed and overburdened. Thus, it should be no surprise that teams of one to ten often rely on AI for workload reduction. 

Still, there’s a fine line between treating AI as a standalone team member and as an assistant. When delegating tasks, it’s imperative to pursue the latter option, keeping it human when you:

  • Create content strategies
  • Edit and refine captions
  • Interact with online users

Stopping Misinformation

Despite an abundance of methods for fact-checking, disinformation is expected to remain a threat in 2024. Consumers aren’t to blame—AI falling into the wrong hands means trolls are better equipped to find convincing ways to fool users.

According to Eric Wangrowski, founder and CEO of Steg AI, “In the past, skilled artisans were needed to create fictitious images via literal copy and paste. Software tools like Photoshop lowered the bar for, say, synthesizing photographs to overstate the size of North Korea’s military force. The emergence of generative AI in combination with social media platforms represents a paradigm shift in the scale of vulnerability to misinformation campaigns.”

Integrated Features

Have you noticed an eerie accuracy in ad targeting on platforms like Pinterest and Facebook? You’re likely not the only person to gasp and say, “The bots can hear me!” because, well, they can (to an extent).

AI in Meta

Since Meta launched its in-app generative AI tools for entrepreneurs and marketers in October 2023, ad targeting has become even more targeted. Meta also claims that its AI tools can help marketers shave off over five hours of their work weeks.

Sometime in 2024, YouTube will debut its AI tool for developing backgrounds for blogs. The tool, called Dream Screen, will enable a lucky few creators to generate photo or video backgrounds by typing in a prompt.

YouTube is further adopting AI-suggested video topics and assistive search in Creator Music. 

TikTok as the Leading Social Media Platform

After proving itself the leading social media platform in 2023, TikTok isn’t showing any signs of losing its spot on the digital throne. 

TikTok

In fact, many organizations are abandoning social platform giants like Facebook, X, and Pinterest, as 52% claim the time and budget investment for managing too many platforms is overwhelming. 

Not Just Gen Z’s Hotspot

TikTok’s most popular dwellers are within the 18 to 24 range, spending 79 minutes on the app daily. However, millennials and Gen Xers are not far behind, with most spending an average of 45 minutes on the app daily. 

So, what does this mean for marketers? TikTok advertisers will have an edge over other platforms like Facebook and Instagram because of its “stickiness.” Plus, millennials and Gen Xers have far more spending power than their Gen Z counterparts.

Google’s Biggest Competition

For decades, it has been impossible to topple Google as the reigning search engine—until TikTok, that is. According to surveys, 51% of Gen Z women prefer TikTok as their primary search engine.

In addition, TikTok has become a go-to news hub, with 43% of users depending on it to receive updates on current events. ¾ of searches made on TikTok are informational, while 21% are commercially motivated.

Every Seller’s Social Commerce Dream

Considering TikTok’s newfound status as the go-to search engine, it should be no surprise that it’s expected to grow the eCommerce industry by $17.5 billion in 2024. With the recent explosion of Instagram and Facebook shopping, brands wanting to dominate social commerce won’t want to miss what TikTok has in store for them. 

A Mix of Short and Long-Form Content

A third of online viewers abandon a video after thirty seconds—but what if your video is only thirty seconds long? Historically, users have ping-ponged between short and long-form content. So, what content length makes the most sense for marketers?

The answer to this question isn’t as simple as marketers would hope. TikTok’s shift to longer-form content aims to build stronger connections between creators and viewers, but the “TikTok brain” phenomenon has garnered lukewarm reactions at best.

However, quality long-form content will always boast the benefits of versatility. With length on your side, you’ll have room to provide more information.

Short videos

Still, shorter videos have the advantage of remaining top-of-mind and increasing the chances of virality. Yes, people are spending even more time on social media, yet the average attention span when using electronic devices is 47 seconds (a surmountable difference from the early 2000s, when the average attention span was 2.5 minutes).

Thus, a balance of short and long-form content is the sweet spot. 

Edutainment as a Form of Learning

According to Emergen Research, the edutainment industry will be worth a whopping $28.04 billion by 2023. Since becoming accustomed to digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, younger consumers are transitioning from traditional education and are more engaged in interactive learning experiences.

However, kids aren’t the only consumers benefitting from this access to information. TikTok, for instance, is taking credit for the global rise in financial literacy, as brands like Atome, Nativex, and Flip use it to promote their financial products. 

Edutainment rides on human-centric storytelling and is most popular in Southeast Asia, where many consumers are highly tech-savvy. According to the vice president of Atome marketing, Vangie Hu, “At Atome, we believe we need to engage with consumers in a way that they like and in the places where they are.” 

The Continued Rise of Social Commerce

Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok’s shopping features are no longer secondary—they’re fully functional central hubs. Consumers will no longer have to connect to standalone eCommerce websites—they can enjoy seamless social interactions while they shop.

Social commerce

In the last five years, search interest in “Facebook marketplace” rose 700%, while Marketplace itself has over one billion active monthly users. Instagram Shops are also rising in popularity, with nearly 45% of consumers using the app to shop.

Personalized Shopping Experiences

Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, brands can take personalized shopping experiences to new heights. Among the most recognizable examples of personalized shopping experiences include Amazon’s product recommendations. If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you’ve likely traveled down a rabbit hole of related products.

Another prime example of clever personalization is Starbucks’ mobile app. While the Starbucks app is not, in itself, an online payment platform, the addition of Apple Pay made it the second most-used mobile payment platform for POS transactions in 2021. 

Ultimately, catering to your audience beyond their expectations is an excellent method for keeping your social commerce performance healthy. 

Influencer Selling and Live Selling

Step aside, static product images. Interactive content and “shoppertainment” will make social commerce more immersive and enjoyable. Platforms like TikTok have even begun hosting a Shoppertainment Summit across various Asian countries, highlighting how its commerce options are changing the way people shop.

Recent findings from the Shoppertainment Summit showed that one in three TikTok users craved a more entertaining commerce experience, with 37% of people expressing the desire for a more seamless shopping experience from start to finish.

Tiktok users

Smaller, Tighter Communities

Contrary to what its name suggests, many social media communities are looking slightly less social. However, focused social platforms may allow businesses to foster tighter-knit communities and provide safer spaces for discussion. 

According to social media marketing expert Mark Schaefer, “Gen Alpha will have their own space this year on a new social media platform. I think the emphasis will be on video and community.” 

Businesses, especially smaller ones, can take advantage of smaller spaces like Facebook groups, Reddit communities, and special-purpose social networks. 

Social Media as the Main Channel for Customer Support

Strong customer support begets a well-rounded customer experience on social media. As phone-in customer service continues to grow obsolete, social support remains the key to brand loyalty.

80% of customers now rely on social media to engage with brands, yet there is a shocking shortage of dedicated customer service campaigns. With such a heavy demand for accessible troubleshooting through Instagram and Facebook, what’s stopping businesses from developing dedicated plans?

For one, most marketers don’t consider themselves customer service experts, nor do they have the resources to outsource help. In addition, customer service takes too much time—but that’s the beauty of automation.

Brands demonstrating the right way to use social media as a platform for customer service include Spindrift, which sells sparkling water. Customer service agents behind Spindrift’s X platform often respond to customer questions and concerns within minutes. 

Shifts in Influencer Marketing

The influencer marketing industry is worth $21.1 billion—a 105% increase from its net worth in 2021. Because consumers trust influencers, one in four marketers use them to push products and services.

However, as with any industry in the marketing world, influencers are gearing up for significant changes in 2024. 

Influencer marketing

AI-Generated Content

If you’ve noticed the “AI-generated” tag on TikTok videos recently, you’re not the only one. Many influencers are leaning hard into AI-automated processes to produce high-quality content and keep their followers engaged. 

Of course, influencers must watch out for an over-reliance on AI, as artificial or overly-polished posts won’t cut it. 

On the other end of the spectrum, marketers are using AI to cut down on the time-intensive task of discovering and vetting influencers by using functions like image and video recognition, brand suitability analysis, and audience profiling.

Nano and Micro-Influencers

While many mega-influencers, like Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez, continue to reign supreme, there is an obvious shift away from personalities with content to content with personality. In fact, the word “influencer” itself is becoming less popular, with only 6% of creators preferring the title.

Ultimately, micro and nano-influencers are expected to sweep 2024 dry in terms of popularity. The latter boasts the highest engagement rates of all influencer categories, with 35% of marketers claiming that most audiences trust their smaller-scale partnerships.

Now, nano-influencers make up 65% of all Instagram-based creators, but picking them isn’t as simple as shortlisting everyone in your area. Working with the right nano-influencers means tapping people who are genuinely interested in your brand and encouraging them to share real experiences with your products and services.

Niche Campaigns

As geo-targeted and hyper-local campaigns gain traction, brands will tap smaller communities through local influencers. While these influencers have smaller audiences, they have a better understanding of regional preferences and can drive conversations more effectively. 

Brands are also favoring longer-term collaborations with local nano-influencers instead of investing in one-time campaigns, as longer endorsements foster more trust. 

“Deinfluencing”

Influencers are formidable forces in the social media world—they can tell millions of online consumers what to do. Similarly, so can deinfluencers, a new generation of online personas overthrowing the materialism fad. 

In May 2023, TikTok reported that the hashtag #deinfluencing garnered 582 million views in a mere 12 months. So, what exactly are deinfluencers? These “influencer opposites” don’t necessarily rally against popular and expensive products. Instead, they warn against overconsumption, encouraging viewers to consider how much they actually need the product they’re eyeing. 

Among these deinfluencers is Michelle Skidelsky, who has over 40 posts on the topic. Skidelsky shares, “First of all, new clothing that’s not like fast fashion is so expensive these days. If you’re going on a trip, if you’re going to a concert, you probably don’t need an entirely new wardrobe for either of those things. Make do with what you have, and live within your means.”

While deinfluencing has shaken the boat for many influencers, brands attempting to use it should still tread carefully. Stay away from making consumers feel bad about their spending habits. After all, businesses need to sell. 

Instead, ensure your products and services align with your target audience’s values and budget. 

Authenticity Prevails

In today’s bustling online communities, finding ways to be original may seem impossible. Still, it’s safer not to be a copycat. 

Your brand will remain on the safe side so long as it leans on authenticity. Authentic brands differentiate themselves successfully, garner credibility, and have access to bigger and better opportunities.

Authenticity prevails

Non-Linear Storytelling

Consumers are less pressed to see linear storytelling. They prefer to witness organic interactions. According to TikTok’s 2024 Trend Report, storylines are all over the place and users love them. “Ends of stories are starting first. Multiple story arcs can happen at once. Communities are making up fictional celebrities and narratives.”

Nostalgia Core

Of the “cores” online users witnessed in 2023 (namely, cottage core and millennial core), the next “core” to anticipate in 2024 is the nostalgia core. Midway through 2023, brands saw a significant resurgence of 90s and Y2K-themed products, which were a hit with Gen Z.

New York trend analyst Casey Lewis, whose newsletter After School documents youth consumer behavior, says, “Gen Z is not even close to being done revisiting these old trends. They are going to dig into every weird trend from way back when and bring it back.” 

However, businesses aren’t just seeing a jump in sales for flared pants, friendship bracelets, and biker jackets. Creators are hopping on the trend by filming intentionally low-quality graphics and using dated sound effects. 

Surge in YouTube Marketing

As Gen Zers continue to devour YouTube Shorts like candy, marketers have ample opportunity to make more meaningful connections through video. YouTube marketers have it good—their primary audience belongs to Generations Z and Alpha, who are gravitating toward authentic- creator-driven campaigns. In addition, YouTube now has deeply integrated eCommerce features, shortening the sales funnel and turning viewers into instant customers.

Vlog-style YouTube ads are crowd-pleasers, with campaigns like Grant Cardone’s casual private jet tour garnering 1.6 million views and Men’s Fitness’ V Shred tips increasing magazine sales.

Other popular YouTube marketing formats include question-and-answer, problem/solution, collective pain points, proof of success, skits, and attention-grabbers. 

Mental Health as a Watch-Out

Though businesses won’t want to admit it, research has proven direct links between adolescent depression and social media use. In addition, 39% of US online users have admitted to a social media addiction and inability to resist being chronically online. 

Despite this, there are silver linings to social media’s undeniable takeover. Friendships are diversifying. Support is becoming immediately accessible. Still, businesses should use social media responsibly to curb mental health problems and push stronger, more sustainable values. 

NFL: My Cause, My Cleats x Kicking the Stigma

NFL recently made an example of itself when it launched the My Cause, My Cleats x Kicking the Stigma campaign. Players like Jelani Woods were encouraged to customize their cleats to support a personal cause. Woods designed a pair in honor of three of his former teammates who were killed at the University of Virginia shooting in 2022. 

Indianapolis Colts Vice Chairman Kalen Jackson supported the campaign by publishing insights on mental illness, encouraging other NFL players to participate. As the most followed sporting league in the US, the My Cause, My Cleats x Kicking the Stigma campaign worked because it featured high-status athletes and encouraged vulnerability. 

The campaign garnered high domestic engagement and held press interviews where players were given platforms to be open and candid with their audiences. 

Walkers: It Feels Good to Share

Walkers’ seasonal mental health campaign focuses on the pressures that come with the holiday season. According to Walkers’ research, 52% of people feel pressure to be happy and “put together” during the holidays, inadvertently creating additional stress after the season passes.

The campaign pushed loved ones to be more open about sharing their true feelings and be more receptive to troubled thoughts. Overall, the campaign struck an impressive balance between humor, familiarity, and care, making it an authentic project guided by accurate data.

Twitter (Now X) on Shaky Ground

Since becoming X in October 2022, Twitter is nearly unrecognizable from its roots. The platform’s value dropped to a measly $15 billion, with ad revenue falling by over 60%. Despite 70% of marketers claiming a loss of confidence in the once-reigning “bird app,” CEO Elon Musk is adamant about turning X into an “everything app.”

Twitter X

As an “everything app,” Musk is reconfiguring X to support audio and video calls via DM, posts up to 10,000 characters long, videos up to two hours long, and payment processing in at least 12 states. Still, only 23% of social media marketers plan to invest in X in the hopes of achieving hit-or-miss success. If you’re one of these marketers, tread carefully.

What Should You Do if You Have Too Many Social Media Platforms?

While marketing your brand everywhere may appear to make sense, it can hurt your branding and consumer loyalty. Especially for smaller businesses, social media tasks can quickly become overshadowed by other, more pressing ones. (And no, automating everything won’t help you get away with it.)

In addition, overexposing your brand across dozens of platforms runs the risk of developing spammy behavior. If consumers aren’t engaging with your brand on a certain platform, chasing them on another isn’t a solution. 

There are dozens of reasons why a business might pare down on its social media accounts. They may be uncertain about the accuracy of their campaign success metrics. They might not believe in their social media strategies. Perhaps the long and short-term impacts of their campaigns aren’t footing the bill. 

So, how many social media platforms should your brand use? There isn’t a straightforward answer—it could be two. It could be three. Ultimately, you should be where your target audience is. 

If you’re unsure of how to start decluttering your platform mix, run a social media audit. Then, calculate each platform’s ROI, prioritizing those churning healthy numbers. If you can still manage proper omnichannel posting, continue!

Best Practices for Keeping Up with Social Media Trends in 2024

As a marketer in today’s hyper-fast online community, keeping up with social media trends as they come and go is nothing short of a challenging task. The market is packed with stiff competition, and some trends disappear in the blink of an eye (or the swipe of a thumb). Here are a few tips for planning, executing, and evaluating your approach to social media trends.

marketing segmentation strategy

Set Goals Aligned to Your KPIs

Establishing clear, specific, and measurable goals can help marketers focus their energy in the right direction and not bite off more than they can chew. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, your KPIs would be reposts, re-tweets, and shares. If your goal is to drive sales, your KPI would be revenue.

Choose Your Target Audience Wisely

As consumers become increasingly particular about the products they’re willing to purchase, hyper-targeting potential customers is essential to the health of your sales. Define your target audience according to demographics like age, location, educational background, and occupation, further narrowing your selection by crafting detailed buyer personas.

For instance, if your business sells luxury travel accessories and luggage, you should target high-earning travelers who visit places like Hawaii or the Maldives.

Select the Appropriate Platforms

Be where your people are. If you cater primarily to millennials, try Facebook, where the most significant demographic group is adults between 25 and 34. If you’re a B2B group that sells marketing workshops, LinkedIn is the place to be, as 92% of B2B marketers are present here.

Where you post your content will also depend heavily on the content format you prefer. For example, short-form content typically does well on YouTube Shorts, which hosts two billion monthly active users.

Develop Content That Resonates

How you define successful content will ultimately depend on who your audience is and what they want. What you’ll want to prioritize is authenticity. If your business once relied on hard-selling, brand-forward promotions, those days are over. 

Consumers want emotional connections—they want to know a brand is human. Keep it real.

The Bottom Line

Social media trends come and go, but usage is expected to remain on an upward trajectory. By getting ahead of these trends and investing in worthwhile partnerships, your business can keep itself glued to the top of the best-performing platforms. 

Social media trends

If your marketing strategy is in desperate need of a makeover, our experts at Igloo know how to set your efforts up for success. Contact our award-winning specialists to find out the best methods for providing true value to potential customers.