Everything You Need to Know About the Best Social Media Marketing Trends Today!

The social world has exploded with activity, and social media trends of 2024 have shifted, since the evolution of AI, and more. Sure, it’s exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. You need to know how these shifts affect your brand—and how to capitalize on them to improve your social marketing strategy.

So, we’re making a foray into the digital world to help you understand the new social content trends and opportunities for 2024. Let’s get at it!

1. Short- and Longer-Form Video Content Is King

By far, the biggest social media trend is the use of videos to find and grow your followers.

Short-form video content (3 minutes or less) has become the primary focus for all platforms—and it’s taking over the more visually focused platforms, especially with younger demographics. But long-form video is making a comeback. TikTok has been experimenting with pushing longer-form content with success: one-minute, 10-minute, and even 30-minute videos. Instagram is definitely pushing that feature too and would like to push it further.

Video is the easiest way to engage your fans and followers—and it’s the top and ever-growing way to build your online social presence, attract a community, and encourage loyalty with video content. And before you say, “Really? Isn’t the video market saturated?”, think again.

YouTube, as the big daddy of video, has grown exponentially from its early days and remains the top source for video content. In fact, aside from Google and Bing, YouTube is the third-biggest search engine. However, the doors are wide open for branding through a personality-driven program on other social media platforms. Your unique personality—how you communicate with your audience—differentiates you and helps you stand out. So, be authentic, be you, be social, and also have fun! By far, the biggest social media trend is the use of videos to find and grow your followers.

But don’t stop with YouTube. Carve out your niche on other social video channels. Here’s a list to get you started!

  • Instagram Stories & Reels
  • Facebook Stories & Reels
  • TikTok
  • Snapchat
  • X (formerly known as Twitter)
  • Pinterest

P.S. Don’t forget to add captions to your video content for further engagement and storytelling. And you can poll your audience or ask them specific questions while you use social media as a learning tool to discover what your customers really like and want.

2. Social Media Commerce — It’s Here Now & It’s the Future

67% of Gen Zers now use Instagram as a search engine for purchases, while 62% use TikTok.

Google comes in third for shopping. So, when searching for products and reviews, many young consumers are relying on social media as their primary tool.

Social media platforms have become increasingly more influential in consumer in-app shopping choices — and it will continue to grow bigger by allowing consumers to purchase directly from social media platforms, rather than being redirected to a website or other purchase/shopping page. Some platforms have capitalized on this new social media trend by introducing shopping carts — a feature that is projected to become the norm. After all, why would you put any barriers (i.e., extra steps) between your customer and the opportunity to purchase?

And the next extension of online shopping has already begun; AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are becoming more popular by the day. You’ve already seen them advertised on television… filters that alter the way you look and websites that allow you to “try on” the product before making a purchase (e.g., eyeglasses, hair styles, makeup, and more). Again, social media platforms want users to stay on them for as long as possible. Feel free to take advantage of the generated tools they offer. It’s a win-win for both you and the platform.

3. Seek Co-creators to Grow Your Brand

Today, UGC is soaring and brands are paying attention.

For several years, influencer marketing has been a popular way to get attention for your brand. While this is still a go-to approach, many brands are seeking user-generated content (UGC) instead to generate videos, images, and other media for their social media platforms.

Today, UGC is soaring and brands are paying attention. This type of content, which consists of sharing customer’s own posts and videos to a company’s platforms, allows brands to feature their products and services used by real people — in their own words and in their own experiences.

A new way you can tap into the benefits of others’ social content is through Instagram Collab. This feature allows one person’s content to show up on two profiles at the same time. Brands can work with influencers, vendors, brand partners, and even customers as co-creators of posts or reels. To take advantage of this tool, just invite another account to accept a Collab for a particular post. They can then get likes, shares, and comments on the post through their own feed.

4. Go Big if You’re a Smaller Content Creator

Instagram is changing the field for smaller creators.

If you’re a smaller creator, there’s great news for you in the way of some Instagram love! Yes, Instagram is giving a higher priority to smaller creators in the Instagram feed versus a traditional lean toward bigger brands.

Good, original, and unique content is the name of the game — and it’s a huge boost to new, smaller, and niche creators. Live streaming continues to grow in popularity and continues to play a significant social role in 2024. Go live on social media at least once a week! And be sure to include a call to action that sells your audience something valuable at the end.

Live streaming continues to grow in popularity and continues to play a significant social role in 2024. Go live on social media at least once a week! And be sure to include a call to action that sells your audience something valuable at the end.

5. Approach Subscriptions & Giveaways Strategically

One of the most valuable outcomes of maintaining a social media presence besides nurturing relationships is list building.

Knowledge is power, and social media platforms today are used as search engines. Most platforms have the option to save content, which helps your page’s reach and engagement. In fact, you may even want to include text in your graphic or video that encourages your followers to save a post so that they can refer to it later.

But saves aren’t the only way to boost engagement and have social media users returning for more. One of the most valuable outcomes of maintaining a social media presence besides nurturing relationships is list building. When you post on social media, you can use your call to action to build your list. In fact, Facebook currently has a subscription sign-up feature you can add to your post. With this feature, a subscription sign-up pops up when a user clicks a post. They will then have to fill out the form before viewing the content.

Note: The Facebook subscription feature is currently only available to accounts with 10,000+ followers.

Giving away freebies is a perennial way to attract subscribers, regardless of your brand’s size. Whether your market is local, regional, or national, free offers can help you grow your social media presence. Remember that offering something of value doesn’t always mean a money exchange. Your social list is gold to your business — a treasure chest of potential new customers and sales.

People will readily exchange their contact information to obtain something they value from marketers. For instance, some folks don’t have the time to read every word of your blog posts. A good blog article summary, or access to a hidden page on your site that provides summaries for your most significant blog posts, could appeal to some of your prospects.

Other free offer examples could also include the following:
  • Access to slides from a conference
  • In-depth guides and tutorials
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses
  • Free reports
  • Merch giveaways
  • Gift certificates
  • Discount codes
  • And more

A popular way to promote giveaways and increase engagement is to ask users to leave specific comments on your post to get sign-up details messaged to them. You can require them to tag a friend or comment a certain word or phrase to indicate they’re interested in what you have to offer. Do you want to entice your followers to sign up for your newsletter? Ask them to comment “Recipes,” then send them a full month of meal-prep recipes in exchange for their email address. Want to offer a how-to guide in exchange for channel subscriptions? Require users to comment “I’m ready to learn!”. You might even use an engaging reel to usher your followers to your comments section.

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6. Engage with Your Followers through Social Media Comments & Direct Messages

According to research, consumer-centric brands are 60% more successful than those focused primarily on revenue and profit.

Another easy way to show your customers you’re interested in them is by engaging with their social media comments. A creative way you can do this is to reply to comments as a video on TikTok and Instagram stories, so that you can highlight customer reviews and feedback to boost engagement and create a true sense of community.

7. The Power of Social Media Comments & Bookmarks

On average, companies make $42 today for every $1 spent on email marketing.

One of your responsibilities to your users is to curate helpful social content. Whatever your industry, your community looks to you for guidance, expertise, and resources. You can’t create it all, so you need to find reputable sources for content to share. Social bookmarking sites provide the means to do just that!

And as social media platforms toy with the idea of doing away with likes (e.g., Facebook, Instagram), people need to find other ways to indicate their approval of the posts they enjoyed or found helpful.

Arguably, Instagram is one of the most popular visual-centric social media trends for business and has become increasingly influential in marketing. To build brand awareness, encourage people to save your Instagram posts (instead of merely “liking” them). Use a call to action in your image and text. A simple “Bookmark this!” could be the ticket.

How else can your business benefit from these saves?

7 New Benefits of Social Media Bookmarks

  1. Save and organize resources you want to focus on at a later time.
  2. Share resources with your team or audience.
  3. Tag (label) content for easier referencing and searchability.
  4. Build backlinks from social media bookmarks to your website.
  5. Drive traffic to your website. (People find and click on content others have saved to their bookmarking sites.)
  6. Promote mentions you receive from others (bookmark articles that mention you and your content).
  7. Take advantage of SEO. (Search engines often bring up bookmarks in their search results.)

8. Ask Questions to Encourage Engagement on Social Media Posts

Whatever you do, make it interesting.

Want to encourage discussions and also engagement on social media platforms? Try social listening. To open the door for communication, remember the power of the question. Whatever you do, make it interesting. It would help if you posed a provocative question that leads users to want to share their thoughts. Then be sure to reply. A vague “yes/no” question like “Agree?” doesn’t spark discussion.

Discussion-Encouraging Post Ideas

  • Either/or
  • You can only keep one…
  • Roll call
  • Who remembers ____?
  • How would you explain ____?
  • How have you benefitted from ____?
  • When was the last time you ____?
  • What is your favorite memory of ____?
  • Do you think there’s a chance that ____?

 

More Resources on Social Media Marketing Trends for Business

Want to explore more education on social media trends, tips, and how-to instructions? Check out these popular resources.

Stop Stressing! Let us help you manage your social media platforms.

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Online shopping social media trends

9. Avoid Vanity Metrics

60% of customers increased brand loyalty when companies gave them cutting-edge experiences.

For years, businesses considered high numbers of likes and followers as tell-tale signs of social media health. But, over time, these metrics have proven to be poor indicators of who you’re actually reaching and doing business with.

And definitely don’t buy followers. As a brand, your goal for social media should be to recruit followers who are loyal to and passionate about your brand. That’s why engagement is a far more important vital sign for the health of your social media accounts. Not everything is about how many followers you have, but rather the depth of those interactions—and how they create buzz for your brand.

10. Make Each Post Count with Valuable, Authentic Content

Think of social media as a place to share rather than to sell.

Are you posting just to post? Or are you posting valuable content that people want to save, learn from, or find inspiring?  Today’s social media users are savvy. They know when they’re being manipulated to engage in content — or when a brand is just filling space. Instead, provide relevant, high-quality content that’s meaningful to both your brand and your audience.

This doesn’t mean you can’t post jokes or memes (if they’re consistent with your brand). Nor does it mean you need to dodge all trends. Just be sure you’re always adding value to the conversation rather than mimicking others.

The goal is to be yourself. Don’t jump on everything that’s trending. If something has no relevance to your business, it’s OK to skip it. Trying to jump on every trend and hashtag holiday can look desperate and unoriginal.

You also want to be sure to include content that users find valuable. So ditch (or, at least, downplay) the self-promotional posts. Social media users also respond highly to seeing a brand’s personal side. Today’s top-performing posts feature employees and staff, behind-the-scenes footage, day-in-the-life videos, sneak peeks, and more. Think of social media as a place to share rather than to sell. Consumers want to support a brand that they align with, but more important than that, people want to buy from people.

Authenticity matters more than chasing trends. So, step up and show your customers the human nature behind your brand and watch your likes, follows, shares, and comments pile up!

11. Good-bye, Edgy. Hello, Playful!

Today’s buyers are responding in a big way to lighthearted, playful content.

While unpredictable, edgy content and brand voice seemed to commandeer the past, today’s buyers are responding in a big way to lighthearted, playful content. Life is short, so why can’t we have more fun? Right?

Both Wendy’s and Oreo have been ongoing examples of how playful content leaning toward internet culture can set the tone for a brand both online and offline. From Oreo’s perfectly paired posts with the Mars Rover landing, National Elvis Week, and the birth of Prince George to Wendy’s 24-7, snarky back-and-forths with its competitors and other big brands, there’s tons of room for lighthearted and good-spirited fun online.

How can your business show up in social media in a way that entertains your customer base —and still educate them on your products and services in a fun, inventive way?

12. Get Discovered through SEO and Hashtags

Hashtags have evolved into a self-sustaining search engine that’s just as important as Google and Bing.

Still flummoxed by SEO and hashtags? It’s time to catch up — and fast — because your competitors may be outpacing you.

As one of the internet’s biggest indexing tools, hashtags have evolved into a self-sustaining search engine that’s just as important as Google and Bing. More and more consumers are heading to Instagram and TikTok to search for interests, such as travel, cooking, local eateries, entertainment, solutions to their everyday problems and more. Published social media posts without hashtags is no different than walking away from a potential client and leaving them with empty hands.

In addition to adjusting your website content according to updated, annual keyword research, you should apply the same keywords and hashtags to your social media post captions. With AI integrations in social media search fields (especially on Instagram and Facebook), keywords are more essential than ever.

Plus, the bigger bonus is that search engines now index your social media profiles in search engine results pages (SERPs).

BONUS: You’ll find many free or low-cost AI tools to help you identify the best trending and popular keywords, phrases, and hashtags for your industry. Many social media platforms are now offering their own versions of these insights.

13. Transparency that Highlights Business Practices and Values

Consumers want to learn how brands practice what they preach.

When you tell the story of your business, consider how you can focus on the crux of your company mission, vision, culture, and values. Rather than taking a stand on political and social issues, consumers want to learn how brands practice what they preach.

  • Sustainability
  • Diversity
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Locally, responsibly sourced products and ingredients
  • Local culture
  • Nonprofit alignments
  • Company leadership
  • Employee appreciation
  • Customer appreciation
  • And more!

BONUS #14: Be a LinkedIn Thought Leader

Great news! As if 13 huge social media tips weren’t enough, we’re giving you one more for the road…

You no longer have to be an executive with a large brand or organization to be considered a thought leader on LinkedIn. Lots of solopreneurs and junior execs or subject matter experts are taking their places, and LinkedIn is giving them the space to shine.

Want to be a thought leader in your industry? Check out this article straight from LinkedIn. Plus, for even more engagement, post your industry insights from your personal LinkedIn account in addition to (or in place of) posting from your business LinkedIn.

Stop Stressing! Let us help you manage your social media platforms.

Click here TODAY for your FREE consultation!

 

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