Social Media Trends in 2024: 14 Ways To Boost Online User Engagement

Learning about the latest social media trends in 2024 isn't a guessing game. In fact, with the right data, it's an exact science. What are social media trends, if not ever-evolving patterns of user behavior and content consumption?

When you combine performance with consumer preference data, you can learn a lot about what the year holds for us. No, we're not talking about what makes your TikToks blow up. 

In this guide, we'll talk about which audience behavioral patterns can be the secret to an engagement boost for your brand. With the help of social data and marketing experts, we've narrowed it down to 13 actionable insights.

1. Long Form Video Content

We've all heard it: content is king. That remains true for the newest social media trends of 2024, only with a long-form twist. 

In 2022 and 2023, short-form video content was on all the new social media trends lists. There were even some concerns about Gen Z's attention span, capping out at 8 seconds. (Yes, you read that right.)

Today, short-form videos are still considered one of the best ways to connect with your audience. By packing more value in less time, creators were able to amass large followings. For most consumers, it's the most engaging type of in-feed content.

Surprisingly, long-form video content had a notable resurgence this year. 

Taking a YouTube-esque approach, TikTok has begun pushing longer videos. These range from one to ten minutes, but 30-minute uploads aren't far behind either. It's safe to say the platform has come a long way since its 15-second origins. 

But these long-form tests aren't without reason or a feeble attempt to be more like YouTube. It's been proven that users spend around 50% of their TikTok time watching videos over a minute long.

Brands have already begun to take advantage of this trend, with the likes of Hilton Hotels making 10-minute-long TikToks.

Hilton Hotels 10-minute TikTok

But it doesn't have to be all or nothing – you can reserve the short-form video for day-to-day posting, while long-form can add a brand storytelling aspect to your video marketing strategy

2. Brand Personality

Having gotten used to the "edgy" brand voice, users are now seeking more playful brand content. Luckily, they've delivered. 

With the best meme culture on their side, marketers have easily adopted one of the trickiest social media trends for business. Duolingo is definitely the blueprint for this trend, riffing on Internet culture and memes like never before. 

Duolingo Brand Personality with Memes

Remember, that playful tone needs to make sense in the context of your brand's established personality. Consider what trends and meme formats you can fit into your current social media marketing strategy without breaking your brand's voice.

3. Social Commerce

If you haven't been a victim of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend, you're one of the lucky ones. In recent months, TikTok has become more than just a place to show off your latest Amazon finds. Enter social commerce.

All social media platforms are pushing it – you can't complete your marketing strategy without a social commerce aspect. With TikTok Shop launched in 2023, in-app shopping gets even more accessible. 

If you ask any expert about the current social media trends to keep an eye out for, they'll always emphasize social commerce. Interactive shopping and live streaming are only expected to get bigger as platforms aim to become central hubs for everything online. 

This is especially true for live shopping events since they perfectly combine entertainment with shopping-at-a-click. Brands are able to maximize their engagement, and consumers get to see in-depth product demonstrations. Surprisingly, the live shopping experience reached other countries before North America. 

Aldo is an excellent example since they enjoyed a 308% engagement rate after their live shopping event. 

Aldo Social Media Strategy

If your brand hasn't yet experimented with social commerce, now is the perfect time. The social audience is eager and ready to buy now more than ever. Learn more about shopping on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to create a tailored strategy.

4. SEO for Social Channels

Scroll away from that article telling you your website SEO is the only one that matters. In reality, your social channels need SEO, too.

In 2024, users are no longer turning to Google when they want to find the best hiking trails for summer. Instead, they'll search location hashtags on Instagram. Social media platforms are essentially search engines now. 

In fact, 40% of Gen Z prefer using TikTok instead of Google to get information. The related search feature on the platform makes this even easier. That means optimizing your social channels for discoverability is more vital than ever.

It's not just about searches – you must also account for in-feed video SEO. Think of each post and video on your social media account like a blog on your website. Using the right hashtags and keywords in the alt text can go a long way.

5. Reimagined Transparency

There's one thing Gen Z has learned the hard way: if a brand isn't transparent about its processes, they're probably unreliable. 

Authentic content isn't just about brands speaking up for social issues. While it set them apart in the late 2010s, it's now simply expected of them. Additionally, users need reassurance that the company's behind-the-scenes work aligns with their values.

That means talking about their labor practices, company leadership, diversity, environmental impact, supply chain, investor relations, and so much more. The shoe brand Nisolo models this almost perfectly with their sustainability report cards.

Nisolo Shoes Sustainability Facts

This is your opportunity to be more transparent about your business practices. It can be as simple as a behind-the-scenes TikTok or an Instagram infographic about your sustainability values. 

And if questions arise about certain aspects of your brand, don't wait for it to blow over. Social listening and quick responses are the most crucial ways to stay proactive as a business. 

Lastly, don't forget to keep proof to back up your claims.

6. Authentic Content

It's 2024 – users don't want to see perfectly edited and scripted ads posing as "content." Of course, no social media marketing strategy is complete without paid advertising, but that's not all there is to it.

Consumers say they don't see enough authentic, non-promotional content from brands. That's precisely why brands that use the voices of creators and employees skyrocketed in this era. More importantly, this trend is here to stay – we can't go back to the days of perfectly curated content.

This is especially true after the increase in AI use in social media content marketing. It's the perfect example of what users don't want to see, so they're always on the hunt for authentic, 100% human content. 

Flywire is a great example as the team keeps its content packed with authentic, human experiences. Here is an screenshot from their Instagram's "Office Poll" video where the employees answer fun questions.

Flywire Office Polls

7. Creators and Influencers

Let's face it – social media is the creator and influencer's world; we're just allowed to post in it. Despite the recent "de-influencing" trend, influencers and creators offer the authentic, human voice that users are looking for. In 2024, they will only become more crucial for the social success of a brand. 

In fact, 81% of social marketers describe influencer marketing as a fundamental part of their social media strategies. Users want unfiltered content, and influencers are the perfect way for brands to supply that authenticity without breaking their brand voice. Plus, creators provide the right product demonstration and social proof needed for users to trust a brand.

Despite how often they're disregarded for "taking the easy way out," content creation requires quite a bit of brains. If you want to learn how to stay up to date on social media trends, ask an influencer – they're experts in their niche.

8. Personalized Support

Consumers' expectations of social media customer support only get higher. It's not enough to give fast responses – 70% of users also expect personalized support for their needs. Even more, 76% of them have a keen eye for companies that actually prioritize customer support.

The solution? Pay close attention to your role in customer care on social media. Ask the right questions: how responsive is your brand? How can you scale these efforts?

Keep in mind that robust customer care is impossible without seamless communication across all teams. That means ensuring your teams are on the same page about social voice and tone, response protocols, canned responses, chatbot enhancements, and beyond.

Getting feedback via quizzes is an excellent example of personalized social media support, as modeled by Eneco. They used Facebook and Google Ads Display campaigns to launch a quiz, which allowed the company to retarget the quiz-takers based on their answers. The strategy surrounding this single quiz led to over 1,000 conversions in 6 weeks.

Eneco Personalized Support

9. AI Marketing

We'll admit AI isn't all bad – its ability to streamline your workflows is another social media trend we saw coming from a mile away. In fact, 80% of marketers already enjoy benefits from using AI, and you might be part of that statistic. In 2024, AI will play a massive role in the marketing and customer care world.

That's especially true for personalized user experiences since AI can analyze social data to recommend tailored content in just seconds. This way, chatbots will be more responsive, and your marketing team will only spend money on targeted ads. It seems as if social media platforms already predicted this automation, as they expect faster and more frequent uploads to get enough engagement. 

But there's still the sensitive topic of AI ethics. When consumers find out their favorite brand uses AI, will they stick around? Well, it's all about transparency and adherence – as long as you create and stick to an AI use policy, your brand is safe.

For example, Duolingo's AI use policy is a pretty interesting read.

10. Social Data

Myth: Social data is only worth tracking if you're a social media manager or marketer.

Truth: Social data can power every team and department of your organization, whether that's PR, product development, or customer support. 

In fact, 76% of marketers state that social data and insights are used in more than one department in their business. In 2024, companies that neglect social data analysis will fall behind. 

More importantly, a deeper analysis of social data will show you the incoming social media trends, giving you a marketing headstart. You know what they say: first come, first serve. 

11. DM Engagement

Social media feeds get more cluttered by the day, leading to the epidemic of doomscrolling. How often do you see organic, uncurated posts from your friends and family? Spoiler: not nearly enough. 

There are a few factors contributing to this. But even though personal updates aren't the first thing on your feed anymore, it doesn't mean they're gone. Despite popular belief, Gen Z is a deeply private generation – they may even be the cause behind why social media is no longer a fun place to share your latest selfie publicly.

In an article about the social media decline, Gen Z content creators admit to creating a sublayer of Instagram that's true to its origins. From "finstas" to Close Friends stories, this secret club is where they share moments the way Millennials did on their public feeds.

But it goes beyond private stories and extra accounts – the most engagement happens in the DMs. Even the Head of Instagram agrees, seeing Telegram as a potential competitor. That's also why the platform has launched various DM-centered features like Notes and Broadcast.

So, what does this mean for your marketing team?

Of course, you can't track engagement or implement passive listening when it comes to the privacy of DMs. That doesn't mean you can't still yield impressive results. You'll also need to get comfortable with answering support requests via DM since it's the most comfortable communication method for most users.

12. Importance of Shares

In the 2010s, no marketing blog would've deferred you from paying hundreds of dollars to buy followers and likes. In reality, it doesn't work – it never has! It especially backfires when you score a sponsorship, and they ask you why their investments never paid off. 

Today, it's incredibly easy to fake your likes, comments, and followers. There's only one metric that remains untouched: shares. Shares represent actual value, a willingness to vouch for you and your content.

Sure, users are more likely to trust your content if you have tons of likes and comments. But if you design content with shares in mind, likes and comments will be inevitable. It's not always true the other way around.

Plus, most social media platforms have made share counts public – a testament to their importance. If you want to make your content more shareable, analyze what has worked in the past. Whatever you do, don't get fake shares; you'll get zero real engagement and even get banned.

13. YouTube Shorts

When YouTube Shorts was first launched, many dismissed it as a lame TikTok copy. Soon enough, it became clear that it was more than just a clone – it's America's favorite short-form video platform. Interest in YouTube Shorts has increased by 500% in just three years.

Its user base isn't majorly American either; the platform has 2 billion monthly active users. Yes, billion! Creators who saw its potential early on are enjoying millions of views on every upload, but there's still time for you to get on board. 

Without even creating a separate YouTube channel, you'll be able to reach a whole new audience. For most brands, it can be as simple as cross-sharing their Reels and TikToks. You'll have engagement coming in from three different platforms for the same video content

Take a look at this example from Sephora.

Sephora YouTube Short

14. Keep it Light

Entertainment fuels the engine of social media despite the circumstances of the world. We understand – “entertaining” is hard to do when you’re a serious business. But The Washington Post’s TikTok presence is proof that you can deliver any topic in a lighter, more digestible way. 

Washington Post TikTok Account

Consumers have made it loud and clear: they use social media to be entertained. They won’t follow brands that only use their platforms to self-promote. In fact, 34% of them find it a major turn-off.

Meanwhile, 56% believe brands should kick back and be more relatable. Most brands have got it all wrong, using the platform to share brand updates or news now and then. There’s a major disconnect between what they post and what users want to see.

Combine that with the fact that ROI is associated with engagement on social media; the returns aren’t looking too great. In 2024, expect to see brands skyrocketing their ROIs with entertaining content while others get left behind. 

Conclusion

Even with tons of data and marketing expertise, we can't predict every single aspect of social media engagement. Some trends just pop up when you least expect them. 

But, what social media marketers can do is keep an eye on the bigger picture of social trends and incorporate them into a robust, all-encompassing strategy. That's the recipe for a solid foundation that the dynamics of social media platforms can't shake! 

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short form video trends
June 15, 2024

Social Media Trends in 2024: 14 Ways To Boost Online User Engagement

blog

Learning about the latest social media trends in 2024 isn't a guessing game. In fact, with the right data, it's an exact science. What are social media trends, if not ever-evolving patterns of user behavior and content consumption?

When you combine performance with consumer preference data, you can learn a lot about what the year holds for us. No, we're not talking about what makes your TikToks blow up. 

In this guide, we'll talk about which audience behavioral patterns can be the secret to an engagement boost for your brand. With the help of social data and marketing experts, we've narrowed it down to 13 actionable insights.

1. Long Form Video Content

We've all heard it: content is king. That remains true for the newest social media trends of 2024, only with a long-form twist. 

In 2022 and 2023, short-form video content was on all the new social media trends lists. There were even some concerns about Gen Z's attention span, capping out at 8 seconds. (Yes, you read that right.)

Today, short-form videos are still considered one of the best ways to connect with your audience. By packing more value in less time, creators were able to amass large followings. For most consumers, it's the most engaging type of in-feed content.

Surprisingly, long-form video content had a notable resurgence this year. 

Taking a YouTube-esque approach, TikTok has begun pushing longer videos. These range from one to ten minutes, but 30-minute uploads aren't far behind either. It's safe to say the platform has come a long way since its 15-second origins. 

But these long-form tests aren't without reason or a feeble attempt to be more like YouTube. It's been proven that users spend around 50% of their TikTok time watching videos over a minute long.

Brands have already begun to take advantage of this trend, with the likes of Hilton Hotels making 10-minute-long TikToks.

Hilton Hotels 10-minute TikTok

But it doesn't have to be all or nothing – you can reserve the short-form video for day-to-day posting, while long-form can add a brand storytelling aspect to your video marketing strategy

2. Brand Personality

Having gotten used to the "edgy" brand voice, users are now seeking more playful brand content. Luckily, they've delivered. 

With the best meme culture on their side, marketers have easily adopted one of the trickiest social media trends for business. Duolingo is definitely the blueprint for this trend, riffing on Internet culture and memes like never before. 

Duolingo Brand Personality with Memes

Remember, that playful tone needs to make sense in the context of your brand's established personality. Consider what trends and meme formats you can fit into your current social media marketing strategy without breaking your brand's voice.

3. Social Commerce

If you haven't been a victim of the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend, you're one of the lucky ones. In recent months, TikTok has become more than just a place to show off your latest Amazon finds. Enter social commerce.

All social media platforms are pushing it – you can't complete your marketing strategy without a social commerce aspect. With TikTok Shop launched in 2023, in-app shopping gets even more accessible. 

If you ask any expert about the current social media trends to keep an eye out for, they'll always emphasize social commerce. Interactive shopping and live streaming are only expected to get bigger as platforms aim to become central hubs for everything online. 

This is especially true for live shopping events since they perfectly combine entertainment with shopping-at-a-click. Brands are able to maximize their engagement, and consumers get to see in-depth product demonstrations. Surprisingly, the live shopping experience reached other countries before North America. 

Aldo is an excellent example since they enjoyed a 308% engagement rate after their live shopping event. 

Aldo Social Media Strategy

If your brand hasn't yet experimented with social commerce, now is the perfect time. The social audience is eager and ready to buy now more than ever. Learn more about shopping on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook to create a tailored strategy.

4. SEO for Social Channels

Scroll away from that article telling you your website SEO is the only one that matters. In reality, your social channels need SEO, too.

In 2024, users are no longer turning to Google when they want to find the best hiking trails for summer. Instead, they'll search location hashtags on Instagram. Social media platforms are essentially search engines now. 

In fact, 40% of Gen Z prefer using TikTok instead of Google to get information. The related search feature on the platform makes this even easier. That means optimizing your social channels for discoverability is more vital than ever.

It's not just about searches – you must also account for in-feed video SEO. Think of each post and video on your social media account like a blog on your website. Using the right hashtags and keywords in the alt text can go a long way.

5. Reimagined Transparency

There's one thing Gen Z has learned the hard way: if a brand isn't transparent about its processes, they're probably unreliable. 

Authentic content isn't just about brands speaking up for social issues. While it set them apart in the late 2010s, it's now simply expected of them. Additionally, users need reassurance that the company's behind-the-scenes work aligns with their values.

That means talking about their labor practices, company leadership, diversity, environmental impact, supply chain, investor relations, and so much more. The shoe brand Nisolo models this almost perfectly with their sustainability report cards.

Nisolo Shoes Sustainability Facts

This is your opportunity to be more transparent about your business practices. It can be as simple as a behind-the-scenes TikTok or an Instagram infographic about your sustainability values. 

And if questions arise about certain aspects of your brand, don't wait for it to blow over. Social listening and quick responses are the most crucial ways to stay proactive as a business. 

Lastly, don't forget to keep proof to back up your claims.

6. Authentic Content

It's 2024 – users don't want to see perfectly edited and scripted ads posing as "content." Of course, no social media marketing strategy is complete without paid advertising, but that's not all there is to it.

Consumers say they don't see enough authentic, non-promotional content from brands. That's precisely why brands that use the voices of creators and employees skyrocketed in this era. More importantly, this trend is here to stay – we can't go back to the days of perfectly curated content.

This is especially true after the increase in AI use in social media content marketing. It's the perfect example of what users don't want to see, so they're always on the hunt for authentic, 100% human content. 

Flywire is a great example as the team keeps its content packed with authentic, human experiences. Here is an screenshot from their Instagram's "Office Poll" video where the employees answer fun questions.

Flywire Office Polls

7. Creators and Influencers

Let's face it – social media is the creator and influencer's world; we're just allowed to post in it. Despite the recent "de-influencing" trend, influencers and creators offer the authentic, human voice that users are looking for. In 2024, they will only become more crucial for the social success of a brand. 

In fact, 81% of social marketers describe influencer marketing as a fundamental part of their social media strategies. Users want unfiltered content, and influencers are the perfect way for brands to supply that authenticity without breaking their brand voice. Plus, creators provide the right product demonstration and social proof needed for users to trust a brand.

Despite how often they're disregarded for "taking the easy way out," content creation requires quite a bit of brains. If you want to learn how to stay up to date on social media trends, ask an influencer – they're experts in their niche.

8. Personalized Support

Consumers' expectations of social media customer support only get higher. It's not enough to give fast responses – 70% of users also expect personalized support for their needs. Even more, 76% of them have a keen eye for companies that actually prioritize customer support.

The solution? Pay close attention to your role in customer care on social media. Ask the right questions: how responsive is your brand? How can you scale these efforts?

Keep in mind that robust customer care is impossible without seamless communication across all teams. That means ensuring your teams are on the same page about social voice and tone, response protocols, canned responses, chatbot enhancements, and beyond.

Getting feedback via quizzes is an excellent example of personalized social media support, as modeled by Eneco. They used Facebook and Google Ads Display campaigns to launch a quiz, which allowed the company to retarget the quiz-takers based on their answers. The strategy surrounding this single quiz led to over 1,000 conversions in 6 weeks.

Eneco Personalized Support

9. AI Marketing

We'll admit AI isn't all bad – its ability to streamline your workflows is another social media trend we saw coming from a mile away. In fact, 80% of marketers already enjoy benefits from using AI, and you might be part of that statistic. In 2024, AI will play a massive role in the marketing and customer care world.

That's especially true for personalized user experiences since AI can analyze social data to recommend tailored content in just seconds. This way, chatbots will be more responsive, and your marketing team will only spend money on targeted ads. It seems as if social media platforms already predicted this automation, as they expect faster and more frequent uploads to get enough engagement. 

But there's still the sensitive topic of AI ethics. When consumers find out their favorite brand uses AI, will they stick around? Well, it's all about transparency and adherence – as long as you create and stick to an AI use policy, your brand is safe.

For example, Duolingo's AI use policy is a pretty interesting read.

10. Social Data

Myth: Social data is only worth tracking if you're a social media manager or marketer.

Truth: Social data can power every team and department of your organization, whether that's PR, product development, or customer support. 

In fact, 76% of marketers state that social data and insights are used in more than one department in their business. In 2024, companies that neglect social data analysis will fall behind. 

More importantly, a deeper analysis of social data will show you the incoming social media trends, giving you a marketing headstart. You know what they say: first come, first serve. 

11. DM Engagement

Social media feeds get more cluttered by the day, leading to the epidemic of doomscrolling. How often do you see organic, uncurated posts from your friends and family? Spoiler: not nearly enough. 

There are a few factors contributing to this. But even though personal updates aren't the first thing on your feed anymore, it doesn't mean they're gone. Despite popular belief, Gen Z is a deeply private generation – they may even be the cause behind why social media is no longer a fun place to share your latest selfie publicly.

In an article about the social media decline, Gen Z content creators admit to creating a sublayer of Instagram that's true to its origins. From "finstas" to Close Friends stories, this secret club is where they share moments the way Millennials did on their public feeds.

But it goes beyond private stories and extra accounts – the most engagement happens in the DMs. Even the Head of Instagram agrees, seeing Telegram as a potential competitor. That's also why the platform has launched various DM-centered features like Notes and Broadcast.

So, what does this mean for your marketing team?

Of course, you can't track engagement or implement passive listening when it comes to the privacy of DMs. That doesn't mean you can't still yield impressive results. You'll also need to get comfortable with answering support requests via DM since it's the most comfortable communication method for most users.

12. Importance of Shares

In the 2010s, no marketing blog would've deferred you from paying hundreds of dollars to buy followers and likes. In reality, it doesn't work – it never has! It especially backfires when you score a sponsorship, and they ask you why their investments never paid off. 

Today, it's incredibly easy to fake your likes, comments, and followers. There's only one metric that remains untouched: shares. Shares represent actual value, a willingness to vouch for you and your content.

Sure, users are more likely to trust your content if you have tons of likes and comments. But if you design content with shares in mind, likes and comments will be inevitable. It's not always true the other way around.

Plus, most social media platforms have made share counts public – a testament to their importance. If you want to make your content more shareable, analyze what has worked in the past. Whatever you do, don't get fake shares; you'll get zero real engagement and even get banned.

13. YouTube Shorts

When YouTube Shorts was first launched, many dismissed it as a lame TikTok copy. Soon enough, it became clear that it was more than just a clone – it's America's favorite short-form video platform. Interest in YouTube Shorts has increased by 500% in just three years.

Its user base isn't majorly American either; the platform has 2 billion monthly active users. Yes, billion! Creators who saw its potential early on are enjoying millions of views on every upload, but there's still time for you to get on board. 

Without even creating a separate YouTube channel, you'll be able to reach a whole new audience. For most brands, it can be as simple as cross-sharing their Reels and TikToks. You'll have engagement coming in from three different platforms for the same video content

Take a look at this example from Sephora.

Sephora YouTube Short

14. Keep it Light

Entertainment fuels the engine of social media despite the circumstances of the world. We understand – “entertaining” is hard to do when you’re a serious business. But The Washington Post’s TikTok presence is proof that you can deliver any topic in a lighter, more digestible way. 

Washington Post TikTok Account

Consumers have made it loud and clear: they use social media to be entertained. They won’t follow brands that only use their platforms to self-promote. In fact, 34% of them find it a major turn-off.

Meanwhile, 56% believe brands should kick back and be more relatable. Most brands have got it all wrong, using the platform to share brand updates or news now and then. There’s a major disconnect between what they post and what users want to see.

Combine that with the fact that ROI is associated with engagement on social media; the returns aren’t looking too great. In 2024, expect to see brands skyrocketing their ROIs with entertaining content while others get left behind. 

Conclusion

Even with tons of data and marketing expertise, we can't predict every single aspect of social media engagement. Some trends just pop up when you least expect them. 

But, what social media marketers can do is keep an eye on the bigger picture of social trends and incorporate them into a robust, all-encompassing strategy. That's the recipe for a solid foundation that the dynamics of social media platforms can't shake! 

Don't forget to share this post!