As we enter 2024, understanding the trajectory of social media trends is crucial for anyone looking to refine their social media strategy and stay ahead in the digital space.
In this article, we take a comprehensive look into the future of social media digital engagement. Drawing from 2023’s groundbreaking developments, we identify top social media trends set to define the online landscape in the new year.
From the explosion of short-form video content to innovative uses of AI in personalization, this article is an essential read for marketers, content creators, and social media enthusiasts alike. Join us for a focused exploration of what’s next in the realm of social media!
Streamline your marketing with an efficient social media strategy template.
Streamline your marketing with an efficient social media strategy template.
- Quality content continues to engage audiences on social media in 2024, despite shorter attention spans.
- Brands combining AI with a human touch in content are likely to outperform those heavily reliant on automation.
- Nostalgia trends are expected to rise in 2024, with brands introducing vintage-themed content and products.
- Social media will see more niche-specific meme templates.
- Enhanced sound integration on social platforms will offer more audio options for creators.
- Brands in 2024 should focus on honesty and transparency to build niche consumer communities.
- CGI art will influence social media, with brands using AR filters and CGI for interactive experiences.
- Image carousels may get higher algorithmic visibility on social platforms.
- Expect more personalized and interactive online experiences, including the use of social media mascots.
- Pop culture references in content are set to evolve and become more sophisticated.
- Gated content will become crucial for brands to connect with loyal followers.
- Social commerce in 2024 should emphasize a seamless, enjoyable shopping experience.
- DMs are becoming a primary communication channel, indicating a shift in social media customer service.
- Business owners can leverage TikTok’s short video format for effective service promotion.
- Text-only posts are resurging due to their straightforward and accessible format.
- The focus is shifting from influencers with large followings to those with engaged communities.
- Keyword optimization in social media posts is vital as Gen Z uses TikTok and Instagram for searches.
- Storytelling in 2024 will be less linear, with multiple, simultaneous narratives.
- Shares will be a more genuine engagement metric than likes or views.
- Precise targeting will be key for successful social media ads amid increasing restrictions.
Table of Contents
- 2023 Social Media Trends that Set the Stage for 2024
- 1. Short-Form Video Reigns Supreme Across Social Media Channels
- 2. AI Integrations Deepen Across Social Media Platforms
- 3. Nostalgia Takes Center Stage on Social Media Feeds
- 4. Meme Templates Reshape How Funny Videos Are Made
- 5. Trending Sounds Are the End-All-Be-All
- 6. Brands Are in Their Self-Aware Era
- 7. CGI Art Takes Creativity to New Heights
- 8. TikTok Images Are on a Roll
- 9. Social Media Mascots Bring the ‘It’ Factor
- 10. Pop Culture References Are Engagement Boosters
- 11. Gated Content Gains Momentum Across Social Media Channels
- 12. Instagram and Facebook Take Social Commerce by Storm
- 13. Conversation and Engagement Shift to DMs
- 14. TikTok Doubles Down on Gen Z
- 15. Text-Only Posts Are Becoming a Thing Again
- 16. Influencers Embrace Product Placement
- 17. Keyword Search and SEO Are Social Media Strategy Pillars
- 18. Storytelling Takes on New Dimensions in the Social Media Landscape
- 19. Shares Outweigh Likes, Comments, and Followers
- 20. Narrow-Targeted Social Media Ads Are the Go-To
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Ace 2024’s Social Trends with SocialBee!
2023 Social Media Trends that Set the Stage for 2024
Last year witnessed a dynamic shift in user engagement, content creation, and marketing strategies, each playing a crucial role in shaping the future of social media.
Here are some of the 2023 social media trends that set the stage for 2024:
- Short-form video reigns supreme across social media channels
- AI integrations deepen across social media platforms
- Nostalgia takes center stage on social media feeds
- Meme templates reshape how funny videos are made
- Trending sounds are the end-all-be-all
- Brands are in their self-aware era
- CGI art takes creativity to new heights
- TikTok images are on a roll
- Social media mascots bring the ‘it’ factor
- Pop culture references are engagement boosters
- Gated content gains momentum across social media channels
- Instagram and Facebook take social commerce by storm
- Conversation and engagement shift to DMs
- TikTok doubles down on Gen Z
- Text-only posts are becoming a thing again
- Influencers embrace product placement
- Keyword search and SEO are social media strategy pillars
- Storytelling takes on new dimensions in the social media landscape
- Shares outweigh likes, comments, and followers
- Narrow-targeted social media ads are the go-to
1. Short-Form Video Reigns Supreme Across Social Media Channels
Short-form videos and bite-sized content have become vital for brands to maintain engagement, especially considering the modern audience’s increasingly brief attention span, which now averages around 8.25 seconds.
In 2023, TikTok, a trailblazer in the realm of short-form video content, boasted an impressive 1.7 billion users globally, which reflects the growing appetite for concise, captivating content that resonates with today’s audiences.
To leverage this for client success, engaging video content on social media is essential for 2024. Even with diminished attention spans, well-crafted, high-quality content remains a potent tool for capturing and retaining audience interest, both on TikTok and other social media channels like Facebook or Instagram.
Remember, it’s about striking the right balance between conciseness and substance to ensure that every piece of content, no matter how brief, is impactful and resonates with viewers.
Here are some types of videos that were trending on social media in 2023:
- Reaction videos: These videos featured creators reacting to various content, including other TikTok videos, memes, news events, or viral internet phenomena. The reactions often ranged from humorous to insightful.
- Food and cooking segments: Short videos showcasing recipes, cooking techniques, food reviews, and culinary tips were very popular. These ranged from gourmet dishes to quick, everyday meals and snacks.
- Pet and animal videos: Content featuring pets and animals, including funny pet antics, heartwarming rescues, or wildlife clips, continued to be a significant draw for audiences of all ages.
- Challenge videos: Apart from dance challenges, various other challenge videos, which could involve quirky tasks, games, or activities, were trendy. These often encouraged audience participation and interaction.
- Behind-the-scenes content: Videos giving a behind-the-scenes look at different professions, hobbies, or production processes (like filmmaking, art creation, etc.) were popular for providing insight into worlds that viewers might not typically see.
- Unboxing and product reviews: Videos, where creators unboxed new products, especially tech gadgets, makeup, or fashion items, and provided reviews, were widely viewed and appreciated for their informative content.
- Book reviews and recommendations: Short videos discussing books, offering reviews, summaries, or reading recommendations became popular among the growing community of book lovers on social media.
- Science experiments and fun facts: Engaging and educational content featuring cool science experiments, interesting facts, and brain-teasers attracted viewers of all ages who were interested in learning in a fun way.
- Parodies and spoofs: Creators also engaged their audience with parodies and spoofs of popular movies, TV shows, songs, or even other viral internet content, showcasing their creativity and humor.
- Art and craft tutorials: Videos showcasing art projects, DIY crafts, and creative hobbies offered inspiration and instructions for viewers interested in arts and crafts.
- Fashion challenges and hauls: Fashion-focused videos, including clothing hauls, fashion challenges, and outfit styling tips, were a hit among viewers interested in fashion and style trends.
- “Storytime” videos: Clips featuring creators sharing a wide range of personal experiences, dramatic narratives, life lessons, and interactive storytelling, often in series or as part of trending challenges, covering topics from everyday life to professional, travel, and celebrity encounters.
2. AI Integrations Deepen Across Social Media Platforms
In 2023, AI has emerged as a pivotal force in shaping the latest social media trends. However, it’s important to note that AI, while efficient, cannot fully replicate the creative nuances, thought leadership, and originality inherent in humans.
Brands that judiciously use AI tools while preserving a human touch in their content are likely to outperform those over-reliant on automation. Given that 60% of marketers — aka more than half of them — are already using AI in their activities, these numbers are expected to surge even further in 2024.
If you haven’t jumped on the AI bandwagon yet, a great starting point is SocialBee’s AI Post Generator, a tool that tailors content for particular platforms in your desired tone of voice in mere seconds.
Furthermore, it can generate original images derived from text-based cues, enabling you to explore various ideas and concepts for a streamlined approach to social media.
Try SocialBee’s free AI post generator to explore the most important social media trends in 2024.
If you didn’t know, AI’s influence extends beyond content creation, encompassing tasks like content scheduling, social listening, competitive research, data collection and analysis, and KPI reporting, further underscoring its growing role in social media marketing.
SocialBee’s Copilot utilizes AI to create personalized social media strategies that align with your specific needs, with pre-made posts for all your social media channels, optimal platform recommendations, and advanced scheduling capabilities.
Integrate AI into Your Social Media Strategy with SocialBee!
3. Nostalgia Takes Center Stage on Social Media Feeds
The year 2023 witnessed a surge in the popularity of various ‘cores,’ ranging from cottage core to millennial core, each representing a distinct cultural, genre, or aesthetic theme.
So, what exactly is a ‘core’? According to Time Magazine, it’s a term that encapsulates shared ideas within a specific cultural, genre, or aesthetic domain, categorizing them into a unified group.
With Gen Z’s revival of various themes from the 90s and the 2000s, there’s a strong prediction that brands will also embrace the nostalgia trend in 2024. Expect to see content that references previous times or the launch of new products with a vintage twist, as both strategies are great for relatable and effective marketing.
Influencers are likely to contribute significantly to this trend. For example, take @y2kidsnostalgia, who shares homemade videos from the 90s and early 2000s to evoke a sense of nostalgia:
The time to embrace retro themes in marketing is now, with these nostalgic elements poised to resonate deeply with audiences.
4. Meme Templates Reshape How Funny Videos Are Made
A meme template is a replicable and adaptable format that typically includes a specific combination of audio, visual elements, and actions, allowing users to create their own versions while maintaining the core structure of the meme.
Using meme templates to create funny videos on various platforms became a viral social media trend in 2023, sparking humor and creativity among users and content creators.
This is because meme templates, often rooted in popular culture or current events, have a built-in virality factor, offering a level of flexibility that allows users to create a diverse range of humorous content, from satirical sketches to witty commentary. Here is an example from @scrubdaddy’s TikTok account:
As we look ahead to 2024, expect to see an expansion of meme templates, including new formats and variations, as they’ll likely become more tailored to specific niches and subcultures.
5. Trending Sounds Are the End-All-Be-All
The integration of trending sounds on social media platforms became a significant driving force behind content creation and engagement.
In 2023, users and content creators alike tapped into the power of popular audio clips, music, and sound bites to enhance their posts and connect with their audiences. Check out another example from @ScrubDaddy:
As we look ahead to 2024, social media platforms will likely further enhance their sound integration capabilities. Creators will have access to more audio options, including licensed music, sound effects, and niche sound libraries.
Additionally, AI algorithms will play a more prominent role in suggesting relevant sounds to users. These recommendations will be tailored to individual preferences and content themes, making it easier for creators to find the perfect audio for their content.
6. Brands Are in Their Self-Aware Era
In 2023, a fascinating trend emerged as social media platforms became a melting pot of voices and perspectives, encouraging brands to step off their pedestals and engage in more genuine conversations with their audiences.
This newfound self-awareness marked a significant departure from traditional marketing approaches and contributed to a more authentic and relatable brand-consumer relationship. Here’s how @Ryanair incorporated this trend:
As we transition into 2024, brands should tailor their content and messaging to focus on honesty and transparency in nurturing niche communities of like-minded consumers.
7. CGI Art Takes Creativity to New Heights
Last year, CGI art captivated audiences with its ability to push the boundaries of creativity and blur the lines between reality and fantasy. We witnessed artists, designers, and brands embracing CGI art for various purposes, including product promotions, virtual fashion shows, digital storytelling, and artistic expression.
Even business giants like @Maybelline hopped on this trend:
This year, the influence of CGI art is expected to reverberate across social media in various ways. Expect to see more seamless integration of CGI art into augmented reality experiences. Brands may use virtual reality (VR) technology, AR filters and lenses that feature CGI elements, offering users interactive and immersive experiences.
8. TikTok Images Are on a Roll
In 2023, TikTok Carousels became a prominent trend in social media marketing, offering enhanced engagement, versatile visual storytelling, and opportunities for various industries. Take this example from @Aritzia:
This year, social media platforms may prioritize image carousels algorithmically, increasing visibility. E-commerce integrations will continue to grow, making shopping directly from carousels more common. Marketers can expect improved creative tools, better analytics for data-driven strategies, and an emphasis on educational content.
9. Social Media Mascots Bring the ‘It’ Factor
The incorporation of social media mascots in 2023 has paved the way for a dynamic and engaging digital landscape.
Their ability to establish authenticity, boost engagement, and reinforce brand identity will continue to be instrumental in connecting with audiences, and @duolinguo was one of the businesses to leverage this:
As technology evolves, we can anticipate even more personalized and interactive experiences, further solidifying the role of social media mascots in shaping the future of online interactions.
10. Pop Culture References Are Engagement Boosters
Social media is experiencing an upsurge in pop culture references, a trend that resonates deeply with audiences across various platforms. From iconic movie quotes to trending TV show moments, brands and influencers alike harnessed these cultural touchstones to create relatable and engaging content.
For instance, you’re probably familiar with Stanley cups by now, as they are a trend of their own. However, incorporating ‘Twilight’ references proved to be a surefire way to skyrocket engagement:
Even @NSWPoliceForce managed to replicate the success of this trend by referencing an iconic ‘Mean Girls’ scene in their video:
As we usher in 2024, the momentum gained from incorporating pop culture references is poised to continue and evolve. This year, the approach is set to become more nuanced and sophisticated. Rather than broad appeals, tailored references that resonate with specific demographic segments will become the norm.
Additionally, expect to see more interactive campaigns that encourage user participation. These could take the form of challenges, quizzes, or user-generated content inspired by current pop culture phenomena.
11. Gated Content Gains Momentum Across Social Media Channels
Modern social media users are increasingly gravitating towards content that caters directly to their interests, rather than settling for the broad spectrum of content typically suggested by social media algorithms. This shift in user preference is a driving force behind the growing popularity of gated content.
Gated content is material available only to users who fulfill certain conditions, such as following an account, subscribing to a channel, or joining a private group. Access may require actions like sharing contact information or engaging with a post. Its purpose is to build a dedicated audience, gather marketing data, or create a sense of exclusivity.
In 2023, gated content emerged as a significant trend in social media, offering a more exclusive experience. In 2024, gated content is poised to become integral to brand strategies, with businesses leveraging features like Instagram Subscribers and Facebook Top Fan badges to deepen the connection between brands and their most loyal followers.
12. Instagram and Facebook Take Social Commerce by Storm
Numerous brands have already tapped into the potential of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, not just for promotion but also as vibrant marketplaces to sell their products and drive revenue growth.
Interestingly, social commerce is on an upward trajectory, with projections suggesting it could reach a staggering $80 billion by 2025. This year, we’re likely to witness a surge in retail businesses leveraging features like Instagram shoppable posts to amplify their sales and enhance profit margins, as seen in this example from @diorbeauty:
For those planning to capitalize on social commerce this year, focus on creating a design that fosters a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience as a way to convert casual browsers into loyal customers.
13. Conversation and Engagement Shift to DMs
Nowadays, feeds are cluttered with news, memes, creator content, ads, and even debates. However, one notable absence is the organic, unfiltered posts from friends and family.
This shift has various underlying reasons, but it doesn’t imply that personal updates have vanished entirely from the social media scene.
Beyond ‘Close Friends’ Stories and ‘finsta’ accounts, Instagram users are increasingly turning to DMs for more private interactions.
This trend likely influenced Instagram’s recent development of DM-centric features, such as notes, which are text-only status updates within DMs, broadcast channels for one-to-many messaging, and enhanced measures to prevent unwanted messages.
For social media marketers, this evolution presents both challenges and opportunities. Tracking brand engagement becomes trickier when it’s confined to the private realm of DMs, a space where traditional social listening tools and analytics tools don’t reach.
This means that accepting that DMs are the preferred communication method for many social media users, including B2C conversations, is crucial, as it indicates that social media will increasingly become a channel for customer service.
14. TikTok Doubles Down on Gen Z
Initially gaining fame as a platform where primarily young users showcased dance routines and artistic skills, TikTok has evolved significantly.
Let us translate these numbers for you: business owners now have the perfect opportunity to harness TikTok’s potential by creating short, creative videos that capture the attention of their target audience and boost brand awareness.
These concise videos are particularly effective for businesses to quickly and succinctly pitch their services, which will likely make TikTok an invaluable tool in 2024’s digital marketing arsenal.
15. Text-Only Posts Are Becoming a Thing Again
Text-only posts have a surprisingly high engagement rate, often receiving more shares, likes, and comments compared to other types of content.
One of the key advantages of text-only posts is their simplicity and ease of consumption for followers. There’s no need for users to click on links or watch videos to grasp the message, making the content more accessible and straightforward, which is exactly what makes them likely to impact the social media scene in 2024.
16. Influencers Embrace Product Placement
A significant 71% of consumers trust recommendations from bloggers, vloggers, or social media influencers. Notably, user-generated content (UGC) is found to be nearly ten times more influential than content from influencers when it comes to purchasing decisions.
What this means is that the trend is moving away from influencers with massive followings to those with strong, engaged communities. In 2024, influencers are expected to skillfully weave products into their content amidst various engaging topics, sparking audience curiosity and encouraging further exploration.
Take this example of seamless product placement from @kels.e.y’s Instagram profile:
This approach to influencer marketing fosters deeper engagement and trust, tapping into the preference of modern consumers for content that informs subtly, rather than overtly advertises.
17. Keyword Search and SEO Are Social Media Strategy Pillars
More than half of Gen Z is turning to TikTok and Instagram for their search needs, which underscores the increasing importance of keyword optimization in your social media posts for better discoverability.
To make the most of this opportunity in your 2024 social media strategy, compile a list of keywords relevant to your brand that you want to rank for. Then, ensure you’re consistently crafting and sharing social media captions and content that contain these keywords to boost your brand’s visibility and relevance.
18. Storytelling Takes on New Dimensions in the Social Media Landscape
TikTok’s 2024 Trend Report highlights an increasingly unconventional approach to storytelling: stories are beginning at their ends, multiple narratives are unfolding simultaneously, and bold statements are used to capture attention.
These storytelling techniques encourage audiences to engage more actively and stay tuned as the stories unravel. It’s an effective way to capture attention and create a sense of FOMO, and brands like @ellore.com have already jumped on this bandwagon:
To incorporate this storytelling style into your video captions, mention an event or a highlight that occurs midway through your video. This can pique viewers’ curiosity and keep them watching longer as they look for the moment you referenced.
19. Shares Outweigh Likes, Comments, and Followers
Every social media marketer aims to broaden their reach, but as many have discovered, buying followers or likes often leads to lackluster results.
While comments, likes, followers, views, and impressions can be artificially boosted, there’s one metric that remains a more genuine indicator of engagement: shares. Shares represent real value because when someone shares your content, whether in Stories, DMs, or off-platform, they’re effectively endorsing you to their network.
It’s not to say that comments and likes aren’t important – they are. However, focusing on creating shareable content naturally leads to an increase in likes and comments. The converse, however, is not always true.
Platforms like Instagram and TikTok have recognized this by displaying share/comment counts, a significant change that underscores the importance of this metric.
To enhance your content’s shareability in 2024, begin by analyzing what has worked in the past. SocialBee’s Analytics can simplify this process, helping you and your social media team to identify top-performing posts and the reasons behind their success through a variety of metrics, including audience demographics, real-time page analytics, and comprehensive post analytics.
Monitor your social profiles from SocialBee to improve your marketing strategy in real time.
Ask yourself if your target audience is likely to share your post. If not, consider what adjustments might make it more engaging for them.
NOTE: Steer clear of purchasing shares, likes, comments, or followers. This can result in negligible engagement at best, and suspension or a permanent ban from social media networks at worst.
20. Narrow-Targeted Social Media Ads Are the Go-To
A PWC study highlights that targeted advertising and promotions have garnered the attention of 31% of consumers, with the figure rising to 43% among Gen Z.
This insight is invaluable for convincing clients about the effectiveness of targeted advertising, but it’s important to acknowledge that social media advertising continues to present its unique set of challenges.
With increasing restrictions and ongoing changes, a critical aspect of successful social media ads in 2024 will be highly specific targeting. This is crucial, given that 54% of customers feel annoyed when targeted by ads for products they have already purchased.
Additionally, while broad targeting can enhance brand awareness, you must consider your clients’ budgets, market saturation, and the current economic climate. A strategic focus on retargeting prospects and identifying a lookalike audience can be an effective starting point.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ace 2024’s Social Trends with SocialBee!
The trends that have gained momentum in 2023, from incorporating trending sounds and meme templates to leveraging CGI art and social media mascots, will undoubtedly shape the way we interact with the digital world in the coming year.
As we move forward into 2024, staying agile, adaptable, and open to experimentation will be key for both individuals and businesses looking to thrive on any social media app.
If you want to upgrade your social media presence and continue to connect, engage, and inspire through the power of social media, get started with SocialBee’s 14-day free trial to see how an all-in-one, AI-powered social media management solution can upgrade your marketing efforts. Here’s to an exciting and transformative year ahead!