2024 Social Trends

7 Social Media Marketing Trends We See Surging in 2024

We kicked off 2023 by offering a set of six (sometimes bold) predictions about the trends in social media that would shape the marketing landscape over the course of the year. And according to Brandon Content Director Kristi Raines, we (for the most part, anyway) hit the mark on all of them.

Of course, now that 2023 is in the books, it’s time to look ahead to 2024! So we broke out our crystal ball to identify these seven 2024 social media marketing trends that we feel are sure to offer big opportunities to ahead-of-the-curve brands that leverage them in their social strategies this year:

1. AI begins to loom large

AI seems to be developing a fast-growing presence everywhere in the marketing world (and beyond), and social media is certainly no exception. Clearly surging generative AI technology offers big opportunities to add efficiency and spur extra creativity in brands’ social-content efforts. And thanks to AI integration on a range of social platforms, the advancing tech promises to be particularly helpful in the area of personalization for social content and social advertising.
BUT trust us on this one — AI can also create big risks for brands that don’t use it carefully/responsibly. Consider this: According to a recent Hootsuite survey, over 60% of consumers say that when they recognize that a brand’s content was generated by a AI, they’re less likely to engage with and trust it. And ultimately, we suspect, this sentiment could eventually apply to the brand itself, too.
“For me, it’s evident when a social post is generated by AI — I can spot it from a mile away,” Brandon’s Raines says. “So personalization and content optimization are key — making sure any AI-generated content is accurate, doesn’t sound robotic and is in tune with the brand’s voice.”

2. Social SEO keeps gaining steam

Since early in the age of digital marketing, brands have employed search-engine optimization (SEO) tactics to make their websites and content easier for consumers to find via search engines like Google and Bing. But in recent years, social platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest have added updates to search functionality — and especially among younger consumers, these platforms are cutting into the search engines’ long-held dominance.
“Discovering new content on social media used to be centered around hashtags, as well as Explore and For You pages,” says Brandon Associate Social Media Director Haley Rojas. “Now, when people want to find specific types of content on Instagram (and other social media platforms like TikTok and Pinterest), they use the ‘search’ feature. As a result, it’s important to understand what search terms people use when looking for your brand’s content, then incorporate them in your captions. And for TikTok in particular, not only are the keywords important within the captions, but they are also important as text overlay and voice-overs within the videos.”

3. Platform prioritization

According to statistics on global social media use, the average social media user visits six to seven different social platforms each month. And for brands looking to maintain consistent connections with these consumers, this outright abundance of platforms — not to mention the need to keep current with all of their ongoing evolutions — can simply be a lot for marketers to juggle.
So as the number of social platforms keeps growing and eventually becomes too much to effectively manage, we expect to see brands start prioritizing which platforms they focus on based on the ROI they’re providing. And brands might even begin dropping the ones that prove less effective/worthwhile when it comes to reaching their marketing goals.
(Need help deciding which social platforms are best for your brand and its unique marketing goals? Check out the Brandon blog article, All Social Platforms Are Not Created Equal — Which Ones Are Right for Your Business?, which was designed specifically to deliver this type of guidance.)

4. A politics purge

If you’ve ever stopped following a person, organization or brand on social media because you just couldn’t stomach the partisan political posts anymore, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, nearly 44% of social media users say they’ve deleted someone from their accounts due to political views and/or posts.
And with the country so polarized, plus the political heat seemingly as high as it’s ever been, 2024 is shaping up to be one of the nastiest election years in U.S. history. So as a result, we suspect that the social “unfollows” due to politics could reach record highs this year, too.
Of course, for most brands (with significant exceptions for the rare brands with target audiences that lean heavily one way or the other politically), mixing politics and business has never been the best idea. (After all, no matter your partisan stance, it’s likely to turn off roughly half of your potential consumers.) But especially this year, we recommend brands be even more mindful than usual about publishing posts that could be taken as playing sides in politics — as mistakes in this area could be especially costly in 2024.

5. Video’s growth keeps coming … with shorts surging

The popularity of online video among consumers keeps growing. And according to research, when it comes to effectively achieving their social-marketing goals, more than half of marketers consider video to be the MVP among media types — yet the percentage of posts it accounts for on some of the leading social platforms reaches only 14%, 11% and 5% on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, respectively.
Considering video’s enduring effectiveness in capturing and keeping consumers’ attention, we expect to see those numbers jump in 2024. And the rise in the number of social posts featuring short-form video — which roughly two-thirds of consumers consider to be the most engaging type of social post— should be especially sharp over the coming year. The reason? Increasingly available AI tools have made it easier than ever to convert long-form videos into shorter, easier-to-digest (and ideal for social media settings) clips.

6. … while text-only sees more success, too

Despite the recent rise in the popularity of video, when it comes to building and boosting your brand, don’t count out strictly text-based posts. Nearly a third of consumers still consider these written posts to be among the most engaging type of social content. They also offer an excellent way to convey your brand’s personality and values, as well as to get conversations and connections between brands and consumers rolling. Further, according to Brandon’s Raines, our social media team has been seeing substantially heightened success with text-only social posts recently, especially on LinkedIn and Facebook.

7. Affiliate marketers get more notice

Statistics show that spending on affiliate marketing — a performance-based marketing strategy that sees brands pay (often online) affiliates a commission when the consumers they’ve delivered convert — has been steadily rising for the past 10-plus years. And projections show it nearly doubling from current levels by 2031.
Here at Brandon, thanks to the success we’ve seen affiliate-marketing partnerships deliver for our clients in recent years, we’re big believers in the strategy — and we think it’s poised to surge in 2024. It’s simply a cost-effective way to boost brand awareness and step up sales while providing big SEO benefits and added consumer insights, and we firmly believe its value is bound to attract more brands over the coming year.

Step up your social strategy with Brandon

Ready to put your brand ahead of the social media curve in 2024 (and beyond) by leveraging these and other fast-evolving social trends? At Brandon, our in-the-know social media team stays on top of all the latest trends on the most powerful and effective social networks — and knows how to put them to work to reach more consumers and drive more conversions. To get started with help ranging from a simple social strategy analysis to a full handoff of all your social calendar planning and posts, contact us today. Our experienced, data-driven social media team is always here to help.