social trends 2024

2024 Social Media Trends You Need to Know About

Some might say the job of a social media manager is getting harder by the day (we couldn’t possibly comment!), and the pace of change isn’t going to slow in 2024. 

After a year in which we bid farewell to Twitter, said hello to Threads, saw TikTok continue to dominate and explored a proliferation of smaller platforms, getting social media marketing strategy right in 2024 means making intelligent, informed decisions about where to prioritise time, resources and budget.

So, what are the social media trends for 2024 that you need to know about ahead of the new year?

1. X As The ‘Everything App’

Elon Musk’s vision – whether you believe in it or not – is clear: X, formally Twitter, is to become an everything app, similar to China’s WeChat. A hub for all things in your daily life, from a social network to a payment platform to a job-searching website. But will 2024 be the year for X?

It’s been a rocky road for Musk so far. While the platform has started testing job listings in the US and, more recently, proposed the idea of X becoming a dating app too, the constant changes to the platform’s usability and pay-to-play features have faced robust criticism. From charging for a blue tick, to premium users’ posts having priority in the replies, X is increasingly alienating its core user base.

For Musk, however, it’s a money game. X’s recent ‘not a bot’ test has seen a programme rolled out across New Zealand and the Philippines in which new users to the platform are charged a minimum of $1 to sign up. Another move towards increasing the platform’s revenue streams.

It remains to be seen whether X truly will become an everything app, but 2024 is sure to see further updates from social media’s most turbulent platform.

2. Social Media and AI

Artificial intelligence has been one of this year’s biggest topics of conversation, and it’s a trend that shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. In fact, we’re predicting 2024 to be a big year for discovering the true capabilities of AI when it comes to how social media managers – and platforms – can harness its power productively.

One of the most relevant areas coming to the fore is around how AI can power content creation. From platforms that can learn from your brand’s past social posts to generate new content ideas to hashtag AI and generative imagery, AI has the potential to streamline processes and make it quicker to create content.

It’s not just social media teams capitalising on AI either. Social platforms are looking at ways they can harness AI to make efficiencies. Meta has developed its own model – SeamlessM4T – that can transcribe and translate close to 100 languages, helping those who speak different languages to communicate more effectively.

And LinkedIn has started to use AI-powered targeting tools for ad campaigns, with the launch of predictive audiences, using customer data to target those with similar characteristics who are more likely to convert.

There are, of course, limitations and problems surrounding AI that can’t be ignored. It’s been reported that AI may have algorithmic bias, potentially resulting in unjust treatment of certain groups. And the rapid growth of AI software means that control and regulation is playing catch-up. Among other issues of accuracy, bias, privacy and copyright, AI-generated images and deep fakes are a particular topic of concern within social media.

When it comes to content creation, we need to be cautious about over-reliance on AI because it’s not foolproof and still requires human intervention to make it work well. 2024 will undoubtedly see more rapid evolution of AI, but there’s one thing we currently know: AI needs people to help it work.

3. Creators and Influencers

It’s well established that influencers are a huge driver of trust for consumers, and businesses are capitalising on this. Brand spending on influencer marketing is expected to increase by 20% in 2024, signalling a continued focus on this area.

Research shows that 92% of customers trust influencer marketing over more traditional methods of advertising too. Like it or not, influencers hold the power across social media platforms, and there’s no sign that this is diminishing as we enter the new year.

The continued driver of this social media trend is authenticity. Gone are the days of polished adverts; they’ve been replaced by unscripted, natural content that people buy into. And if the consumer buys into the influencer, they’re more likely to buy into the product too.  

That this is the continuing direction of travel can be seen in how the platforms themselves are focusing on collaborator tools as a priority, expanding their partnership capabilities to facilitate better relationships between brand and influencer.

Prompted by the Digital Services Act, LinkedIn has rolled out a brand partnership tool for creators to use when collaborating with a business on the platform. Meta has introduced the ability to search for and track branded content campaigns within its ads library, providing insight into how competitors are partnering with influencers, and TikTok also has its own ad library. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops in 2024 and how we can all leverage more influencer opportunities across brand social.

4. Social Commerce

The rise of TikTok Shop has seen a huge evolution of the social shopping landscape. Meta struggled to make in-app shopping take off, deprioritising the shopping experience and removing the shopping tab in the Instagram app. In contrast, TikTok’s approach appears to be much more successful.

After the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag went viral in 2020, TikTok moved to create a shopping platform with a QVC-style approach to live shopping, and products that creators and users alike promote natively in app.

Brands have gone big on user-generated content to sell their products on TikTok, creating a more natural experience for users when they come across this type of content from brands. The ability for products to go viral has also helped, which is perhaps where Meta struggled, and ease and accessibility has given TikTok an edge too. Products are affordable and marketed directly at its core user base, and the ‘dupe’ effect has seen products go viral, even crossing over to other social platforms. 

While it hasn’t all been straightforward – TikTok pulled back on investing in its live shopping experiences in the UK back in 2022 – it is clearly ambitious about the potential for social commerce globally. TikTok users are now reportedly 1.4 times more likely than other platform users to purchase a product or service they discover in app, as well as being 2.4 times more likely to make their own content about their purchase. So we can expect to see plenty more #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt social trends in 2024. 

One thing we know for sure: there won’t be a dull moment in the world of social media marketing in 2024. Will Threads evolve in the ways that have been promised? How will the fediverse develop? What impact will the phasing out of third-party cookies have? How will social channels further harness SEO to help users with in-platform searches? Will an entirely unanticipated challenger brand emerge? It will be another interesting year for the social landscape as a whole – we can’t wait to see what 2024 brings.

The author: Natalie Whitehouse is a senior social media manager with a wealth of knowledge across B2B and consumer brands. Results focused, Natalie believes in purpose-driven social media content powered by clear strategic insight.  

Want to
know more?

Get in touch