Top 5 Social Media Marketing Trends Brands and Marketers Should Try in 2024

Are you ready to lead the digital era and elevate your brand to new heights?

The social media landscape is constantly shifting gears. The way content is created, shared and consumed is always evolving, thanks to the rapid advancement of technology and shifting societal norms. For marketers and brands aiming to stay ahead of the curve, understanding and leveraging emerging trends is key. Let’s dive into the top five social media trends marketers and businesses should experiment with in 2024!

1. Embrace long-form content

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Think long-form content is on its way out? Think again. In an era where bite-sized Reels and Shorts seem to dominate, there’s a growing appetite for more substantial, in-depth content. Besides video essays, long-form content also includes blog posts, podcasts, e-books and even documentaries.

Research shows that longer content reels in 77.2% more clicks compared to its shorter counterparts. Social media giants are already tuning into this shift. Take TikTok, for example, which has dramatically expanded its video length to 15 minutes, a leap from the original 15 seconds. And word on the street is that Instagram plans to stretch its Reels to ten minutes, up from the current 90 seconds.

Marx Layne, a public relations firm, sheds light on the surge in podcast popularity and a rekindled interest in investigative journalism. These trends highlight a broader public craving for content that digs deeper, weaving narratives and uncovering insights that fleeting clips simply can’t deliver. The advantage of long-form content is clear: it enables brands to establish authority, build trust and drive deeper engagement. Plus, it’s a boon for monetization, allowing for more ad placements. 

However, the magic of long-form content doesn’t just lie in its length. The real challenge—and the key to success—is in crafting content that’s not only extensive but also packed with meaning and authenticity and precisely tailored to meet the needs and preferences of your audience.

2. Prioritize direct messaging as a key engagement tool

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The shift from the public spectacle of feeds to the cozy corners of private messaging is a trend that’s hard to ignore. Direct Messages (DMs) are now the modern-day gathering places on social media, where conversations feel more personal and less exposed. This inclination towards more private interactions is mirrored in various social media features, such as TikTok’s “friends only” option and Instagram’s array of features tailored for close friends, including posts stories, sharing options and “Notes” (akin to a brief status update).

Instagram’s introduction of “Flipside” further cements this trend. It offers an experience similar to having a “finsta”—that is, a secondary account where users share more raw and unfiltered content—without the need for an entirely separate account. This feature allows users to express themselves in a more private and personalized space, underscoring the platform’s shift towards fostering intimate connections.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, has highlighted how the platform’s growth is increasingly fueled by the use of stories and DMs. This pivot towards private, one-on-one communication signifies a golden opportunity for brands looking to deepen their connection with their audience. By encouraging your followers to reach out via DMs, focusing on providing prompt and thoughtful customer service and setting up automated replies—while keeping a good amount of human touch—brands can significantly boost customer trust and loyalty.

3. Creating share-worthy content to drive social shares

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In the evolving social currency, shares are becoming more valuable than likes or follower counts. A share reflects a deeper level of engagement, showing that the content not only caught the viewer’s attention but also resonated with them to the extent that they felt compelled to pass it on. Instagram’s recent decision to update its post metrics to display share and comment counts rather than just likes underlines the importance of this shift.

The message for content creators is clear: create content that is not just seen but felt and shared. Your goal is to craft pieces that resonate deeply, sparking conversations and evoking strong emotions. Create engaging headlines that draw people in, visually stunning images that stop scrollers in their tracks and content that challenges, entertains or inspires. These are your tools for encouraging your audience to become ambassadors of your message, extending your reach far beyond your immediate circle.

4. Leverage YouTube Shorts 

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Even as we celebrate the resurgence of long-form content, let’s not dismiss the power and popularity of reels and shorts. It’s only ideal to include both formats in your content marking strategy. And for those who’ve been focusing solely on crafting shorts for TikTok and Instagram, it’s time to broaden your horizons. 

Enter YouTube Shorts. This feature has rapidly become a major force in the realm of short-form content, witnessing a jaw-dropping 500% increase in interest since 2021, as per Google Trends. YouTube Shorts marries the captivating allure of quick, engaging videos with YouTube’s renowned analytics and marketing capabilities. This fusion provides marketers with an unrivaled opportunity to engage with audiences who prefer their content fast, fun and easily digestible.

5. Optimize for user experience

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Social media algorithms are increasingly prioritizing user experience, curating feeds that align with individual preferences and interests. Gone are the days when content that simply racked up the most likes or comments won the visibility race. Today, these algorithms are designed to sift through the noise, identifying and prioritizing content that resonates on a more personal level with users’ preferences, interests and even moods.

This shift towards a more user-centric model means that for marketers, the game has changed. It’s no longer just about creating content that is engaging but also genuinely enriches the user’s online journey. By tailoring content that aligns with the nuanced behaviors, interests and emotional states of their audience, marketers can significantly amplify their content’s reach and engagement. This approach not only elevates the user experience but also opens up new avenues for meaningful interaction between brands and their audiences.

Final thoughts 

The landscape of social media in 2024 is ripe with opportunities for marketers to forge deeper connections, personalize interactions and deliver content that truly resonates. By embracing long-form videos, personalizing through direct messages, valuing shares, experimenting with YouTube Shorts and optimizing for user experience, marketers can effectively navigate this dynamic environment. These trends invite us to reimagine our strategies and engage with audiences in more meaningful, impactful ways. Welcome to the new era of social media marketing, where adaptability, creativity and personal touch are your compass to success.

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