8 Social Media Trends for 2024

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore long-term trends shaping your marketing strategy, from AI-driven content creation to the rise of social commerce. Stay ahead in 2024 with insights on video formats, authentic connections, influencer strategies, and ROI priorities.

[Featured image] Six people stand in a circle holding their cell phones while looking at social media sites.

Some aspects of social media trends can move quickly—for example, trending sounds or memes. Following these types of trends can help dictate the content you produce and post on a daily or weekly basis. Since they shift quickly, the best way to stay up-to-date on immediate trends is to become an active user on the platforms you’re managing and notice the recurring topics, audio, and formats that populate your feed.

Other types of social media trends are more long-term, and you can use these to inform your overarching social media marketing strategy and content calendar. These types of trends tend to have to do with shifts in user behaviors—like preferences for video over static images—and platform functionality—like social media companies introducing on-platform shopping features.

In this article, we’ll discuss the dominant social media trends for 2024 that you can use as you shape your marketing strategy:

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to create content and improve performance.

  2. Short-form video rules, but long-form content may gain traction.

  3. Consumer shopping habits are boosting social commerce.

  4. Social media platforms are becoming viable search engines.

  5. Followers are seeking authentic connections.

  6. Content creators and influencers are core pieces of social media strategy.

  7. Personalization is increasing in importance.

  8. Brands will prioritize social platforms by return on investment (ROI).

To compile these current trends, we synthesized findings from several industry reports and studies from companies like Sprout Social, Hootsuite, HubSpot, and Gartner.

As you read through this list, remember that your social media strategy may not necessarily include every aspect of this list. It’s important to consider how well these trends align with your business goals. If you’d like to learn more about social media fundamentals, like identifying your target audience and choosing the right social media platforms for your business, start with the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate.

1. AI is being used to create content and improve performance.

Marketing professionals are using generative AI (GenAI) tools, like ChatGPT and Google Gemini, to improve their day-to-day processes and tasks. A 2023 report from Sprout Social found that 80 percent of marketers say that AI has positively impacted their work, with 78 percent reporting that they have more time for creativity and 73 percent reporting increased efficiency [1]. They also found that, in 2024, marketers plan on using AI for social media tasks including analyzing data, content creation, advertising campaign targeting, building chatbots, and more.

Using GenAI for content creation

A 2024 HubSpot survey found that marketers are already using GenAI throughout the content creation process. Of those using GenAI for content creation, 45 percent are using it to generate ideas, 31 percent are using it to outline content, and 18 percent are using it to draft content. What’s more, 56 percent of marketers who use GenAI say their AI-assisted content performs better than content created without‌ it. Overall, 63 percent of marketers predict that most content created in 2024 will be done in part using GenAI tools [2].

These numbers are encouraging, however, keep your audience and brand voice in mind as you incorporate AI into your social media posts. In a 2024 survey, Hootsuite found that 62 percent of consumers are less likely to engage with or trust AI-generated content—a sentiment that's particularly pronounced among older generations [3].

Advance your GenAI skills with Vanderbilt University’s Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT course. Here, you’ll learn techniques for communicating with GenAI tools to generate outputs that align with your goals.

Using AI for marketing analytics

Social media marketers have been using engagement metrics and similar data to inform their content calendar for quite some time. Now, you can use AI to enhance your analysis capabilities, producing more robust insights and reliable trend predictions. According to a 2023 report from The Work Innovation Lab, 30 percent of workers already use AI for data analysis, and 62 percent of workers want to use AI for data analysis [4].

There are a few ways you can start incorporating AI into your marketing analytics. Some common social media tools, like Sprout Social, offer AI-powered features within their interface, but you can also prompt ChatGPT to conduct a data analysis.

Advance your marketing analytics skills with the Meta Marketing Analytics Professional Certificate. You’ll learn how to analyze marketing data and turn your insights into actionable strategies.

2. Short-form video rules, but long-form content may gain traction.

Consumers primarily want brand social media accounts to focus on short-form videos, like those found on TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts, according to a report from Sprout Social [5]. This desire is generally aligned with what social media marketers are already doing, as HubSpot found that over half of marketers who include short-form video in their marketing strategy plan to increase their investment in it throughout 2024 [2].

However, it’s worth noting that TikTok has been testing the boundaries of social media users’ attention spans. In January 2024, TechCrunch reported that the app expanded their long-form upload limits to 30 minutes after previously testing 3-minute, 10-minute, and 15-minute limits [6].

Advance your TikTok skills with Aptly’s Marketing with TikTok Specialization.

3. Consumer shopping habits are boosting social commerce.

An increasing number of social media users are making purchases directly in their apps. According to Statista, in 2023, there were 106.8 million social buyers in the US. By 2027, they forecast that this figure will grow by over 10 percent to 118 million [7]. In another study, Statista reported that 37.4 percent of US TikTok users, 36 percent of US Facebook users, and 34.4 percent of US Instagram users made a purchase on the respective social media platform [8].

At the same time, social media companies are making it easier to shop on their platforms—take, for example, the introduction of the TikTok shop—which can help to encourage in-app consumer behaviors.

Learn more about e-commerce business practices with the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate.

4. Social media platforms are becoming viable search engines.

The social media landscape has expanded beyond the newsfeed. Now, more users are treating the platforms as search engines. Prabhakar Raghavan, a Google senior vice president, said that the company estimates 40 percent of young people use TikTok or Instagram as search engines [9]. This user trend underscores the importance of understanding the search and discovery features on your social media channels and optimizing your content for them.

Advance your SEO skills with the University of California, Davis' Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization.

5. Followers are seeking authentic connections.

When you’re thinking about how to communicate with your social media audiences, authenticity should be top of mind. According to Sprout Social’s Index Report, here are the top five things consumers say they don’t see enough of from brands on social media [1]:

  1. Authentic, non-promotional content

  2. Transparency about business practices and values

  3. Information about product sourcing and production

  4. Educational content about the brand’s industry

  5. User-generated content (UGC) and customer testimonials

What’s more, in their Content Benchmark Report, Sprout Social asked users who they want to see featured on brand social media platforms, and their responses largely skewed toward average people: front-line employees (48 percent), social media teams (42 percent), and real customers (42 percent). Meanwhile, executive leadership lagged in popularity, with only 15 percent of respondents expressing that desire [5]. Separately, a Hootsuite survey reports that 56 percent of consumers think brands should be more relatable on social media, which plays into one of the key reasons people turn to the platforms in the first place: to be entertained and to unwind [3].

As you think about how to maintain relevance on your brand's social media accounts, it’s worth considering how you can show up authentically and foster a genuine connection with your target audience.

Advance your online community-building skills with Northwestern University’s ​​Social Media Marketing Specialization.

6. Content creators and influencers are core pieces of social media strategy.

Speaking of authenticity, sometimes, it’s easier for audiences to believe something about your brand when the information comes from a third party. This is part of the reason why marketers continue to include content creators and influencers in their social media strategy. According to HubSpot, 50 percent of marketers who use influencer marketing plan to increase their investment in their strategy in 2024 [2].

However, it’s not just known influencers that social media marketers are turning toward, but also the average content creator. User-generated content (UGC) has emerged as a cost-effective way to promote brand awareness and products in a way that feels more natural than influencer partnerships can feel. A report from Gartner found that over 80 percent of consumers believe that UGC improves product discovery, brand trust, and experience [10].

Learn more about developing a well-rounded social media marketing strategy with the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate.

7. Personalization is increasing in importance.

According to Sprout Social, 51 percent of consumers say the most memorable brands on social media respond to customers, 76 percent value how quickly a brand responds to their needs, and 70 percent expect a personalized response to customer service needs [1].

To efficiently accommodate this high-touch service, social media teams are turning again to AI, using chatbots and automation tools that can respond to basic customer needs—and it seems to be working. HubSpot reports that 72 percent of marketers agree that these tools help them ‌personalize the customer experience, and 58 percent of marketers plan to increase their investments in AI and automation in 2024 [2].

Learn how to build chatbots with IBM’s Building AI Powered Chatbots Without Programming ​​course.

8. Brands will prioritize social platforms by ROI.

Brand leaders are thinking more strategically about the business value of their chosen platforms and prioritizing efforts on those that deliver the strongest ROI. This trend may be driven by two important points:

  • A decline in user trust stands to reshape the way people use social media, making it more important for brands to use social media wisely. Gartner forecasts that by 2025, 50 percent of consumers will significantly limit their social media usage due to their perception of platform quality [10]. 

  • According to Hootsuite, as social media teams increasingly feel overextended by the number of platforms they’re managing, they’re assessing which platforms are delivering the results they want to see and are dropping their use of those that aren’t [3].

Hootsuite breaks down the biggest platform usage changes from 2022 to 2023, with TikTok and LinkedIn seeing the greatest increases in use (16 percent and 5 percent, respectively), and WhatsApp, Pinterest, and X seeing the greatest decreases in use (18 percent, 11 percent, and 7 percent, respectively) [3]. Meanwhile, HubSpot reports that the platforms with the strongest ROI, according to marketers, are Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok [2]. 

Learn more about key business metrics with the University of Virginia’s ​​Marketing Analytics course.

Advance your social media marketing skills

Get a comprehensive understanding of social media marketing with the Meta Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate on Coursera. Over six courses, you’ll learn the skills you need to qualify for entry-level roles in social media.

Article sources


Sprout Social. “The Sprout Social Index Edition XIX, https://sproutsocial.com/insights/data/index-2023/.” Accessed April 10, 2024.

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