Top Social Media and Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2024

From the rise of ChatGPT and Twitter’s rebranding to X, to the launch of Threads and the waning buzz around the metaverse, 2023 brought big changes to the digital landscape, and 2024 is poised to do the same. Here are the top digital marketing trends that top brands and influencers will be watching and using in 2024:

The Rise of Social Media Search Engine Optimization

Marketers have long optimized their websites and content to rank higher on search platforms like Google and Bing—but increasingly, cutting-edge marketers are optimizing social media content with equal granularity. Last year, the world’s largest search engine, Google, reported that approximately 40% of Gen-Z use TikTok and Instagram to search instead of Google. That’s why it’s more important than ever for digital marketers to consider nuances like keywords and metadata in social media posts.

It also means that captions, including keywords and descriptive data, can help improve the discoverability of a brand’s posts. So while brevity has historically driven social engagement, more keywords and content will likely help boost post rankings.

The continued development of the monetization of X

In October 2022, Elon Musk completed the acquisition of then-Twitter with the reported drive to return Twitter to a free speech platform. Since then, Musk has sparked a wave of changes to the platform.

First, in January, Musk banned third-party apps from Twitter and put the platform’s API behind an expensive paywall.

Then, in April, Musk announced that users would pay for verification tokens. Like other social platforms, a blue check previously signified influencer status, but Musk eliminated that legacy verification program and instead switched to a paid program, where a blue check represents a paid subscription.

The most notable update came in July 2023, when Musk rebranded Twitter to X, in a reported attempt to make Twitter more of an “everything” platform where users can meet more of their consumer needs (banking, retail, and etc.). Then, in October, Musk announced a $1 annual fee for users to post on the social network in the Philippines and New Zealand. Non-paying users only have access to read-only features.

A year after Musk’s acquisition, ad revenue on the platform is down 55% year over year. As these changes settle in, X will likely continue to evolve and launch new forms of monetization. Of course, the value of a platform lies in its usage, and with Twitter’s global traffic down 14% year-on-year, this year could be crucial for the platform to prove its relevance in the market.

Wider distribution of Instagram threads

In July, Meta launched Threads, a text app created by Instagram where users can view and follow public conversations.

As of November, Threads had a reported 141 million users, a number that is sure to continue to grow following the launch of Threads in Europe last week.

Although Threads is still relatively nascent in the digital space, as the app becomes available to more and more geographies and users, it could surpass the use of X and usurp their previous value as a public text platform.

Increased adoption of YouTube marketing, especially YouTube Shorts

TikTok and ChatGPT may be more popular among marketers, but in many ways YouTube is actually more impactful. That’s because YouTube is more than just a giant video social media platform, it’s also the second largest search engine in the world. So yes, it’s technically a social media platform, but consumers – and marketers – use it much more as a search engine.

And if the behavior of young users generally dictates what’s next in digital, YouTube will retain its top spot. Pew Research reports that 95% of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 use YouTube – more than any other social media platform. In comparison, 66% use TikTok and 62% use Instagram.

Not only is YouTube widely used, but the amount of time spent on the platform is staggering, with Pew Research reporting that 19% of teens say they use YouTube “almost constantly.”

YouTube Shorts in particular are a trend to watch. Earlier this year, Google reported that YouTube Shorts generated more than 50 billion views daily. That’s still a small fraction of Meta’s reels, which are viewed 200 billion times a day, but there’s strong growth.

Given the regulatory concerns surrounding TikTok, many marketers will continue to turn to YouTube Shorts and Meta Reels for their short-form video content.

The merging of the metaverse and artificial intelligence

Two years ago, Facebook changed its name to Meta, indicating a focus on the metaverse, which Meta says is defined as “the next evolution in social connection and the successor to the mobile internet.”

This intentionally broad definition allows Meta and tech companies to construct the metaverse as a combination of digital trends: augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming, and more. So if the metaverse is increasingly positioned as a blend of the digital and physical worlds, the most closely related technology will be artificial intelligence.

The Metaverse is still relevant in its own right, but in many ways AI will be more appealing in 2024, even for the Meta. At Meta Connect in September, Zuckerberg announced the beta release of Meta AI, an evolved chatbot for WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. In addition to Meta AI, Meta has released 28 more AIs in beta.

Beyond traditional chatbots, these AIs include creative tools and characters based on cultural icons and built with personalized personalities, interests and opinions.

Meta may be the most popular chatbot platform, but perhaps the most talked about AI product of 2023 is ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot. ChatGPT launched in late 2022, and while much remains to be determined about ChatGPT’s role in marketing strategies, content creation was the first popular use case. In fact, reports say that ChatGPT has sparked a surge in e-books written with AI, with some authors using the tool to take books from idea to publication in just hours. ChatGPT is also gaining wider adoption among everyday users. In February, ChatGPT set a record for the fastest-growing consumer app in history, and as of November, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman announced that ChatGPT has over 100 million weekly active users. With ChatGPT usage steadily increasing, chatbots are likely to continue to dominate digital discourse in 2024.

While initial growth looks promising, the success of the metaverse, chatbots and emerging artificial intelligence, as with all digital trends, depends on continued consumer adoption, brand monetization – and of course, government regulation.

Moving on to nano-influencers

The saying is true that “people follow people” and so influencers are poised to continue to dominate digital trends in 2024. Yet the terms of what defines an “influencer” are beginning to change.

Studies show that nano-influencers, accounts with 1,000-10,000 followers on a social media platform, generate more than twice the engagement of macro-influencers. That’s why more and more consumer brands, especially in the beauty, fashion and health fields, are using nano-influencers. Additional benefit? They also typically charge brands at a much lower price point.

Of course, for mainstream retailers, depending on the campaign, macro influencers are still the holy grail as they drive wider reach and brand recognition. Still, for companies looking to drive engagement with more targeted audiences in 2024, nano-influencers could be the key.


From AI and X to YouTube Shorts and nano-influencers, there’s no shortage of trends to watch in 2024 – and yet new platforms, products and opportunities will continue to emerge for advertisers to monitor, test and measure. As with any digital strategy, in 2024 the best brands will surprise and delight target audiences as where, how and when they reach them continues to evolve.

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