The HubSpot Blog’s 2024 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 1400+ Global Marketers

As the resident social media and content creation expert for the HubSpot blog, I know a thing or two about social media marketing. And one of those things is that the social media marketing landscape is constantly evolving.

As the resident social media and content creation expert for the HubSpot blog, I know a thing or two about social media marketing. And one of those things is that the social media marketing landscape is constantly evolving.

Fortunately, I can lend my expertise — and that of the 1,460 marketing professionals HubSpot recently surveyed — to help you stay informed on the latest happenings in social media marketing.

Yes, we asked 1,400+ global social media marketers about their biggest trends, goals, challenges, and strategies going into 2024. And we’re passing out knowledge to you.

Not much time on your hands? Click the section you’d like to jump to here:

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1. Social media e-commerce will continue to grow.

I can’t scroll for more than five seconds on almost any social media app without seeing a chance to purchase something online.

Whether it’s TikTok Shop, Instagram Shopping, or sponsored content from influencers — opportunities to make purchases directly from social media are almost endless and will only grow in 2024.

Our survey shows that a quarter of marketers are currently leveraging the strategy of selling products directly via social media apps, and 50% of marketers plan to increase their investment in social selling in 2024.

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Over the last few years, social media apps have evolved into e-commerce platforms that connect users with products they can buy without leaving the app.

While some, like Instagram, are further along in this transformation, many apps are working hard to implement new features and tools that enable social shopping.

TikTok, for example, launched TikTok Shop in the U.S. in 2023, and while 33% of TikTok users say they have not shopped on the platform, 30% have used it, according to Statista.

Furthermore, consumers are discovering new products on social media more than anywhere else. In fact, about 1 in 3 consumers use social media to discover new items and brands, according to Porch Group Media.

And I’m definitely a part of that 1 in 3. A few months ago, I discovered a brand called Midnight Hour on Instagram that sells goth-inspired clothing and accessories. After perusing its Instagram, I bought two blouses and a skirt directly from its Instagram storefront.

Our own research shows I’m not the only millennial influenced by social media shopping.

In our previous social media marketing survey, we found social media especially takes the lead for product discovery among Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X, beating out internet searches.

Social media is also the channel consumers 18-54 most prefer to discover new products on.

And social selling is yielding results for marketers. The majority of marketing professionals in our survey (16%) say social media shopping tools resulted in the biggest ROI in 2023.

So, it makes sense that 87% of marketers plan to maintain or increase their investment in such tools in 2024.

2. Consumers slide into brands’ DMs for customer service.

Since social media is all about shopping, it makes sense that customer service is moving into the DMs.

In 2023, we found that around one in five Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X social media users had contacted a brand through DMs for customer service, and 76% of social media marketers reported their company already offers customer service on social.

Fast forward to 2024, and 87% of marketers say they will maintain or increase their investment in using social media DMs for customer service.

With so many consumers sliding into business’ DMs for customer support, customer service professionals could become overwhelmed. This will likely prompt many businesses to turn to AI to lighten their load.

Almost a quarter of marketers in our most recent survey (24%) say AI tools like chatbots would help customer service professionals respond to tickets and inquiries.

So, naturally, 88% of marketers plan to boost or maintain their investment in AI, including tools such as chatbots.

3. AI-generated Social Media Posts

The use of AI isn’t going to stop at just customer service in 2024 — marketers will leverage AI to help them create engaging social media content, according to our survey.

51% of marketers say generative AI is most helpful in creating social media posts, and 58% say that’s what they use generative AI for. And just a few scrolls online prove their statements.

I was shocked and pretty impressed with how big of a role AI played in huge marketing campaigns like Nicki Minaj‘s rollout for her most recent album, Pink Friday 2.

Fans gathered from all over the internet to use generative AI to create Gag City, a fictional utopia made in the rapper’s honor to show fans excitement about the project.

Pretty soon, Nicki Minaj began using her own AI-generated images to promote singles and events for the album.

And Nicki Minaj isn‘t the only one. If you go on apps like TikTok, you’ll see tons of users using AI to generate viral content. Some users narrate their videos with AI-generated voices or use AI images to ask questions.

TikTok is placing itself at the forefront of the trend by making tools like its Creative Assistant available to users.

So in 2024, consider leveraging AI for social media posts — because your competition likely will. Just make sure to do so ethically and responsibly.

4. Brands continue to swap out celebrities for micro-influencers.

Influencers are becoming the new celebrity endorsements in 2024 as brands and businesses continue to tap into social media personalities to promote their products and services.

Our survey shows that almost a quarter (23%) of marketers currently leverage influencer marketing, and 87% of those marketers plan to maintain or boost their influencer marketing investments.

If you‘re a marketer or an influencer, you may think influencers with massive following are who brands are flocking to for promotions. However, our survey shows that isn’t the case.

64% of marketers have worked with micro-influencers (10,000 to 999,999 followers) in the last year, and 47% say they yielded the most success with micro-influencers—making them the most popular influencers among marketers.

Our survey shows macro-influencers with 100,000 to 999,999 followers are the second most popular.

44% of marketers say they’ve worked with macro-influencers in the last year. Even nano-influencers (less than 10,000 followers) are leveraged by 22% of marketers.

Only 17% of celebrity or mega-influencers with more than 1 million followers have been leveraged by marketers in the last year.

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Compared to celebrities, working with small influencers is less expensive, makes it easier to establish long-term partnerships, and offers access to tight-knit, engaged, and loyal communities.

Regardless of how big or small the influencer is, influencer marketing is a highly effective marketing channel that drives consumer purchase decisions.

Our most recent consumer trends survey shows that 31% of social media users prefer to discover new products on social media through an influencer they follow over any other social format or channel.

This shoots up to 43% for Gen Z – making influencer marketing their preferred product discovery channel.

On top of that, 21% of social media users 18-54 have made a purchase based on an influencer’s recommendation in the past 3 months. This also rises to 32% among Gen Z.

5. Content remains king in 2024.

Of course, with influencer marketing continuing to rise, it makes sense content marketing would continue to be a popular go-to for marketers. After all, all influencers are content creators, though not all creators are influencers.

But that’s a distinction for another blog post.

Anyway, almost a third of marketers in our survey (29%) are leveraging content marketing, and a whopping 90% plan to maintain or boost their investment in the strategy in 2024.

However, content marketing comes with its hurdles. Most marketers in our survey say the biggest challenges they face in content marketing are creating highly engaging content and coming up with fresh ideas.

To combat that, some marketers will likely turn to AI to generate ideas, outlines, or copy. 46% said AI would help their business on that front. However, that doesn’t mean the robots are taking over.

For many marketers, boosting their investments in content marketing means hiring people for specific roles.

According to our survey, three roles expected to be a top priority to recruit in 2024 are content creator, content strategist, and content marketing manager.

1. Brands will flock to Instagram for ROI and audience growth.

Instagram is leveraged by 55% of brands in our survey, coming in just behind Facebook at 57%.

The good news for Instagram marketers is the platform ties with Facebook in the top spot for ROI, with 29% of marketers listing both as yielding the highest ROI in the past year.

Furthermore, 43% plan to increase their investment in the platform in 2024, while another 46% will keep it the same.

If I were a betting person, I’d gamble that Instagram will likely continue seeing growth from marketers due to the growing trend of social media shopping.

The app placed itself at the forefront of the trend by enabling brands to set up Instagram storefronts and shops within the app.

Before moving on to trend #7, let’s take a look at a few more social media platforms and see how they stack up against each other.

2. Facebook will keep growing, but TikTok’s closing in.

Facebook might be the platform used by most social media marketers at 37%, but TikTok is slowly creeping up as 24% of marketers say the latter app yields the most ROI.

Facebook will also see significant growth in 2024, with 23% of social media marketers planning to invest more in it than any other platform, and 43% plan to increase their investment in Facebook, while 41% will continue investing the same amount.

3. More marketers are looking to TikTok.

44% of marketers say their companies leverage TikTok, placing it third behind Instagram and Facebook. This number also goes up from 36% last year.

Furthermore, almost a quarter of marketers (24%) say the platform yields the highest ROI, placing it right behind YouTube (26%).

TikTok‘s growing appeal to marketers concerns the platform’s relationship with Gen Z, the most prominent generation on the app.

Not only does Gen Z flock to the app, they also make purchases from the platform (remember what I said about e-commerce?).

According to TikTok, 1 in 3 of its Gen Z users are interested in buying from TikTok Live, and 74% of Gen Z weekly TikTok users would seek more information about an advertised product after seeing the ad on TikTok.

4. YouTube Comes in 3rd for Usage & ROI, but Will Continue Growing in 2024

As short-form videos continue to dominate (more on that later), marketers shouldn’t count YouTube out. More than a quarter of the marketers in our survey say the platform yields the highest ROI.

Moreover, 88% of marketers say they will increase or maintain their investment in the platform in 2024.

Top Content Type Social Media Marketers Are Leaning Into in 2024

Short-form Video Continues Its Takeover

Short-form video has the highest ROI compared to other marketing trends, according to our survey.

Short-form video will see the most growth in 2024 by far, with 67% of social media marketers planning to invest more in it than any other format.

53% of those using it also plan to increase their investment in 2024, while 38% will keep investing the same amount.

Social Media Challenges

1. Creating engaging content.

One of the top challenges social media marketers face each year involves creating engaging content. So, it’s no surprise that 18% of those we polled said it was their top hurdle.

And it makes sense. In social media, content drives engagement, traffic, and conversions that boost your business. However, social media, its trends, and what people want to see on each platform change daily. It’s pretty tough to keep up.

2. Gaining and Keeping Followers.

18% of marketers also said gaining and keeping followers is another top social media marketing challenge they‘re facing. That’s not surprising, considering how much content consumers are flooded with on a daily basis.

So much content can make it hard for brands to stand out above the noise.

3. Turning engagements into leads.

Like all marketers, social media pros are always asking themselves, “How can my work benefit the bigger business?” And, one measurable way to justify business impact is by driving leads or conversions.

Yet, that‘s still pretty hard. After all, most social media scrollers don’t just want to leave their feed to become a lead or a customer and come right back.

To win them over, you‘ll have to create content that energizes them beyond the point of simply commenting or clicking a reaction emoji.

That’s why we absolutely aren’t shocked that 18% of social media marketers list lead generation as one of their top challenges.

Top Social Media Marketing Goals

It’s all about the money in 2024. According to our survey, the top goal for most marketers (23%) is increasing revenue and sales. Other goals include:

  • Improving the customer experience (19%))
  • Increasing brand awareness and reaching new audiences (19%)
  • Increasing engagement (18%)
  • Improving sales/marketing alignment (16%)
  • Integrating AI with their marketing strategy

The Top Social Media Marketing Metrics

How are social media marketers tracking success? Let’s see what metrics they’re looking at when posting organic and paid content.

  • 41% of marketers say sales is the most important metric to track
  • 32% say web traffic
  • 29% say social engagement
  • 27% say lead generation
  • 23% say on-site engagement

The Best Times to Post on Social Media

As a social media marketer, you likely want to be posting at the best times for peak engagement.

So, while we had our social media survey participants, we got their thoughts on the best times to post across social media platforms in the U.S. specifically.

  • Facebook: 9 AM to 12 AM
  • YouTube: 3 PM to 6 PM
  • Instagram: 12 PM to 6 PM
  • TikTok: 3 PM to 9 PM
  • X: 9 AM to 3 PM
  • LinkedIn: 9 AM to 3 PM

For tips on what other times to post or what to post during the times above, check out this social scheduling guide.

Social Media Predictions for 2024

Based on our findings (and being the Marketing Blog‘s social media expert), I predict more and more consumers will make purchases directly from their favorite brands’ social media platforms, like Instagram and TikTok.

I also predict it will continue to be the norm for consumers to message brands via social media with concerns and inquiries.

None of these predictions may seem surprising, but I do have one that could shock you. While I predict short-form videos will continue to dominate marketing, I do see more creators opting to make longer videos. Why?

Because TikTok is rolling out programs meant to prioritize videos longer than 60 seconds. While I don’t see a resurgence in hours-long video essays, 2-3 minute videos could start springing up on the platform as creators seek revenue from TikTok’s Creativity Program.

What’s Next for Social Media Marketing?

Ultimately, it’s up to you and your company to determine and plan your future success strategies! But our data and insights are always here to help.

To start building, refining, or researching more opportunities for your social media strategy:

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