The 10 Most Effective Types of Social Media Content in 2024 (with Data)

Social media is an ever-evolving landscape, with new platforms, features, and trends emerging constantly. As a marketer, it can be challenging to keep up and know where to focus your efforts.

To help you craft a winning social strategy, we‘ve analyzed the latest data from social media marketers and consumer behavior studies. Here are the 10 most popular and effective types of social media content you should be creating in 2024, complete with best practices, examples, and data-backed insights.

1. Short-form video

Short-form videos, typically under 60 seconds, have exploded in popularity recently across platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. And it‘s no wonder – short-form video has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy, according to HubSpot‘s 2023 Marketing Strategy & Trends Report.

Why is short-form video so engaging? For one, it aligns with shrinking attention spans. The average attention span has dropped to just 8 seconds. Short-form allows brands to capture attention quickly and deliver their message before viewers scroll away.

It‘s also a format that enables brands to show off their personality, jump on trending audio and dance challenges, and create content that feels native to what users are already consuming on these platforms. TikTok‘s informal, fun vibe has spread to other platforms, making polished, highly produced content feel out of place.

To succeed with short-form video in 2024:

  • Hook viewers in the first 2-3 seconds. Make the start of your video intriguing enough to stop the scroll.
  • Use storytelling. Even in a short time frame, use classic storytelling elements like building tension and having a clear beginning, middle and end.
  • Make it feel native to the platform. Avoid overly promotional content. Instead, entertain, inspire or educate in a way that fits with what‘s already going viral.
  • Use trending sounds, hashtags and effects. TikTok, Reels and Shorts all have built-in creation tools – take advantage of them. Jumping on a trend can increase your reach as viewers actively seek out those formats.
  • Design for silent viewing. 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Include text overlays so your message comes across even without audio.
  • Post consistently. These algorithms reward frequent posting. Aim for at least 3 short videos per week.

Short-form video statistics

  • 68% of consumers prefer video content over articles, infographics, ebooks & presentations. (Wyzowl)
  • 82% of all online content will be video by 2024. (Cisco)
  • Shoppers who view video are 1.8x more likely to purchase than non-viewers. (Wyzowl)
  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support. (HubSpot)
  • Tweets with videos are 6x more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos. (Twitter)

2. User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is any unpaid content posted by your customers, fans or followers that features your brand or products. UGC acts as powerful social proof – people trust content from their peers 2.4x more than content from brands.

UGC is abundant, cost-effective, and incredibly influential. 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, compared to just 13% who say content from brands is impactful. It‘s perceived as more authentic and trustworthy.

Encourage your audience to create content about your brand by:

  • Creating branded hashtags. Give fans a rallying point, like Coca-Cola‘s #ShareACoke campaign.
  • Running contests. Ask customers to post photos or videos featuring your products for a chance to win a prize.
  • Showcasing customer content. Repost top customer photos and videos on your own feed. 74% of consumers say they‘ll share a positive brand experience with others.
  • Partnering with micro-influencers. Identify niche influencers who are already fans of your brand. Micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates at 7%.

UGC statistics

  • 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. (Stackla)
  • UGC photos are 5x more likely to convert customers compared to non-UGC photos. (Yotpo)
  • Ads based on user-generated content receive 4x higher click-through rates. (Stackla)
  • 84% of millennials say UGC plays a role in their purchasing decisions. (Stackla)

3. Influencer collaborations

Influencer marketing has matured from a trendy tactic to a core strategy for many brands. 60% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2023.

Partnering with relevant influencers allows you to tap into their engaged following and borrow their authenticity and authority. The right influencer can help you reach new audiences, improve brand awareness, and drive conversions.

To make the most of influencer collaborations:

  • Choose influencers who align with your brand values and aesthetic. An authentic fit is crucial.
  • Give creative freedom. Let influencers inject their own personality and style into the content so it resonates with their audience.
  • Think beyond Instagram. TikTok is increasingly popular for influencer marketing, especially among Gen Z. YouTube and Twitch are also effective for longer-form partnerships.
  • Consider micro and nano influencers. While they have smaller followings (typically under 100,000), they tend to have higher engagement rates and may be a more cost-effective option.

Influencer marketing statistics

  • 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations – more than the 38% who trust branded (and even more than the 36% who trust ads). (Edelman)
  • Micro-influencers have an average engagement rate of 7%, compared to just 1% for influencers with over 100,000 followers. (HypeAuditor)
  • Influencer marketing campaigns earn $5.78 ROI per dollar spent on average. (Influencer Marketing Hub)
  • 40% of consumers say they‘ve purchased a product online after seeing an influencer use it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. (Twitter)

4. Live video and audio

As social media pivots from curated feeds to immersive experiences, live video and audio offer a way to connect with audiences in the moment. 30% of marketers say they‘ll leverage live audio chat rooms like Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse for the first time in 2023.

The unfiltered, interactive nature of live social content is what makes it compelling. Viewers feel more connected to the brand and appreciate the opportunity for direct conversation. Some popular use cases include:

  • Product launches and demos
  • Q&A sessions and AMAs (ask me anything)
  • Interviews with thought leaders, employees or influencers
  • Behind-the-scenes content, factory tours, etc.
  • Workshops and masterclasses

To host a successful live stream:

  • Promote in advance. Build anticipation with countdown posts and encouraging questions from your audience.
  • Have a plan, but embrace spontaneity. Outline key talking points, but leave room for authentic interaction. The magic of live comes from its unpredictability.
  • Engage with the audience. Acknowledge comments, answer questions, and make viewers feel seen and heard.
  • Provide value. Teach, inspire or entertain your audience in a way that aligns with your brand expertise.

Live streaming statistics

  • Users watch live video 10-20x longer than on-demand content. (Forrester)
  • Live videos on Facebook have an engagement rate of 4.3% compared to 2.2% for non-live videos. (Livestream)
  • 80% of audiences would rather watch live video than read a blog post from a brand. (Livestream)

5. Shoppable posts

Social commerce is forecast to grow by $1.2 trillion globally by 2025. As platforms race to add shopping features, brands have more opportunities than ever to turn social content into conversions. Shoppable posts allow users to go from discovery to purchase without ever leaving the app.

Instagram and Facebook are the leaders in social commerce, with features like product tags, Instagram Shop, and Live Shopping. TikTok and Pinterest are quickly catching up with their own suite of shoppable solutions.

To drive sales with shoppable posts:

  • Make your shop a destination. Curate your shop with themed collections. Treat product descriptions like mini-ads, highlighting key benefits and uses.
  • Tag products frequently. Enable shopping on Instagram posts, Stories, Reels and Live broadcasts to give followers multiple ways to buy.
  • Streamline your path to purchase. Minimize the steps and information required to check out.
  • Use high-quality visuals. Showcase products from multiple angles. Lifestyle shots help viewers envision how they‘d use the product in their own lives.

Social commerce statistics

  • 30% of consumers say they would make purchases directly through social media platforms. (Sprout Social)
  • 36% of internet users in the US aged 18-34 have made a purchase through a social media platform in the past 6 months. (Insider Intelligence)
  • The number of US social commerce buyers is expected to reach 102.6 million in 2023. (eMarketer)
  • Brands see a 20% increase in purchase frequency from shoppers after they follow the brand on social. (Sprout Social)

Conclusion

There you have it – the most effective types of social media content for 2024, backed by data and best practices from the experts. The throughline connecting all these formats is a shift towards authentic, interactive, and immersive content that meets your customers where they already are.

Of course, trends are always changing in the fast-paced world of social. To stay ahead of the curve, keep a pulse on your analytics to see which content types perform best for your unique brand and audience. Don‘t be afraid to experiment with emerging formats and features as they roll out.

Focus on creating content that resonates with your target customer and brings your brand‘s unique personality and values to life. With a commitment to quality and consistency, your social media efforts can drive meaningful business results this year and beyond.